On this day, each year, the man who founded Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, is paid tribute to - in special television programmes,
newspaper supplements, in articles and in editorials such as this one. But it is unfortunate that it is, essentially, on just one
day of the year that thoughts turn to the Quaid-e-Azam. Though, no doubt, as a sensitive, honest and moderate man, Jinnah would
have been appalled to see the state of the country he created, there is much that can be done to better its plight by simply
taking guidance from the thoughts and personal examples of Jinnah.
In the first place, it is obvious Jinnah abhorred extremism. There are many incidents and many speeches, including of course his
much quoted address to the constituent assembly of Pakistan on August 11, 1947, to prove this. Muhammad Ali Jinnah would have been
horrified to see how inaccurate his prediction, that divisions between Punjabis and Pathans, between Shias and Sunnis, between
Muslims and non-Muslims, would 'vanish', has proved to be. His advice has clearly gone unheeded. Our leaders of the past, and also
the present, must answer for this. In our bid to combat the violence that today threatens to destroy us, we should make more use of
the Quaid-e-Azam's call for an end to all kinds of communalism. His words, his thoughts, have in the past been suppressed. Today
they must be circulated as freely as possible; made accessible to every citizen. Muhammad Ali Jinnah rises above controversy. For
this reason alone using his example can make a difference.
There are other contents too of that speech, made as Pakistan prepared to take a place on the map of the world, that have been
ignored. Jinnah then, and on other occasions, referred also to nepotism and jobbery as a 'great evil', warning he would not
countenance it. Today, as tales of 'favourite daughters' dominate the headlines, we should look back at the past and feel ashamed.
There are other ways too in which we have let down Jinnah. As a politician and a professional, his personal integrity was undoubted.
He despised corruption and bribery, describing it as a 'curse' or 'poison'. Historical accounts exist of how he refused to
entertain parliamentarians at state expense, suggesting that they take tea at their own homes before attending meetings at his
official residence. Such notions have no place in Pakistan today. Lavish expenditures from the exchequer are the norm; Mere words
mean little. If we as citizens feel any kind of affinity for man we call the 'Quaid-e-Azam' or to the land he so tirelessly fought
to establish, we must pay tribute to him through deeds. The tide of evil, militancy, incompetence and corruption that has swept
over us must be turned back.
DISCLAIMER: The public material presented here is taken from various sources as it becomes available. It is presented without any
bias to, or interpretation of, the contents whatsoever. We would be grateful for any help anyone can provide in obtaining other such
public material of national importance to Pakistan in order to aid intellectual discourse and debate.
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