The essence of Paigham-e-Pakistan | By Dr Muhammad Khan

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The essence of Paigham-e-Pakistan

IN January 2018, Pakistan formally launched a unified national narrative to be adopted by everyone as a way forward.

With the nomenclature of ‘Paigham-e-Pakistan’ this national narrative is all about to counter the terrorism and violent extremism, faced by state and society of Pakistan since the beginning of 21st century.

This unified national narrative was unveiled after getting a consensus from religious scholars of different schools of thought.

Indeed, the narrative is not new, but a reiteration of the essence of Islam which rejects the very basis of extremism, radicalization and terrorism. On January 16, 2018, this narrative was formally launched at Aiwan-e-Sadar, Islamabad in a very formal ceremony.

It was attended by prominent scholars from all religious groups, people from academia, international community representatives, ambassadors of some friendly countries, the political leadership of Pakistan and above all the symbol of unity, the President of Pakistan.

It is pertinent to mention that the entire groundwork on the Paigham-e-Pakistan was done by International Islamic University (IIU), Islamabad.

The booklet on Paigham-e-Pakistan was debated well over 8-10 months through progressive debates and seminars which were participated by a wider community of the religious scholars, media people and academicians.

The then President of Pakistan, Mamnoon Hussain (late) inaugurated the entire process and said, ‘Launch of this national counter-terrorism narrative is manifestation of the fact that the Pakistani nation is extremely serious to get rid of the menace of extremism and terrorism from Pakistani society.

He said, “I believe that this decree, prepared in the light of true teachings of Islam, will transform their hearts and pave the way for their salvation in the hereinafter.”

The true teaching of Islam is that, ‘extremism, bloodshed and suicide-bombing were categorized as spreading evil on earth (Fasaad-fil-Ard), which has no place in the religion, thus stands prohibited and unjustified.’ This is indeed, the essence of Islam.

Indeed, the Constitution of Pakistan is in line with the teaching of the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

If we follow the constitution of Pakistan in true letter and spirit, all evils in the implementation of rule of business and obstacles in the implementation of true teaching will be removed. “It is our foremost responsibility that we must hold this foundation (Constitution).

It is the base which will provide us the strength to achieve a dignified place amongst the comity of nations and enable us to meet the challenges at national level.”

Being the worst sufferers of terrorism, the people of Pakistan have unanimously rejected the narratives of all terrorist organizations, since they are against Islam and humanity.

The word Islam itself denotes peace and Holy Quran ‘teaches love and compassion for every human being’ irrespective of their religion.

Indeed, Islam denounces terrorism and the violent and intolerant beliefs. Truly the radicalization, the extremism and the terrorism is not the agenda of Muslims and Islam.

Then, why Muslims are blamed for promoting and undertaking this menace of terrorism? A simple answer is that, all major terrorist attacks were either done by Muslims and most of the terrorism is found in Islamic world, therefore they get the (dis-)credit.

But, nobody has ever tried to unearth the motives behind promotion of; radicalization, extremism and terrorism in Muslim world. This has not been done even by the affected class – the Muslim scholars.

Owing to socio-economic deprivation which indeed is a governance issues, the Muslim streets get into an extreme mind-set.

This extreme mind-set push them towards radicalization which subsequently outbursts into violence and terrorism.

Since Muslim world has been bestowed by Allah Almighty with numerous resources and strategically located geopolitics, therefore, as a rule of power politics, the international forces exploit the available opportunities which is the law of nature.

In the process, the elite (ruling class) lose the trust of masses and feel vulnerable, thus taking support from external power(s), at the time of domestic violence. The external power(s) then, decides as per its own national interests and convenience.

They exploit both – the elite for their obvious susceptibility and streets to use them against the rulers as well as for their strategic and economic achievability. This cycle of exploitation then continues unabated.

There is a need for the farsightedness among the Muslim world; the ruling elite can remove the basic anomalies and disparities, found among the masses of the Muslim world.

Addressing the socio-economic deprivations would create the element of trust among the ruling class and the deprived masses.

A good governance calls for a better care of the masses in all respects. This is the essence of Islam and humanity. Let’s have a positive usage of Islam as a religion as per its essence.

The essence of Islam is love, peace and promotion of positive education. The current anti-Islam narratives of terrorists, while taking cover of Islam have created a scare among the youth.

Let’s promote the education for discarding the narratives of terrorists as well as of those forces, conspiring against Islam and Pakistan.

Paigham-e-Pakistan is indeed a reminder to everyone that, people were betrayed by a class of people in the name of Islam and terrorism is against the teaching of Islam.

Pakistan was created as a modern and progressive nation-state, based on the ideology of Islam. Islam is a religion of peace, tranquillity, harmony and interfaith tolerance.

The ‘Paigham-e-Pakistan’ has provided a platform for the national unity of Pakistan. If implemented in true letter and in spirit, Pakistan can come out from the contemporary trying time with a lot of accomplishments.

— The writer is Professor of Politics and IR at International Islamic University, Islamabad.

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