In his work, Islam, Secularism and Liberal Democracy, Nader Hashemi writes about Eqbal Ahmed, the late Pakistani liberal intellectual: “The late Eqbal Ahmad once observed, a primary lesson to be learned from the European experience of political modernisation that is relevant to a Muslim context is that ‘no significant political change occurs unless the new form is congruent with the old. It is only when a transplant is congenial to a soil that it works’.”
Put simply, liberals need to speak the language of faith and take seriously concepts of national honour, virtue, dignity and anti-imperialism to appeal to their audience in order to spread their esteemed ideas. Liberalism in Pakistan has to become Pakistani and indigenous rather than an awkward western import as it is currently perceived to be.
Tip of the cap to parveenswami