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Safar 10, 1440

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Death of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah

Reactions as reported in Calcutta English-language press to death of Quaid-e-Azam
Telegram from Karachi to Secretary of State: September 13, 1948

"Statesman", September 13, 1948.
"...What the future holds it is early to say. Identification between Pakistan and Quaid-i-Azam Jinnah was so close and he towered so high above those nearest to him, that some may expect the State to founder. We do not share that view. Pakistan contains many men of great ability, administrative and other, who should have no difficulty in keeping the machine running smoothly if only disruptive forces abstain or are prevented from seizing the opportunity which the removal of the Quaid-i-Azam's dominating personality has created. Pakistan will have many severe problems to face; she will long feel her loss acutaly, and her administrators will need high courage, besides talent, to grupple with the given tasks ahead. But, given the co-operation of the people, they should be able to maintain the State unshaken and build on the foundation laid by their dead leader.

Relations with India may improve. If a less logically ruthless policy is now pursued, goodwill on both sides may be found to produce consequences satisfactory to both. Pakistan's crisis will, we hope, prove a real turning point for both Dominions, which, being in so many ways complementary, seem destined eventually to live on friendly terms to their mutual benefit."


United Kingdom

In fact, politically Gandhi now carried little weight, but it was of the utmost importance that Mountbatten should have a close understanding and friendship with India's beloved prophet, and this, he succeeded in achieving. The other major politicians and statesmen, in turn, warmed to the aura of affection and goodwill and at the same time recognised Mountbatten's genuine love for their people. But the one man who could drive home the bolt and secure the lock of united India was Jinnah. 'Jinnah was the Muslim League' said Mountbatten. 'He held the future of India in his hands. I tried the same technique with him but it was almost impossible to warm him. He had only one dream and that was a separate Muslim state.

The Hindu leaders, trained by Gandhi, dropped him as of no use when the decisive moment arrived. The Quaid could not be budged - He wanted Pakistan, and he won it!

Mountbatten, Hero of Our Time, Weidenfels & Nicholson, London, 1980, p. 218
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