A child was born on 25 December 1876 in Karachi, then a town (growing port of the future) and now a city of 20 millions of people, who are scared and uncertain. A city that is soaked in blood. The child was named as Mohammad Ali and he later added Jinnah to his name. He grew up as a fine young man, a Barrister per Excellence, and later a politician who made politics look likes almost worship. He was elected and nominated to the most important consultative bodies of the British Indian Empire and after the creation of Pakistan headed the constituent Assembly of Pakistan for a short while. Whenever he rose to address these assemblies, he was heard with full attention even by his opponents. lie never minced his words. Whatever he said he meant it and he never said anything that he did not mean. His arguments were superb which went to the hearts and minds of the listeners. He always spoke the truth and did not believe in playing to the galleries. His opponents could reject his arguments but never his honesty. Gandhi said of him, “ Jinnah could be broken hut never bent”. lie started his political life by joining Dadabhai Naroji’s Group of supporters as the latter fought the election to the House of Commons and won it by a narrow majority. Jinnah joined the Indian National Congress and became a prominent leader of the Movement for Independence from the British Raj. His methods for achieving the freedom were, however, Constitutional and within Orbit of Law. He looked upon the leaders like Gopal Krishna Gokhale as a role model and wished to be called a Muslim Gokhale. When Gokhale died an untimely death at an early age and Congress leadership were divided on how to tackle and treat the Muslim India who were the largest minority, Jinnah stood up for them. He also differed with Congress leadership on its policy of achieving the Independence by agitations. Agitation, which inevitably broke out in riots. If World War 1 did not intervene, Jinnah had made a considerable advance towards the Dominion Status for India with the British Government in London headed by Ramesy Mac Donald. Jinnah wanted a declaration by the British Government in London, “ Without delay that. Great Britain is unequivocally pledged to the policy of granting to India full Responsible Government with Dominion Status” Lord Irvin, the Viceroy, suggested that this proposal thus formulated could then be placed before the Parliament. Ramsey Mac I)onald, the Prime Minister of Great Britain seemed inclined to Jinnah’s viewpoint. Jinnah wrote to Mac Donald.

“If you carry out my suggestion with which Lam glad to find that you are in accord, it will open up a bright future for India and the name of Great Britain will go down in history as one Nation that was true to its declaration” Although the sub Continent achieved its goal of freedom from the British Raj much later and with much hardships and bloodbath on the 14. and 15. August 1947, Jinnah ‘s prediction that Independence from British Raj could only come through Constitutional means and within the Orbit of legal framework. Lord Louis Mountbatton, the last Vice Roy of India, was flattered by Jawahar Lal Nerhru and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel to stay on as the first Governor General of the Dominion of India. Jawhalal Nerhru could write and speak a poetic English better then most of Englishman and thus charm most of them including Lord Mountbatton and Lady Mountbatton. Mahtarna Gharidi’s peculiar ways always confused the British and often bewildered them like a “Salt March”. After the Lahore Resolution the Quid-e-Azam was to fight the long drawn pitch Constitutional battles both with British Government and Hindu Congress. There had been a change of heart in Britain since Ramsey Mac Donald. Both the British Government and their Representatives in Delhi were determined to keep the Sub Continent together irrespective of Pathans and Balochies had nothing to do with the people of Bombay and Karala, culturally speaking. The sub Continent has been divided for countless Centuries. The Mughals united it to the some extant and then British followed suit. Jinnah had achieved freedom from British and created a new State of Pakistan of which he was rightly the Founder. He accepted to be the first Governor General of the Dominion of Pakistan. Jinnah ‘s struggle was long and tiring, firstly when he was in Indian National Congress and then when he took over the Leadership of Muslim League. His health had been giving way, but not his will. In the words of Mountbatton “ If I knew what Jinnah was suffering from, I would have postponed the transfer of power by over a year, because one could talk to Liaquat”. Mountbatton ‘s statement is obviously an English understatement, which speaks of volumes, in the end Congress and Nehru were also obliged to follow his footsteps by negotiating the Dominion Status for Hindustan or Bharat and deciding to remain in the Commonwealth of Nations. In an address to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam said, “with your help and co-operation, I will make Pakistan as one of the greatest Nation of the World”. The country he left in our care, has not measured upto his vision. Pakistan has certainly fallen short of his aims and ambition. How do we pay homage to the Father of the Nation, by merely hanging his photograph in every Government Offices or that he appears on our currency notes and coins or merely repeating his guiding principles of Unity, Faith and Discipline?

The writer is an overseas Pakistani since June 1955. He retired as Managing Director of Industry and Business Development Consortium Sharjah and Liechtenstein. In 1956, he wrote ‘ A Letter from the West’ for Daily Kohistan Rawalpindi for a year.  n