Dr Ghayur Ayub
MODERN thinkers push people to follow logic. They bracket illogical happenings as ‘chance occurrences’ or ‘coincidences.’ This may not be true. Sometimes, illogical events give rise to logical outcome surprising logical minds. Pakistan is a typical example. Logically, this Muslim country of 200 million people should not have been on the map of the world. But it is. Its founding father Mohammad Ali Jinnah was born as Muslim in strange circumstances. His father, Punjalal Thakkar was a non-Muslim who became a Muslim not by choice of logic. His father Premjibhai was expelled disgracefully by the elders of his Lohana clan. In rage, Punjalal Thakur became Muslim. He kept his nickname Zino, pronounced as Jinno in Gujrati. His son, Mohammad Ali kept the nickname and changed it to Jinnah. If his father would have controlled his temper and thought logically, he might not have become a Muslim and there would be no Muslim Jinnah and so no Muslim country Pakistan!
According to a video, Mr. Jinnah had visitations by the Holy Prophet (PBUH) in London telling him to go back to India and help the Muslims in their struggle. Logicians would not see any logic in it, but he came back to India and started a struggle for an independent state. No logical mind could imagine seeing an independent Muslim State at that time. Everything was against it: The country destined for the Muslims were themselves not united. The religious leaders who were the custodians of Islam were against creation of Pakistan. The Hindus who were deadly against Pakistan were immensely powerful politically. The British Raj did not take the Muslims seriously in policy matters. There were no proper strategies for making a separate Muslim state. The leader, MA Jinnah, who demanded a separate Muslim state was himself not a practicing Muslim. He was a westernised liberal who could not even speak the local language. The religious scholars called him a ‘Kafir’ (infidel) and Pakistan a ‘Kafiristan’. (the country of infidels). The Hindu intellectuals and the politicians would call Pakistan a madman dream. Most Muslims intellectuals would call it a misguided notion. The prominent political pundits were convinced that in the unlikely event of its creation, Pakistan would not survive financially for more than three years. According to their logic it would collapse under its own weight.
Against all the logical justifications, Pakistan came into existence presenting a picture of debris left by a strong earthquake and overrun by millions of refuges. It had no financial resources to run its weak military, administrative, economic, agricultural, industrial, educational, health and other sectors. The mosaic of its infrastructure was nonexistent. India was waiting to see it implode under its own weight as logically predicted by the think tanks of the time. Illogic prevailed and Pakistan did not collapse. To survive logically, every country thrives on the strength of three pillars: Judiciary, Legislative and Executive. In contrast, Pakistan added four extra pillars. Gen Ayub played political game and introduced army as the fourth pillar. Gen Zia played religious card and created a fifth pilar of hardcore traditionalist Muslim group. Gen Musharraf under the pressure by the US introduced independent electronic media creating a sixth pillar. Taking advantage of the prevailing surge in corruption, bureaucracy became the seventh pilar. As a result of corruption, the government became ineffective, the bureaucracy lost its credo, the politicians lost political pride, the judiciary lost its independence, the army lost its respect in military takeovers, and the religion divided the society making it a hub of sectarianism. Pakistan became a mockery in the eyes of the world.
It is a historical fact that countries disintegrate when their supporting pillars crumble. How did Pakistan survive despite massive erosions of its pillars is beyond any logic. While all pillars were crumbling from corruption and the country was sliding down fast towards its logical disintegration, an illogical parallel event was taking place. It was the nuclear program spearheaded not by a highly skilled nuclear scientist but by an ordinary metallurgist. Had it not been for the nuclear technology, India would have invaded Pakistan twice in the last two decades. It was nearly taken out by Israel as they did with Iraq’s nuclear assets. Against all the logical threats, the nuclear program thrived successfully. Wasn’t it illogical?
Finally, the three Abrahamic religions needed a flag bearer state. The Vatican in 1929 and Israel in 1948 became those states for Roman Catholicism and Judaism, respectively. In 1970s, when a defeated Pakistan arranged OIC Conference and took an initiative to become nuclear, it sowed the seed to grow the country as the future flag bearer of the Muslim world. Was it illogical? Yes, it was. A geographically, morally, psychologically, and financially broken country looking for leadership of the Muslim world? Not logical at all. Then, in 1998 it seized that title after conducting nuclear tests surpassing Saudi Arabia in leadership which not only holds the holiest places of Islam but keeps the Central Secretariat of OIC. How did it happen? 400 years ago, Naimatullah Shah Wali envisioned Islamic revival from a location where Islamabad is presently located. He called it the fort (Qila) of Islam from where an Islamic power would emerge. Shahab Nama told us how Potohar where Bari Imam rests was chosen as the capital of Pakistan against all odds and why the name Islamabad was given to the capital city. Allama Mashriky predicted its breakage after twenty-five years but envisaged a prosperous Pakistan after seventy years of its existence.
So, here is Pakistan born illogically, survived illogically, turned into a nuclear state illogically, became the flag bearer of the Muslim world illogically, but standing firm on logical grounds against hostile India and a major superpower. To make things worse, an internal turmoil has erupted by the corrupt politicians who are trying to destabilize the country by uprooting an elected leader who might not be a wise person, but he is undoubtedly honest, upright, and straight shooter just like MA Jinnah. The question is would the logic overcome the illogic? The time will tell but the illogical reasons provided above would logically prove that Pakistan will survive and progress in the world politics.
— The writer is contributing columnist, based in London, UK.