It is known that an ideology in the name of Pakistan was discovered in 1958 by the then General Ayub Khan, who circulated a questionnaire with nine questions pertaining to said ideology that was endorsed by some people including Justice (retired) Javed Iqbal, who wrote a detailed response with suggestions published later in the form of a book titled The Ideology of Pakistan and Its Implementation in 1959. However, it is not known why the ideology was not the construct of an independent mentality originating in a thinking mind independent of external factors. In other words, why did Pakistan’s intellectuals and scholars fail to discover the ideology without the guidance of a military dictator? Why was a military dictator required to help Pakistanis see the absence of an ideology to steer the country in a certain (erroneous) direction? This question brings Pakistanis to the next question: who was a better intellectual, the person who originated and circulated the questionnaire or those amongst whom the questionnaire was circulated? Precisely speaking, who was a better intellectual: the person who asked questions or the people who answered them?
General Ayub Khan must have been a great statesman. If he had not taken over the country after President Iskander Mirza abrogated the constitution of 1956 and declared martial law on October 7, 1958, the process of the discovery of the ideology would not have been possible. General Ayub Khan, after becoming the chief martial law administrator on October 27, 1958, showed that the discovery of the ideology was more important than sanctifying the constitution framed by the constituent assembly. He also showed that a military dictator was required at the helm of affairs not only to discover the ideology but also to implement it. In this way, the emergence of General Ayub Khan as a military dictator was a blessing in disguise, to discover the ideology and let others expound it.
With the imposition of the first martial law, the constitutional and democratic ideals of Pakistan’s founding father, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, were disgraced publicly. That was why justifying the (first) martial law must have been a herculean task for Ayub Khan. On the other hand, pandering to the needs of a military dictator must have been an easier job. Otherwise, a book would have been written demanding General Ayub Khan respect the constitution (by restoring it) and revere the democratic path. Unfortunately, no one rendered this service to Pakistan. Consequently, a wrong precedent of such magnitude was established that the constitution of Pakistan is still vulnerable to the exploits of a military dictator. Secondly, a crop of toadies has surfaced, which find a great statesman hidden in any constitutional violator and helps him (or her) justify the (military) takeover on one pretext or another. Jinnah’s Pakistan has been subjected to the will of constitution violators and their sycophants, who now exist in almost all walks of life.
Once the ideology was discovered, elaborated on and approved, the second phase — called the implementation phase — started. It was this phase that strengthened the grip of General Ayub Khan on the affairs of the state and justified the perpetuation of his stay. This aspect, the ‘implementation of the ideology’, gave birth to the idea of a parallel constitution. The constitution that was meant to define the rights of Pakistanis, was now itself defined by the ideology. Perhaps Jinnah did not know the significance of the ideology, its potential to construct a parallel constitution and its power to colour the constitution. The pre-ideological era (from 1947 to 1958) sans the ideology must have done great damage to Pakistan.
In 1958, Pakistan learnt about not only its ideology but also its ideological frontiers, which were an extension of the ideology above or beyond the physical borders of Pakistan. It is known that under the patronage of General Ayub Khan, the military took upon itself the role of defending or protecting the ideological frontiers of Pakistan, which was how the implementation of the ideology extended the mandate of the military. However, it was not known what the country’s ideological frontiers were. Likewise, it was also not known what made ideological frontiers vulnerable and in need of protection. Jinnah remained focused on the physical frontiers of Pakistan and could neither define nor envisage the significance of the ideological frontiers of Pakistan. To date, perhaps no study has been done to compare the difference between the ideological frontiers and physical frontiers, and similarly between ideological frontiers and the economic frontiers of Pakistan.
In 1958, instead of playing a role to make Pakistanis surrender their emotions to rational thought, efforts were undertaken to stir those emotions in the name of ideology. This was done at the individual, political party, and state level to further vested interests. Talibanisation actually started the day Pakistan drifted away from its course of constitutionalism and federalism, and instead adopted emotionalism embedded in the ideology. Similarly, the forces of disintegration became stronger on the day Pakistan deviated from its path of federalism (and provincial autonomy) and instead adopted centralism under the influence of the ideology.
In response to the questionnaire, nobody wrote a book indicating that the constitution was supreme, and that General Ayub Khan had no right to abrogate it and continue with martial law. Not even a single word on the sanctity of the constitution was mentioned in the book written by Justice (retired) Javed Iqbal. Instead of endorsing and elaborating the views of General Ayub Khan on the ideology by writing the book, if a book to criticise or condemn his anti-democratic stance had been written, the history and the situation of Pakistan would have been considerably different to what it is now.
“Do you see a man who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” The ...