KARACHI: A holographic screening of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s address, a combination of his speeches, organised by Hive Pakistan under its campaign ‘AIK: Better Together’ took place at Benazir Bhutto Shaheed University Lyari on Thursday afternoon.

Prior to the speech, the host of the programme, Fawad Aziz, tried to keep the audience, mainly comprising of university students, engaged. He asked them a few questions; answering correctly would have fetched the students gift hampers. The first question that he put to them was about the Quaid-i-Azam’s date of birth. One student answered it was Dec 25, 1998; another replied Dec 25, 1986. Then someone was able to give the right answer.

The next question was about Pakistan’s first constitution. A young man replied the first constitution of the country came into being in 1978. The second response was the correct one.

The last question in the first session of the event was about the symbolism associated with the two colours in the national flag. By and large, the answers were correct.

After that, the Quaid-i-Azam’s speech was played. It was a mix of a few of his famous sayings along with the additional references to some of the issues that the Pakistani nation today is faced with. The Quaid said the precious gift that he gave in the shape of Pakistan is today losing its significance. Pakistan is here forever, but it saddens him to see that nowadays there’s a rich-poor disparity, a debate on Muslims versus non-Muslims, and a conflict between majority and minority. It makes him think, did we get this country to do injustice to people and to take away their rights? No, not at all. We are the custodians of a great tradition of justice and equality. We are the followers of a religion which teaches us about justice and tolerance, and that all of us are equal.

The Quaid said we should never snatch the rights of the minorities. Pakistan is home to everyone — Hindu, Christian, Parsi etc, are all Pakistanis. All have the same rights.

He said before the inception of Pakistan, he had mentioned that once the country was made, discrimination (tafreeq) on the basis of religion would end. He also touched upon the importance of women’s rights and the issue of extremism. He insisted that we should have unity and move forward hand-in-hand to work for the development of the country.

Published in Dawn, February 14th, 2020