Islamabad - The 138th birth anniversary of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, ‘Father of the Nation’ will be observed today (Thursday) by the government and people of Pakistan. He was born on December 25, 1876 and passed away on September 11, 1948 in Karachi.

On this occasion there will be a national holiday. Electronic media including television and radio channels will air special documentaries relating his life, work and his most famous quotes. At his tomb in Karachi, the change of the guards’ ceremony will be held and special prayers will be offered. Mohammad Ali Jinnah was the creator of a national homeland for the Muslims of the Subcontinent. He retains a sacred space in Pakistan’s history. Muhammad Ali Jinnah was a lawyer, politician and statesman and later known as the founder of Pakistan.

Quaid-e- Azam always believed that Muslim-Hindu unity in India was possible, but over the years the relationship between the Hindu and Muslim communities had deteriorated to such a point that he reluctantly accepted that the best way to protect the rights of Indian -Muslims was through partition.

In 1940, he suggested the idea of the partition of India to create Pakistan and led negotiations with the British government. This resulted in the partition of India and the creation of the state of Pakistan on 14 August 1947.

Meanwhile, President Mamnoon Hussain in message on this occasion said the commemoration of 138th birthday anniversary of Father of the Nation, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah is being observed at a time when our country is going through a great trauma due to the barbaric attack on a school in Peshawar. The following is the text of the message of the President; We as a nation need to show the courage and dedication of Quaid-e-Azam. His exemplary courage and dedication to the cause of Muslims of South Asia made it possible for us to be the citizens of a free, independent and sovereign Islamic country. On this occasion we must reaffirm our commitment to those ideals of democracy, egalitarianism, constitutionalism and rule of law that were upheld by our great leader throughout his life. We must endeavor to fashion our lives and national character according to the wishes of the Father of the Nation.

The Quaid was a paragon of uprightness, honesty and integrity.  He neither compromised on principles nor allowed expediency to influence his judgment. Our great leader by sheer virtue of his vision, steadfastness and clarity of thought steered the Muslims of the sub-continent to withstand heavy odds and to gain independence through a democratic struggle. His thought and vision is as relevant today as it was some six decades ago. The need for following his path and to adhere to the principles of Unity, Faith & Discipline was never as great as it is today. The nation has achieved significant milestones in its pursuit of democratic ideals.

Today we are not merely paying our homage to the memory of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, but reaffirming our abiding faith in his imperishable messages.  Let us rededicate ourselves on this historic occasion to keep the unity of the country uppermost in our thoughts and deeds and let us pledge that we will work, individually as well as collectively, to make Pakistan a peaceful, progressive and prosperous state. Let the Quaid’s teachings be a beacon for all of us for all times to come.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has pledged to carry forward the great mission of the Father of Nation Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Jinnah which he had entrusted to us with dedication, verve and energy.

In a message on the 138th birthday of the Founder of Pakistan, being observed across the country with feelings of tremendous reverence and affection on Thursday, the Prime Minister said, “I also take this opportunity to redeem the pledge given to our esteemed leader by the Pakistani nation to carry forward the great mission he entrusted to us with dedication, verve and energy.”

He said on this auspicious day, “I exhort Pakistani nation to work whole-heartedly and with dedication to build a strong and prosperous Pakistan. Patriotism, dedicated work and selfless service for the greater glory of Pakistan could be the most befitting tribute to the memory of Quaid-i-Azam.”

Paying tribute to the Father of the nation, he said it has been universally acknowledged that Quaid-e-Azam was a rare personality even among the outstanding luminaries who were his contemporaries.

“His vision, dedicated orientation and tenacity of action carved out a distinct niche in the new emerging world of political realities not experienced before. With uncanny virtuosity, he navigated uncharted waters and succeeded in wresting out a homeland for the Muslims of the sub-continent,” he added.

The Prime Minister said that Quaid was not only a leader winning us independence but he also earmarked the future course of action for Pakistan. Quaid-e-Azam wanted Pakistanis to prosper as a liberal democratic polity unhindered by shackles of bigoted ideas and arbitrary authority, besides, judicious exercise of the will of people as reposed in representative institutions, he added.

The Prime Minister said Quaid-e-Azam trusted the democratic will of the people and considered it the ultimate wisdom. He also believed in disciplined pursuance of goals and emphasized the need for united, consensual national action. “As a lifelong and ardent advocate of constitutional practices he exhorted consistent adherence to upholding the rule of law. The Quaid wanted Pakistan to be an equal opportunity polity whose citizens were to enjoy equal rights irrespective of considerations of faith, creed or caste,” he added.

Meanwhile, more than 100 rare pictures of Founder of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah were put on display at an exhibition arranged by Rawalpindi Arts Council (RAC) on Wednesday on the eve of birth anniversary of the great leader.

The exhibition was inaugurated by Chairman Jinnah Iqbal Fikri Forum Rana Abdul Baqi while RAC Resident Director (RD) Waqar Ahmed, former RD RAC Naheed Manzoor and a large number of art lovers were also present on the occasion.

Addressing the inaugural ceremony, Rana Baqi said that work, work and work is the message of great leader Jinnah for the people and he succeeded in achieving a separate homeland for the Muslims of the subcontinent by adhering to this philosophy. “Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali laid out the principles of unity, organisation and faith for the nation to make headway on the path to progress and development,” Rana added.

Speaking on the occasion, Naheed Manzoor said that Quaid-e-Azam was the great leader of the sub-continent and Pakistani youth must follow his teachings to make the country prosperous and strong. She said, “Jinnah gifted Pakistan to us and it is now our prime duty to do struggle to protect the country from internal and external dangers.”

Waqar Ahmed said that aim to display rare pictures and historical documents pertaining to Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was to highlight different aspects of the life of the Founder of Pakistan who united the Muslims of the subcontinent for acquiring a separate homeland.

The exhibition will continue at RAC till December 28.