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Integrating Pakistan: Jinnah’s vision

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Yasir Kiyani
Muhammad Yasir Kayani

Hamartia is a hero’s fatal flaw that hunts him down to death. Pakistan when rose to the horizon, had a heroic appearance and entry in the comity of nations. It, then, gradually, lost its energy and flair to raise above the point it took off from. Pakistan is a resilient hero; as describes Anatole Lieven. But to us, among many a great issue, losing national integration is the hamartia which is haunting and hunting the hero perpetually. The question which haunts our minds is why have we been unable in developing national cohesion remain even after the expiry of almost 68 years since independence. Whether today it is the same Pakistan which was dreamt by the poet of the East or whether we have ignored the lessons of the great Jinnah? The truth lies in the fact that the tenets “Unity Faith and Discipline” given by Mohammad Ali Jinnah, we ruthlessly butchered it at the altar of factionalism, racialism and provincialism.

All his ideas, wrote “The Times” London in its obituary note on Quaid-e-Azam on Sept 13, 1948, “were diamond hard, clear cut and almost tangible. His arguments were directed dagger like to the single point he was attacking.” It was one of the finest tributes paid to Quaid’s logical, rational and dispassionate approach to a problem. Like all other problems, he analyzed the problem of provincialism and finally arrived at the conclusion that national integration was a must for the prosperity and development of Pakistan.

Quaid-e-Azam was always conscious of the need for integration among the Muslims before and after independence. In fact, his often quoted words, Unity, Faith and Discipline lead to the cherished goal of integration.  To him, it was the loss of religious identity which had made the Muslims of subcontinent so insignificant that they could be easily dominated. He wanted the Muslims to be united so that they could claim their rights in an integrated manner.

After the establishment of Pakistan, the realisation of concept of integration became all the more important. The great task before the Quaid was to unify the discordant elements into a single unit working for the effective and capable administration of the state. He toured all areas of Pakistan in February – March, 1948 making numerous appearances and speaking to his people as a father does to his children. The most nerve-racking was the superficial appeal of regionalism. On one occasion while replying to the Quetta Municipality Civic Address, he said: “It naturally pains me to find the course of provincialism holding away over any section of Pakistan. Pakistan must get rid of this evil. It is a relic of the old administration when you clung to provincial autonomy and local liberty of action to avoid control which meant the British Control. At this juncture any rule ordination of the larger interest of the state to the provincial or local or personal interest would be suicidal.”

The weak and the defenseless as the Quaid correctly observed, in this imperfect world invite aggression from others. He said, “To the provincial or personal or local interest would be suicidal.”Let us cast an inward glance, retrace our steps, rethink and reconstruct our lives in the light of the principles our Quaid prescribed for us. In this and this alone lives our salvation and relevance to future as a nation otherwise we are bound to be lost.

(The writer is an advocate and can be reached at [email protected])



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