Jinnah’s letter to Pakistan: Who do I hold accountable?

Published: August 14, 2015

Instead of separating religion and state, they turned it into one inseparable blob.

My precious,

Where do I begin?

Where do I end?

68 years ago, you two breathed your first I remember it like it was yesterday. It wasn’t ideal. They thought you two wouldn’t be able to make it, but you did. I was such a proud father – the effort, the commitment, the resolve, it all had finally paid off.

After the euphoria died down, it was time to snap back to reality. The challenges ahead were steep, but both of you had my unwavering support. My health was giving up on me and I knew I did not have a lot of time. But I wasn’t worried – the people close to me knew how dearly I loved my daughters and they promised to look after both as their own when I’m gone. I begged them to hold both of you till you can walk, and then give you the confidence to run and subsequently fly. They promised they would.

But they lied.

They thought I wouldn’t know. They thought I wasn’t aware. But I was watching all along, cursing myself for the wretched people I left you two with. The very same people I called my friends. The very same people I trusted with the greatest creation of my life. I hoped this was just a bad lot, I hoped the next one would be better. But alas, I hoped in vain.

From the moment I was gone, they moulded your upbringing to suit their selfish ambitions, sowing the seeds of division inside both of you.  I wanted both of you to be the best of friends, tackle the hardships and then come out strong together. I wanted you to grow up as enlightened, tolerant children that celebrate the diversity and welcome the uniformity around them.

But they divided you on every possible level, pushing the poison of hatred deep between your sister’s veins. For 24 straight years, you got what you wanted and your sister just stood in the corner, watching on in anticipation, hoping that something would come her way too. But it never did. Eventually, things reached a stage where your sister could not take it any longer and she cut off all ties in 1971. And who could blame her?

I died all over again that night. My own two daughters, divided permanently.

I hoped that this would be a lesson for your future caregivers. They had abandoned your sister, but surely they would not make the same mistakes again by abandoning you too. But they did, and the way they went about it was steeped in manners that would even shame the vilest creatures that walk this earth.

They were there for you when you had something in store for them. When you didn’t, they turned a blind eye, only to promise their love and affection for you again, when you were covered in diamonds and jewels. The abuse you suffered defied all sense of rationality, covering stories that are considered objectionable even in barbaric societies.

Instead of separating religion and state, they turned it into one inseparable blob. Instead of celebrating regional and ethnic diversity, they suppressed it by focusing on national identity. Instead of using finance as a way of eliminating inequality, they used it as a tool to accumulate personal wealth. Instead of investing in education, they invested in the military. Instead of improving healthcare, they developed means to produce poisonous medicines. Instead of promoting women rights, they strengthened the patriarchal structure of the society. Instead of empowering minorities, they constitutionally made them second-class citizens. Instead of using resources to get our own house in order, they focused on engaging in proxy wars with our neighbours.

But who do I blame?

Who do I hold accountable?

Where do I search for answers?

The Khaki pseudo-deities in Rawalpindi?

The opportunistic feudals in Larkana?

The smiling dictators in Raiwind?

The megalomaniacs at nine-zero or that fascist in Bani Gala?

Is there no end to the horror story that they have turned you into?

I died a long time back, but I go through the pain over and over again, when I look at what has become of the only daughter I have remaining.

Today, I wish you happy birthday, much like every August 14, for the last 67 years.

But is this really a day of celebration?

I pray and hope that you have many more, but every passing year, the strength of my hope becomes thinner.

Your Father,

Muhammad Ali Jinnah

salman Zafar

Salman Zafar

The writer works in the Education Sector and tweets as @salmanzafar1985 (twitter.com/salmanzafar1985)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Queen

    The strength of your hope will get stronger with every possible day my great Qaid-e-Azam, as your children have learned from their past and have developed a strong resolve to make your dream a reality. We want you to keep faith in us and make dua for our success and Insha Allah you will not be disappointed, Sincerely, a PakistaniRecommend

  • ajay gupta

    jinnah alone is to blame for the mess he had created. & since when was east pakistan considered an equal sister? it was he who declared urdu and only urdu to be the national language of pakistan, ignoring the claims of the majority bengalis. the truth is , jinnah did not realise the frankenstein he had created. look at the irony. his daughter and her family lead posh lives in india, while pakistan is continuously slipping on every social economic and political index!Recommend

  • Jayant

    Sitting a Mumbai , Pakistan was created , How stupid can it get .Recommend

  • Parvez

    Nice….very nice.Recommend

  • http://thoughtsandotherthing.blogspot.fr/2015/09/vegetarianism-ritual-killings-et-al.html Supriya Arcot

    They did what they thought was right at that point of time under those circumstances. On this day lets wish each other and stop squabbling. Truth be told , both sides have progressed a lot . Lets move on. 3 generations have passed . No point looking back. Windscreen is bigger than the rearview .Recommend

  • Asif K. Sharif

    You blame yourself, dear Father. You messed up by letting your pride divide a motherland and instead of us being a huge powerhouse of Asia, Pakistan is a laughing calamity and India on its way to greatness. You made a country based on religion when you were yourself an atheist at best. We know you were a part of the India Congress and left them only and only because you didn’t get enough importance to suit your ego. You latched on to the Muslim League to put down Congress, nothing more or less. Jinnah, you vile alcoholic! Thank you for taking a crap piece of land and calling it a country. Pakistan celebrates its independence from the British on the 14th. India celebrates on the 15th not because they got rid of the British but because they got rid of us. I think Pakistan is the only country where the founder’s children and grandchildren reside elsewhere and not in Pakistan. They are hugely successful in India. Haha. What does that say?Recommend

  • Ahmad, Zubaid

    Why does ET keep posting this crap every independence day.Recommend

  • Ahmad, Zubaid

    What do you mean economic and social index? Pakistan is growing 4% every year and with new investments in the coming years (See CPEC), future is only brighter. Maybe you should worry about India where 400 million people live without sanitation and water. UN actually praised Pakistan as it achieved its target in sanitation.Recommend

  • Headstrong

    Absolutely. For God’s sake, let go the past. Look forwardRecommend

  • Pranava Chaudhari

    There is a statement it might be wrong, but here it is,
    What is Independence day? The day when one set of rulers left for other set, or the day when one set of rulers left and we all started ruling ourselves.
    What is the real meaning of Nation when it is just a different part of earth?
    It is an Idea which it represents. For Pakistan it is a dreamland for muslims because there was a strong feeling that they will be treated as second class citizen in India. This very idea was linked to an identity, an identity which makes one different than others, superior/inferior to others. In India too that Idea killed it’s father of nation. But somehow the idea of gandhi survived in India. The idea of a place where people from different gender, different language, different culture and also different RELIGION live with no second class citizen in my IIT campus of INDIA.Recommend

  • vinsin

    Why blame Jinnah when Indian Muslims voted for it in 1946 election? Only 4.4% voted for congress and then more than half also took their vote back.
    Many Indian Muslims houses in India sent half their family to Pakistan. Yours comparison with Dina Wadia is completely illogical.

    When Indian Muslims planning for a second partition you are thinking other way round.Recommend

  • Queen

    Your comment reinforced my belief in great Qaid-e-Azam and his vision for Pakistan. Thank you great Qaid for giving me Pakistan; a place where I can buy/rent a house in my own choice of neighborhood, a country called Pakistan where I can eat my choice of food without having to curb my desire of eating beef, a country where i do not have to prove myself patriotic just by criticizing my neighbors, a homeland where i can make friends regardless of their religious backgrounds, a place of my own where no one calls be a ‘Mohammadan’ or a Musla’, a country which has the capability to address its issues, my Pakistan which is still standing despite of nefarious designs of its neighbors. Thanks you once again Great Qaid-e-Azam, May Allah give you a place in Jannah, Ameen.
    Thanks to you too Mr Sharif for reminding us Pakistanis of the things we should thank Qaid-e-Azam for.Recommend

  • Universal Truth

    RIGHTLY SAID….Recommend

  • Shahbaz Asif Tahir

    Quaid e Azam was the founder of Pakistan, and a respected person. How ever he is
    not a role model to follow, for any of us Muslims. Our role model is and will always
    remain Prophet Mohammed SAWS, the last and final Prophet, sent to mankind, and
    his noble companions, the best creation after the Prophets. Our issues in Pakistan, is
    primarily the failure to implement the shariah, in all walks of life, the very reason for
    partition. This failure resulted in constitutional hypocrisy, that resulted in evil people taking over the corridors of power. From ZAB, who master minded the debacle of 1971, to his daughter whose corrupt and inept government, resulted in a huge burden of debt, her husband, the world record holder of corruption, and theft, to the
    Nawaz Sharif family, whose entire family has looted and plundered the country.
    It is possible that if we repent individually, and collectively as a nation, Allah might
    forgive us, other wise a severe punishment awaits those who are disobedient.Recommend

  • Bairooni Haath

    ET is forced to post this crap every year because it seems every year Pakistan has sunk to a new depth of hopelessness and despair.Recommend

  • Bairooni Haath

    Fatima Jinnah, the mother of the nation was called an Indian agent by Ayub Khan.Recommend

  • Faulitics

    “as your children have learned from their past and have developed a strong resolve to make your dream a reality”

    Jinnah’s real children live in india.Recommend

  • Vish

    There’s nothing left for Jinnah to say because the Pakistan he founded no longer exists.Recommend

  • siesmann

    Just wait a while!Sharia is coming your way in the garb of ISIS. You have seen the trailer in the form of TTP already.Recommend

  • siesmann

    Your paranoia knows no limits.Don’t blame every monstrosity that happens in Muslim lands onto Indian Muslims.Recommend

  • siesmann

    History doesn’t lend credence to you belief in learning from the past.Recommend

  • siesmann

    Good!now put your children into schools where they can learn,and just not be a fodder for guns on the insistence of Mullahs.Recommend

  • harish goswami

    A person who divide his motherland for his own political ambitions…no idea behind welfare of muslim or for there dreamland.they are equal citizen of india fulfilling there dream freely.Recommend

  • Nomad1412

    Jinnah’s letter to Pakistan: Leave me alone! Make peace with your big brother, India. I know I did! (never mind the qabayalees I sent to PoK ;) )Recommend

  • vasan

    And give the children polio drops too.,Recommend

  • Shahbaz Asif Tahir

    ISIS or TTP, are not Islam or trailers of shariah. They are brutal cold blooded animals, trained to damage Islam, by the enemies of Islam. TTP, are trained criminals
    by RAW, in Indian embassies, in Afghanistan, with the purpose of fooling the people
    of Pakistan, with the purpose of spreading anarchy to destabilize Pakistan.Recommend

  • Ahmad, Zubaid

    What do you mean hopelessness and despair? This was the most peaceful year in Pakistan and the economy seems to be growing by alot with new investments every dayRecommend

  • Ali

    This is a lazy stereotype – as lazy as me suggesting Indian men should be castrated on mass because Indian men have made rape into a national pastime. Tasteless isn’t it? Recommend

  • Queen

    Good to know that you don’t believe in history.Recommend

  • Queen


  • Ajay gupta

    4 % indeed! Great going, shall we say!Recommend


    What a brilliant effort by you Author!itt really made me feel patriotic more than ever i had felt in my life,it really made feel sorry for what we have done to our father;s only dream,

    it really made me feel snivel for not keeping to our father’s advice and last wish,but all is not lost my Father!i will try my level best to keep ur only daughter happy,prosperous,respectable and laughing in the comity of nations,This is the promise of ur son,and the coming August will be more brilliant than the previous one.Recommend

  • siesmann

    Well,keep them out if you so wish;Statistics are not stereotypes.It is thinking like yours that wants to keep poor population of Pakistan illiterateRecommend

  • siesmann


  • True Pakistani

    If it was trained by RAW then why did government allowed them to rule swat through signing pact with them?
    Why was Imran khan advocating peace talks with them?
    Why did Mullah lal mosk call them.true patriot and denied to condemned school attacks?

  • Ali

    Argument has no substance, no beginning end or middle. Recommend

  • Faulitics

    Yes. Really. Google is your friend.Recommend

  • hp kumar

    yeah ,,we will blame it on Xtians..After all they r no different …They both voted for pakistan and still staying in indiaRecommend

  • hp kumar

    who is dina?jinnah’s only daughter, A muslim pakistani girl who married an IndianRecommend

  • Suresh

    ” a place where I can buy/rent a house in my own choice of neighborhood, a country called Pakistan where I can eat my choice of food without having to curb my desire of eating beef, a country where i do not have to prove myself patriotic just by criticizing my neighbors, a homeland where i can make friends regardless of their religious backgrounds, a place of my own where no one calls be a ” MY FELLOW INDIAN MUSLIMS PLEASE READ THIS SHIT AND LAUGH HAAA HHAAH HAA HAA HAA HAA HAAARecommend

  • dronachary

    So Jinnah wanted two sisters to live in peace by showing them how different they are ? He wanted two sisters who were living under same roof to live together peacefully as neighbors instead of sisters by tearing apart their house in two ? He wanted to divide the house to share amongst to sisters using Direct action which killed more of the sisters’ children. And then he wanted them to live as peaceful neighbor and burry the past ? Quite interesting.Recommend

  • vinsin

    when I blamed every monstrosity that happens in Muslim lands onto Indian Muslims?Recommend

  • vinsin

    Wrong, Idea was that after Independence Muslism can no longer treat non-muslims as a second class citizen.Recommend

  • vinsin

    Jinnah one of arguments was that Indian Muslims girls dont marry Indian non-muslims men. His daughter ‘Dina Wadia’ did right in face of Jinnah to prove him wrong, just after creation of Pakistan.Recommend

  • siesmann

    true Pakistani indeed.Each and every ill is fault of others.The same Taalibaan et al are heroes of mullahsRecommend

  • siesmann

    Ask your mullahs and JI followers.For them Pakisatni soldiers killed are not martyrs,but TTP are.Recommend

  • siesmann

    Was their an occasion to bring Indian Muslims into it?And Mr. Kumar wants to bring Christians into this.Recommend