THIS is with reference to the report ‘Pakistan to observe day of mourning tomorrow over Queen Elizabeth’s death’ (Sept 11). Ironically, the day the decision was taken by the federal government happened to be the day that marked the 74 anniversary of the death of the Father of the Nation, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. It is a pity that the government and the nation found it appropriate to mourn the death of Queen Elizabeth II, who died on Sept 8, while letting the Quaid’s death anniversary pass by quietly, unnoticed, almost ignored.

Less than a month ago, we celebrated 75 years of Pakistan on Aug 14, but on Sept 11 we had no time for the man, the visionary, the leader who got us Pakistan. And, yet, we had the time to officially mourn the death of the monarch of the country against which the Quaid waged his political battle for independence.

A man of political acumen and valour, we continue to miss him in every single aspect of our national life. His absence makes us realise the significance of politics of possibilities and dialogue marked by constitutional and legal means while still keeping one’s poise, posture and political stance.

Jinnah’s life illustrates the remarkable transition, from being a staunch supporter of unity between Hindu and Muslim to the firm, unflinching, determined struggle for a separate homeland for the Muslims of the subcontinent.

More than 74 years after his death, Pakistan is still looking for a statesman of Jinnah’s stature to pull it out of almost perennial chaos.

His early demise post-independence was no doubt a major setback for the crisis-ridden nation, but the path towards a better future can only be traced by actually following his footprints. There is no other way.

Mahama Munir Ahmad
Lahore

Published in Dawn, September 25th, 2022

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