Quaid-e-Azam’s reply to the Civic Address presented by KMC on 25th August, 1947
I thank you Mayor and Councillors of the Corporation of the City of Karachi for your cordial address of welcome and all the kind thoughts and personal references you have been good enough to make with regard to myself and my sister. I appreciate the noble sentiments and ideals, which you have referred to and I assure you that it is my desire and hope that they will be cherished and lived up to. I am very glad that I have had this opportunity of meeting you all and the citizens of Karachi. Undoubtedly, I have great love and regard for this beautiful town not only because of my old associations with it, or because it is my birthplace, as you have said, but because it has now become the birthplace of the free, sovereign and independent state of Pakistan. For all freedom-loving people, Karachi will on that account not only be symbol of special significance but will occupy a place in history for which there is no parallel, and I feel it my good fortune that I have the honor to be the first to receive this Civic Address.
Karachi is no ordinary town. Nature has given it exceptional advantages, which particularly suit modern needs and conditions. That is why starting from humble beginnings it has come to be what it is, and one could say with confidence that the day is not far hence when it will be ranked amongst the first cities of the world. Not only its airports, but also the naval port and also the main town will be amongst the finest. There is one especially pleasing feature about Karachi — while most of the big cities are crowded and cramped with over towering structures, Karachi has large open spaces and hillstation style roofs which give to the visitor a feeling of space and ease. It has also got the advantage of a salubrious climate and is always blessed with healthy and cool breezes throughout the year. I visualize a great future for Karachi — it always had immense potentialities. Now with the establishment of Pakistan’s Capital here and the arrival of Pakistan Government and its personnel and the consequent influx of trade, industry and business, immense opportunities have opened out for it. So let us all strive together to make this beautiful town a great metropolis, a center of trade, industry and commerce, and a seat of learning and culture.
As you have said, the responsibilities of Karachi and its Corporation have increased along with its importance. I hope that the Corporation will prove equal to the task. There would be an extra strain on all phases of Corporation activities, but under the wise and able guidance of the City fathers, and with the co-operation of all the citizens, this would be, I trust, borne with alacrity and willingness. The help of the Government, I feel, will be available in your difficulties and problems and I am sure that the authorities concerned will in time deal appropriately with question of the power and status of the Corporation and its Mayor, questions which appear to worry you just now a great deal.
Karachi has the distinction of being the only town of importance where, during these times of communal disturbances, people have kept their heads cool and lived amicable, and I hope we shall continue to do so.
Pakistan is grateful to the Sindh Government and the Corporation and people of Karachi for welcoming its Central Government to have its headquarters here and for providing all facilities. With the arrival of Pakistan’s staff, Karachi already has, as its citizens, people from all parts of Pakistan and Hindustan. They will all live here together like true citizens and devote their energies to and avail themselves of the great opportunities that present themselves to us all to build up and reconstruct Pakistan in a manner which will command the respect of sister nations and find a place of honor along with great nations of the world as an equal.
It should be our aim not only to remove want and fear of all types, but also to secure liberty, fraternity and equality as enjoined upon us by Islam.
I thank you again, Mayor and Councillor for your address of welcome.