TALK TRACES MINORITY RIGHTS TO MAJORITARIANISM
The Centre for Governance and Policy of Information Technology University (ITU) the Punjab, Lahore organized a talk by Professor Yunas Samad, Professor of South Asian Studies at Bradford University UK who traced the history of Pakistan through the lens of ‘Minority Rights to Majoritarianism’ here today.
He argued that ‘Muslim Salariat,’ the educated and professional Muslims, were the ones who led the movement for the creation of Pakistan, while the bulk of the Muslim peasantry, though engaged at a later stage, remained on the margins of the political discussions of the time. The Pakistan then created by this Muslim Salariat emerged out of a minority rights discourse, and focused on a broad rights based platform.
In his talk, Dr Samad emphasized that state and nation building was not easy, but that whatever the solution, it has to come through an ‘engaged citizenship’ process. Citizens of the nation cannot be passive observers in their country, or else the state will be taken over by a few and the nation building process compromised.
He argued that there are only two ways of dealing with difference: killing all those who disagree, or negotiating a solution with them. He noted that in the West a number of states have been built on the notion of killing all dissenters, ethnic-cleansing, pogroms and holocausts; however, real solutions only emerge through dialogue and discourse. Pakistan has already gone through one bloody and painful division, and so the time has come for us to negotiate our mutual existence and shun the way of violence to achieve national unity.