Stories about Jinnah

I stand with Hanif: Jinnah is not a ‘hero’

No sooner had I finished reading Mohammad Hanif’s full interview with The News, that I dragged a carton of canned food into my basement and braced myself for a storm of nationalism that I knew would inevitably follow. And when, pray tell, have I ever been wrong? A blog appeared recently, as scathing as one would expect it to be, blasting Hanif’s audacity to think that Jinnah really isn’t anyone’s hero. Mr Waqas bluntly implies that freedom of speech is limited to those who speak favourably of Quaid-e-Azam and the other heroes we have been assigned. Indeed, if you have nothing nice to say ...

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Jinnah may not be a hero to you, Mr Hanif, but he is to me and to many other Pakistanis!

Every sane individual enjoys the birth right of maintaining a private worldview. Democratisation of the world has granted unbounded and everlasting socio-religious and political freedom to the individual and society. The state’s dictatorial control has sunken into the past. No one can, therefore, force one’s opinion on other fellowmen in this democratic world of our times. However, there is a limit for the expression of opinions, especially when it comes to the collective interests and issues concerning the people. You cannot, for instance, speak positively about Hitler and negatively about the Holocaust across the United States and European continent. You cannot call ...

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Shooting Malala – again

Though Malala survived the Taliban’s bullets last year, she is now again under attack in Pakistan by the very same ideology. They attacked her physically then, and now they are out to get her soul. Right-wing anchors and self-proclaimed intellectuals have taken to disrepute her book by claiming that it reeks of a ‘Western agenda’. If a young Pakistani girl in dupatta, standing up for education and speaking against radicalisation, demanding an end to the drone war, advocating peaceful resolution to the terrorist menace which Pakistan is plagued with and speaking of hope in a progressive Pakistan, is what constitutes ...

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Jinnah’s love for Balochistan

There have been times in the history of Pakistan when the founding father was manipulated, criticised, misquoted, used, abused and misused by different political parties for different political purposes. Not very long ago, a prominent political leader questioned Jinnah’s nationality. Fortunately the nation, as well as Quaid, survived the insult, and life moved on. However, never in the history of Pakistan was Jinnah disowned from his contributions towards an independent and sovereign Pakistan, nor made into an oppressive figure that haunted the corridors of Pakistan’s national history. Even the hard-headed Taliban never questioned Jinnah’s personality and his attitude towards Islam (though he was condemned by ...

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Terrorist attack on Quaid’s residency

Being a History student, it came as sad news to me that Pakistan’s founding father’s residence was attacked on June 15 in Ziarat where, amongst other things, his personal belongings were all destroyed. Ziarat is popular for its natural beauty and for being Quaid’s last abode during his days of illness. It came as no surprise to me as many started raising questions regarding his stay in Ziarat at the time. Despite the unavailability of doctors and lack of medical facilities in this region, he was shifted there and while being brought back to Karachi, his health deteriorated and ...

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Jinnah’s burnt Ziarat residency: A piece of Pakistan died today

Smoke, dust, blood, fire and it is all gone; a piece of Pakistan is dead.  June 15, 2013 will be remembered forever. Today, the beautiful building that adorns our hundred rupee notes was burnt and destroyed by militants who flung hand grenades at Jinnah’s residency in Ziarat. All the historical photographs and furniture was destroyed. As always, the militants who committed this despicable act of senseless violence escaped unhurt. Today, a wood and brick building came down, but along with it, our beloved Quaid-e-Azam’s memory too was tarnished. A quick history check: Ziarat residency was constructed in 1892 with the idea of it becoming a ...

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Nehru and Edwina: A subcontinental love

The relationship between India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Lady Edwina Mountbatten has long been shrouded in mystery and secrecy. It’s a no-go area for the Congress which has always shielded the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty from controversies. Congressmen certainly don’t want it to become a matter of public discourse. However, the details about their intimate relationship are now in public domain in the form of a book. Indian Summer by Alex Von Tunzelmann offers a vivid account of a special bond the couple shared and complex relationship between Edwina and her husband Louis Mountbatten with the latter playing a role of a ...

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No, this is not Jinnah’s Pakistan

I am writing this piece with reference to Mr Yaqoob Khan Bangash’s article of March 18 titled “Jinnah’s Pakistan”. Notwithstanding the fact that the writer is a chairperson of the history department of Forman Christian College, I would, like to highlight few contentions that I have with his conclusion: “Jinnah’s Pakistan is an Islamic state, which defines who a Muslim is, excludes those Muslims it does not like and is not very democratic.” Anyone acquainted with history would not disagree with the fact that the struggle for Pakistan was certainly couched in religious terms. A lot of historians have also argued that ...

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Maybe Bangladesh has become the country Jinnah wanted to create

When East Pakistan decided to break away from West Pakistan in 1971, one of the leading factors was the lack of importance accorded by West Pakistan’s bureaucracy and intelligentsia towards the other part of the country. It is not a surprise that the attitude did not change even after the separation of Pakistan’s two wings. Pakistan’s textbooks are still silent over the atrocities committed by our armed forces and their proxies in 1971. Although West Pakistan may have forgotten, but the people who were subjected to the inhumane behaviour just because they dreamt of a better future, remember it all ...

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Was the Two Nation Theory flawed?

Pakistan, the product of the two-nation theory, is struggling to be a nation, 65 years after conception.  Even the usually taciturn army chief has lamented, “Disillusionment, desperation, religious bigotry, political disharmony and discord seem to permeate our lives.” Much of this is the unintended consequence of the theory. Jinnah had realised that the theory had the potential for unleashing fissiparous tendencies that would cripple national development. Just three days prior to independence, he called on Pakistanis not to interject religion into their public lives. The important role of minorities was enshrined in the national flag with a white bar. Jinnah’s call was a tall order that would test the ...

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