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

Published: August 20, 2017
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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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

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

  • Patwari

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

  • 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

    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

  • 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

  • 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