By SHABBIR H. KAZMI
Dec 27, 1999 - Jan 02, 2000
Nation celebrated 123rd birth
anniversary of Quaid-i-Azam, Mohammed Ali Jinnah on 25th of December. He gave Muslims the
vision of a separate homeland and ultimately saw it carved out of the history of the
sub-continent. It came from the decisive ballot a political war he fought
gracefully and won it convincingly. The creation of Pakistan is certainly a great
revolution of the millennium.
Jinnah stood for the rule of law and was a great champion of civil
liberties. He remains an inspiring personality when and wherever the ideals of equality,
freedom and brotherhood motivates the human beings. He was a man of unmatched political
architecture whose achievement is a symbol of success. The self-styled politicians of
today can do better if they recall a few lines from his speech in Chitagong in 1948,
"There cannot be any better evidence to show that we are determined to evolve a state
based on principles of equality and social justice. If we can be fair and just to others
there can be no doubt about being fair among ourselves."
The Quaid was a lawyer by profession and had been brought up under
strict discipline. Throughout his life he professed the supremacy of law. Democracy was a
matter of conviction with him. Although, he had not shown any preference for either the
parliamentary or the presidential form of democracy, his mind was absolutely clear that
the government should be constituted by the directly elected representatives of the
people. He stood for the fundamental rights of the citizens and that the judiciary should
be independent of the executive.
The many achievements of Jinnah made him a legend in his own life-time
for his resolute and effective advocacy of the civil liberties. There were people who
disagreed with him. His critics included some figures of international standing. However,
not even the bitterest one could question his commitment to civil liberties particularly
during the long years of colonial occupation. His concept of civil liberties was not
driven from every body's entitlement to the protection of law but the conviction that even
the subjects of an imperialist power could not be deprived of their individual rights.
While advocating the issue of Muslim endowments his argument stressed when
judiciary was unable to redress a community's grievances, it has every right to move the
legislature to get the law changed. The demand and struggle for Pakistan had ensued mainly
because there was a danger of denial of fundamental human rights in the Indian
The Quaid gave the principles to Pakistan's public service. These
included, selection of public servants entirely on merit, the place of origin and religion
or other factors are not relevant to merit, the law and rules of procedures must be
followed in conducting public business, civil servants must have security of service and
the status of a person or his access to political authority must not be allowed to
influence the course of decision making. The Quaid also warned the civil servants against
meddling in politics. He also warned the politicians against interfering with the duty of
civil servants for it would lead to nothing but corruption, bribery and nepotism. One of
the reasons for Pakistan's poor economic development is the violation of these principles.
What the Quaid gave to his nation was the vision to live with dignity.
Creation of Pakistan was not an end, in itself, but only the means to become fully
convinced of its righteousness. From his own actions and expressions, under heavy odds, he
set a pattern to build the country. The best tribute and homage Pakistanis can pay to the
Quaid is to build the Country as desired by him. A society free of linguistic, religious
and regional hatred. Supremacy of law should be restored and rights of each individual
should be protected according to the constitution. No one should be above the law.
It is unfortunate that the Quaid did not live long enough to translate
all the ideas into reality. To rediscover the strength of the purpose of creation of
Pakistan, the only way is to accomplish all that has remained evasive over the years. The
effort must start today and should continue till we achieve our destination.