Today is your birthday, I want to thank you for all you have done for me. I’m truly indebted to you for giving me this country of my own. A country where I belong, and which is mine. I know, that you and many others with you gave your tomorrows to give us our todays. It was your dream that coming generations should not have to live under suppression of any kind. Yes, you did make your dream come true. Now, it is up to us, to make the whole of that dream come true.
It is also known that your friendship with Allama Muhammad Iqbal was one of the factors that helped strengthen your resolve to make this country. Had it not been for him, perhaps Pakistan would not have been made. It was Iqbal who convinced you to come back to the Sub-Continent, after you had left it. You had left it because you had felt it was quite futile to make all these efforts to build a dream which seemed so impossible. Yet, Iqbal knew that only you could do it. Only you could move the Muslims of the Sub-Continent of India to make Pakistan.
You are admired, so much. Not just because your picture hangs today in every office and many homes of Pakistan. I admire you for all that you stood for. You were always honest, and had great credibility and integrity. There was never any contradiction in whatever you said. Your mind was clear. You stood by whatever you believed in.
And you believed in the need for the existence of Pakistan. It is also a fact that you never wanted the partition to happen in the way it did. You and Gandhi both didn’t want all the killings and carnage that happened during the process. But it became the inevitable side-effect of the situation. You succeeded in getting us a home of our own. When you succeeded, you were clear to make Pakistan a place where people of all religions can live in peace.
Naturally, we in Pakistan think the world of you.
- Today, I live in a free country. I’ve had Palestinian friends telling me how much they crave for this freedom.
- I can go to any part of the world, yet I miss my country. Where I hear the call to prayer and where I can live the way I want.
- Here, a girl can go out in jeans, or covered up head to toe in an abaya. She can cover her face or not. She can wear a scarf or not. She is free to live and be the way she wants.
- There is respect, hospitality and grace.
I’m also sad to note today, that we in Pakistan have not come up to the standard envisioned by yourself. You and Allama Iqbal were extremely modern in concepts. You wanted Pakistan to be at par with the rest of the world. I’m sorry to say, that part has got very messed up. We certainly got distracted along the way. We were weak and allowed negative factors to overcome us. We developed a habit of blame as a game, not taking responsibility for our own follies.
Yet, let me say that when we got Pakistan it had almost nothing. We got the parts of India which were not all that organized or prosperous. The railway lines, the infrastructure, was not what it is now. Due to partition itself, the cities and towns got over crowded, yet after a great deal of adjustments the country has been put on a stronger footing now. Our armed forces today are among the best in the world. We are the only Islamic country with atomic capability. We have had personnel like Dr. Abdus Salam who received the Nobel Prize for Physics. Our philanthropist Edhi – who died recently- was one of the greatest human beings. His Edhi services are the most organized and efficient services to help the poor and needy. The mobile phone services are amazing. Our dress designers and cloth industry has prospered too. The pop songs and singers are good too. The film industry has started perking up too. The television drama industry has been awesome from day one. Now, CPEC and other steps being taken by the government are going to put us on stronger grounds.
It is a fact that countries like China, Korea and many others are far ahead of us, though they faced more problems. So, we have a lot to catch up on.
We are not as hard working as we should be. Let me correct myself. There are many hard working people in Pakistan today, but not enough – there are still too many – not working hard enough. Or they are busy just enjoying the fruits of others’ labors. It is time to make each individual get up and do his or her own bit.
Moeen Akhtar, the great comedian used to say, “Many people say that you have so much talent, why don’t you go abroad? I tell them, that if a person has talent, it is because of this country. We have to let our own country benefit from our talent.”
The great writer Mumtaz Mufti once mentioned in his book ‘Talash’ that though so many people have done so much corruption and tried to ‘eat up’ this country, yet, it is like a magical cooking pot which remains full in spite of it. Today, his son Uxi Mufti is busy writing about the folk heritage and other charms of Pakistan.
The great artist Saeed Akhtar has devoted his life to the painting of portraits of Quaid-e-Azam. He has made awesome paintings portraying the great personality who we all admire.
Jimmy Engineer, the artist who has spent most of his life painting the partition, says “Each Pakistani should do whatever he can do, and work hard at it.” That’s all. You know what you are good at, just get on with it, and do it for your country’s benefit.
All of us have a lot of hard work to do, to be worthy of all the struggles made by yourself, our Quaid Mohammad Ali Jinnah.
I’d like to end this with the words of Stanley Wolpert from his book ‘Jinnah of Pakistan’:
“Few individuals significantly alter the course of history. Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with creating a nation-state. Mohammad Ali Jinnah did all three.”
Stay blessed my dear reader, its good to honor and appreciate the efforts of our leaders, due to whom we are enjoying so much in our respective countries. It is important to give a thought to them and what they mean in our lives today.