n 1948, Jinnah told an editor of The Hindu, an Indian daily newspaper, that having become the governor general of Pakistan, he would like to be known as the Protector General of Minorities in Pakistan.
This anecdote was shared by Liaquat Merchant, a grandnephew of the leader, in a panel discussion held to celebrate the life and achievements of Jinnah at Quaid-i-Azam House Museum. The session, organised by the museum management on Monday, was attended by a cross-section of citizens and a large number of students.
The discussion began with an opening address from Liaquat Merchant, the vice chairman of the museum’s board of management.
Merchant told the audience that Mr Jinnah, his grand uncle, was deeply interested in education, particularly women’s education. Apart from that, he was also invested in protecting the rights of the minorities.
“In his will, Jinnah left funds to many educational institutes including Anjuman-i-Islam School, Bombay; Bombay University; Islamia College, Peshawar; Sindh Madresa-tul Islam, Karachi; and Aligarh Muslim University in India,” Merchant said.
The speaker shed light on various aspects of the leader’s life, his values and his legacy. He spoke of the Quaid’s love for honesty and integrity. He said that Jinnah’s life should be a source of inspiration and courage to all students in Pakistan.
According to Merchant, Jinnah was the best ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity while being an ardent advocate of the two-nation theory which ultimately led to the creation of Pakistan.
Ikram Sehgal also spoke about Jinnah’s accomplishments. He said that the Quaid was accepted as a leader by everyone and this happened despite there being political divisions. He also brought to the fore the role of the armed forces and lauded them for “preserving the integrity and territorial sovereignty of Pakistan.”
The panel, which consisted of experts from various walks of life, discussed several aspects of Jinnah’s life and steered the conversation to qualities of the leader that inspired them the most.
The panellists included Professor Jaffer Ahmed of Karachi University; author and researcher Dr Huma Baqai; philanthropist Mushtaq Chhapra; artist and activist Jimmy Engineer; and Mrs Ameena Saiyid, the founder of Karachi Adab Festival.
The session was held under an initiative to hold events and activities that promote the principles, ideals and vision of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah as a nation-building exercise for the youth.
Earlier, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed by the Government of Sindh, The Jinnah Society and Karachi Council on Foreign Relations in this regard. Afterwards, a board of management was constituted to organise events that raise awareness in the youth about Jinnah and his mission.