Jinnah told us to follow the principles of unity, faith and discipline — but Pakistan prioritises faith above else. Where does the word Islam fit into the Islamic Republic of Pakistan? Why do we feel the need to debate this concept all over again? Why does the word ‘Islamic’ needs to be even discussed? The answer lies in the Articles 295, 62 and 63 of the Constitution. The answer lies in Zia’s regime. The answer lies in former Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)’s minister Naseer Ullah Babar calling the Taliban “our children”, and it lies in the Sharia Bill — also known as the 15th Amendment which allowed Nawaz Sharif to declare himself Amir-ul-Momineen. In fact, the answer lies in all the affairs of the state where Islam had been, and has been used as a tool for political edge. It is pertinent to note that excluding Islam — which was added to Pakistan in the 1963 constitution — cannot, and should not ever be an option. The public, which is confused since the inception of Pakistan, has been distracted by politicians, who have kept them from focusing on what’s right. The overshadowing of religious principles by all other moralities in almost all military and democratic regimes is not an unprecedented phenomena for Pakistan. The country has seen contradictory opinions from the time of Two Nation Theory. It was the time when one group was desperately hoping to be in a new homeland known as Pakistan, while the other was opposed to the concept of creating a new state altogether. The latter group like that of Jammat-e-Islami (JI)led by Maulana Maududi believed in the formation of a Theocratic State with supremacy of Islam as is mentioned by Saima Jasim in her book Pakistan: from Radicalism to Terrorism. Today’s Pakistan has turned into a mob that has forgotten the true essence of the state and will burn, die, and even kill in the name of religion The seeds sown at the inception started growing discreetly when Pakistan saw General Ayub Khan come into power after sending Iskandar Mirza into exile. From 1947 to 1958, Pakistan was governed by four heads of state and seven prime ministers and now it was a military rule. General Ayub who was hailed as a modern leader introduced good family laws that benefitted women by keeping men from maligning their ex-wives of adultery after divorce. He was soon touched by the need to introduce more of Islam and thus provided the country the Pakistan with Advisory Council of Islamic Ideology as well as changed the name of the country to Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Both the aforementioned acts of General Ayub Khan were warmly welcomed by the country and are still in practice. The issue doesn’t lie in the fact that Islamic values were introduced, rather it lies in demeaning the actual essence of Islam and politicising religion for personal ends. The Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights has debated the acts of Council of Islamic Ideology and has brought forward serious reservations that belittle the name of Pakistan in the world. Committee Chairperson Senator Nasreen Jalil on one occasion held that the CII’s recommendations encouraged a negative attitude towards women and incited violence against them. The trend of using religion to remain in power also replaced the Bhutto’s socialism with Islamic socialism. PPP, known as the liberal party, knew that to remain in power it will need popular support, for which it introduced Islamic measures like the introduction of the definition of ‘Muslim’ in the constitution. Next on the list was General Zia, who was a staunch believer of extreme Islamic values. Amongst other things, he left Pakistan the Hudood Ordinance as his legacy. It merged with the Pakistan Penal Code. Zia’s referendum is another loud and self-explanatory example of one using religion for one’s personal ends. After Zia’s death, PPP and Pakistan Muslim League — Nawaz (PML-N) came into power, one by one, with none of them completing their tenures. It was a period that saw the worst effects of the intermingling of religion in state elements. With all the turmoil that the leaders brought to the country, 9/11 only added fuel to the fire. Pakistan, under Pervez Musharraf, chose to side United States and spearheaded a new war with extremist forces. The war ultimately mushroomed the seed sown by past leaders and the religious intolerance became apparent. Today’s Pakistan has turned into a mob that has forgotten the true essence of the state and will burn, die, and even kill in the name of religion. The mob is of good use to politicians who can change its direction by blindfolding them with religious sentiments anytime. The writer has been working as an editor for an English newspaper and am currently associated with a Research firm as the key researcher Published in Daily Times, July 29th 2018.