Secular Jinnah Pakistan Launch Day Speeches

Statements by speakers ..... Messages from absent well-wishers

Saleena Karim's statement (read out by M. Ali Khan)

I am very sorry I cannot be here with you today but thank you all for coming to the launch of my book, Secular Jinnah & Pakistan. I am honoured that the launch is being held on the auspicious occasion of the Quaid-i-Azam's birthday.

I would like to thank Mr. Iqbal Saleh Muhammad, the MD of Paramount Books for taking on my title and making its publication possible in Pakistan. I would also like to thank Mr. Muhammad Ali Khan, the General Manager, Publishing and School Division, for being so helpful and doing everything to ensure the Pakistani edition was finalised in good time. I would also like to thank Prof. Muhammad Rafi, Lt. Col. Khan Adeeb Ahmed Umerzai and Mr. Maqbool Mahmood Farhat, the three gentlemen who helped introduce my UK publisher, CheckPoint Press, to Paramount Books.

Secular Jinnah & Pakistan is a book about the political life of Quaid-i-Azam MA Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. It is also a case study of a battle over ideas - and especially the Pakistan idea. Most importantly, it has shown the consequences of what can happen when people choose to see what they want to see.

My research on Quaid-i-Azam's life and career began after I stumbled upon a quote that highlighted a conflict between two versions of history. When I learned that the quote was a fake I released my first short book Secular Jinnah in 2005. Later I began a much deeper study of Pakistan's founding history and this book is the result of that study. From the beginning I have been interested only in pursuing the truth, and hopefully this is reflected in the book. I would like to see Secular Jinnah & Pakistan read by students in higher education, not with an intent to impose my own opinions but because the book contains an important message about the need for objectivity in historical research. It is not focused on what to think, but on how to think.

No history book can be treated as the last word. However, every student of history must treat all available evidence honestly and fairly, even when it does not fit his or her particular view of the world. This is especially important in the case of Pakistan, since the biggest questions about its creation are ultimately of an ideological nature. Likewise, the individuals who have made history should be treated with respect. Biographers must not and cannot review events from their own personal viewpoint, but must be prepared to see solely through the eyes of the person whose life story they are telling. This was the principle I followed in writing Secular Jinnah & Pakistan, and in so doing I discovered a man with clarity of mind and purpose, integrity of character and an indomitable spirit. The Quaid-i-Azam can teach us much about ourselves and the kind of human beings we can all strive to be, if only we are willing to learn.

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Dr. Waheed Ahmad sent the following message:

Unfortunately I could not be in Karachi for the launch today. However, I have a high regard for Saleena Karim's endeavour in her Secular Jinnah & Pakistan, and admire her expansive study and use of a variety of printed sources to reach her conclusions. In particular her correspondence with Mr. Bhandara throws new light on Pakistan's attitude towards minorities. I wish Saleena the best of luck and success in this and her future endeavours.


Mr. Khalid Sayyed sent the following message:

It is indeed an honour as well as a pleasure for me to say a few words about Saleena's latest book Secular Jinnah & Pakistan - What The Nation Doesn't Know, the real value of which may not be evident to many as yet. Saleena has done what should have been done 50 years ago!

Why was Pakistan created? What kind of socio-political system was going to operate in the new state? What did the founder have in mind as the 'real' cause and reason for Pakistan? Questions like these have been asked since 1947 despite all the historical and documentary evidence that has been there all along. Some of the confusion on the part of the common man was definitely caused by prominent personalities through Pakistan's history, such as Chief Justice Muhammed Munir in his book From Jinnah to Zia and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto who once declared that the basis of the Indian Muslims' demand for a separate homeland was economic. Another contributory factor to the national confusion was the age-old question: What is Islamic? Amid all this confusion, a nagging query about the integrity and sincerity of Muhammed Ali Jinnah was always there.

Saleena has successfully and dexterously dealt with these questions of national importance in a comprehensive manner. Her book is a manual of the highest academic standard which should set the record straight once and for all that the basis of the demand for Pakistan was the Two-Nation Theory, that is, the Muslims of British India were a nation separate from Hindus and, as such, could not have a shared homeland; also that the founder of the nation of Pakistan definitely wanted a non-sectarian Islamic socio-political system in the new state based upon the teachings of the Qur`an, the Muslim Scripture.

Saleena's work is commendable not only on the basis of its content but also because of the professionalism that has gone into its production. The author has delved deep into historical and documentary evidence and has produced a work of quality. I admire her resolve and hard work over the past few years that she has been busy in researching and writing. The book is undoubtedly worthy of being an essential part of Pakistan Studies in universities in Pakistan as well as abroad. I can whole-heartedly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the study of the cause, reason and aim of the creation of the state of Pakistan.

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Prof. Sharif Al Mujahid sent the following message:

I welcome Saleena Karim's Secular Jinnah & Pakistan, especially because it represents a major breakthrough on the much discussed acerbic issue of whether Pakistan was conceived as an Islamic or a secular state. It also represents a significant contribution to the extant body of literature on Jinnah's ideological orientation.
That issue had acquired a new dimension and a new urgency since the publication of Justice Muhammad Munir's controversial work, From Jinnah to Zia (1980) wherein he had depended almost solely on Doon Campbell's interview of 21 May 1947 and Jinnah's 11 August address to assert that Jinnah stood for a secular state. Karim provides an in-depth analysis of the "Munir quote", supplemented by citations from original sources to show that Munir's version of Campbell's interview is vastly different from the original text, thus eroding the prime basis of Munir's assertion. In tandem, she marshals an array of facts, quotes and arguments to demolish the myths woven around Jinnah's personality one by one, and builds up "a compelling case for a Jinnah who was neither a secularist, nor a religionist, nor even a product of secular-Islam synthesis".
Refreshingly, Karim fulfils all the basic requirements of a first rate work: meticulous research, copious documentation, analytical rigour and lucidity of expression. Her book also opts for Milton's free market place of ideas approach rather than going in for the hackneyed selective exposure, selective perception and selective evidence route, so popular with most Pakistani authors. Hence whether one agrees with her or not, Karim is a must read for scholars and students of Pakistan and South Asia. And, finally, with this work under her belt, Saleena Karim may well claim a place among the core Jinnah scholars.

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Prof. Muhammad Rafi's statement (pending)


Lt. Col. Adeeb Khan's statement (full version coming soon):

We had been reading a number of books on the subject of Pakistan and its founder. After reading this book I felt as if this was the book I had been waiting for.Its not only the life story of its founder and the nation-state he carved single handedly.It has not only revealed the untold facts but clarified myths and false reportings about him.

A great effort by the author which started from a simple research to clarifya misquote which ultimately became a monumental research work and the most authentic book on the life history of its QUAID and the state he carved. Hecan be rightly called in the Quranic terminology, a Muslim, of this century.

Its recommended to be a reference book on Jinnah and Pakistan for all public and private libraries.

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Mr. Inam Khawaja's statement (full version coming soon)

The first point I would like to make is that Mr. Jinnah had deep knowledge of Quran and Islam. The Quaid was eighteen years old when he went to London in 1892 he came back only after four years in 1896. Before he went abroad he had studied Quran for four and a half years in Sindh-Madarsa-tul-Islam where it was a compulsory subject. His family was of Asna-Ashri school of thought and lived in Wazir Mansion only a minute’s walk from the Karadar Imam Bara which is the most important Imam Bara of Karachi in which there are about forty to fifty Majalis per year. The Quaid therefore attended about 350 to 400 Majalis by the time he was eighteen years old. This and the Quran studies in school gave him deep knowledge of Quran and Islam. His life consequently is a reflection of the Islamic moral values he was imbibed with.

Secondly; there is not a single speech, statement or writing of the Quaid in which he said anything in favour of secularism. I have read all his speeches and statements from 1908 to 1933 once and from 1934 to 1948 at least four times and can say with full confidence that he did not even use the word secular or secularism in any of his speeches.

Lastly I would like say that Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was a man of principles and steadfastness of purpose was one of his qualities. Dr. Staley Wolpert in his book about the Quaid’s speech of 11 August 1947 states that:

What a remarkable reversal it was, as though he was transformed overnight once again into the old ‘ambassador of Hindu-Muslim Unity’.

Wolpert clearly accepts that the Quaid changed his views on the eve of the fulfillment of his demand for an independent Pakistan. It is impossible for me to accept this because one would be faced with another reversal because only after about two and a half months the Quaid in his speech on 30 October 1947 said that:

We thank Providence for giving us courage and faith to fight these forces of evil. If we take our inspiration and guidance from the Holy Quran, the final victory I once again say will be ours. You have only to develop the spirit of the Mujahids. You are a nation whose history is replete with people of wonderful grit, character and heroism. Live up to your traditions and add to it another chapter of glory. All I require of you now is that everyone of us to whom this message reaches must vow to himself and be prepared to sacrifice his all, if necessary, in building up Pakistan as a bulwark of Islam and as one of the greatest nations whose ideal is peace within and peace without.

In his speech in Sindh High Court on 25 January 1948 the Quaid said:-

Islamic principles have no parallel. Today they are as applicable in actual life as they were 1300 years ago. Islam and its idealism has taught democracy. It has taught equality of man, justice and fair play to everybody.

Is it logical that the Quaid espoused Islamic views before 11 August became a secularist on 11 August and again became an Islamist on 30 October and remained so till his death?

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Secular Jinnah
& Pakistan:
What the Nation Doesn't Know

CheckPoint Press, Ireland
Paramount Books, Karachi


Book Data:
6.14 x 9.21 inches
xiv, 318 pages
Includes bibliography
and index

What is the Munir quote?


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