TODAY we live in a free country only because of the efforts made by Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and his associates. His sincerity to the cause of creating a separate homeland for the Muslims of the subcontinent was doubtless and unmatchable.
The tragic events that followed the arrest of the main opposition leader on May 9 have saddened the whole nation. But the most horrific and tragic was the attack by the arsonists who brutally vandalised the Jinnah House, which today is known as the Corps Commander House, whose parts were also put on fire by the mob behaving like a jilted lover throwing acid on the face of the beauty he was once bewitched by.
This was unprecedented in the history of the country. No condemnation of the vile act is enough. The nation’s head is bowed in shame. The incident shows how politicians can attack and go against the state for their petty political or vested interests.
All the living rooms and equipment in Jinnah House were burnt, while a mosque inside the residence was destroyed. Several historical artefacts, including historical photographs of the father of the nation, his sofa, snooker tables, chairs, cigar holder, vases, beds, shoes and clothes were decorated in three different rooms of the structure.
During the rampage, several of these artefacts were burned or destroyed. The Jinnah House currently serves as the official residence of the corps commander.
Where was the plan to unleash such destruction made? Who was directly or indirectly involved in it? Did the protestors organise this all by themselves?
The fact is that all this seems to be a part of some well-orchestrated plan, considering the manner in which the local, district and mainstream politicians were inciting the people. It was not something done in the heat of the moment. Absolutely not.
We have heard about religious extremism, but what happened on that fateful day was a case of ‘political extremism’. The seeds of hatred are being sown. The persons behind the episode must think of Pakistan, otherwise they will simply be playing into the hands of the country’s enemies.
Muhammad Imran ul Haq
Published in Dawn, June 2nd, 2023