Pakistanis celebrate Jinnah’s birth anniversary

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THE Pakistan Repatriation Council (PRC) recently organized a seminar in Jeddah to mark the birth anniversary of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who is considered to be the founder of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Some leaders of the Pakistani community in Jeddah attended the event, which began with the recitation of a few verses from the Holy Qur’an.

This was followed by a speech session in which several dignitaries paid rich tributes to Jinnah, the great Muslim leader of the Indian subcontinent. The speakers noted that Jinnah enabled the leaders of All India Muslim League to realize their dream of a separate nation for the Muslims of the subcontinent so that they can safeguard their interests and rights from the hegemony of Hindus.

As a customary practice of Pakistanis on such occasions, some poems eulogizing the Prophet (peace be upon him) were recited. There were also songs and poems glorifying Quaid-e-Azam and the great sacrifices made by Muslims to establish a homeland of their own. The speakers also discussed the problem of Pakistanis stranded in Bangladesh since the establishment of that state on the ruins of East Pakistan.

They brought to light the failure of successive Pakistani governments in fulfilling the promises that they made to those citizens who sacrificed very much for the country of their chose at the time of the partition of the Indian subcontinent into Pakistan and India in 1947. These people had also to make sacrifices for a second time when they stood with the Pakistani army for the sake of a unified Pakistan at the time of the civil war in East Pakistan that resulted in the secession of East Pakistan and creation of the new state of Bangladesh. The speakers called on the Pakistani government to resolve the problem of stranded Pakistanis with their repatriation and rehabilitation in Pakistan.

When my turn came, I thanked the organizers of the seminar for inviting me as the guest of honor and to talk about the great leader Quaid-e-Azam, about whom the renowned US historian Stanley Wolpert wrote in his book “Jinnah of Pakistan.” “Few individuals significantly alter the course of history. Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with creating a nation-state. Mohammad Ali Jinnah did all three.”

I did not find any other truthful comments than this made by the famous American writer about Quaid-e-Azam who really altered the course of history and changed the map of the world with founding a new state of Pakistan. Such a legendary leader deserves accolades and respect through celebration of his birth anniversary.

I highlighted in my speech the great struggle made by Quaid-e-Azam on two fronts. On one front, he took part in the struggle along with Hindus against the British colonial rule in order to secure independence for India as a united country. But eventually, he realized that it was unwise to lead a struggle for a change in rule of the country, with replacing the rule of British by Hindus. It was certain for him that Muslims would not get their full rights under the rule of the Indian National Congress Party, dominated by Hindus.

So he resigned from the Congress party after serving it as one of the prominent leaders, and joined the Muslim League. Soon, he became the most towering leader of the party. He demanded a separate nation for Muslims of the subcontinent on the ground that Muslims are a community, which is entirely different from the Hindu community. Jinnah and other leaders of the Muslim League were successful in their struggle to establish a separate nation for the Muslims with the creation of Pakistan in 1947. The partition of the country witnessed the largest migration in history, with millions of Muslims moved from India to Pakistan and large numbers of Hindus and Sikhs migrated from Pakistan to India.

In my speech, I also highlighted the fate of those people who migrated to Pakistan from the eastern Indian state of Bihar. When the new state of Bangladesh came into being following the civil war and secession, Bangladeshis considered these people as traitors because of their position to stand with the Pakistani army for the sake of a united Pakistan. Consequently, they were forced to leave their homes and languish in squalid camps, with hoping that one day they would be repatriated and rehabilitated in Pakistan. However, the successive governments in Pakistan failed to fulfill their promises in this regard. There are about a quarter of a million stranded Pakistanis remaining in miserable conditions in their squalid camps without having the basic amenities of life.

I also pointed out that stranded Pakistanis pin great hope on the new government of Pakistan, headed by Imran Khan. According to reports coming from Pakistan, Imran Khan is fully aware of the problem and has expressed his desire to resolve it. We hope that these people would have an end to their suffering at the hands of Imran Khan and that he will find a place in the annals of history as the leader who resolved this lingering national problem. In this respect, I drew the attention of Imran Khan to the Saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him) that Allah will help the Muslim Ummah with its weaker sections because of their supplications, prayers and sincerity.

I suggested that the first step to resolve this problem is through issuing a directive to the Pakistani embassy in Dhaka to grant Pakistani passports to stranded Pakistanis so as to enable them to move. Ignoring the right cause of these people and not paying attention to them is certainly damaging to Pakistan, its history and the idea on which it was founded, as well as to Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah who said: Without the massacre of Bihar, Pakistan would not have materialized.

I concluded my speech with an appeal to all the Muslims in general and Pakistanis in particular to give attention to the plight of Muslims in Kashmir who are reeling under the Indian occupation. I urged the governments of the Islamic countries and the United Nations to mount pressure on the Indian government to implement the UN resolutions by giving the Kashmiris the right to self-determination guaranteed by the international laws and UN resolutions.


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