The Awami Jamhoori Forum organised a seminar at Alhamra on Thursday to mark the presidential address delivered by Muhammad Ali Jinnah at the first constituent Assembly of Pakistan on August 11, 1947. Dr Mubashir Hassan, Jamil Umer, Dr Farzana Bari, Khawaja Sarmad and Hassan Nasir spoke at the seminar, Jinnah ka Pakistan.
Dr Hassan said Pakistan was not established on the basis of religion. Material interests, he contended, laid the foundation of the country. He added that even though Jinnah was a popular leader, the real power lay in the hands of Chaudhry Muhammad Ali who ordered that Jinnah’s speech be censored. Dr Hassan said Jinnah’s August 11 speech was ‘a fine thing’ but there had to be a political party to implement those words.
Sarmad said that Jinnah was opposed to the feudal and supported the poor. He highlighted the economic vision laid down for Pakistan by Jinnah. Dr Bari blamed the public’s negligence which was unable to make Pakistan according to Jinnah’s guidelines. She said the army was responsible for killing democracy with its strong nexus to feudal and imperialist forces. She added that 60 per cent of people live under the poverty line with no food, and no hygienic drinking water.
Awami Jamhoori Forum secretary general Jamil Umer said that unless Pakistan transformed into ‘Jinnah ka Pakistan’ it would have no future. “No one is sovereign except for the people. The 1973 Constitution negates Jinnah’s ideas,” he said.
Umer added that the bureaucracy, the agencies and the elite had made Pakistan a security state instead of a welfare state which had been envisioned by Jinnah.
Umer announced the formation of a new party after Eid which would unite progressive forces.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2011.