by Rafia Zakaria
Columnist Rafia Zakaria writes, “Pakistan was to be a modern Muslim state, a country where democratic and Islamic values gelled to produce a polity that felt no discomfort with either its religious identity or its democratic one.
The generation that awaited it with hushed anticipation saw no confusion in the recipe; their leaders were the likes of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Maulvi Chiragh Ali, Nazir Ahmed — brave men with a clear vision for South Asian Muslims.
They had fought the decrepit ignorance that kept Muslims submerged in old ways in the name of tradition; they believed in the necessity of making inroads with modern education and scientific knowledge. The modern state they pined for in those early and middling decades of the 19th century did not yet exist, but they could see it, imagine it with great accuracy as the repository of free minds that would engage the novel, promote the revolutionary.”