Historically, it has always been controversial and debatable why the struggle for a new country was made seventy years ago while people of different religions had been living for centuries together with mutual fraternity in one big country? United India was divided into two parts in 1947, and factually three after the inception of Bangladesh in 1971, barely after 24 years of independence. Several religious scholars and intellectuals were against such dichotomy profoundly based on religious differences. To them, except for religion, virtually everything else was common between Hindus and Muslims — two larger communities besides Sikhs, Parsees, and Buddhists in India. After Pakistan came into being, there was never any pragmatic ideology and reason for separation except for demagogic slogans and religious justification in the hands of early leadership. Mr Jinnah and his successors gave mixed statements about the fate of the newly-born state, at one occasion in his speech, Jinnah said “Pakistan would be a secular country and religion would be a private matter of every citizen.” Conversely, in other public speech, he proclaimed about Pakistan being an Islamic state in which minorities would be treated equally on all levels. Such an undefined stance was mainly due to perhaps absence of any distinctively valid ideology, cultural or geographical reason behind partition but religious one. This ambiguous stance from the founding leadership led to everlasting confusion, frustration, and polarization in the Pakistani society. With this confusion, the country moved forward, and an objective resolution was passed by the first constituent assembly in March 1949, under the leadership of Liaquat Ali Khan. Objective resolution is considered the primary document and fundamental framework of the constitutional history of Pakistan. The spirit of democracy was smashed in the objective resolution when for the very first-time religion amalgamated with state affairs of the newly-built country. Military might and naïve political parties continued to play games to be the one to rule the overwhelming-majority of uneducated masses in the country until the fall of Dhaka took place on 16 December 1971. Neither military nor political tycoons took responsibility for this irreparable geographical loss, setting back the entire nation and tarnishing the two nation theory terribly on which independence was claimed. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the founder of Pakistan Peoples party — became the next prime minister of the country during the mayhem. The 1973, constitution of Pakistan was approved by the National Assembly on 10th April 1973 and was practically enforced on 14th August 1973. The constitution is strictly based on Islamic ideology whose article-1 declares that the country needs to be an Islamic polity. The constitution also declared “Ahmadi” non-Muslims, thereby the slogan of secular Pakistan was practically dead. General Zia imposed the Martial Law in the country and Bhutto was hanged to death as a result of a controversial verdict of the supreme court given on 4 April 1979. Electronic and print media were under the complete control of the government agencies. The youth were maliciously recruited for a ‘holy war’ against the former Soviet Union in Afghanistan which factually was a war to make US the sole superpower in the world General Zia-ul-Haq ruled the country for 11 years during which he did everything he could to strengthen and lengthen his dictatorial regime. Religious indoctrination backed by the Zia-regime thrived, leading to intolerance, repugnance, and bedlam during those eleven years. Ethnic and linguistic differences were promoted to take advantage against political and democratic forces. Political workers were tortured, whipped, and killed in order to establish fear in the mind of the common man. Electronic and print media were under the complete control of the government agencies. The youth were maliciously recruited for a ‘holy war’ against the former Soviet Union in Afghanistan which factually was a war to make US the sole superpower in the world. The US war was fought in Afghanistan and in turn devastated one complete Afghan generation and put the neighbouring country on the track of interminable chaos. In the meanwhile, Saudi Arabia made huge investments to build mosques and “madaris” for promoting “Wahhabism” in Pakistan that resulted in endless violence against Shia Muslims. Following the accidental death of General Zia in a plane crash on 17 August 1988, a short-term democratic government came in power twice from two major political parties — PML(N) and PPP. As ill luck would have it, they completely failed to strengthen Pakistan on the economic front. Nor did they work to establish a democratic culture in the country for social and intellectual development. Instead, these two political parties wasted time in fighting with each other and debilitated institutions with their persistent political interference. Political failure sadly helped extremism to grow stronger and faster across the country that caused serious threat to national stability. Democratic era, just after one decade, came to an end when Pervez Musharraf alighted from military leader to president of Pakistan after a bloodless coup on 13 October 1999. After 9/11 horrific incident, Pakistan took U-turn from its Afghan policy and backed down from its principle stand for supporting nascent government of Taliban in Afghanistan. This led to make Pakistan a key ally in the war on terror under US-led military alliance for which Pakistan paid heavy price in following decades. Logistical support from Pakistan to USA exploded insurgency inside the country and various Jihadi factions started to attack important civil and military installations across the country. Such extremism in following years expanded beyond the border and Pakistan was blamed for harbouring and exporting terrorists. In short, religious extremism took the country miles away from peace and enlightenment which is inevitable for political stability and social prosperity in the country. Ideology of any country is always its strength which makes the nation maudlin towards achieving national objectives. Today Pakistani youth are asking what our ideology is, and why the country was made where their lives are unsafe, and the future is sceptical? And unfortunately, there is seemingly no logical answer to this baffling question. The writer is a research scholar at the University of Alberta, Canada. He tweets @Dr_Mark12 and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Published in Daily Times, December 12th 2018.