ISLAMABAD: An exhibition of rare photographs from the archives of the Press Information Department (PID) on Sunday presented Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah in historical and in informal moments.
Nearly 70 black and white images of the founder of Pakistan with important personalities such as governors, chancellors and military heads are on display. They included a picture in which Khawaja Nazimuddin is seen receiving the Quaid at the aerodrome in Dacca on March 1948 and another showing him hearing a tale of woe from a refugee at a refugee camp in Karachi on Sept 17, 1947.
Framed in glass only, the images were set around the monument in F-9 Park under the open sky.
“We did not hold the exhibition in a gallery where the public would be limited. The idea is to let every single person see this unique collection,” said Deputy Director Home Publicity at the PID Mohammad Adnan.
According to the organisers, the rare photos provide a unique look at historical moments that the public has rarely seen except for the half a dozen or so that have been in public purview.
“The photos immortalise forgotten relationships and interestingly intriguing moments. We invite the citizens to visit and learn more about the Quaid and other famous figures behind these images.
“The exhibition reflects a fresh, unpretentious perspective of the Quaid and engages the public in the events of the past,” said Mr Adnan.
Developed from decades-old negatives, the photographs have the crisp detail and sharpness of a modern day digital camera. But the images are missing deep captions to help visitors fully understand the context.
For example, the image of the Quaid sitting as a member of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan 1947 or the one showing him at a reception in his honor along with Begum Liaquat Ali Khan, wife of the UK high commissioner, Afghan envoy and others on Dec 26, 1947.
The images, all of them pre-partition, also show the Quaid signing the register of the Constituent Assembly, responding to the welcome cheers of people gathered to witness the official proceedings of the independence in August 1947. There are also images of the Quaid along with the cabinet members at Eid prayers in Karachi four days after the independence, and the Quaid stepping out of an aircraft and being received by Air Marshal Pery Keene during his first visit to Risalpur (date not mentioned).
Besides the picture of his first broadcast on radio from Dacca in 1948, there are two images of the Quaid from the inauguration of the State Bank of Pakistan in which his frail health is also visible. Few others show the leader of Pakistan taking a salute with Rear Admiral Jeffeard and Maj Gen Akbar Khan and going to a procession with his sister Fatima Jinnah to the Shahi Durbar at Sibi in 1948.
Chaudhry Zahid, a visitor to the exhibition, said people were so caught up in their daily life that all these important people and events have been forgotten.
“I really wish these images are shown more often to establish a link with the sacrifices made to make this country,” he said.
The exhibition will continue till Sunday.
Published in Dawn, August 26th, 2019