Is this Jinnah’s Pakistan ?
In 68 Years’ History of Pakistan, almost every popular political leader has given the Pakistani nation a fantasy of creating the real Pakistan of Quaid-i-Azam. From Liaquat Ali khan to Nawaz Sharif, from Ayub Khan to Pervez Musharraf, from Hussain Shaheed Suharwardi to Imran khan almost every political conjurer has used ‘Jinnah’s Pakistan’ as a political slogan. But do we really know what sort of Pakistan Quaid envisioned?
National leaders, who have a historical mission to fulfil, seem to know as if instinctively what intricate paths to follow in order to reach the goal that destiny have assigned to them. This is the way they are able to reverse the misfortunes of their people. Theirs is a great work of the art of leading the people out of despair and into salvation. The Quaid-i-Azam was one such leader who was well aware of all-or almost all-the structural-functional, as well as institutional-ideological changes that were necessary; changes that had to be effected and the full implications that had to be faced before the national goals could be reached. He had a bold programme of action and a scheme of revolutionary reforms, ranging from the sphere of public education to that to political economy, from the creation of a highly stratified military hierarchy to the establishment of a modern and independent state complete with all its service departments and other contemporary institutions.
His vision of Pakistan was an ideal Islamic State with its socio-economic set up based on the teachings of the faith. ‘His ideal state’, in the words of one of his distinguished associates, ‘would be one where Islamic values and mandates would be accepted and observed; where the Islamic concept of equality, fraternity, liberty and justice would find play’.
About the responsibilities of the Government, the Quaid-i-Azam in his speech at a public meeting on March 21, 1948, at Dacca said: “The Government can have for its aim only one objective — how to serve the people, how to devise ways and means for their welfare, for their betterment. What other object can the Government have and, remember, now it is in your hands to put the Government in power or remove the Government from power; but you must not do it my mole methods. You have the power; you must learn how to use it; you must try and understand the machinery. Constitutionally, it is in your hands to upset one Government and put another Government in power if you are dissatisfied to such an extent”.
He had aspired to do away with the obvious manifestations of gross social inequality through making Pakistan a Welfare State. He did not want Pakistan to become a paradise of capitalists and landlords. The Quaid-i-Azam’s conception of a state was that, “The state exists not for life but for good life” . The Quaid-i-Azam repeatedly said that Pakistan had been created for providing equal opportunities and decent living for the poor people, who comprised a large majority of our population. He viewed the establishment of Pakistan as something more than the mere formation of a government. Quaid realised the ideals of equal distribution of wealth and of a classless society through the politico-moral principles of equality, brotherhood, justice and evolution (i.e., with the consent of the people secured through democratic means) and not through class hatred, violence, destruction and revolution.
The Quaid-i-Azam did not wish Pakistan to become a paradise for capitalists and landlords who, in his own words, had flourished by “a system which is so vicious, which is so wicked and which makes them so selfish that it is difficult to argue with them. The exploitation of the masses has gone into their blood. They have forgotten the lessons of Islam. Greed and selfishness have made these people subordinate to the interest of others in order to fatten themselves…. Do you visualize hat millions have been exploited and cannot get one meal a day? If that is the idea of Pakistan, I would not have it”.
The Quaid-i-Azam reminded the officers and men of the Pakistan army that although the battle for Pakistan’s freedom had been won, a harder battle for the preservation of that freedom and building it on a firmer and sounder basis was still in progress and the battle had to be fought to a successful conclusion if Pakistan was to survive as a great nation. Addressing the troops on 21st February, 1948, the Quaid-i-Azam said, “We have to prove ourselves fit for our newly won freedom. You have fought many a battle on the far-flung battlefields of the globe to rid the world of the Fascist menace and make it safe for democracy. Now you have to stand guard over the development and maintenance of Islamic democracy. Islamic social justice and the equality of manhood in your own/native soil. You will have to be alert, very alert for the time for relaxation is not yet there. With faith, discipline and selfless devotion to duty there is nothing worthwhile that you cannot achieve”.
The Quaid-i-Azam devoted his attention to the eradication of corruption, bribery, jobbery and nepotism which were inherited into the administration as a legacy from the old regime. He urged the people to fight these social evils. In his very first speech in the constituent Assembly, he declared: “One of the biggest curses from which India is suffering…. is bribery and corruption, that really is a poison. We must put that down with an iron hand… black-marketing is another curse…. You have to tackle this monster which today is a colossal crime against society, in our distressed conditions….A citizen who does black-marketing commits, I think, a greater crime than the biggest and most grievous crimes. These black marketers are really knowing, intelligent and ordinarily responsible people, and when they indulge in black marketing, I think they ought to be very severely punished, because they undermine the entire system of control and regulation of foodstuffs and essential commodities, and cause wholesale starvation and want and even death… the evils of nepotism and jobbery must be crushed relentlessly”.
Quaid warned us by telling “that in our midst there are people financed by foreign agencies who are intent on creating disruption. Their object is to disrupt and sabotage Pakistan. I want you to be on your guard; I want you to be vigilant and not to be taken in by attractive slogans and catchwords… Quite frankly and openly I must tell you that you have got amongst you a few agents financed by foreign help and if you are not careful, you will be disrupted”.
The best tribute which we should pay to our Quaid is to transform Pakistan into a state of his dreams. This we can do by working hard with missionary zeal, consolidating national unity, guarding our integrity, pursuing the path of social justice and progress and eradicating feudalism, regionalism, illiteracy, and poverty from our society.