That certain pseudo-intellectuals are using the electronic and print media to denigrate the personality of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who, it is unanimously acknowledged, was a man of integrity and unimpeachable character, evoked serious concern in a resolution passed at a ceremony held to observe his 135th birth anniversary in Lahore on Saturday. The ceremony, organised by the Nazria Pakistan Trust (NPT) in collaboration with the Tehreek-e-Pakistan Workers Trust, was addressed by the NPT Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of The Nation, Mr Majid Nizami. Several other resolutions demanded the government to rescind the decision to grant MFN to India till such time it agreed to grant the right of self-determination to the Kashmiris for which practical steps must be taken; put a permanent embargo on the Nato supplies; take measures to stop drone attacks; and adopt negotiations as the means to put an end to terrorism. Mr Nizami urged the nation to elect honest and capable people, “who could turn Pakistan into a country envisaged by the Quaid-i-Azam and Allama Iqbal.” Such leadership is the need of the hour. Mr Nizami also thanked COAS General Kayani for not staging a coup “despite opportunity”. He maintained that the army was responsible for defending the geographical boundaries of the country, and “has no mandate to rule the country”.

President Asif Ali Zardari, in a message to the nation on this auspicious occasion, recalled the Quaid’s belief in the ballot and not the bullet, to effect change in government and urged the people to resolve not to let any force or threat be used for this purpose. He called for making Pakistan a country after the vision of the Quaid, where freedom, justice, and rule of law prevail, human rights are respected and the people have adequate means of livelihood.

Unfortunately, our leaders are in the habit of paying lip service to the ideals of the Quaid-i-Azam, without giving a moment’s thought to what these ideals ask of them. Their lives and the conduct of governments that they run do not conform to these ideals. Against this background, it is obvious that they would pay little attention to propagating them. As a result, Pakistan today has little resemblance to the vision that brought it into being; for mere verbalisation of wishes would not help matters. There is urgent need for government as well as the public to follow the glorious principle the Quaid’s life and saying lay down. Hard work, unity, discipline and faith, honesty and integrity, social justice and the rule of law have to be inculcated to pull the country out of the morass of backwardness and ignominy into which it has fallen. There is no time to waste in starting work with these ends in view.