KARACHI, Aug 20: To celebrate Pakistan’s 64th birth anniversary and to discuss the freedom movement that led to the creation of the country, an event titled ‘Pakistan ki Jadd-o-Juhd-i-Azadi’ was organised by the Quaid-i-Azam Academy Karachi on its premises on Saturday.
Acting director of the academy Dr Shehla Kazmi was the first one to read out her paper. She said Pakistan was a dream come true for India’s Muslims and despite the fact that Muslims in the undivided India belonged to various regions it was under the able leadership of Mohammad Ali Jinnah that they showed unity in diversity and achieved their goal.
She said Muslims had been living in India for centuries, but when the British arrived in the subcontinent things changed and the culture that Muslims adhered to was ignored. In 1906 the Muslim League was formed and the struggle for attaining Muslims’ rights began.
She told the audience (who had turned up in a small number because of the volatile situation in the city) when Gandhi returned from South Africa in 1915, a programme was organised in his honor, presided over by Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Gandhi began his speech by stating that the programme was being presided over by a Muslim. He said such sentiments could be felt everywhere and ultimately Jinnah formally announced in 1940 that Hindus and Muslims were on two different paths.
The elections that took place in 1945-56 marked a big victory for the Muslim League and the British were left with no option but to give Pakistan its freedom.
She said what happened afterwards in/to Pakistan was a result of wrong decision-making and the lack of the culture of merit. Today the solution to Pakistan’s problems lay in remaining true to its ideology.
Prof Dr Seemi Naghmana Tahir raised a pertinent point.
She said while it’s good to celebrate one’s independence, it’s also important to look back to our shortcomings and flaws.
She said it’s time we analysed our failures as well (she referred particularly to the community of writers and journalists), that is, where the country went wrong and what important areas were ignored.
She remarked that from the beginning our attitude to the country and state was emotional, not logical. After the country’s inception, our able leadership disappeared in no time and we weren’t able to produce alternative leaders.
The ideology got lost within ourselves.
She opined that ‘Pakistaniat’ didn’t come forth as a major culture or value. We unnecessarily allowed the different languages spoken in the country to cross swords with one another, which further impeded our growth.
Barrister Sameen Khan then narrated some of his personal recollections of the Quaid-i-Azam, Mohammad Ali Jinnah.
He said he had heard Mr Jinnah in Aligharh (where Sameen Khan studied) addressing the students, laying stress on ‘character building’.
He said he wrote a letter to Mr Jinnah requesting him to convince his mother to allow him (Sameen Khan) to study as he wished. Mr Jinnah promptly replied and from then on he got to meet the great leader on a regular basis.
Prof Dr Sameena Saeed in her paper highlighted the point that Pakistan’s independence wasn’t incidental; rather it was a result of a long struggle.
She said it was from the 1857 war that the struggle for freedom had begun. She argued that gaining freedom didn’t mean the acquisition of a piece of land: it sought a country where Muslims could lead their lives as per the ideology of Pakistan. She claimed the two-nation theory wasn’t something new.
The Quai-i-Azm had already said that the two-nation theory took root in India when the first Muslim set foot in the subcontinent.
Zafar Mohammad Khan Zafar and Prof Dr Shadab Ehsani paid their tribute to the country in verse.