n Muhammad Saeed Akhtar Great Muslim leaders from all over South Asia were on the forefront of the Pakistan Movement, and our women, especially Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah, popularly known and acclaimed as Mader-i-Millat (Mother of the Nation), resolutely stood side by side with them. The bold and committed women made relentless efforts and went from house to house to raise funds for the Pakistan Movement to prepare and encourage the people to make the sacrifice for the attainment of Pakistan and attract the world attention towards their great independence struggle. Daughter of Poonja Jinnahbhai, she was the closest to the 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 Jinnahs 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 him. 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. It would not be wrong to say that it was her whole-hearted care and support that the Quaid could devote his whole life for the creation of Pakistan. The Quaid particularly appreciated her efforts aimed at mobilising women because he was convinced that his mission would not be attained without the participation of Muslim women. Born on July 30, 1893, Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah, was held in high esteem (one reason being that was Quaids sister), and her role in the freedom movement remained an active member of the national politics. She continued to work for the welfare of the people after the formation of Pakistan and the death of her brother until she died on this day in 1967 in Karachi. Madar-i-Millat was laid to rest inside Quaid-i-Azams mausoleum on 10th of July in Karachi. 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 patron of the Pakistan Girl Guides Association, formed on the instruction of the Quaid-i-Azam in Karachi on December, 29, 1947. Begum G. A. Khan was elected its first Chief Commissioner. She was a dynamic political leader who struggled day and night to organise the women wing of the Muslim League. She had closely watched the political scene during the turbulent period of the freedom struggle and was well groomed for active politics before she actually joined her brother in the field. She was strongly in favour of democratic ideals. Her faith in democracy, passion for Pakistan, preference to principles over compromises, her tenacity and courage bore a reflection of Quaids life and principles. She adhered to the family values and Islamic traditions but at the same time was a strong exponent of emancipation and rights of women. 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 Quaids sister, she came to symbolise the democratic aspirations of the people. She was challenging the incumbent president Muhammad Ayub Khan in the indirect election, which he 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 as dictator and argued that by coming to terms with India on the Indus waters dispute, he 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 as time passes. Field Marshal Ayub Khan had 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. He was re-elected president in the elections, held on January 2, 1965; the united opposition, however, refused to accept the results announced by the Election Commission. It is believed that had the election 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, and too Quaids sister Fatimah Jinnah, was contesting the highest political office of the country.