Stories about Jinnah

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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How much do you hate Pakistan’s media?

Keeping lists of all aspects of Pakistani activity on Facebook is a manic hobby of mine. I consider myself the tracker of the totality of our online diaspora, which is best represented on Facebook (8 million Pakistanis and growing fast). One list that has been very consistently growing and producing content is my (rather plainly dubbed) Pakistan Media Haters list. Over the last two years I have been diligently adding pages that spew hate (i.e. irrational, cherry-picked critique with dollops of venom, lies, incitement to violence and racism) against the local media. I have also tried to decipher where these pages ...

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Reconstitution of a secular Pakistan

The past has contradicted the present. In his famous speech of 1947, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah said, “Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims – not in the religious sense because that is the personal faith of each individual – but in the political sense as citizens of the State.” The excerpt bears witness that Pakistan was destined to be a land where religious identities are subsumed into the fabric of unity, let alone one where religious minorities are discriminated against. “All citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection of law”, is ...

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Ardeshir Cowasjee, you were truly one in a million

Much has been said and read regarding Ardeshir Cowasjee since last night and I too want to remember him by a few anecdotes that have stuck with me since I first met him. As an aspiring journalist, I longed to meet the great man; I wanted to pick his brains on his writing and just be in the company of this remarkable man. What started as research interactions overtime became a beautiful friendship. In him I did not discover a journalist but to use the term very loosely, Cowasjee was a ‘citizen journalist’. He wrote what many of us were ...

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