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Monday, July 15, 2024

What lessons can be learned from Jinnah’s life

Pakistan observed the 74th death anniversary of founder Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who died just 11 months after achieving an independent country for the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent. Jinnah dedicated his entire life to the struggle for a separate homeland for Muslims, but couldn't see his dear country prosper and passed away.

As we observed the 74th death anniversary on September 11, of the father of the nation Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah solemnly, let us offer Fatiha for the soul of a man who dedicated his entire life to the cause of a separate homeland for the Muslims of the subcontinent that resulted in the creation of Pakistan. However, as Pakistan came into being in August 1947, tragedy struck the fledgling state as it lost its creator and the man with the plan.

Competent and visionary leadership is a major determinant when we look at any country’s development and progress. However, after passing away of the founding father after a year of attaining independence due to tuberculosis, Pakistan’s ailments and its festering sores remained unresolved and deprived the country of someone who would have aptly navigated through the storms and shoals produced by the partition of the subcontinent. His death in September 1948 deprived the country of a much-needed steadying hand at the helm during an uncertain and perilous time.

Read more: Struggling with Jinnah’s Vision for Pakistan

There was no one of Jinnah’s stature and constitutional acumen

One wonders if only Jinnah had lived longer, a newborn Pakistan would maybe have found the answers to innumerable complicated questions and confusing conundrums staring Pakistan in the face. The country’s foundation was based on theological principles of secular and democratic pillars. It was important to prioritize security, welfare, education or defense so on and so forth. His early demise took away a chance for Pakistan’s polity to mature and democratic institutions to stabilize.

The Quaid being a towering figure could have united the people of different regions and religious sects within the country. Given an extension of life, he would have elaborated on the three guiding principles of ‘ Unity, Faith and Discipline. The long reign of a leader of Quaid’s stature would have benefited our country which was in its infancy as a nation and has geared her towards a growth trajectory.

Read more: 75th Independence Day: Remembering Jinnah as A Charismatic Leader

Based on his world views which were greatly influenced by his time spent in England, he would have opted for a structure of governance very similar to what Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru also adopted in India. Since the Quaid also had a major influence over Pakistanis as the founding father commanding absolute respect, the Army as an institution would have focused on securing our borders and would probably have not dared to meddle in the country’s democratic matters and thereby would not have dared to overthrow any elected government.

If a military coup could have been averted for fifteen to twenty years of Pakistan’s initial history, the pattern of collapsing democratically elected governments and cultivating a military culture would have been remote. Almost all civilian governments subsequently failed with the end result of military-imposed rule for more than half of Pakistan’s life. Secondly, Mr. Jinnah being a moderate Muslim would definitely not have approved of religious fundamentalist views that so early in Pakistan’s history had taken root. Hence, neither our Army nor religious zealots would have been able to exercise overt influence over the elected governments and over time the political system would have a fair chance to grow maturely.

Under normal circumstances, the passing away of one man should not mean so much, but perhaps the void left behind after the death of an outstanding leading man like Jinnah can never be filled. Nations need heroes and Pakistanis to have a right to be proud of our greatest hero, our Quaid e Azam. Throughout history no single man yielded as much power as him and yet he remained uncorrupted by that absolute power. Not many men in history can boast of creating a nation single-handedly and altering the map of the world but Jinnah did so and thus rightly became a legend. Stanley Wolpert has paid a tribute to Jinnah in a befitting manner.

Read more: The Jinnah’s Pakistan that we all knew!

Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with creating a nation-state. Mohammad Ali Jinnah did all three.” On this 11th day of September 2022 on his death anniversary, we saluted Jinnah’s tireless efforts and miss him! We as a nation are sure that the Quaid’s wish would be granted by the Lord that upon meeting his creator, God would remark that“ Well done Mr. Jinnah!”


The writer is an ex-banker and a freelance columnist. She can be reached at tbjs.cancer.1954@gmail.com. The views expressed by the writers do not necessarily represent Global Village Space’s editorial policy.