The nation is marking the 65th death anniversary of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, and it is an opportunity to review whether the founding father's expectations of his homeland have been fulfilled. The Quaid saw the country as a haven for the Muslim minority of the Subcontinent, but specifically warned against the concept of Pakistan as a theocracy, something we found deeply abhorrent.

Conceptualised as a democratic, Islamic welfare state, the Quaid would have been surprised to find that only after 66 years of existence did Pakistan complete a transfer of power from one civilian government to the next. He would have been shocked to hear that only one President completed the full tenure of his term in accordance with all constitutional requirements, whereas all others seized power or were forced out. It would have been equally disquieting for a man as principled and iron-willed as Jinnah, to witness the results from yesterday’s APC, where the decision to negotiate without precondition with elements opposed to Pakistan’s democratic nature and way of life, was unanimously adopted.

Pakistan was most certainly not created so that it's existence would still be the subject of negotiations, or that the main concern about the government’s talking to militants would be on finding interlocutors who did not question the government’s legitimacy. The state the Quaid fought for, for so many years, is here to stay, defying the militants, and in spite of our government, which seems to be set on foolishly enabling those who question our very being.

The lasting irony of Pakistan now, and the Pakistan that the Quaid left bereft in its infancy, is that in 1948 Pakistan was deeply aware of the privileges of its freedom. The state sought to safeguard and extend this newfound liberty to its own minorities, so that they should never have the same complaints that the Muslims suffered in united India. Unfortunately, today many lessons are lost that should have been remembered. Muslim Pakistan has forgotten that it was once a minority and suffered greatly at the hands of an oppressive and unfair majority. It would do well to remember this basic fact that led to its founding, and to practice the message of tolerance that the Quaid repeatedly stressed upon. Except for those who would not extend all Pakistanis the right to practice their life and religion as they see fit. There is no need to tolerate them any further.