Strange secularism of Pakistan People’s Party


By Farman Nawaz (Unpublished article)

Rehman Malik recently announced that in the second round of negotiations between government and Tanzeem-ul-Madaris, the two sides are agreed upon certain points. Following are those points.

  • Madrisa Regulatory authority will be under ministry of education.
  • Separate boards will be established for five religious sects.
  • All the Madaris will have to affiliate with any one of the boards.
  • All these boards will follow the same course of study.
  • An audit of Madaris will be compulsory.
  • Foreign students without registration will not be admitted to Madaris.

Before discussing the flaws in this agreement it is important to examine the policy of People’s party regarding sectarianism, terrorism and fundamentalism. People’s Party apart from their slogan of Roti, Kaprha and Makan, also claim to establish liberal and progressive society in Pakistan. Peoples’ Party also wishes to be recognized as secular political power on international level. That’s why People’s Party is against fundamentalism, sectarianism and terrorism.

It is also a fact that all the fundamentalists involved in terrorism are against People’s Party. But still People’s Party in the presence of all these threats, is active and struggling parallel to these forces. But the question is that is it enough that we have such a secular party in our system? Will People’s Party be able to eradicate ignorance, religious suffocation, and get the society free of religious imperialism of these sectarian forces?

For this tuff task People’s Party must play such a role that the desperate people of Pakistan can feel it. Pakistani nation is fed up to live in this world of political slogans and fantasies. The time has given People’s party a chance to accomplish this task and when Pakistani nation will evaluate People’s party, they will look at the practical steps in this direction. We confess that People’s Party is facing severe crises and up till now they are somehow successful. But we were waiting for this time that when People’s party will face this situation and how they will react. Now it is a time of practical test for People’s Party.

Today if we are facing this menace of terrorism, one of the reasons is that our religious Madaris have also played a role in it. But sorry to say that Peoples Party just in second round of negotiations, proved to be a wall of sand. How the government can assure that no foreigner will take admission without registration? The government has convinced the owners and organizers for audit but what about foreign funding? And it is worth mentioning here that in our government budget there is no allocation of funds for religious Madaris. Funds from government side can stop the way of foreign funds. Same course of study is not the solution of eradication of sectarianism but it is the explanation of material that encourages sectarianism. Comparative study of religions and “Fiqa” is the main cause of hatred towards other sects and religions.

The next illogical decision is of establishing separate boards for different sects on sectarian basis. What was the reason to make sectarian boards and the then affiliating them to ministry of education? It means that government supports sectarian divisions even at educational level. People’s party has bowed its head and they admit that sectarianism is reality of our society that can not be eradicated.

If scheme of study is same so is there any need for separate boards on the basis of sects? Moreover People’s Party has admitted the hegemony of these religious pundits on the people of Pakistan. Furthermore any Madrisa not affiliated with one of these boards can not claim to be part of religious education sector. Means that religious education and its explanation will only be authentic if it is approved by these sectarian boards. Isn’t it mean domination of sectarian pundits on religion?

The government has classified these boards in five categories. The nation is well aware about four sects that is Barelvi, Deobundi, Ahl-e-Hadis and Shia. Now what about fifth sect? Is it Jamat-e-Islami? If it is Jamat-e-Islami so the nation must com to know that Jamat-e-Islami is a sect not a political party.

People’s Party must try to establish Madrisa education on such pattern that the hegemony of sectarian classes over religious education can be brought to an end.

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