As we observe the 73rd death anniversary of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah, we need to pause and seriously think about the fact that we have collectively betrayed his vision. Within years of Jinnah’s death, his sister Fatima Jinnah was labelled a traitor and an Indian agent by the military dictator, Ayub Khan.
We failed to protest effectively against this outrage. Instead, we allowed dictators and politicians to create a distorted version of a modern democratic welfare state. Jinnah’s motto of unity amongst all citizens of Pakistan was replaced with exploitation of religion that sowed the seeds of sectarian divide so that a dictatorial rule could prevail. Jinnah expected the Muslim majority to incorporate the Islamic concept of justice and tolerance for dissent by members of other faiths in the Constitution. Instead, the British colonial legacy of ‘divide and rule’ was nurtured by dictators, our sovereignty compromised, and we today face threats of extremism and terrorism from within the country.
M Tariq Ali
Published in The Express Tribune, September 15th, 2021.