The nation celebrated the 145th birth anniversary of the founder of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah today on 25th December with zeal and fervor. The Creation of Pakistan in a short period of 7 years after the historic Lahore resolution on March 23, 1940 was a miracle of the 20th century. The Muslims of India suffering under the yoke of British-Hindu combine since 1757 loved Jinnah and out of reverence named him Quaid-e-Azam.
Man of steel nerves and strong conviction, Jinnah was a man of taste, he spoke eloquently and dressed immaculately. None could outclass him in arguments. The illiterate people flocking to his public meetings listened to his speeches delivered in English with rapt attention without understanding what he was saying. Their simple reply was, ‘whatever he was saying must be correct and for our good’.
Jinnah lived all his life by a strict code of personal ethics and never compromised on principles. His personal sense of disciple was renowned and he tried to install this quality into the Muslim League and the Muslim masses that he was able to influence. His sharp intellect and a quick grasp of an unfolding situation were astounding. This unique gift enabled him to battle single-handed on the chessboard of politics against a powerful coalition of adversaries and win. Achieving Pakistan in the face of stiff opposition from those protagonists of a United Bharat and the foot dragging by the British was in itself a brilliant feat.
His personal physician had diagnosed his disease of tuberculosis and had cautioned him that he had not more than two years to live and that too if he rested and took care. Knowing the ill-intentions of the Congress leaders and the British who were against the partitioning of India, Mr. Jinnah told him not to divulge his disease and the doctor honored his commitment. Despite his illness, he struggled day and night and removed all obstacles placed in the way of creation of Pakistan.
Creating a new nation had taken all the character, foresight, faith and energy of the Quaid. What made Jinnah taller than his contemporaries was his unselfishness. His struggle for Pakistan was not for glory or fame. History has rarely produced such an example of selflessness and high moral standing.
After his demise on September 11, 1948, and revelation of the hidden disease, Mountbatten remarked that if he had any inkling of the deadly disease and his short life expectancy, he would have deferred the partition plan for some years and awaited his death. He knew that without him there was no one else who could compel him to allow the partition of India and there would have been no Pakistan.
How right was Quaid-e-Azam when he stated that “the Muslims who are opposing Pakistan will spend the rest of their lives proving their loyalty to India”. Today the pro-India Indian Muslims and the successors of Sheikh Abdullah and other Kashmiri leaders are repenting their decision to prefer India over Pakistan.
Not a single leader who came after MA Jinnah came anywhere close to his stature. Each leader sang his song and quoted his ideals but none emulated his pristine principles and instead placed self before national interests.
Stanley Wolpert described him in these words in 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. Muhammad Ali Jinnah did all three”.
Hector Bolitho in his book ‘Jinnah Creator of Pakistan’ narrated: “Jinnah made a forlorn scattered multitude into a nation”. He added, “Unlike the creators of other nations, such as Washington, Cavour and Bismarck, Jinnah achieved his aim without the support of an army”.
R.G. Casey Governor Bengal wrote: “It is not too much to say that Mr. Jinnah is the only outstanding Muslim of all-India stature in Indian politics today…He is man of iron discipline and he has denied himself the luxury of any qualities which might loosen his concentration upon his purpose”. (Verdict of India, Jinnah: Creator of Pakistan).
Lord Listowel rated Mr. Jinnah as a bigger political giant of the 20th century than even Gen De Gaulle. Harry Truman considered him as the recipient of the devotion of loyalty seldom accorded to any man.
John Biggs Davison said, “Although without Gandhi, Hindustan would have gained independence, and without Lenin and Mao, Russia and China would still have endured the communist revolution, however, without Jinnah there would have been no Pakistan in 1947”.
Gordon Johnson said, “Mr. Jinnah set a great example to other statesmen to follow by his skill in negotiations, his integrity and his honesty”.
The British author Beverly Nicholas judged Jinnah as the most important man in Asia because he could sway the battle this way or that as he chose. He opined that “Jinnah’s 100 million Muslims will march to the left, to the right, to the front, to the rear at his bidding, and to nobody else’s. It’s not the same in Hindu ranks. If Gandhi goes, there is Nehru, or Raja Gopalachari, or Patel or a dozen others, but if Jinnah goes, who is there?” He further described the difference between Jinnah and the typical Hindu politicians saying comparison was of a surgeon and witch doctors. (Verdict of India).
Sir Francis Mudie, Governor of Punjab who knew Jinnah since 1936 observed, “Jinnah impressed me more, I think than anyone else I have ever met, and I was very fond of him. He never compromised officially”. He added, “In judging Jinnah, we must remember what he was up against. He had against him not only the wealth and brains of the Hindus, but also nearly the whole of British officialdom and most Home (England) politicians, who made the great mistake of refusing to take Pakistan seriously”. He missed the Muslim political and religious leaders opposed to the idea of Pakistan.
Sir Agha Khan 111 said, “Of all the statesmen that I have known in my life, - Clemenceau, Lloyd George, Churchill, Curzon, Mussolini, Mahatma Gandhi - Jinnah is the most remarkable. None of these men in my view outshone him in strength of character”.
2nd last Viceroy of India Wavell mentioned, “Mr. Jinnah was one of the handsomest men I have ever seen; he combined the clear cut, almost Grecian features of the West with Oriental grace and movement”.
The last Viceroy of India Lord Mountbatten remarked, “Jinnah never made an agreement by bowing down to anyone but on equal basis”.
Pathick Lawrence said, “Gandhi died by the hands of an assassin, Jinnah died by his devotion to Pakistan”.
Gokhale called him the best ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity. Mahatma Gandhi opined, “Mr. Jinnah is incorruptible and brave. I believe no power can buy him”.
Jawaharlal Nehru said, “Good character and good politics were those secrets due to which Jinnah got success”. (The Discovery of India).
Allama Iqbal stated, “MA Jinnah is the only personality of India from whom the whole nation has expectations”.
Jinnah’s ADC Mian Atta Rabbani in his book ‘Jinnah a Political Saint’ wrote, “MA Jinnah was no Wali or a Saint in terms of religious terminology, but he was certainly a political saint for the Muslims of the subcontinent. As a political saint he turned the Muslims minority of the Indian subcontinent into a nation and emancipated them from the evil axis of Anglo-Hindu tyranny and domination by guiding and leading them to eventual goal of Pakistan, a safe haven for them, and established the largest Muslim State.
E. H. Enver described the Quaid as ‘the modern Moses’. (The Modern Moses).
S. Sharifuddin Pirzada summed up the profile of legendary Quaid in these words: “Jinnah possessed Ataturk’s astuteness, Bismarck’s boldness, Churchill’s charisma, De Gaulle’s dignity, Lincoln’s liberalism and Mao Tse Tung’s magnetism. Jinnah was incorruptible, candid, consistent and undoubtedly a colossus”.
Some of the sayings of MA Jinnah:
“Our foreign policy is one of friendliness and goodwill towards all the nations of the world. We do not cherish aggressive designs against any country or nation”
“With faith, discipline and selfless devotion to duty, there is nothing worthwhile that cannot be achieved”.
“Think hundred times before you take a decision; but once that decision is taken, stand by it as One Man”.
“A Muslim is not born to give up. If he is forced to be enslaved, he will become Babur. He will emerge as Sultan Tipu. He can happily embrace martyrdom but will never accept slavery”.
The Quaid’s fantastic decision making ability is reflected in his statement, “I do not believe in taking the right decision. I take a decision and make it right”.
Thank you Quaid-e-Azam for bestowing upon us the priceless gift of Pakistan. We apologize for not living up to your ideals and aspirations and failed to make Pakistan a model Islamic welfare state as had been envisioned by you. May your soul rest in peace and be granted the highest place in Heaven!
The writer is retired Brig Gen, war veteran, defence & security analyst, international columnist, Chairman Tinkers Forum Pakistan, Director Measac Research Centre, Member CWC PESS & Member Veteran Think Tank; Member Council TJP. firstname.lastname@example.org
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Nicely written. Thank you.
Just for interest, I had a lengthy meeting with Lord Listowel, who had been the last Secretary of State for India in the Attlee government, before writing the book, 'Pakistan:Roots, Perspective and Genesis'. During this, he repeatedly used the phrase, 'without Jinnah there would not have been any Pakistan.' He said this was not simply because the Congress Party was opposed to it but also the entire British establishment in India as well as Britain.
For what it is worth, I have little doubt that the British only relented because they expected a civil war to break out and wanted to get out before that happened. To get the Congress to accept partition, they carved out Pakistan in the way they did and set an impossible date for Jinnah to get the country going that ensured it would collapse and rejoin India soon after birth. You might like to see some of the evidence that I have pieced together below:
How Pakistan Was Set Up to Fail
(K. Hussan Zia)
When the idea of a separate state or states to safeguard the interests of Muslims of India was first officially adopted by the Muslim League at its annual session in March 1940 it met with strong opposition not only by the Congress and other Hindu parties but also by the British as well as Muslim religious parties including Jamaat-e-Islami, Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind, the Ahrars as well as Khaksars. The latter made two attempts on Jinnah’s life and even succeeded in wounding him on one occasion. In August 1942, the Akali Sikh leader Gayani Kartar Singh proclaimed in Amritsar, ‘If Pakistan is foisted upon the Sikhs with the help of British bayonets, we shall tear it into shreds as Guru Gobind Singh tore up the Mughal Empire’ (‘A History of the Sikhs, vol. 2, by Khushwant Singh, New Delhi, 1991, p. 252).
Master Tara Singh threatened a Sikh uprising and declared an ‘Anti-Pakistan Day’ on 11th March 1947. In a fiery speech from the steps of the Provincial Legislature he denounced Muslims, Jinnah and Pakistan ‘Our motherland is calling for blood and we shall satiate the thirst of our motherland with blood ---- I have sounded the bugle. Finish the Muslim League’. He then proclaimed the Sikh slogan ‘Raj karay ga Khalsa baki rahay na ko’ (only the pure Sikhs will rule; no one else will survive) and proceeded to hack down the pole bearing the Muslim League flag and tore the banner to shreds with his kirpan (dagger) to the shouts of Pakistan Murdabad ---- death to Pakistan (The Punjab Boundary Force and the Problem of Order, August 1947, vol.8, by Robin Jeffrey, as quoted by French).
How Pakistan came into being despite such formidable opposition is a question that is often asked. The simple answer lies in the conviction and resolve of the Muslims of India to have a space of their own where they could live freely, without being dominated by the Hindus. Exhausted by the long war, Britain realized she could no longer hold on and decided to give India her freedom. It only remained to be decided in what form power should be transferred to avoid chaos and possible civil war.
A country-wide election to the Central and Provincial Assemblies was held at the end of 1945 in which the Congress Party fielded candidates on the Muslim as well as non-Muslim seats for a united India. Muslim League, on the other hand, contested only in the seats reserved for the Muslims as did various other Islamic religious and regional parties like the Unionists, that had opposed the creation of Pakistan.
Muslim League won eighty-seven percent of the Muslim votes cast and every single seat reserved for them in the Central Assembly. It also won 428 of the total 492 (87 percent) seats in the Provincial Assemblies. In Sind, it won all but one seat. In Bengal, the League collared ninety percent of the vote. In NWFP it fell one vote short of a majority in the Assembly and Dr. Khan Sahib of the Khudaee Khidmatgars formed the government with the help of the Congress Party. In Punjab, the League bagged 79 of the 86 seats reserved for Muslims and was the largest party in the Assembly but the Governor called on Sir Khizar Hayat Tiwana, who’s Unionist Party had only ten seats, to form the government in collaboration with Congress and assorted Hindu and Sikh groups.
The election firmly established two facts ---- that the Muslims did not want to be a part of Hindu-dominated united India and secondly, it was only the Muslim League that represented the interest and aspirations of their vast majority.
There were intelligence reports that the Congress was soon going to embark on plans to overthrow the government through a large-scale mass movement. Viceroy Wavell cabled Pethick-Lawrence, the British secretary of state that Congress leaders had been making speeches ‘intended to provoke or pave the way for mass disorder ---- asserting that the British could be turned out of India within a very short time; denying the possibility of a compromise with the Muslim League; glorifying the INA; and threatening the officials who took part in the suppression of the 1942 disturbances with trial and punishment as war criminals’ (Transfer of Power Documents 1942 - 1947, Vol VI, p. 451).
Wavell assessed the political situation in India at the time as: ‘Congress feel that HMG dare not break with them ---- their aim is power and to get rid of British influence as soon as possible, after which they think they can deal with both Muslims and Princes; the former by bribery ---- and if necessary by force; the latter by stirring up their people against them. ---- They will continue ---- until they consider themselves strong enough to ---- revolt against British rule’. (Transfer of Power Documents, Volume IX, pp. 240-2).
The British Prime Minister, Clement Attlee thought, ‘The situation might so develop as to result in a civil war in India, with all the bloodshed which that would entail’ (Transfer of Power Documents 1942-1947, Vol. IX, P. 319). He had decided to hand over power to avoid such an eventuality. He would have much preferred if India remained united but when the Cabinet Mission failed in 1946, the only option left open was to partition the country. To get the Congress Party to agree to it, the latter was assured that it will be done in such a way that Pakistan will not be a viable country and unlikely to survive for long.
Mr. Gandhi had dispatched an emissary from his own entourage, Sudhir Ghosh, to London to liaise privately with the Labour Government. While studying at Cambridge he had established durable links with Quakers and Labour politicians, including Pethick-Lawrence and Cripps. Privately, the former considered him a ‘vexatious embarrassment’ while Wavell referred to him as ‘that little rat’ and a ‘snake in the grass with a very swollen head’. Nonetheless, he remained Mr.Gandhi’s man for making back-room deals with the Labour Party. His first mission was to arrange for the removal of Wavell and replace him with someone more acceptable to Congress.
A telephone conversation between Vallabhbhai Patel in Delhi and Sudhir Ghosh in London on 28th August was intercepted and reported to Wavell. In it Patel was heard saying ‘Cripps had promised if there was any disturbance in Calcutta, he will order Section 93 (dissolution of Muslim League Government and the imposition of Governor’s Rule in Bengal). What is he doing’? Ghosh told him that Cripps was out of the country but he would take up the matter with another minister. Patel then told him to remain in the country and await further orders ‘We are taking charge on 2nd September’ (Liberty or Death: India’s Journey to Independence and Division, by Patrick French, p. 254). There could not be clearer evidence that at least some members of the Labour Government were colluding with the Congress.
Earlier, Wavell had recorded that the Cabinet Mission had been ‘unable to remain really impartial’ and had been ‘living in the pocket of Congress’, further concluding the Mission ‘might have succeeded had Cripps and Pethick-Lawrence not been so completely in the Congress camp’ (Wavell: The Viceroy’s Journal, edited by Penderel Moon, pp. 287, 324). Jinnah wrote to Attlee, with a copy to Churchill that the conduct of the Cabinet Delegation had ‘impaired the honour of the British Government and shaken the confidence of Muslim India’ and ‘shattered their hopes for an honourable and peaceful settlement’ (Transfer of Power Documents, Vol. VII, p. 527).
Wavell sent transcripts of the intercepts of telephone conversations Ghosh had with Gandhi to Attlee, with a note of protest stating ‘I cannot continue to be responsible for the affairs in India if some members of your Government are keeping in touch with the Congress through an independent agent behind my back’ (Transfer of power Documents, VIII, pp. 328-9). It had become a familiar refrain. There had been frequent complaints from him and his staff about the ‘lack of realism and honesty’ on the part of the cabinet in London (Wavell: pp. 397-409).
Sudhir Ghosh did not cut much ice with Secretary of State for India, Lord Pethick-Lawrence but found Attlee ‘a great deal more understanding’, who told him in early September 1946 that ‘there was a good case for a new viceroy but there was no sense in making a change unless he was in a position to find someone who was obviously better than the present occupant of the post’ (The Collected Works of Mahatama Gandhi, VXXXV, p. 518). The Transfer of Power record, as well as Wavell’s own journal, is replete with pleas and exhortations on the subject while stressing the need for honesty, fair play and justice. Wavell was no politician and obviously had not adjusted to their ways. It made him an obstacle both for Congress as well as the British Government and the time had come for him to go home for their scheme to be put into effect as envisaged.
After the Japanese surrendered, Nehru had gone to Burma as a guest of Mountbatten. Following their discussions, Krishna Menon, who was an influential member and councilor for the Labour Party in Britain, conveyed it to the British Minister and Congress sympathiser, Stafford Cripps in a secret meeting that Mountbatten’s selection would be most acceptable to Congress (Freedom at Midnight, by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre, foot note p.19). In mid-December 1946 Attlee sounded out Mountbatten to replace Wavell as the viceroy in India.
He took over on 24th. March 1947 while still remaining in regular contact with Krishna Menon. In one of his letters to Mountbatten after a meeting with Attlee, Menon informed him: ‘no lack of desire on the part of the P.M to be of assistance. I found there and everywhere else that the Fuhrer (Jinnah) had overplayed his hand’ (Transfer of Power Documents, Vol. XII, p.255). The Congress Party had already agreed to the creation of Pakistan composed of provinces having a majority of Muslims provided parts of Punjab and Bengal, where Muslims were in minority, were joined with India.
There is evidence to suggest that based on assurances given to them, Congress leaders accepted Pakistan only as a stopgap measure. In a letter to India’s representative in China, K. P. S Menon on 29th April 1947, Nehru wrote that he was in no doubt eventually India would have to become one country and it could well be that Partition was but a stepping stone on the path towards that goal (Nehru: The Making of India, by M. J. Akbar, London, 1989, p. 405).
To ensure this happened, India withheld Pakistan’s share of finances and other assets after independence. Field Marshal Sir Claude Auchinleck, who became Supreme Commander of both India and Pakistan after Partition reported to Whitehall on 28th September 1947: ‘I have no hesitation whatever in affirming that the present India Cabinet are implacably determined to do all in their power to prevent the establishment of the Dominion of Pakistan on a firm basis. In this, I am supported by the unanimous opinion of my senior officers, and indeed by all British officers cognizant of the situation, (Auchinleck, by John Connel, London, 1959, p. 1379).
British complicity in the nefarious scheme is clear from minutes of the meeting Mountbatten had with the Provincial Governors on 15th April 1947. In it he told them ‘------ partition of India would be a most serious potential source of war. ----- A quick decision would also give Pakistan a greater chance to fail on its demerits. The great problem was to reveal the limits of Pakistan so that the Muslim League could revert to an unified India with honour’. When the Acting Governor of Bengal informed him that in the event of partition, ‘Eastern Bengal alone was not a going concern and never would be. It could not feed itself ---- It would become a rural slum ---- Muslims knew it as well as Hindus, so they felt that the object of the cry (by the Hindus) to partition Bengal was to torpedo Pakistan’, Mountbatten replied, ‘Anything that resulted in torpedoing Pakistan was of advantage in that it led the way back to a more common-sense solution’ (Transfer of Power Documents, Vol. X, pp. 242 -244, 250 and Shameful Flight, by Stanley Wolpert, p. 142).
It had been originally announced that the transfer of power was to take place on 30th June 1948. Citing the example of Irish independence when Britain had taken more than two years just to agree on the modalities of the transfer of power to Ireland, Jinnah asked for more time. Instead, for good measure, Mountbatten advanced the date to 15th August 1947 giving Jinnah less than two months to set up a new country! Not only that, eight tehsils in central Punjab adjoining Pakistan, including Ajnala, Gurdaspur, Batala, Jullunder, Nakodar, Ferozepur, Zira, Fazilka and parts of Shakargarh and Lahore where Muslims were in majority, were all awarded to India to ensure the latter had access to Kashmir and control of rivers flowing into Pakistan.
Over and above all this, even before she could get established, Pakistan had to accommodate and settle nine million destitute refugees from India. The fact that she survived and prospered and continues to do so against all odds can only be attributed to the resilience, fortitude, determination, unity of purpose and spirit of sacrifice of her people.