Remembering the Quaid as Pakistan turns seventy five | By Naghmana A Hashmi

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Remembering the Quaid as Pakistan turns seventy five

God has given us a grand opportunity to show our worth as architects of a new State; let it not be said that we did not prove equal to the task. ” Quaid’s address to Civil, Military and Air Force Officers, 11 October, 1947.

Pakistan the dream of Allama Iqbal, the result of tireless efforts and visionary leadership of Muhammad Ali Jinnah and sacrifices of millions of Muslims came into existence on 14 August 1947, which also coincided with 27th of Ramazan.

Named by Chaudhry Rehmat Ali, Pakistan the land of the pure, represented the dreams and aspirations of Muslims and minorities living in East and West Pakistan and the cherished land for millions who left all their worldly possessions and migrated to Pakistan.

It was largest and first Muslim country created on ideological basis and thus looked upon as leader of Muslim world.

In terms of population it was also third largest country in 1947 and in terms of area the 6th largest.

In the initial decades, the predictions made by international institutions, including the World Bank were extremely positive who saw a bright and prosperous future for Pakistan.

These expectations were based on the fact that Pakistan had an ideal location both for East and West Pakistan, large educated, English speaking and industrious population, huge natural resources, fertile and integrated agriculture with the largest canal network in the world, a fast growing middle class and good speed of industrialization and capable and strong armed forces.

The new country on the world map, under sagacious leadership of its founding fathers thus looked set to carve a niche for itself in the comity of nations.

In 1979 economically speaking, Pakistan was at a takeoff stage but was stopped in its tracks by Soviet invasion of Afghanistan that created immense geo-political and geo-economic instability which unfortunately persists to date.

In 1947, Pakistan consisted of West and East Pakistan separated by over 1000 km of Indian Territory.

Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah Muhammad Ali Jinnah became Governor-General while Liaquat Ali Khan as the first Prime Minister thus laying the foundation of parliamentary form of democracy and with lofty motto of which the Quaid instructed, “never forget the motto Unity Faith and Discipline.

” Speech from Radio Pakistan, Lahore, 30 October, 1947. The motto was to be the beacon of light guiding the nation towards peace and socio-economic development.

The Quaid said, “Democracy is in blood of Musalmans who look upon complete equality of manhood, Musalmans believe in fraternity, equality and liberty.

” Speech at Kingsway Hall, London, 13 December, 1946. Quaid Azam categorically stated that, “We are now all Pakistanis, not Balochis, Pathans, Sindhis, Bengalis, Punjabis and so on and as Pakistanis we must feel, behave and act, and we should be proud to be known as Pakistanis and nothing else.

” Born as just “Pakistan”, it was envisaged by the founding fathers to be Muslim majority country but with equal rights and protection of the minorities.

Quaid said, “You are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this state of Pakistan.

You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of State.

” Presidential Address to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan 11 August, 1947. This statement is a categorically defines the orientation of a secular Pakistan with justice and welfare of all citizens guaranteed by law.

Even before creation of Pakistan the Quaid explaining the concept of the future state of Pakistan said, “Islam stands for justice, equality, fair play, toleration and even generosity to non-Muslims who may be under our protection.

They are like brothers to us and would be the citizens of the State. ” Address at the Muslim University Union, Aligarh, 2 November, 1941.

Again and again the Quaid warned, “If we begin to think of ourselves as Punjabis, Sindhis, etc.

first and Muslims and Pakistanis incidentally, then Pakistan is bound to disintegrate. Do not think that this is some abstruse proposition: our enemies are fully alive to its possibilities which I must warn you that they are already busy exploiting.

” Radio Broadcast, Dacca, 28 March 1948. For building a strong Pakistan Quaid ordered the nation to, “Build up yourself into a nation.

Give up this provincialism.Provincialism has been one of the curses; and so is sectionalism— Shia, Sunni, etc. ” Public Address Dacca 21 March 1948.

The Quaids vision and expectations for development of Pakistan were also clear from the beginning that is from the time Pakistan Resolution was passed in Lahore in 23rd March 1940.

“There are millions and millions of our people who hardly get one meal a day.Is this civilization? Is this the aim of Pakistan?

Do you visualize that millions have been exploited and cannot get one meal a day! If that is the idea of Pakistan. I would not have it.

” Presidential Address Delivered at the Thirtieth Session of All-India Muslim Leauge, 24 April, 1943.

The Quaid knew true value of hard work and knowledge. His sagacious advice was to, “Work, work and work and we are bound to success.

” Speech from Radio Pakistan, Lahore 30 October 1947. Again in 1948 he reiterated, “Develop a sound sense of discipline, character, initiative and a solid academic background.

You must devote yourself wholeheartedly to your studies, for that is your first obligation to yourselves, your parents and to the State.

You must learn to obey, for only then you can learn to command. ” Reply to the Address Presented by Islamia College Students, Peshawar, 12 April, 1948.

As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the establishment of Pakistan and cherish the achievements and successes both at the national and international level, it is extremely important to sit back and think why despite the clear road map, vision and instructions of the Quaid, what are the factors that have detracted us.

Where have we violated the road map and the original vision? Where did we divert from the golden path enshrined in our motto “Unity Faith and Discipline”? Where did we lose our nationalism? Why did we abandon

The fall of Dhaka, the pathetic state of national unity, the disastrous state of economy, shrinking socio-economic development, rising poverty, weak institutions and the current abhorrent political circus in the country all demand a serious introspection and larger national consensus both on the future political orientation and economic development if we are to survive the shenanigans we have subjected our beloved Pakistan our identity to.

The fall of Dhaka, the pathetic state of national unity, the disastrous state of economy, shrinking socio-economic development, rising poverty, weak institutions and the current abhorrent political circus in the country all demand a serious introspection and larger national consensus both on the future political orientation and economic development if we are to survive the shenanigans we have subjected our beloved Pakistan our identity to.

There is no denying the fact that Pakistan has come a long way, but what is tragic is that werenotup to the task of making a great nation of Pakistan as directed by the Quaid.

We squandered the gift given to us by the sacrifices and struggles of million. There is still time to put our beloved country back on track and by following the vision and laid down principles and instructions of the Quaid.

The country still has potential to reach great heights and make astronomical achievements if we come out of the siloes of our narrow sectarian and parochial mind set, abandon our greed for political power and control, abide strictly by the constitution, respect the distribution of responsibilities and areas of jurisdiction, put the welfare of the common people at the front and center of development strategy, root out corruption and nepotism, embrace transparency, meritocracy and accountability, do away with hereditary politics, make political parties truly democratic and abandon parochialism and sectarianism as direct by the Quaid..

—The writer is former Ambassador, based in Islamabad.

 

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