The Quaid’s unrealised vision

By Shamshad Ahmad

Have we been able to make Pakistan “a bastion of inner strength, political stability, economic self-reliance, social cohesion and national unity” that our leaders, over the years, have been show-casing to their people as their destiny?

THE Quaid-i-Azam did not live long to personally steer Pakistan to be what he thought and aspired will be “one of the greatest nations of the world.” A full generation’s life-time is now behind us as an independent nation.

Many of us who belong to the first generation that saw and experienced the formative phase of Pakistan and its creation as a dream of its founding fathers, are indeed discomfited at the thought of what the Quaid-i-Azam had envisioned this country to be and where we actually stand today as a nation and as a state.

Within the first year of our independence which woefully happened to be the last of his life, the Quaid-i-Azam had presciently foreseen the coming events. He was disillusioned with the scarcity of calibre and character in the country’s political hierarchy which was no more than a bunch of self-serving, feudalist and opportunistic politicians who were to manage the newly independent Pakistan. Political ineptitude was writ large on the country’s horizon. The Quaid’s worries were not unwarranted.

Less than a month before his death, the Quaid addressed his last message to the nation on August 14, 1948, in which he reminded his people: “the foundations of your state have been laid and it is now for you to build and build as quickly and as well as you can.” On his own part, to quote Richard Symons, “in accomplishing the task he had taken upon on the morrow of Pakistan’s birth, Jinnah had worked himself to death, but had contributed more than any other man to Pakistan’s survival.” Indeed, he died by his devotion to Pakistan.

Continue reading: Dawn Editorial

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