The Quaid won’t have it By I.A. Rehman
Dawn, 13 Aug, 2009
‘Here I should like to give a warning to the landlords and capitalists who have flourished at our expense by a system which is so vicious, which is so wicked and which makes them so selfish that it is difficult to reason with them. The exploitation of the masses has gone into their blood. They have forgotten the lesson of Islam. … There are millions and millions of our people who hardly get one meal a day. Is this civilisation? Is this the aim of Pakistan? Do you visualise that millions have been exploited and cannot get one meal a day? If that is the idea of Pakistan, I would not have it.’ — Quaid-i-Azam, Delhi, 1943
No apology is necessary for flinging a somewhat longish quote from the state’s founding father in the face of his successors who have stopped respecting his legacy.
Instead of using national days to broadcast meaningless resolutions about fulfilling the Quaid’s mission, it would be appropriate tomorrow (Independence Day) to face the question: has Pakistan become the state the Quaid-i-Azam would not have?
The expressions used by the Quaid are exceptionally strong. He was not given to disowning the ideal of Pakistan in a huff. There should thus be little doubt that the foremost justification for Pakistan’s existence must be a consistent effort to end the exploitation of the masses at the hands of ‘landlords and capitalists’ who are amenable neither to reason nor to the call of Islam.
To divert attention from the foremost ideal of guaranteeing the masses a decent standard of life quite a few half-baked theories have been concocted to exonerate the state of Pakistan. One of the most puerile statements that has been going round is that had Pakistan not been created this famous lawyer might have spent his life as a district pleader’s clerk or that the finance wizard would have been lucky to hold the ledger for a non-Muslim moneylender.
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