In memory of Quaid-e-Azam


Asif Haroon Raja

The nation celebrated the 145th birth anniversary of the founder of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah today on 25th December with zeal and fervor.

The Creation of Pakistan in a short period of 7 years after the historic Lahore resolution on March 23, 1940 was a miracle of the 20th century. The Muslims of India suffering under the yoke of British-Hindu combine since 1757 loved Jinnah and out of reverence named him Quaid-e-Azam.

Man of steel nerves and strong conviction, Jinnah was a man of taste, he spoke eloquently and dressed immaculately. None could outclass him in arguments.

The illiterate people flocking to his public meetings listened to his speeches delivered in English with rapt attention without understanding what he was saying. Their simple reply was, ‘whatever he was saying must be correct and for our good’.

Jinnah lived all his life by a strict code of personal ethics and never compromised on principles. His personal sense of disciple was renowned and he tried to install this quality into the Muslim League and the Muslim masses that he was able to influence. His sharp intellect and a quick grasp of an unfolding situation were astounding. This unique gift enabled him to battle single-handed on the chessboard of politics against a powerful coalition of adversaries and win. Achieving Pakistan in the face of stiff opposition from those protagonists of a United Bharat and the foot dragging by the British was in itself a brilliant feat.

His personal physician had diagnosed his disease of tuberculosis and had cautioned him that he had not more than two years to live and that too if he rested and took care. Knowing the ill-intentions of the Congress leaders and the British who were against the partitioning of India, Mr. Jinnah told him not to divulge his disease and the doctor honored his commitment. Despite his illness, he struggled day and night and removed all obstacles placed in the way of creation of Pakistan.

Creating a new nation had taken all the character, foresight, faith and energy of the Quaid. What made Jinnah taller than his contemporaries was his unselfishness. His struggle for Pakistan was not for glory or fame. History has rarely produced such an example of selflessness and high moral standing.

After his demise on September 11, 1948, and revelation of the hidden disease, Mountbatten remarked that if he had any inkling of the deadly disease and his short life expectancy, he would have deferred the partition plan for some years and awaited his death. He knew that without him there was no one else who could compel him to allow the partition of India and there would have been no Pakistan.

How right was Quaid-e-Azam when he stated that “the Muslims who are opposing Pakistan will spend the rest of their lives proving their loyalty to India”. Today the pro-India Indian Muslims and the successors of Sheikh Abdullah and other Kashmiri leaders are repenting their decision to prefer India over Pakistan.

Not a single leader who came after MA Jinnah came anywhere close to his stature. Each leader sang his song and quoted his ideals but none emulated his pristine principles and instead placed self before national interests.

Stanley Wolpert described him in these words 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. Muhammad Ali Jinnah did all three”.

Hector Bolitho in his book ‘Jinnah Creator of Pakistan’ narrated: “Jinnah made a forlorn scattered multitude into a nation”. He added, “Unlike the creators of other nations, such as Washington, Cavour and Bismarck, Jinnah achieved his aim without the support of an army”.

R.G. Casey Governor Bengal wrote: “It is not too much to say that Mr. Jinnah is the only outstanding Muslim of all-India stature in Indian politics today…He is man of iron discipline and he has denied himself the luxury of any qualities which might loosen his concentration upon his purpose”. (Verdict of India, Jinnah: Creator of Pakistan).

Lord Listowel rated Mr. Jinnah as a bigger political giant of the 20th century than even Gen De Gaulle. Harry Truman considered him as the recipient of the devotion of loyalty seldom accorded to any man.

John Biggs Davison said, “Although without Gandhi, Hindustan would have gained independence, and without Lenin and Mao, Russia and China would still have endured the communist revolution, however, without Jinnah there would have been no Pakistan in 1947”.

Gordon Johnson said, “Mr. Jinnah set a great example to other statesmen to follow by his skill in negotiations, his integrity and his honesty”.

The British author Beverly Nicholas judged Jinnah as the most important man in Asia because he could sway the battle this way or that as he chose. He opined that “Jinnah’s 100 million Muslims will march to the left, to the right, to the front, to the rear at his bidding, and to nobody else’s. It’s not the same in Hindu ranks. If Gandhi goes, there is Nehru, or Raja Gopalachari, or Patel or a dozen others, but if Jinnah goes, who is there?” He further described the difference between Jinnah and the typical Hindu politicians saying comparison was of a surgeon and witch doctors. (Verdict of India).

Sir Francis Mudie, Governor of Punjab who knew Jinnah since 1936 observed, “Jinnah impressed me more, I think than anyone else I have ever met, and I was very fond of him. He never compromised officially”. He added, “In judging Jinnah, we must remember what he was up against. He had against him not only the wealth and brains of the Hindus, but also nearly the whole of British officialdom and most Home (England) politicians, who made the great mistake of refusing to take Pakistan seriously”. He missed the Muslim political and religious leaders opposed to the idea of Pakistan.

Sir Agha Khan 111 said, “Of all the statesmen that I have known in my life, – Clemenceau, Lloyd George, Churchill, Curzon, Mussolini, Mahatma Gandhi – Jinnah is the most remarkable. None of these men in my view outshone him in strength of character”.

2nd last Viceroy of India Wavell mentioned, “Mr. Jinnah was one of the handsomest men I have ever seen; he combined the clear cut, almost Grecian features of the West with Oriental grace and movement”.

The last Viceroy of India Lord Mountbatten remarked, “Jinnah never made an agreement by bowing down to anyone but on equal basis”.

Pathick Lawrence said, “Gandhi died by the hands of an assassin, Jinnah died by his devotion to Pakistan”.

Gokhale called him the best ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity. Mahatma Gandhi opined, “Mr. Jinnah is incorruptible and brave. I believe no power can buy him”.

Jawaharlal Nehru said, “Good character and good politics were those secrets due to which Jinnah got success”.  (The Discovery of India).

Allama Iqbal stated, “MA Jinnah is the only personality of India from whom the whole nation has expectations”.

Jinnah’s ADC Mian Atta Rabbani in his book ‘Jinnah a Political Saint’ wrote, “MA Jinnah was no Wali or a Saint in terms of religious terminology, but he was certainly a political saint for the Muslims of the subcontinent.  As a political saint he turned the Muslims minority of the Indian subcontinent into a nation and emancipated them from the evil axis of Anglo-Hindu tyranny and domination by guiding and leading them to eventual goal of Pakistan, a safe haven for them, and established the largest Muslim State.

E. H. Enver described the Quaid as ‘the modern Moses’.   (The Modern Moses).

S. Sharifuddin Pirzada summed up the profile of legendary Quaid in these words: “Jinnah possessed Ataturk’s astuteness, Bismarck’s boldness, Churchill’s charisma, De Gaulle’s dignity, Lincoln’s liberalism and Mao Tse Tung’s magnetism. Jinnah was incorruptible, candid, consistent and undoubtedly a colossus”.

Some of the sayings of MA Jinnah:

“Our foreign policy is one of friendliness and goodwill towards all the nations of the world. We do not cherish aggressive designs against any country or nation”

“With faith, discipline and selfless devotion to duty, there is nothing worthwhile that cannot be achieved”.

“Think hundred times before you take a decision; but once that decision is taken, stand by it as One Man”.

“A Muslim is not born to give up. If he is forced to be enslaved, he will become Babur. He will emerge as Sultan Tipu. He can happily embrace martyrdom but will never accept slavery”.

The Quaid’s fantastic decision making ability is reflected in his statement, “I do not believe in taking the right decision. I take a decision and make it right”.

Thank you Quaid-e-Azam for bestowing upon us the priceless gift of Pakistan. We apologize for not living up to your ideals and aspirations and failed to make Pakistan a model Islamic welfare state as had been envisioned by you. May your soul rest in peace and be granted the highest place in Heaven!

The writer is retired Brig Gen, war veteran, defence & security analyst, international columnist, Chairman Tinkers Forum Pakistan, Director Measac Research Centre, Member CWC PESS & Member Veteran Think Tank; Member Council TJP.


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  1. Every city in every land should unveil a statue to Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah to reassure us how the heavens bless the deeds of revered and incorruptible men. He recalls a yearning of Tennyson, the English poet for a politician of his mold yet it falls inevitably short of the stellar magnitude of the illustrious founder of Pakistan.

    “Ah God, for a man with heart, head, hand,
    Like some of the simple great ones gone
    Forever and ever by,
    One still strong man in a blatant land,
    Whatever they call him, what care I,
    Aristocrat, democrat, autocrat one
    Who can rule and dare not lie.”

    I had the pleasure of meeting a retired Pakistani army officer in New York back in the early 1990’s who mirrored many of your hero’s personal attributes Gen. Asif – if that is possible, who was decency and respect personified who carried himself with the ease of an outgoing, cultured and graceful distinction.

    Your article is a fitting tribute to a great man and reassurance against the crop of modern day petty politicians whose every word is a waste of breath in a world of masked deceit.

  2. Thank you, General Asif. Such a great man!
    Would it be correct to assume that your parents chose his name for you?
    As I recently commented to Jim Dean, you have a “beautiful brain” sir.
    Your articles/essays are superb.

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