On the 68th death anniversary of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, it is time to analyse our failures and learn lessons from history. Stanley Wolpert credited Jinnah Saheb with “Few individuals significantly alter course of history. Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with creating a nation-state. Mohd Ali Jinnah did all three”. The Quaid warned that those seeking elected public office must have no conflicts of interest and neither they, nor their immediate family members, should be involved in running private business or trade. He also made it abundantly clear that paid civil servants and members of uniformed services should never be involved in politics, nor should they indulge in any other corporate business ventures during service. No sooner he died that his vision of a modern democratic welfare state was abandoned.

This unfortunate country has ever since endured numerous 9-11s, faced humiliation of dismemberment, deceit by its ruling elite and is today engulfed with terrorism from within, because a military dictator blinded by his greed and lust for power opened our borders to host terrorists and mercenaries from all over the world, exploiting religion and forever sowing seeds of sectarianism and ethnic divide in this country. Today Pakistan is ruled by politicians who have no stakes in this country, whose assets worth billions of dollars are located abroad and whose families live in foreign countries, where they are susceptible to foreign blackmail and pressures.

It all started with a military officer in 1945 WWII while posted to Burma was suspended from command for visible cowardice under fire, took over as first military dictator in 1958 and later assumed title of Field Marshall, although he had never seen military action on the battlefield. It was downhill from then on. Zia ul haq has harmed this country more than all our foreign enemies, while Musharraf performed the role of either Russia’s Gorbachev or followed the dictum that in politics you chose strange bedfellows, when he patronised Altaf Hussain whose anti-Pakistan sentiments were known since 1984 when he burned the Pakistan flag at Quaid’s Mausoleum.

MALIK TARIQ ALI,

Lahore, September 11.