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Will Pakistan Be Declared A Secular State?


In a debate held in the Supreme Court on Monday, the issue that was under consideration was whether Pakistan should be declared a secular state or not.

After hearing petitions against the 18th and 21st Constitutional Amendments, a 17-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk, said the if there is popular demand for this change then appropriate measures to do so need to be underway.

The Chief Justice inqured if such a process will be held through a constituent assemble and Justice Nisar asked “If a political party whose manifesto supported such a declaration comes to power, how does that party plan on making the country secular?”

Hamid Khan proposed a solution, by suggesting that it could be carried out through a referendum. Citing examples from pages of history, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa added that people and ideologies change over time and also cited the example of Bangladesh. He said that after partition from West Pakistan Bangladesh went on to declare their country a secular nation. Later, the Bangladeshi parliament attempted to declare the country an Islamic state through a constitutional amendment, but the Bangladesh Supreme Court annulled the amendment.