Constitution Not Final Goal
Public Speech at Kohat,
April 25, 1970

When we came to you during Ayub Khan's time, I promised you that we would form a new party, which would be your party. We had to form this party because we wanted to serve the cause of the common man. We had given you our word that we would always side with you during your trials and tribulations. I had said during that speech that together with you we shall fight resolutely against dictatorship in the country. At last, a strong public movement, a revolutionary movement emerged and dictatorship was toppled. Throughout we have been with you, even when elections were nowhere in sight.

We formed a party not to secure permits or ministerships. Our purpose was to work for the people and to serve the country irrespective of whether there were elections or not. We have to do constructive work. Our programme is the welfare of the people. We have formed a party to enforce democracy and the people's rule. We are not after votes. There have been elections before. There have been governments and constitutions. We shall strive our Utmost for a constitution. Our object will be to give the country a people's constitution. With that end in view, we will fully co-operate with anybody, but we want to point out that a constitution alone cannot solve the problems of Pakistan. You must know that elections and constitutions by themselves are of no use. I am making this clear so that you may not ask us after the elections why your problems have not been solved. That is why I am repeat­ing everywhere that elections and a constitution are not the final goals.

What we need is a fundamental change in the economic system. The present economic system is based on oppression and exploitation. There is no difference of opinion in so far as the constitution is concerned. All the parties want a constitution. There can be no difference of opinion on the question of democracy also. Everybody is agreed about the restoration of democracy.

The difference between us and our opponents pertains to the economic question. On the one hand, you have those parties and leaders in Pakistan who want to support the capitalists' system, dominated by the 22 families. Let us not pay any heed to them. On the other hand, we stand for a system of equality which should bring exploitation and oppression to an end. How can the people who support capitalism come to you and say that they want an exploiter's system to continue? They will not call for a people's system. They are shielding themselves behind the slogan that Islam is in danger. This is a white lie. Where is the danger to Islam? If there had been a danger you would feel it. If there is a flood or storm, you feel the danger. You are all Pakistanis and Muslims. Do you feel any danger to Islam? Who has come to you and asked you to give up your religion? Who has asked you not to offer prayers? Is there such a party in Pakistan? There is no danger to Islam in Pakistan because it is a Muslim majority country. Pakistan had come into being for the sake of Islam and Muslims. When the struggle for Pakistan was being launched against the Hindu Congress and the British, what were our opponents doing at that time? I fully believe that there can be no danger to Islam because it is an eternal religion.

Islam is a complete religion. It cannot be in danger because our Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) was the last of the prophets. Why was he the last of the prophets? It was because through him religion had been revealed completely. There is no possibility of any danger to Islam. The very concept of Mohammad being the last prophet negates the possibility of any danger to Islam.

It is quite clear that there is no danger to Islam. The people who are now crying themselves hoarse that Islam is in danger sided with the Hindus and the British against the Quaid-i-Azam. When the Muslims were really in danger these people were not to be seen among the ranks with the Quaid-i-Azam. On the other hand, they were the followers of our enemies. As I have told you, they cannot come to the poor and oppressed people to propagate their real intentions of sucking more blood. They cannot explain their favouring capitalist exploitation. That is why they are raising the negative slogan of 'religion in danger.' I have made it abundantly clear that there is no danger to Islam.

We are all Muslims and we want to serve the cause of Islam. May I ask how we can serve the cause of Islam? We can do it only if the Muslims progress and prosper. If the majority of Muslims is rotting under the capitalist system, it is not in accordance with the divine laws. It is because of the capitalist system that the condition of the people is deplorable. We are going to fight this system. We shall put the equality concept into practice. Our people want to live a full life. They want their country to progress. Are they not human beings? Don't they work hard in the fields and factories? You can see even now that women, children and men are reaping the harvest under the sun. The labourers are working day and night in the factories for very meagre salaries. There is no limit to their exploitation. Our opponents want us to believe that Islam is in danger. What strange people they are! May I ask them whether the people in Egypt have become infidels? Has Nasser become a 'kafir'? What about the people of Libya, the Sudan and Algeria? Are all of them 'kafirs'? Was Soekarno a 'kafir'? Why did he come to the rescue of Pakistan? It was only because we were Muslims.

It is said that equality is against the ideology of Pakistan. What is the ideology of Pakistan? It does not stand for a few people usurping power and protecting themselves by repeating the word ideology on a rosary. Those who had opposed Pakistan are talking today of the ideology of Pakistan. They did not serve the cause of Islam or Pakistan. Instead they weakened it. They opposed the Pakistan movement. The ideology of Pakistan does not mean that we should capture power and then forget the people. It stands for protecting the Muslims wherever they are in danger. What do our self-styled custodians of Pakistan's ideology do when Muslims are massacred in India? What did they do when the Jews were perpetrating atrocities on the Arabs in the Middle East? We believe in the ideology of Pakistan. We want to serve the cause of Islam by enabling the people of Pakistan to solve their problems. You will recall that when I was in Government, I believed in confrontation with India. We fought resolutely against India when she attacked Pakistan.

The way I advocated the cause of the Middle East in the Security Council and other international forums has been widely appreciated by the Arabs of the Middle East. We believe in the ideology of Pakistan and that the enemies of Islam have to be countered wherever they are, even outside Pakistan. Our opponents are the enemies of Islam and they are bringing a bad name to Pakistan. There are many among them who are trying to plead that Pakistan is not in a position to fight against India. They show us the map of India and try to prove that India is invincible because it is a very big country. We know the strength of India. We are not worried about her size. We believe that being in the right we can fight India. If Vietnam can face America, we can certainly face India. I can assure you that if I had been in power and if there had been a people's government in this country, no one in India would have dared touch the Indian Muslims.

The present discussion and controversy does not pertain to the question of democracy or constitution. The difference of opinion is confined to the economic system. Our opponents say our economic reform is against Islam. They tell us that there is no equality in Islam? We have proved that our programme is in consonance with the spirit of Islam. The principle of equality is a fundamental principle in the Islamic system. Can we prove it from the life of the Holy Prophet and the lives of the Khulafa-e-Rashedeen. We can prove it from the Holy Quran. We can prove it from the early history of Islam. We can prove it from the fact that when Iraq, Syria and Egypt were conquered, Hazrat Umar did not allow any serfdoms to be estab­lished in those countries. We have proved that Islam stands for equality. There can be no justice without equality. It will be injustice to allow the existence of big capitalists along with destitutes. Justice can be done only by establishing a system of equality and that alone is our objective. There are some people owning mills sitting right on top of the social ladder. We want them to come down some rungs. There are others who are starving and living in misery. They have nothing. We want to push them up. That is what is meant by equality and that is going to be our endeavour.

Again, our opponents shout from the rooftops that Islam is a complete code of life and cannot be patched up with any other system. I say that we accept this fact but then why do these gentlemen who oppose the system of Islamic equality want a constitution? If Islam is a complete code of life, we do not need a constitution. They keep harping on the 1956 Constitu­tion. Why do they do that?

There is no need for the 1956 Constitution. Why are they crying for the parliamentary system? If equality is against Islam, why do they want a constitution based on the parliamentary system? This system is not mentioned in the Holy Quran. They cannot justify it from the Holy Quran or Hadith. They are contradicting themselves by declaring Islam to be a complete code of life and then demanding a parliamentary system. While talking of demo­cracy, our opponents accept the parliamentary system. Does this not affect their belief in Islam as a complete code of life. It is only when the question of equality is raised that they say, "No, it is against Islam." I want to tell you that I am not the first one to talk about Islamic equality. You can consult your history, and you will see that it was the Quaid-i-Azam, the founder of this country who promised it in his speeches before the establishment of Pakistan and afterwards. The same promise was repeated by the Quaid-i-Millat, who was the first Prime Minister of Pakistan and who was also one of the most important leaders of the Pakistan movement. He was a friend and colleague of the Quaid-i-Azam.

We are only against capitalism which we do not want. We want the 'ism' of the poor. Ours is not a battle of words. We want to end exploitation and the oppression of the poor. We want to end poverty and misery. You can see that the whole world is progressing. You can listen to the radio and read the newspapers. You have been independent for 23 years but your dreams have not come true. You have only witnessed the tribulations of freedom. The system which is a legacy of the British still prevails. Muslim capitalists have replaced Hindu capitalists. This is not liberty. True freedom will come only when the people progress, when the common man prospers.

Our opponents are joining hands against us. They are conspiring to oppose a new party. It is because we have come to you with a message that rings true. They know that our voice is your voice. They know that we are not going to betray you. They also know that we fulfilled our promises in the past.

We know, it is going to be an uphill task. It is no easy thing to bring about. We shall have to launch a long march because we want to bring about a fundamental change.

My dear friends, unless we are prepared to undergo trials and tribula­tions, no basic question will be solved. Our path is going-to be a difficult one, but the people of Pakistan can never be defeated. I did not go to the Round Table Conference, because it was a conspiracy against the people. The politicians who had declared that they would never talk to Ayub Khan rushed to the Round Table Conference when Ayub Khan conspired to hold one. We believe in the people's politics. They don't believe in the people. They have no contact with the masses. That is why they went to the Round Table Conference. Secretly, they assured Ayub Khan that they were with him. My party is the party of the poor, of the workers and the tillers of the land. This party has served the people and has emerged successful through its trials. This party has given a new line of action to the people.

The Legal Framework Order was announced on the 28th of March. We shall have to consider our position in the light of this order. Some of its provisions need very careful consideration. We shall have to review our decision to contest the elections. We wanted to contest the elections because we wanted a people's assembly which should be fully sovereign. Under this order the sovereignty of the Assembly has been curtailed. We shall have to consider whether we should join such an assembly or not. What Pakistan needs is a change. It needs a fundamental change. Unless there is a basic change, we cannot render any service to the people or to Pakistan. I call upon you to strengthen the hands of our party because this is the only party which is with the people.

 

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