The NATION 03/02/2001
Pakistan Not a Failed State
By Rizwan Razi
LAHOREA Pakistani-American social scientist, Dr. Riffat Hassan, has
underlined the need for strengthening the moral and intellectual foundations
of Pakistani society, saying that it was a prerequisite for making Pakistan
as a modern Islamic state guaranteeing the fundamental rights of every
individual without any discrimination
She added that she was not ready to accept the perception that
Pakistan is a failed state.
Speaking in connection with the Leadership Lecture Series here at
Hameed Nizami Hall on Wednesday, she said that despite being two to three
per cent, obscurant elements had taken over the control of the Muslim
societies rendering them socially powerless.
She said that Iran had passed through a revolutionary process of
rebuilding its intellectual and moral foundations over the last 30 years.
Therefore, during the last two years, it has emerged as the most developing
society and subsequently the economy, she added.
She said that three sources of Sharia i.e., Hadith, Fiqah, and Ijmaa
had been developed by the human beings. Therefore there is a need to
review the knowledge acquired from these three sources, Dr Riffat added.
She said that gender inequality had been the major impediments in
the development of Islamic societies and that was why the situation of human
rights was not satisfactory in Sudan, Algeria, Iran, Pakistan, Malaysia, and
She said that many generations of the Muslims had been told by their
leaders that their primary duty was to engage in Ibadat, which was taken
as worship instead of service to God to ensure the fundamental rights
given to all the human beings by Allah Almighty.
After 30 years of research on the Holy Quran and having an
intellectual support from Iqbal, I firmly believe that Islam does not
discriminate between two human beings because of their genders, Dr Riffat
said. She claimed that no society could be Islamic in true spirit until and
unless it recognized that men and women were equal before the Allah Almighty and he/she had every right to develop his or her capabilities to the
She quoted the example of family planning saying that it was
successful only in the societies like Indonesia, Bangladesh and Iran where
the clergy had supported it. In other societies, where the religious
circles were not supporting those moves, there was hardly any success on the issue.
She said that history had brought us to a point where neither a
politically correct statement nor a superficial problem of the women in
Pakistan would suffice to change or even camouflage reality. Much hard
work is needed to examine and understand the root cause of discrimination
against women in Pakistan through a systematic and scientific analysis of
both theoretical and empirical date, she added.
Once the underlying factors are correctly discerned, it will be
possible to develop and implement plans aimed at creating a just environment
in which the rights of every individual in Pakistan are regarded as sacred,