This year, September 11 was observed as the 64th death anniversary of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah – the greatest leader of the subcontinent.

On this anniversary, I was in Pakistan. And while watching TV, I realised to my utter dismay and shock that most of the channels aired the report about Quaid-i-Azam’s death anniversary either on the third or fourth place in their news bulletins. Needless to say, it should have been the first news on every channel, as this was the very day we had buried the Quaid; and unfortunately, the political leadership, who inherited his legacy of Pakistan, forgot his vision and wisdom.

The Quaid wanted an Islamic democratic welfare state where the Constitution and the rule of law would be supreme; where the minorities would be protected and treated as equal citizens of Pakistan; where economic opportunities would be available for every one and merit would be the only criteria; where the governments would be elected through free, fair and transparent elections, and the leaders would tender their resignation if they lost the confidence of the electorate; where referendums would be held if a major national issue became controversial; where all those who drew their salaries from the national exchequer would consider themselves as public servants; and where accountability of the head of state and chief executive to the ordinary citizen would be the order of the day.

I think I am representing the sentiments of most Pakistanis by proposing that September 11 - Jinnah’s death anniversary - be declared as a national holiday, as it is the most important day in Pakistan’s history, unfortunately, after which we started to lose our way towards our destiny.

Moreover, on this day every year, the President and Prime Minister should remain in the country and visit the Quaid’s mausoleum to pay homage to the father of the nation. The Governors, Chief Ministers and Services Chiefs should follow suit. All the Heads of States and Prime Ministers visiting Pakistan should be taken to the Quaid’s mausoleum to register their respects for him.

In addition, the electronic media should telecast exclusive programmes on the Quaid’s life, personality, credibility and integrity. The Quaid was the one man in South Asian politics, who never went back on his word. His speeches and statements should be aired not only on his birth or death anniversaries, but also throughout the year so as to make this divided nation repent, which may eventually lead to its reform. I think, however, it will take a long time till we are fully restored to the status of a sovereign state, demanding our due from the international community.

It was on August 14, 1964, that I delivered a speech at Munich on the creation of Pakistan. The Minister President of Bavaria, Alfons Goppel, was the chief guest. After explaining the aims and objectives of the establishment of Pakistan, I said: “The honourable chief guest, ladies and gentlemen, the fulfilment of these aims and objectives still remain our destiny.” But no; perhaps, I was wrong!

We have already taken an opposite direction to our destiny. And each step that we take will distance us from it. Hence, we must stop, ponder and turn back to trace the lost path that leads us to our destiny!

 The writer is an overseas Pakistani since June 1955. He retired as managing director of Industry and Business Development Consortium Sharjah and Liechtenstein. In 1956, he wrote A Letter from the West for Daily Kohistan, Rawalpindi, for a year.