By Mohammad Salman Siddiqui - “Few individuals significantly alter the course of history. Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with creating a million state. Mohammad Ali Jinnah did all three.” These words were not from any Pakistani, nor from Quaid’s sister Fatima Jinnah. It was Stanley Wolpert, a well-known author and authority on the political and intellectual history of modern India and Pakistan, who wrote a historic book on Quaid’s biography, titled “Jinnah of Pakistan.” He mentioned these comments in the preface of this book.

Quaid was no doubt a high practiced lawyer and a leader par excellence. He was a man of courage and hope. He devoted a part of his life for the noble cause. He spent a luxurious life but after the creation of Pakistan he led his life simply. He worked day and night to get freedom for the Muslims of the sub-continent. Because of restlessness and tiresome work his health deteriorated. During the last days he was suffering with tuberculosis and lung disease. Stanley Wolpert and Fatima Jinnah both quoted in their books that Quaid told his doctor Colonel Ilahi Bakhsh and Fatima Jinnah that he did not want to live more. He said that it doesn’t matter whether he would live or die. The Quaid couldn’t live long after the independence but the time which he lived, he spent it for his country. Even the worse health conditions could not stop him from performing his official duties. On July 1, 1948, was severely ill and could hardly speak but he went for the inauguration of State Bank of Pakistan.

It was the mid of August, when Quaid was shifted from Ziarat to Quetta because the environment of Ziarat was not suitable for him. Previously, Quaid thought his disease was stomach problem, but after the arrival of doctor Colonel Ilahi Bakhsh and other specialists, it was revealed that Quaid was suffering with lung disease. Even then the Quaid asked for the permission for smoking. Stanley Wolpert mentions in his book: “Jinnah asked for permission to resume smoking. (He had smoked an average of fifty or more Craven A cigarettes a day over the last thirty years.) The doctor permitted him to have one cigarette a day, ordering him not to inhale. Soon, however Bakhsh agreed to double his ratio.” Then quotes his doctor: “It did us good to see him enjoying it, . . . since in a habitual smoker the first sign of recovery was commonly a craving for and pleasure in smoking. . . . Next morning I noticed four cigarette stumps in the ashtray on the table by his bedside . . . the patient had exceeded his allowance.”

Quaid’s health was growing worse with the passage of time. Doctor Ilahi Baksh called his friend M.A Misttri from Karachi but it was of no use. Doctors told Fatima Jinnah, that only a miracle could save Quaid’s life. They advised that he should be shifted to Karachi. When the Quaid was informed of moving to Karachi, he agreed happily and stated that he was born in Karachi and wanted to be buried there.

On September 11, 1948, this great leader, founder of a country, left us forever. His death was a big tragedy for the nation. After his death, Pakistan started facing leadership crisis. These days we are again at a crucial stage and facing lot of challenges. To get rid of these all the problems every one of us should play our role. As a nation, we need hard work, sincerity and devotion and only then we fulfil Quaid’s vision of better Pakistan and a country free of exploitation. n