If Jinnah could see Pakistan today, what would he say?

Published: August 20, 2017

The magnitude of corruption would have shocked him. PHOTO: AFP

If Muhammad Ali Jinnah came back from the grave and saw the sorry state of the country he had created, what would he say?

He would be shocked to see that the Pakistan of 1947 had been broken into two, with East Pakistan (where his beloved Muslim League was founded) no longer a part of Pakistan.

He would see a country on the brink of an economic collapse, with the dollar (which was equal to the rupee in value in 1947) now worth Rs107.

He would see fruits and other edibles from New Zealand and other countries selling at prices beyond the reach of the common man in a land which once had the potential of being the granary of Asia.

He would see an innocent nine-year-old child killed by vehicles in a large rally led by a discredited politician. Moreover, he would see the poor victim being labelled a “martyr” for democracy by the heartless beasts who were responsible for his death.

He would be amazed to hear calls for putting the Constitution under abeyance, he who was the greatest constitutional lawyer of his times.

The magnitude of corruption would have shocked him, as he had said time and again that it was necessary to eliminate corruption for the new country to progress.

He would be shocked to see the hooliganism of the rowdy and undisciplined lawyers who attack judges.

He would be appalled to see the poverty of millions of Pakistanis who do not earn enough to feed their families and who desperately try to survive on less than a hundred rupees a day.

It would break his heart to see the state of our schools, where most teachers are absent except on the days when they turn up to collect their salaries.

And he would be filled with horror at the state of our hospitals, with the poor waiting in long lines to be attended to by ill-trained doctors, while our corrupt leaders rush abroad to get treated for the slightest of ailments.

He would see the huge palaces and mansions of the rich and the corrupt, but with beggars streaming our streets and roads, and he would be filled with despair.

He would see that those who opposed the creation of Pakistan (and who called him “Kafir-e-Azam”) are now the guardians of its ideology (as defined by them). As a result, intolerance is so high that even he would not be considered by such people to be a Muslim.

He would see Christians and other minorities being routinely charged with blasphemy (and being burnt alive). He would see Muslims being killed because their beliefs are different from those of their killers, who believe that only they are true Muslims.

He would remember what he had told the citizens of the country he had created:

“You are free; you are free to go to your temples. You are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion, caste or creed—that has nothing to do with the business of the state.”

He would see girls as young as 11-years-old being married off to men old enough to be their grandfathers. The jirga system, the punishment of women for the sins of their male relatives, helpless women being stripped naked, gang-raped and made to walk in public would have shocked him to no end.

He would see rampant loot and plunder of the country, with shameless members of provincial ruling parties passing legislations to prevent the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) from investigating their corruption.

And he would see the city of his birth (Karachi) sinking under heaps of garbage and its residents being slowly poisoned by air and water pollution.

And Jinnah would have wept because present-day Pakistan is so utterly and so horribly different from the country he had wanted it to be.

Shakir Lakhani

Shakir Lakhani

Engineer, former visiting lecturer at NED Engineering College, industrialist, associated with petroleum/chemical industries for many years. Loves writing, and (in the opinion of most of those who know him), mentally unbalanced. He tweets @shakirlakhani (twitter.com/shakirlakhani)

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

  • Amir Sultan

    Pointless article. We all know its in a bad state. Lets move on shall we!Recommend

  • vinsin

    Jinnah would be surprised that Pakistan signed Liaquat Nehru Pact, protesting like Gandhi on streets, Indian Muslims still in India, poor availability of pork and wine Ahmedis being declared as non-Muslims, less freedom of speech and blasphemy laws and poor relationship with India.

    He would be ok with Bangladesh (he himself broken subcontinent), poor schooling of Muslims as he himself never wanted Muslims to get educated, poor condition of hospitals based on TNT, iirga system and 11 yrs old getting married to man of grandfather age based on TNT and loot as he was with looting of minorities like Sikhs and Hindus and demanding Jizya.

    This is exactly the Pakistan that Jinnah wanted, mostly like even worse.Recommend

  • Irfan_Sydney

    I don’t think he cared how it would unfold after 70 years. He wanted to be a winner in a political struggle at any cost in 1947 , that was it.Recommend

  • Wirsha Shahid Uddin
  • Cosmo

    I think he would be very proud of it. This is exacyly what he had envisoned when he wanted a “Land of Pure” and keep the impure people away from the holy land.Recommend

  • Milford

    Pakistan: an utterly failed experiment in human history. Go merge back with India. That’s Pakistan’s ultimate fate anyway.Recommend

  • G. Din

    He would be struck speechless dumb and drop dead all over again!Recommend

  • 19640909rk .

    Don’t forget CPEC. He would be shocked to see that Pakistan has sold itself to China.Recommend

  • ajay gupta

    & u know what? eAch and every one the above is jinnah’s own doing. he lived for 13 mnths after pakistan was created. Enough time to lay down the blueprint for a progressive muslim state. in undivided India, muslims were worried all jobs would go to hindus, they would be swamped by hindus. R non-punjabi pakistanis today not swamped by punjabis? there is even a state bias towards punjab when it comes to allocation of resources. Balochistan & Sind are in a mess. how is the situation any different? on the contrary , had India been undivided, muslims would have been so many in number, that their demands would be very difficult to ignore in a democracy, where there is accountability to the people. Recommend

  • Salim Alvi

    He would see: like his MalbarHill, Mumbai bungalow, Pakistan has been rented out. So that must have made him happy. Not sure about what he must be thinking about his London house. he cared more about his this Londonabadi haveli a. Saving grace for him is that all Paki leaders became Londonabadis after their rule ended.Recommend

  • Abu

    In short – Jinnah would acknowledge that he made a terrible mistake. It’s a shameful fact but likely true.Recommend

  • MS

    He will apply for Indian citizenship.Recommend

  • Hasan

    Jinnah’s quote: “You are free; you are free to go to your temples…” has been so over used that it has now lost its effect. In the same speech that this quote is chosen from, Mr. Jinnah also warned the people of Pakistan against nepotism. Why is the whole speech never and I mean never published. As for losing East Pakistan; in April 1947, the chief minister of Bengal Mr. Hussain Suhrawardy came to Mountbatten asking for Bengal to be a country by itself. Mountbatten agreed to consult Mr. Jinnah on this and when asked Mr. Jinnah said: “I would be delighted if Bengal become a independent country.” He said this from a logistical point of view because of the 1000 mile gap between East and West Pakistan. This is the history of Pakistan and I would urge its people to please read it.Recommend

  • Rohan

    He will admit his mistake of creating pakistan that’s the first thing he will doRecommend

  • Komal S

    On the other hand if he were to land In India, he would find it more familiar.Recommend

  • Tommy Gunn

    Jinnah may have dreamed of a secular, moderate & progressive Pakistan but when you sow a poisonous seed, you should not expect that the tree that grows from it will give sweet fruits. Pakistan was created on the basis of division & contempt for non-Muslims of India. Today’s Pakistan may not be what Jinnah wanted but it is exactly the Pakistan Jinnah deserves – intolerant, divided, backward & regressive.Recommend

  • Sharath Chandra

    Jinnah knew that he had made a mistake in partitioning the country in 1948 and expressed it to his friend before his death. What Pakistan is today would not really be a surprise to Jinnah.Recommend

  • Singh

    This merge will be very dangerous.Recommend

  • Iqbal

    “If Jinnah could see Pakistan today, what would he say?”
    His answer would most likely be “Forgive me”
    Lord Mountbatten warned him but he did not listen. Rest is history.Recommend

  • Feroz

    “My dream and vision is there for the world to see, though the high cost of a million lives to enable it was a price I was willing to pay. Exactly as I planned it, a pure utopia for Muslims.” — Jinnah.Recommend

  • Anjum Arshi

    Great article! What else would Jinnah say? The great leader that he was, I think he would address the Army and Judiciary, and simply order them to go back to their places.Recommend

  • Sane

    He will be happy to see that Muslims are not killed due to beef eating, do not face forced conversion to Hindu, free to go to Masjid, Muslims in their attire of choice, not lynched on roads. Very happy to see Pakistan an atomic power and with best army of the world.Recommend

  • Patwari

    All the hindus are here. with their hate.Recommend

  • Sane

    The ultimate fate is annexation of Indian occupied Kashmir with Pakistan. This is the first and then there would be strings of happenings.Recommend

  • Sane

    Would you tell as why Dilliats are not allowed in Mandirs where Baramas do worship (pooja)?Recommend

  • Ahmar

    If only Jinnah looked at Pakistan through your eyes.

    Pakistan has been on “the brink of economic collapse” since I can remember. And yet the country goes on.

    The problems of schools missing teachers and hospitals missing nursing staff is due to your generation’s mishandling of the country. In trying to create a Utopian, welfare state where the government runs everything, your generation’s nationalization policies led to the collapse of the private health, education and business sector.

    Have we ever heard of corruption in private institutes and companies?

    You created a system where all the power is put into the hands of the government bureaucracy and then act surprised when the use this power to get rich.Recommend

  • Patwari

    There , like a Jack in the Box. The hindu pops up.Recommend

  • Salman Saeed

    Quaid would say the division of subcontinent was a worst decisionRecommend

  • Shakir Lakhani

    “Have we ever heard of corruption in private institutes and companies?”. Corruption in private sector is often worse than in government departments. Engineers, purchasers, even those engaged in marketing, they’re more corrupt than those in government service, despite receiving salaries that are more than twice or three times the salaries of civil servants.Recommend

  • Shakir Lakhani

    He didn’t have a house in London. Immediately after independence, he was advised to go abroad for treatment, he refused to do so because Pakistan was a poor country (it’s share of revenues-550 million-had been blocked by Nehru). He could easily have gone to UK for treatment, but he didn’t want to waste public money on it.Recommend

  • Shakir Lakhani

    “had India been undivided, muslims would have been so many in number”. Not true. The number of Muslims would have been about 35%.Recommend

  • peter pan

    Excellent article.Recommend

  • Ahmar

    Can you give one example of “corruption” by a private company’s employee?Recommend

  • Salim Alvi

    who told you that? Did he whisper in your ears? A terminal TB patient cannot take one month boat ride to Londonabad.Recommend

  • Salim Alvi

    Any country, city, Mohalla, hostel or any institution with more than 10% Muslims will be in trouble.Recommend

  • Salim Alvi

    What is Hindu, Lahori Patel Ji? Is it quome around Sindhu river?Recommend

  • Salim Alvi

    Trump is salivating at minerals of Baluchistan, he finds much less people but lot of minerals..

  • Milford

    You have to accept it. It’s your people. Killed them, maim them- it’s choice. But Pakistan in its current form is pretty unsustainable not only for itself but for entire world as well. It affects us in the West by it’s constantly supply of islamist fundamentalists. It’s needs it’s former self of becoming another federal state inside India really bad. Pakistan is a crisis in every sense since the very first day it started as a phony state. It needs to go back to it’s root, it’s culture, it’s father.Recommend

  • Salim Alvi

    Who told you that? Native saints who kept Indian spirituality and Dharma alive were mostly lower castes by birth. PooJa = Giving birth (JAnma) to Poorna (complete) … it can be done in any activity and anywhere. Recommend

  • Salim Alvi

    Why was he imposing language named after Turky Tent on Bangalis?Recommend

  • Patwari

    Just in Karachi, they got the ‘ Water Tanker Mafia ‘ that makes
    about $9 million dollars a month! ‘Transport Mafia’ [they decides
    where and who will operate public transport buses] ‘Construction
    Mafia’ you want to build a house? Want water connection, electricity
    connection, sewage lines? You go to them
    Then the private thugs and goons cabals. under the patronage of
    political parties, like PPP, MQM, ANP, ASWJ. They control the
    neighborhoods. Want your huge cargo of raw cotton bales, for
    Manchester loaded unto the cargo ship? Shipyard/Dock Mafia.
    You want to open an ice cream parlor? Or a small kebab house?
    Check with the local ‘chief thug’ Because you will have to pay him
    “protection money” every month. [Just like they do in Brooklyn NY. or Bronx NY or Queens NY or Long Island NY. or Delhi or Bombay.
    All of this is even worse in Hindustan. Where if you are a minority
    you pay a “Minority Tax” to do business, to find a house, to send
    your kids to school. to rent an apartment…just double or triple the ongoing rateRecommend

  • Patwari

    “…it effects us in the west….”
    But..see…er..well..hhmm..you are not from the West.
    So why are you sitting worrying about the West? Your
    Hindustan with Modi Sarkar in charge has very huge,
    mega, ballistic problems. He want’s a war with China.
    There is abject poverty everywhere, 70% of the population
    does not have access to a toilet, economy, doing poorly.
    Nepal just signed a transportation corridor treaty with
    China. Bhutan had signed a Doklam border understanding
    with China without Bharat’s involvement. Then the Hindu
    Desh jumped in. And wants to start a war and take revenge
    for the war of 1962 when China defeated Hindia.
    Your southern neighbor Sri Lanka signed a deal with
    China on a huge sea port. To be built in Sri Lanka.
    Then you have Occupied Kashmir. Your neighbor in the west Pakistan, won’t
    even give you the time of the day. And you are worried about
    the West!!Recommend

  • Salim Alvi

    not just nonMuslims but devilishly by hate of everything native. If one hates ones own native ancestors, native land, water and native wind then such rootless parasite start devouring themselves when the host is not there.Recommend

  • Patwari

    Yes, worst decision for hindus. They are suffering in more than one
    way. They don’t even have toilets.Recommend

  • Patwari

    Lord Mountbatten also advised your grandpa to stay in Hinduland.
    By now, in Hindia, you would be part of Ghar Wapsi. a full fledged hindu.
    [if you are not one already]
    Sitting in your mandir with your guru.Recommend

  • Patwari

    You got that from BJP or Shiv Sena. Your employers.Recommend

  • Feroz

    You cannot run away from reality by blaming BJP and Shiv Sena for such stellar achievements. Are they running Pakistan into the ground ?Recommend

  • Rajiv

    I think Pakistan is doing fine.
    There are no bomb blasts in rural areas, just in urban cities.
    There are no riots.

    They have a powerful army and still got nukes.
    Devaluation of currency and related things are temporary.
    Pakistan has 18 crore people , a great workforce.
    Problems like corruption and poverty exist in other countries too.

    Soon CPEC will be completed and economy will be on back track.
    So, overall Pakistan is not doing bad eitherRecommend

  • Tommy Gunn

    India’s President is a Dalit & India’s PM is also from a low caste.Recommend

  • Waqas Ahmad Rajpoot

    His sayings are still with us to follow. And he would say that this is not my Pakistan which I wished, people are fighting for money, status, cast, and specially for religion as well as for politics.Recommend

  • srikanth

    Mr Patwari , what ever your statements here on india are super old and nothing came true. Including the latest doklam issue which got settled.

    That’s what every one says, please come out of the wrong phobia on India. I am asking you before you talk on any issue just have some minimum knowledge in the reality.Recommend

  • Dipak Mehta

    Mountbatten offered Pakistan to Jinnah not knowing that he was dying of TB. Only his sister Fatima, his Gujarati doctor and he himself knew he was dying.Recommend

  • Dipak Mehta
  • vinsin

    Totally irrelevant to the topic of discussion.

    It is like in every other religion only selected people can go near and touch idols. It is not limited to Dalits or non-Dalits. Only priests can touch the diety not even Brahmins.

    You are confused between Priests and Brahmins.



  • vinsin

    So what is your problem? His life, his choice. Lord Mountbatten asked for complete partition not forced him to stay in Hinduland. It is the Pakistani who closed the gate by signing Liaquat Nehru Pact and betrayed Indian Muslims and left them for Ghar Wapsi and not even ashamed of that. Why dont you ask Pakistan government to cancel the pact and welcome Indian Muslims like brother. Recommend

  • vinsin

    How come Pakistan was a poor country? Wasnt the loot of Hindus and Sikhs enough? Gandhi fasted and 350 million were released.

    Jinnah was rich enough, he was not a corrupt person who needed money from state, please dont malign Jinnah for charges of forgery.Recommend

  • nadeem sher

    jinnah will more happy and shocked to see the smiles on pakistani people faces in the dark era of recent situation….pakistani peiple are awsome ALHMADULILLAH….then can keep us happy in all situation…Recommend

  • Qasim Usmani

    He will beg for the nation’s forgiveness.Recommend

  • Yasir Hayat

    even his sister was not aware of his illnessRecommend