In a lecture held at Columbia University, an expert on Pakistan declared that it is a country in which religious minorities, including Christians, are unsafe. This aspect of modern Pakistan is a great contradiction to the dream of its founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah who envisioned a Pakistan for Pakistanis from all religious backgrounds. As Islamic extremism continues to take root in Pakistan, many wonder whether minority religions, like Christianity, will survive.
9/17/2014 Pakistan (The Express Tribune) – Pakistan has become a “very troubled state”, in contradiction to the dreams of its founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah, it was stated at a lecture “Pakistan and the Burden of Islam” held at Columbia University on Tuesday.
Professor Emeritus at Columbia University Ainslie Embree, editor in chief of the Encyclopedia of Asian History (1989), remarked that Pakistan has become the state that Jinnah never spoke of.
During the first constituent assembly in August 1947, Jinnah reiterated that the state had nothing to do with any citizen’s religion. However, contrary to his vision, minorities are not safe in Pakistan, Embree said, with Ahmadis and Christians mainly targeted among the minority groups.
In the last 30 years, it has often been said that Pakistan is ‘on the brink of disaster’ and is a failed state, Embree said. However, comparisons between Pakistan and states like India are unfair as Pakistan “has a mission to become a fully Islamic state”, he said. He argued that while Muslim rulers tried to protect Islamic culture, they did not focus on Muslim unity.