Essay  No. 11: 

The statement “Religion Is The Only Force That Can Keep People Together But It Seems To Have Failed To Do So In Our Society” considers religion as a unifying force to keep people together. At the same time, it negates the role of religion to achieve the objective of unity. Two opposite views surface on the earth, which need an objective examination.

Religion is a great force of keeping people in a country together, Israel offers the best example, which derives inspiration from its religion. Religion has acted as a unifying force in case of Israel and it can act in a similar way in our own case subject to the fulfilment of certain socio-economic politico conditions.

It is a fact that religion in our case has not played a unifying role. If it had done then former East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) would not have seceded from Pakistan. Pakistan was achieved in the name of religion, (Two Nation Theory formed the basis of the creation of Pakistan) which would not act as a cementing force between the former and now Pakistan.

Religion failed to provide a common bond to keep people in both the wings together. It is a better pill which has to be swallowed willy-nilly. Even there is a lack of consensus on vital national issues in Pakistan. People in federating units have misgivings in certain matters against one another. Islam is a common religion but it seems not to have welded the people together. Provincial hatred does not show signs of diminution.

The smaller provinces accuse Punjab to be the exploiter, for certain reasons, certain genuine, others in genuine. The Sind and the KPK and the Baluchistan do not agree to the construction of Kalabagh Dam. That shows the lack of unanimity of national consensus on Kalabagh Dam. That has blocked the construction of the Dam, which is vital to have in view of the impending drought.

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Provinces have different viewpoints on the distribution of resources from the divisible pool. There is no consensus on this issue which continues to hang in balance. There are so many other irritating whose no resolution stands in the way of national integration. The smaller provinces stand for a real type of democracy, which they see missing in Pakistan. They are against the military rule, which doesn’t help attain maturity in diverse types of institutions in the country.

Above all, they wish for a real working democracy in Pakistan, which could help resolve knotty problems based on the spirit of giving and take. The agitating problems among the federating units can be resolved through negotiations if there is real democracy in the country. Democracy must continue uninterruptedly in Pakistan to deal with myriads of problems arising on a continual basis.

If after the demise of the Quaid-e-Azam the then Muslim League leadership had taken necessary steps to create an egalitarian society based on Islamic Adl for the dispensation of social, economic justice, leading to the suzerainty of the rule of law, things would have been different in Pakistan today. People’s problems might have effectively been dealt with by now and it would have facilitated religion to play its role properly in the country.

Religion can play its role after the basic economic problems faced by the people are resolved satisfactorily. With the growth of income inequalities, leading to the exploitation of the masses, religion is used as a tool to cover up the sins of omission and commission of the elite classes.

Religion has not united people in Pakistan for the reasons enumerated above. The basic thrust should be to overcome politico-economic problems in Pakistan. If that were done, it would open avenues to create congenial environment for the religion to play its unifying role.