If founding leaders have declared, in uncertain terms, Pakistan a secular state, would Pakistan be different today? Brief thought by F. Sheikh

I do not think it would have made any difference. Pakistan’s religious leaders would have played the same role to exploit public opinion and force even the most secular leaders to move towards extremist positions to garner their support. Zulifqar Bhutto is the prime example to declare Ahmadis non-Muslims and bowed to their pressure. Military dictators were no different.

Regional Geopolitics played a major role to cultivate religious extremist groups to gain influence in Afghanistan and fight a proxy war in Kashmir to keep pressure on India. Russian occupation of Afghanistan further helped to fuel this militancy with the support of USA and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

KSA needs orthodoxy to suppress its masses and maintain their hold on power. It also needs other Muslim countries to maintain orthodoxy so that it does not influence its own public with liberal ideas. It also needs Sunny power to suppress Shia because most of the oil fields are in Shia occupied area in KSA. KSA has exported this orthodoxy and militancy to other Muslim countries, especially Pakistan, with petro-dollars. Pakistan is joined by hip with KSA ( due  to its financial support) and even has loaned its ex-Army chief to fight its wars of personal interests-and not for the benefit of Muslims at large.

Despite all the outcry of terrorism and Islamic militancy by the West, they continue to support KSA and other middle east monarchies to keep oil wells running and billions of dollars which these monarchies spend to buy weapons (which they may not know how to use) from West and bank roll their secret military missions. Our defense economy in USA needs a continuous state of war to keep it humming.

According to recent reports Russia and Iran are now supporting Taliban and supplying weapons against USA. This is a role reversal. When Russia occupied Afghanistan, USA supported Taliban. Now Russia will be supporting Taliban against USA. It will further inflame militancy in the region and Pakistan cannot stay out.

Considering current geopolitics, bringing secularism in Pakistan cannot be taken in isolation. It is not just Religious extremists in Pakistan but outside forces also needs to be addressed. KSA is the major link that needs to be severed first, then military interests and lastly movement within Pakistan for secularism-only then it may have a chance to succeed.