Under the PPP-led government the people never have had enough of surprises; there is always something so strange, so frustratingly painful and so ominously unexpected that it would jolt them up and make them wonder where the country is heading. In its twisted wisdom, the federal government is seriously considering to rename the Quaid-i-Azam Post-Graduate Medical College, on its conversion into a university, as Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Shaheed Medical University. It is so serious about fulfilling its design that a draft of the bill was pushed through the concerned parliamentary standing committee, headed by MNA Jamshed Dasti, on February 1, at a time when the majority of its members were not present. Now, it is ready to be taken up in the National Assembly to make it into law. According to press reports, the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, at present an autonomous body, would also be placed under the university’s control and the word ‘Pakistan’ would be deleted from its name. It is obvious that, first of all, this utterly ridiculous venture, whoever had hit upon it, must have been mooted in a cabinet meeting and the less said the better about those who found it worthy enough to be endorsed. There is little doubt that it would prove to be another Pandora’s Box, giving rise to an unseemly controversy in which the ultimate loser would be its sponsors.

Nations worldwide cherish the memories of their founding fathers, reserving for them a pride of place unparalleled in honour, respect and dignity. Anyone seeming to show the slightest disrespect would be ruthlessly snubbed. No one else, not even a leader of an outstanding personality who came to power later in the country is ever rated to be of comparable stature. Even such a leader, though he might be conscious of his own place in history, would bow before the founding father; for it was the founding father that had created an independent state for men like him to freely demonstrate their political talents and for the people at large to follow their chosen pursuits that they might find it hard to do under an alien rule. Can anyone dare to remove the name of Chairman Mao or President Washington where it has once been affixed and rename it after another leader? That would be considered, and rightly, an act of sacrilege.

Quaid-i-Azam was a leader who outshined not only his contemporaries, but also most in the past generations across the globe. Stanley Wolpert who has a deep understanding of history, says, in his biography, Jinnah of Pakistan, “Few individuals significantly alter the course of history. Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with creating a nation-state. Mohammad Ali Jinnah did all three.” Perhaps, there can be no more convincing proof of the Quaid’s greatness. Shame on those ill intentioned persons who for their own petty purposes, would erase the Quaid’s name from an institute which has been proud to bear it. Let us all renew our commitment to accord him the place he deserves, both in words and in deeds. Let us remember that nations who forget their founding fathers fall to the lowest depth of decay.