25th December is a day on which we generally pay tributes to Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah the founder of Pakistan. Some tributes ring with sincerity and some merely appear to be rendering lip service.
The Quaid was and continues to be highly relevant in Pakistan and every political party and political leader of all shades and opinion pledge to implement the Quaid’s vision and govern Pakistan in accordance with Quaid’s principle, ideals and vision. The current slogan for this year is “Punjab’s Mission is Quaid’s vision”. How one wishes that all this proves to be true?
Inspite of persistent efforts the Quaid’s speech of 11th August, 1947 continues to be ignored and the principles, ideals and vision of the Quaid for Pakistan have not been included in the curriculum of Pakistan Studies at schools and colleges.
The proposal for holding the Jinnah Conference in London made by Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif and supported by the British Foreign Secretary and the Jinnah Society has not seen the light of day inspite of repeated letters to all concerned.
Quotes from the Quaid’s compiled by Professor Shariful Mujahid and Liaquat H. Merchant and published by Oxford University Press with a foreword by Professor Stanley Wolpert has not been distributed to Parliamentarians although 1000 copies were sent on a complimentary basis to the President’s Secretariat by the Jinnah Society, as requested.
Pakistan is an intellectual and moral achievement and has come to stay, said Jinnah. Notwithstanding the Two Nation theory that Hindus and Muslims constitute two separate Nations, Jinnah advocated close and friendly relations between India and Pakistan. Pakistan was founded in order to achieve political and economic independence. The Muslims wished to avoid domination by the British and the majority Indian population. Also of importance was the right to freely practice and propagate the religious beliefs and faith of Muslims in the Sub continent.
Jinnah advised those Muslims who continued to reside in territories other than Pakistan to be loyal to the State in which they live and to work for up-liftment and welfare of the Muslim community by reorganizing themselves under their own chosen leadership.
Pakistan has survived military conflicts and political upheavals over the last seventy (70) years and inspite of all odds continues in its journey towards progress and prosperity as a independent sovereign state inspite of all attempts aimed at its dis-integration by destruction of law, order and stability. Jinnah expressed his inclination for an agreement or understanding with India as two independent, equal and sovereign states. With regard to minorities in Pakistan, Jinnah always assured them that they would be citizens of the State of Pakistan and enjoy all the rights and privileges like any other community and Pakistan would create a sense of security and confidence in the non-Muslim minorities in Pakistan.
Assuring the minorities, Jinnah said, “Islam and its idealism have taught us democracy. Islam has taught us equality, justice and fairplay to everybody. What reason is there for anyone to fear democracy, equality, freedom on the highest standard of integrity and on the basis of fairplay and justice for everybody.”
All Pakistanis need to be firm in their Motto of Unity, Faith and Discipline and to keep the Quaid’s vision before them so that they may weave themselves into the fabric of Pakistan as conceived. Pakistan cannot survive without us in much the same way as we cannot survive without the continued existence of Pakistan.
Pakistan Paindabad. Quaid-e-Azam Zindabad