Feelings About the Father of the Nation

By G.C. Contreras

At the beginning of this Congress I would like to greet its authorities and all the delegates gathered here. As with colleagues who come from every corner of Pakistan, the delegates who have come from all corners of the world are here to pay homage to the Quaid-i-Azam, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Father of the Nation, on the first hundredth anniversary of his birth. I want to make this homage extensive, as undoubtedly he would have deserved it, to the people of Pakistan, who endowed with an unbreakable will have achieved the greatness of their nation, thirty years after her beginning.

We know by experience that young nations like my own, Mexico, or like Pakistan, when they relinquish a colonial past, go through difficult and hazarduous moments for the first years of their independent life, moments full of weaknesses and dangers which test the reserves and potential energy of their human material.

Not only the culminating moment when the new nation, product of a long ideological and political struggle, has begun her life is decisive, but the daily process of maintaining her alive ensuring that she prevails against all contingencies. Notwithstanding, when a community has the will for becoming a nation, armed with its high ideals and the wish of an independent life, her place among the free peoples is assured. Of you, I can say, in the very words of Jinnah, “Pakistan has come to stay and no power on earth can destroy it.”

Muhammad Ali Jinnah was a man of great wisdom, strong ideals, an enemy of injustice who fought so that his community could exercise its due rights. His strong determination through a long and difficult struggle for the Independence of the Indian Subcontinent led him inevitably, within the historical circumstances, to the ideal of the creation of Pakistan as a free and sovereign nation.

At the dramatic time of the British withdrawal, he took upon himself the greatest responsibilities for the achievement of his people’s aspirations. He knew that it was necessary to consolidate the new nation by creating a spirit of solidarity and work among the population. In spite of knowing that the new country possessed a very considerable agricultural production in proportion to its territory, he wanted it to become an industrialized country. On the 26th of the September, 1947 he said in a public appearance-:

“Pakistan is at present mostly an agricultural State and for manufactured goods, it is dependent upon the outside world”.

“If the Pakistan is to play its proper role in the world it must develop industrial potential side by side with agricultural.”

“By industrializing our State we shall decrease our dependence”.

“You should realise that real strength and power of the State depended upon its capacity to produce”.

His political ideas implied liberty, tolerance and a democratic way of life.

A humanist, he always protected the innocent members of any community who suffered from the troubles of partition, defending the equal treatment for all, irrespective of caste or creed.

“Pakistan which symbolizes the aspiration of a nation that found itself in a minority in the Indian Subcontinent, cannot be unmindful of the minorities within its own borders.

Pakistan is a country of illustrious and millenary roots, the basis of her rich and varied cultural tradition. The third millennium before Christ there flourished the civilization of the Indus Valley, one of the bases of the high cultures of Asia. Later, with the arrival of Aryans, the great synthesis of the native expressions with those they carried, started from here.

The Great Alexander’s arrival put his stamp on the large exchange between the Greek and the Eastern cultures, which came to be so important for civilization. The Greco-Indian kingdoms became a link and a vehicle for the large currents established between the Subcontinent and the West as well as, for the Silk Road, with the Far East.

Later, new and varied elements made inroads from the north and west: Scythians, Iranians, Parthians, etc., and left their indelible impression.

With Islam and the systematic conquest of the Subcontinent by Muslim groups from Central Asia, beginning in the tenth century, what would become the new nation, started to get her definite profile as a nation and a culture.

These roots, above all Pakistan’s rich and varied resources which assure her historical experience shown at present.

The new nation had from the beginning rich and varied resources which assure her of a bright future. Two of the irrigated areas, the Punjab and the Sind are remarkable in the region; her production of wheat and other cereals as well as her abundance of minerals need to be more explored.

Pakistan belongs to the majority of mankind, the world of want, of imbalance, of Problems. As in the case of my own country, there is the unsurmountable task of the struggle for development. This means essentially the widening of every productive capacity that leads to a better life for the people. It is necessarily the synonym of national independence. The search for development must start from one’s own effort but can be complemented in solidarity among equals.

For new countries development without justice and without friendship cannot be reality.

The profession of democratic faith practiced by Pakistan and her attitude open to harmony and peace, her friendship towards other peoples of the world, place her among the nations that are trying to lay the foundations for a more just and new international society.

Pakistan’s complex and wise international politics, planned to serve the national interests without diminution of great causes of mankind, is very instructive in its realism.

Those of us who have followed attentively and with sympathy the life of the Pakistan nation have noticed with satisfaction the spectacular progress that this country has had in the last few years. Her growing industrial development, her determined march toward development and the new currents that place this country on better levels, are making a great nation of Pakistan.

This is precisely what the Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah wanted and dreamed, the reason for which he lived and died. That is why we must pay him homage, for the seed he sowed is becoming a strong tree. The efforts that he began are being continued today with honour by the people of Pakistan.

Dr. Contreras is Professor at the National University of Mexico and adviser to Under Secretary of Foreign Affairs.

Source: World Scholars on Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
Ahmad Hasan Dani, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan. 1979

Gandhi and Jinnah - a study in contrasts

An extract from the book that riled India's Bharatiya Janata Party and led to the expulsion of its author Jaswant Singh, one of the foun...