THE RELIGIOUS REFORMS OF GEN. ZIA UL HAQ
Although Islam played an important part in the creation of Pakistan and although in all the three constitutions of Pakistan, Islamic Shariah was made the supreme law of Pakistan yet all this actually was on paper only and very little sincere effort was made to make the simple values of Islam as the guiding principle of the national life. During Zia ul Haqâ€™s tenure (1977-1989) serious efforts were made to introduce Islam into the life of Pakistaniâ€™s.
We are required to study whether this pro-Islamic attitude of Gen Zia Ul Haq was politically motivated or whether he was a real lover of Islam.
The first factor that helps to find the answer of this question is the fact that Gen. Zia Ul Haq was the first ruler after Quaid-e-Azam who did not belong to the group of dominant group of feudal lords, zamindars. By family background, by habit and by attitude the above classes were cunning, cruel and contradictory. They openly professed one thing, while in personal and political life they acted completely against it. For example in public speeches they loudly spoke about the need of education, but in political and personal life they did not allow the opening of schools in their area, and if opened turned these into their private rest houses.
Gen. Zia ul Haq was on the other hand a commoner. His family was a simple family who practiced Islam in its truest form. As such he had a soft corner for Islamic value. Therefore he paid special attention to introduce Islam in the lives of Pakistanis.
Secondly during the Zulfiqar Ali Bhuttoâ€™s life, a lot of social and political activities were allowed which were in most cases unIslamic. These were done by the common people of Pakistan, but they could not do anything as they were not by the political party in power. The reinforcement of Islamic values was therefore politica