Reports by media suggesting that both main opposition political parties, have decided that religion should not be used or exploited as political strategy should be welcomed. If true, this is a good and wise decision, provided it is implemented in letter and spirit, by not just these two parties, but all others, including all state institutions.

It was none other than Father of Nation, Quaid-e-Azam, who in his 11 August 1947 speech to First Constituent Assembly stressed upon this. Unfortunately, neither his vision of a modern democratic welfare state, nor a country where all men, irrespective of their caste, creed, faith, sex or color should be equal before law, enjoying same rights and opportunities as citizens of Pakistan exists. Instead of facilitating and ensuring that Constitution is adopted with urgency that MAJ desired, the Objectives Resolution was adopted. To this date there has been no government, civil or dictatorial, which has even attempted to adopt even semblance of what Islamic Welfare State should have been.

This country has witnessed the hypocrisy and exploitation of Islam by Zia, whose junta misused sacrosanct practice of Jihad to recruit innocent young men to wage a proxy war funded by CIA against the Soviet Union. Pakistan continues to bleed till to-date with almost 100,000 fatalities, millions displaced, economy shattered and the country hostage to extremists and terrorists. We have recently witnessed few thousand followers of Khadim Hussain Rizvi, armed with batons lay siege on Islamabad, while Tahir Qadri, with his cult like followers, came with cranes and weapons. Both of them are in hibernation, ever-since Kashmir was annexed.

Pakistan has suffered enough and religion of Islam, which preaches peace and tolerance been exploited and its image tarnished.

MALIK TARIQ ALI,

Lahore.