Quaid and Kashmir
PAKISTANIS around the globe celebrate birthday of Father of the Nation, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah on 25 December every year. He was born on 25 December 1876 to Jinnahbai Poonja and his wife Mithibai, in Karachi.
According to available information, Quaid-i-Azam visited Kashmir more than couple of times. He always loved the hill stations and fresh and clean atmosphere of Kashmir. He had close contacts with Kashmiri leader Chaudhary Ghulam Abbas who was considered as his friend as well.
He also had chosen a Kashmiri youth, K H Khurshid as his Personal Secretary who later served in AJK as President. This is another example of his affection and love towards Kashmir and Kashmiris.
His commitment with the people of Kashmir was indefatigable. It was his foresight that he felt the importance and significance of Kashmir for Pakistanis as well as for Kashmiris.
He vociferously condemned the Indian aggression on Kashmir by looking at the miserable conditions of Kashmiris even when there was no one else paying heed to their hues and cries.
Quaid-i-Azam had rightly declared Kashmir as Pakistan’s jugular vein and was determined to go to any extent for freedom of Kashmir.
He supported the Kashmiris’ cause even before Pakistan’s independence and had correctly pointed out that Muslims needed a separate state to secure their future in the sub-continent.
His visited Kashmir in May, 1944 as well in response to an invitation extended by the National Conference leaders, and what appears to be a standing invitation by the Muslim Conference. Father of the Nation was accompanied by his sister Miss Fatima Jinnah and he entered the State on 8 May.
He was received at Suchetgarh border by many others including Chaudhary Ghulam Abbas, A R Saghar and Ch Hameedullah Khan on behalf of the Muslim Conference. He was warmly welcomed and was taken round the city in an open car.
Muslims of Jammu gave him a memorable reception and it is said that the city had never witnessed such popular enthusiasm and such vast crowds. He addressed a public meeting after evening prayers. He also addressed the annual session of Muslim Conference and showed solidarity with Kashmiris.
Readers, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah believed that without Kashmir, Pakistan is incomplete. He tried his best to liberate Kashmir from Indian illegal occupation. His commitment with Kashmir and Kashmiri people was unfaltering.
He knew very well the importance and significance of Kashmir for Pakistanis as well as for Kashmiris. He paid attention to the miserable conditions of Kashmiris even when there was no one to heed their hues and cries.
Quaid-i-Azam vociferously condemned the Indian aggression on Kashmir. He wanted the peaceful settlement of the dispute but he was also determined to go to any extent to liberate Kashmir from Indian clutches which is evident from his bold step to issue orders to the then Commander-in-Chief of Pakistan Army, General Douglas Gracey to dispatch troops to Jammu and Srinagar.
On the birthday of the Father of the nation, we salute him and his contribution for making Pakistan and his close association, affection & services for Kashmiris and their cause.
—The writer is contributing columnist, based in Muzaffarabad.