The 70th death anniversary of Pakistan’s first Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan was observed on October 16. Unfortunately, birth and death anniversaries of national heroes haven’t been given the reverence they deserve in Pakistan. Neither the ruling government nor the opposition leaders paid any tributes to the Quaid-e-Millat for his services to the nation. Even the electronic and print media failed to pay tribute to him in a befitting manner.
Liaquat Ali Khan was not just one of the founding fathers of Pakistan but also a statesman, a lawyer, and a political theorist who served as the first Prime Minister of the country. After the partition, Liaquat Ali Khan left all his property in India and refused to file a claim to which he was entitled as a “Nawab”. He instead opted to be termed as a “refugee”. He was a close aide to the Quaid and supported him in the struggle for Pakistan. After the Quaid’s death, he assumed control and set out to address the problems of the newly independent country. In 1951, he was mysteriously murdered in Rawalpindi’s Company Bagh, which was later renamed the Liaquat Garden.
It is a shame that people know little of him today. We must remember and commemorate our founding fathers appropriately. People should be informed of their sacrifices, contributions, and achievements through informational sessions, events and books. Political leaders should visit their graves and pay their respects to the national heroes and encourage the public to do the same. Like other successful nations, we should celebrate our heroes. Men of Liaquat Ali Khan’s intellect, caliber, and integrity are seldom born in the history.
I want to leave the readers with the question: how many of us know about the first Prime Minister of Pakistan? Liaquat Ali Khan’s words resonate in today’s political environment more than ever before: “The Prime Minister of a poor country cannot afford to have new clothes, lavish food and personal home for his self.”
Published in The Express Tribune, October 21st, 2021.