Related articles: LUBP Archive on Quaid-e-Azam M.A. Jinnah
When I visited India in the summer of 2004, just after the infamous and unsuccessful “Shining India” campaign of the Bharatia Janata Party, I couldn’t stop thanking Muhammad Ali Jinnah, affectionately our Quaid-e-Azam to have delivered Pakistan for us. I saw that though India was at that time beginning to stake its claim as an emerging global economic power, the situation on the ground was much different to what we have seen through TV and Films. Being on family visit, I got to visit various cities in UP, the capital New Delhi and Bhopal in Madhya Pardesh. Wherever I went, I realized how fortunate I was to have been born and brought up in Pakistan. The respect for Quaid-e-Azam and his followers grew stronger and stronger. If that was the Shining India, I dont know how the Dull India must have been,
If one scans various material on Quaid-e-Azam, one gets confusing vibes about him. Some call him an opportunist, others call him the most astute politician who carved a country without bloodshed. The bloodshed that took place was post independence and not pre-independence. He was a rich man, an accomplished professional and a known secular. Yet the nation he delivered was made up of poor people, deprived migrants, less educated class while the post independence shape of Pakistan was majority Muslims.
He was a skilled negotiator who got what he wanted – a country for the people he led. It was unfortunate that the country he got for his people could not become a nation that he would have liked to see. It was the future generations misfortune that he died within 390 days of independence. He was already 72 when Pakistan got its independence. What he lacked was a team of people who had experience of governance. Be it Liaqat Ali Khan, Sardar Nishtar, Khwaja Nazimuddin or even his sister, Fatima Jinnah. All of the above and many more were always opposition politicians who had never ruled an area pre-partition. It was all but natural for the bureaucracy, especially those belonging to the ICS cadre that ruled the roost. Already Muslims were less educated and only the very accomplished background people reached the bureaucracy in those days. So whoever was in the ICS, got everyone of their liking into key positions. Nepotism started then and that is what we see till today. Similarly, immediately after independence, the key issues that faced the nation was being resource strapped, a biased partition done by a Britisher, the Kashmir conflict and the migration of millions. What he was unable to do was to develop a plan as to what he saw of Pakistan. He couldn’t provide the necessary targets and even if there were, the same were not conveyed to his people. If only he had lived for 3-4 years, at least a constitutional framework could have been set up. After all, he was a lawyer of great repute. All the nonsense that we see till today and all that we hear in his name about what sort of a Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam wanted to see, would have for sure been different.
The way Pakistan has moved on 63 years post independence can be called by critics as a failure. I am an optimist and I see that Pakistan has moved forward, but not as much as it had potential. Having witnessed the situation in India in my visit 6 years ago, there is no one day that I don’t pray for the Quaid and his and my beloved Pakistan. The onus is now on us to make a pakistan that stands out in the world for all the right reasons and not the wrong ones and give Quaid-e-Azam the real reason to rest in peace.
Quaid-e-Azam Zindabad- Pakistan Paindabad!