Socialism is Islamic Equality
Speech at a Public Meeting at Gujrat,
March 1, 1970

You have taken a lot of trouble today to attend this meeting. You have taken even more trouble by participating in the procession which started from Jhelum and terminated at Gujrat. It was a historic procession. The procession would not have been a success without your efforts and co-operation. I thank you on behalf of my party. I feel that I did not deserve such an honour.

You will recall that this is not my first meeting in Gujrat. When the Pakistan People's Party came into being and the people launched a great movement, a meeting was held in Gujrat. It was two-and-a-half years ago. That was a very critical time. I would say that time was accursed because there was a dictatorship in the country. We were being told that a new party would have to be established because the other parties were not prepared to face the dictatorship. The new party was expected to do so. A year-and-a-half later my friends and I decided that we should establish a new party. The other parties were already struggling against the dictatorship in a peaceful and constitutional manner. They could never have succeeded through that method. A movement was required and sacrifice? Were needed. I believe that sacrifice without an objective are meaningless. But if sacrifices are offered for a definite objective, for principles, for liberty and for ending exploitation, they are bound to bear fruit. That dictatorship could not be crushed through speeches and without a mass movement. Ayub Khan thought that he would rule as long as he lived. The constitution imposed by him certainly protected his position very well against those who wanted to fight him according to his own rules. A new party with a new philosophy, a new manifesto and a new democratic leadership was needed. We established the Pakistan People's Party against this background.

My dear friends, Pakistan came into being 23 years ago. How have you 27 lived your life during these 23 years? What is the state of affairs in the country? The fact is that the people have lived a miserable life. Nothing has been done for the sake of the people. Their lot is the same as it was before independence. People will have to be liberated from their chains. That is why a new party was needed and that is why we established a new party. We have named it 'Pakistan Peoples Party', a party which belongs to the people. This is not my party. This is the party of the masses, the peasants and the workers. This is your party. If this party succeeds, the people succeed, and if it fails, it will not be I alone who will suffer but the people of Pakistan will suffer. Please remember that no party has served the cause of the common man dur­ing the last 23 years. No party has suffered for you. You can yourself see how difficult your life has become. Our party is a party of the common man. We do not want the common man to suffer and we shall succeed with your help and co-operation.

This is not the first occasion that I have come to Gujrat. When I formed the party against big odds and when Ayub Khan was trying his best to crush my party with all his might, supported by government officers, the capitalists, the monopolists, the feudal lords, the police and the army, we held a meeting at Gujrat. It was done in the face of opposition from a great dictator. I remembered Gujrat when the elections were nowhere in sight. Now the elec­tions are drawing near but I have not come to you because of that. My party is not the type to contact the people only during the elections. We shall always be in contact with you, elections or no elections. I came to you at a time when the doors to elections were closed. I had come to organise you against Ayub Khan. Ayub Khan tried to disrupt my meetings through government officials. If our meetings were disturbed at Gujrat, we went to Hyderabad. If we could not hold a meeting at Hyderabad, we went to Peshawar. But Ayub Khan had no way out. Where is Ayub Khan now? He cannot be seen anywhere. It is very easy to use force while in office but it is very difficult to face the people.

My politics is not personal politics. When we launched a great people's movement against Ayub Khan many leaders were hiding somewhere. When the tyrannical rule of Ayub Khan was over, these leaders jumped into the open to take advantage of the situation. These leaders are proclaiming that they will defend the ideology of Pakistan. In fact they have always opposed Pakistan. The politics and the policies of my opponents are for their personal ends and they have come out to mislead the people. You may ask them what they did during the last 22 years for the people of Pakistan. They have done no service to the people. They have been tried and their time is over. This is a new era. You can see the change that has taken place in the world, but our country has not moved from where it stood at the time of independence. Leaving aside the western countries you can take the example of eastern countries like Turkey and Iran which are our neighbours. You can also take the example of Egypt. They give high priority to education and even adults are provided for adequately. People can easily get employment. The basic necessities of life like food, clothing and shelter are provided to everyone, but in Pakistan prices are shooting up everyday. Articles of daily use like milk, meat, salt and cloth are becoming dearer, but there is no corresponding increase in the income of the poor people. The capitalists and the millowners are making a lot of money. What is the fault of the workers, the peasants and the students? Why are the workers in jails? Why are not the feudal lords and capitalists in jails in spite of indulging in smuggling and black-marketing?

They want us 10 believe that the poor are destined to suffer, that pro­vidence did not want them to have any money. My dear friends, there is no suffering in your destiny. There is no exploitation in your destiny. Your condition has to be changed. If the children of poor workers and peasants can get free education in Egypt, Iran and Turkey, the poor children in Pakistan, and the orphans should also be given free education. If a peasant or a worker in Pakistan falls ill, he cannot get proper medical treatment. There is no room for him in hospitals. If the present economic system based on exploita­tion could be brought to an end, the poor worker would have more hospitals to go 10. If the economic system is based on equality and justice, there will be prosperity in the country. The senior officers of the Government who are our servants and are called secretaries are drawing fat salaries. They are enjoying all sorts of facilities. But what about those at the lower rungs? Their salaries are so meagre that they cannot make both ends meet. This situation can change if our intentions are clear. The country can prosper if the worker, the peasant, the poorer classes and the junior govern­ment servants" are given their rights and provided with more houses and better and greater facilities for the education of their children. I promise my people that if the PPP achieves success, we shall increase the salaries of subordinate officials.

So far as the question of a Constitution is concerned, we want that there should be a constitution in the country. We shall give priority to the framing of a constitution. A constitution is badly needed. We want to frame a practical constitution. If other countries can formulate their constitutions, why can we not do the same? The Pakistan People's Party will make every effort and will offer full co-operation in this regard. The People's Party believes that a constitution can be framed within 120 days if we are all united. But first the assembly is to be elected and its political pattern studied. Only then will we be able to form an opinion whether a constitution is possible or not. Bui even if a constitution is framed, it alone will not solve the problems of the people. We do want a constitution, but by itself it cannot solve your problems. We want democracy because the people of Pakistan have struggled for democracy but democracy alone cannot solve your problems. You have already seen democracy. Now some people tell us that they want a parliament­ary democracy. We agree with them. We also want a parliamentary democracy, but by itself it cannot solve the people's problems. The coming elections are going to be the people's elections. You have to take the final decision. These elections will not be held on the basis of the caste system. We are contesting these elections on the basis of certain principles. Our foremost principle is that unless capitalism and exploitation are ended the problems of the people cannot be solved with the help of the constitution and a parliamentary system alone. We want a change in the economic system. Our opponents are those who have sucked the blood of the common man. Our objective is to bring their hegemony to an end.

We are all Muslims. We want to raise the prestige of the Muslims. Pakistan came into being as their homeland. I have firm faith that Islam can never be in danger. Pakistani Muslims are staunch Muslims. Islam will live forever. Islam was given to us by Allah and His Messenger, and the people of Pakistan have full faith in it. I have served the cause of Islam more than my opponents. You may remember how 1 upheld the cause of Islam when I was Foreign Minister.

If I did not have the love of Islam at heart I would not have spoken the way I did in the Security Council. Even now the Indian Government says that anybody may go and talk to them but not Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. They know that I shall never agree to anything against the interests of the Muslims of Pakistan. India is opposed to us because we are Muslims. The Indians have always opposed Pakistan because they believe that if there were no Muslims, the subcontinent would not have been divided. The British and the Hindus opposed Pakistan till the end. When Quaid-i-Azam Mahomed Ali Jinnah was struggling for Pakistan, the gentlemen who now claim to be the leaders of Pakistan were opposed to him. Now they tell us that the Pakistan ideology is in danger. You may ask them where were they when Quaid-i-Azam was fighting for this ideology? When did they favour Quaid-i-Azam? They issued edicts against him and called him an infidel. They opposed the Quaid-i-Azam and Pakistan till the last moment.

These are historical facts. It does not lie in their mouth to tell us that the ideology of Pakistan is in danger. They had sided with Gandhi and Nehru against the Quaid-i-Azam. After the establishment of Pakistan they could not pursue their nefarious designs openly. They want to weaken it. They know that if Pakistan does not prosper, it will be easier to destroy. It is a new method of opposing Pakistan. They know that the might of Pakistan will increase when the people of Pakistan prosper. If the people continue to be Poor, Pakistan cannot progress. The welfare of the country lies in the welfare of the people. In order to bring into being a strong Pakistan, the people of Pakistan must be strong because in their strength lies the strength of the country.

I was telling you that these so-called leaders opposed the ideology of Pakistan. We want that the people should decide and we shall accept their decision as to what change has taken place during the last 22 years in the constitutional political and economic fields. Many excesses have been com­mitted and the people have been betrayed. When the people's rule is establish­ed I shall show you how to solve the constitutional, political and economic problems but the decision lies with you, because only that party can win which is supported by you. We can never be against our religion. We are all Muslims and God Almighty is a witness to it. We recite the 'kalima' of Islam. If some people do not regard the followers of socialism in the country as Muslims, they are damaging the cause of Islam. These are only a few people. They are the lackeys of imperialism. Many of them are people who called Quaid-i-Azam a 'kafir'. I am not against all of them. Some of them are my friends. They have also supported us and want us to succeed. I am talking of the few who are the agents of capitalists. They issued fatwas against King Amanullah Khan in Afghanistan, against Ataturk in Turkey, against Nasser in Egypt and against Soekarno in Indonesia and above all against the Quaid-i-Azam and the Quaid-i-Millat. They never wanted to serve Pakistan. Their efforts are directed towards weakening Pakistan, but the people of Pakistan have awakened now, and their designs are bound to be frustrated.

The question is what is socialism? My dear friends, it is nothing but Islamic equality. I am not the first to raise the slogan of Islamic Socialism. Quaid-i-Azam was the first to use this term and remember that he was the one who founded this country. My dear brothers and friends, it was the Quaid-i-Azam who declared in his speeches that Islamic Socialism would be enforced in Pakistan. He said it in Chittagong. Islamic Socialism means lslamic equality and, my dear brothers equality is a cardinal principle in Islam. Equality is the message of our Prophet. The Khulafa-e-Rashedeen based their governments on this principle. The people who are opposed to equality are not serving the cause of Islam. They are serving the cause of capitalists and mill owners. We have to establish only one industry and that will be the industry of Pakistan. This is not my saying. It was said by the Quaid-i-Azam. But you have to decide whether you want Pakistan to progress or not. I shall not question the faith of any capitalist. You can yourself judge who is a Musalman and who is not. You can ask the students, the labourers and the peasants as to who served the cause of Islam and of Pakistan and the Arabs. Everyone of them will tell you that I always upheld their cause.

You can ask our enemies, the Indians, whether Bhutto is justified in his claims or not. I give you my word that if the people's rule is established in Pakistan, the Indian Government will dare not pursue its policy of annihila­tion of the Muslims in India. You are Muslims and will continue to be Muslims. The People's Party wants to serve the people. We want to bring an end to your troubles, to your miseries and 10 the tyranny under which you are living. To serve our Muslim brothers, we want to enforce the system which our Quaid-i-Azam envisioned.

At this critical juncture of our political struggle, 1 call upon you to rise and to reject leaders put up by capitalists. Your condition can never change if these capitalists' agents continue to be your leaders. You have to decide which way you want 10 go. You have to choose between a just system and a system of exploitation. Islam is our religion and code of life. May I ask the parties who say that Islamic equality or Islamic Socialism is against Islam, why they support the 1956 Constitution? Is it an Islamic constitution? The Holy Quran is our constitution. The 1956 Constitution is not the Quran for us. This constitution was framed on British lines. Why do these people regard the 56 Constitution as a means of their salvation? When we call for Islamic Socialism, they say that Pakistan is in danger, that Islam is in danger. Every Muslim in Pakistan is with us and by the Grace of God we are going to face all our opponents. What we need is the support of the people. Our destiny is clear and we are bound to achieve it. I repeal that we arc bound to succeed.

I shall always side with you at all times. My politics is the people's politics. My leadership is a democratic leadership. There is a party which opposed Quaid-i-Azam and was proud of opposing him. They say that the country is in danger. I say that they are in danger. Islam or Pakistan is not in danger. The people of Pakistan can defend their country. The people of Pakistan have crushed a dictatorship. Our opponents are the people who strengthened the hands of the British. They are the imperialists who are weak­ening Pakistan. They are conspiring with India against the interests of Pakis­tan. They can never succeed. The people of Pakistan cannot tolerate that Pakistan should be weakened. The people of Pakistan will thwart their destructive designs.

The people of Pakistan will not tolerate the continuous occupation of Kashmir by India. Many atrocities are being committed in Kashmir. People who say that there can be no solution of the Kashmir problem are wrong. Please remember that a time will come when the people of Kashmir will hoist the Pakistan flag over their territory. The Kashmir problem is not dead because 22 years have elapsed. It can never be dead. We are all concerned with it. It is a question of our faith. We shall never allow this problem to die. We are upholding the right of the people of Kashmir on the basis of the principle of self-determination. We shall never allow India to continue to occupy Kashmir. Please remember that if we surrender Kashmir today, we shall have to surrender Pakistan tomorrow. When the people's government is established we shall solve all these problems.

Today, labour leaders are in jails. The students are in jails. They should be released because the elections are drawing near. The permits being issued to the politicians and their relatives should be cancelled. These permits are a form of political bribe. It was Ayub Khan who first issued permits to politi­cians and this was the best political bribe during his regime. Every politician accepted permits for establishing mills. We do not want any permits. We stand for the people, for a proper constitution, for the solution of the Kash­mir problem. We demand fundamental rights. People who accept permits cannot serve the common man. They will only watch over their personal interests as they have always done. That is why the people demand that no permits should be issued 10 the politicians, otherwise the elections cannot be held in a fair and impartial manner. These permits must be cancelled.

 

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