Great Muslim leaders from all over South Asia were on the forefront of Pakistan Movement, and our women, especially Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah, popularly known and acclaimed as Mader-e-Millat (Mother of the Nation), resolutely stood side by side with them.Daughter of Poonja Jinnahbhai, she was the closest to Father of the Nation, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, of a family of seven brothers and sisters, and she had the privilege of remaining Jinnah’s life-long companion till his death on September 11, 1948. She was an ideal sister in all respects, and she made untiring efforts for helping and looking after Quaid-i-Azam. Miss Fatima Jinnah was not only a confidant, trusted advisor and closest political colleague but also a source of solace and strength to her brother in his strenuous struggle for Pakistan, bolstering his spirits in his moments of political tribulations. MA Jinnah respected and admired Fatima Jinnah because of her political acumen, sincerity and devotion to the cause of Pakistan. He acknowledged it when he said, “My sister was like a ray of light and hope, whenever I came back and met her. She was “his most loyal ally who stayed by his side to the end.”Born on July 30, 1893, Miss Fatima Jinnah, who rendered invaluable services during the Freedom Movement, was the primary organiser of the All India Muslim Woman Students Federation. She also played a significant role in the settlement of refugees in Pakistan. Miss Jinnah was also patron of Pakistan Girl Guides Association, formed on the instruction of Quaid-e-Azam in Karachi on 29th December, 1947. Begum GA Khan was elected its first Chief Commissioner.Mader-e-Millat Miss Fatima Jinnah who was gifted with the ability to foresee and analyze problems, had been urging the people on different national occasions to sink their all differences and stand united under the same banner under which they truly achieved Pakistan. Regrettably, alternating periods of civilian and military rule have not helped to establish stability. Since achieving an independent homeland we have done nothing concrete for its promotion and solidarity and instead forgot traditions of selflessness, honesty and integrity left behind by the great Muslim leaders, including Quaid-i-Azam and Allama Iqbal. Civilian politics in Pakistan in the last few decades has been tarnished by corruption, inefficiency and confrontations between various institutions.In the 1960s, Fatima Jinnah returned to the forefront of political life when she ran for the presidency of Pakistan as a candidate of the Combined Opposition Parties, which consisted of five major opposition parties. They selected her candidate as they were unable to select presidential candidate from amongst themselves. COP had a nine-point programme that included restoration of direct elections, adult franchise and democratisation of the 1962 Constitution. Being the Quaid’s sister, she was held in high esteem and came to symbolise the democratic aspirations of the people. She was challenging the incumbent president Muhammad Ayub Khan in the indirect election, which Ayub Khan had himself instituted.The electoral landscape changed when Fatima Jinnah decided to contest the election. Her campaign generated tremendous public enthusiasm. She drew enormous crowds in all cities. In her election rallies, she proclaimed Ayub Khan to be a dictator and argued that by coming to terms with India on the Indus water dispute, Ayub Khan had surrendered control of the rivers to India. Her contention cannot be denied because of the acute shortage of water which Pakistan is currently facing and this situation is certain to be become more dangerous in due course of time.Field Marshal Ayub Khan had a great advantage over the rest of the candidates as armed with the wide-ranging constitutional powers of a president, he exercised complete control over all governmental machinery during elections. However, Ayub Khan was reelected president in the elections, held on January 2, 1965, and the united opposition refused to accept the results announced by the Election Commission. It is believed that had the elections been held via direct ballot, Fatima Jinnah would have won The Electoral College consisted of only 80,000 Basic Democrats, who were easily manipulated. The importance of this election lay in the fact that a woman was contesting the highest political office of the country.