Editor’s Note: In his article Hassan Gardezi shows how Pakistan became known as the ‘Islamic republic’. The information he provides is of historical value and worthy of serious discussion. Any state system that is based on any revealed religion is basically a theocracy where the immutable laws of God have primacy and God is the ultimate authority in the affairs of humankind. But republican system is based on man-made laws, which the legislative bodies can repeal, change or create. Thus God-made laws and man-made laws have different sources and different points of reference. Obviously, a theocracy can never be a republic and a republic cannot be a theocracy because they are fundamentally different entities. To claim that they are the same or supplement each other is nonsensical confusion that goes against logic and common sense. Those who make such flimsy claims misuse the name of a world-religon, Islam in this case, and also distort the meaning of republican democracy.
In 1956 when Pakistan finally got its first constitution Objective Resolution was used to name the country Islamic Republic of Pakistan. When the 1956 constitution was revoked and Gen. Ayub seized power, he dropped the word “Islamic” from the name of the country, only to reinstate it when mullahs protested
At the time of independence and partition in 1947, India took the secular route, enacted a constitution in November 1949 and embarked on its career as a republic. Pakistan’s Muslim League leaders on the other hand got bogged down in their attempt to give their new-found state a religious whitewash. By 1949 they were able to enact through the Constituent Assembly what is known as the “Objectives Resolution,” a controversial measure aimed at giving Pakistan an Islamic complexion. Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan introduced the Objectives Resolution (O.R. from now on) in the Constituent Assembly, deemed to be the charter document for making Pakistan into an Islamic state, with a lengthy speech in English which was clearly defensive in its semantics and argument, although never viewed as such.