Friday, August 02, 2013

The importance of separating Religion and State in Pakistan

Nasir Khan, August 2, 2013

The mixing of Islam with the politics of Pakistan has been a recipe for disaster for the people and the political system of Pakistan. It is obvious to all of us what people say in matters of faith is full of controversies, divergent interpretations and inter-sectarian conflicts that result in much bloodshed and social polarization. While every sect repudiates other sects in doctrinal matters while maintaining its own version to be the only genuine and legitimate one!

As long as Pakistan does not follow the principles of a peoples’ democracy and separate religion from politics, more and more disasters and mayhem will follow. I think, one important step for Pakistani secular activists is to show the importance of the separation of religion and the State. When this is made possible then the people should follow whatever religion or sect they choose or reject in their personal lives. That should be their option and no one should interfere with that. The State should be neutral in religious matters. When this happens, religion (Islam in the case of Pakistan) will stop being a power that poisons the body-politic of Pakistan as it also does in many other Muslim countries.
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