Quotes from the Quaid
By Dr Ahmed S. Khan
Chicago , IL


Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah (Dec. 25, 1876 - Sep. 11, 1948), was not only a great leader but also a world-class statesman, a witty politician, a humanitarian, a man of character and integrity, and a very wise lawyer. He believed in placing service before self. Many attributes of his great leadership and wisdom have been investigated and acknowledged by scholars during the past six decades.

Quotes by Quaid, a mini book, edited by Sharif Al Mujahid and Liaquat Merchant, and published by Oxford University Press, presents a compilation of inspiring thoughts, quotations and excerpts collected from the life’s work of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Quaid-i-Azam, the founder of Pakistan. The quotes spell out Mr. Jinnah’s vision of Pakistan. Although Quaid-i-Azam had expressed his opinion on a wide spectrum of issues, this compilation covers only 63 of his addresses and communications dealing with national and global issues.

In the foreword, Professor Stanley Wolpert makes the recommendation that “every Pakistani from your youngest child to your oldest scholar, should read this wonderful little book, Quotes from the Quaid, with pride and joy. Each page contains at least one inspiring thought, culled from the life’s work of your great leader, illuminating Quaid-i-Azam’s humane brilliance and the wisdom of his remarkable mind.”

Quaid-i-Azam’s words of wisdom are still relevant to this day and age. Commenting on the duty of the government, the Quaid said: “Those days have gone when the country was ruled by the bureaucracy. It is people’s Government, responsible to the people more or less on democratic lines and parliamentary practice…Make the people feel that you are their servants and friends, maintain the highest standard of honor, integrity, justice and fair play.” Regarding human rights, the Quaid observed: “No man should lose his liberty or be deprived of his liberty, without a judicial trial in accordance with the accepted rules of evidence and procedure.”

On the vision of Pakistan, the Quaid observed: “The establishment of Pakistan for which we have been striving… is, by grace of God, an established fact today, but the creation of a State of our own was a means to an end and not the end itself. The idea was that we should have a State in which we could live and breathe as free men and which we could develop according to our own principles of Islamic social justice could find free play.”

Discussing the objectives of an educational policy to build up character, integrity, honor and service to the nation, the Quaid in a message to All Pakistan Educational Conference (November 27, 1947) said: “If we are to make any real, speedy and substantial progress, we must…bring our educational policy and program on the line suited to the genius of our people, consonant with our history and culture, and having regard to the modern conditions and vast developments that have taken place all over the world…What we have to do is to mobilize our people and build the character of our future generations…In short, we have to build up the character of our future generations which means highest sense of honor, integrity, selfless service to the nation, and sense of responsibility, and we have to see that they are fully qualified or equipped to play their part in the various branches of economic life in a manner which will do honor to Pakistan.”

Expressing his dislike to the bane of feudalism and its exploitation of the masses, in an address to All India Muslim League Session, in Delhi, on April 24, 1943, the Quaid said: “I should like to give a warning to the landlords and capitalists who have flourished at our expense by a system which is so vicious, which is so wicked and which makes them so selfish that it is difficult to reason with them. The exploitation of the masses has gone into their blood. They have forgotten the lessons of Islam.”

Calling corruption a curse, in a communication to Mr Ispahani (May 6, 1945) the Quaid observed: “Corruption is a curse in India and amongst Muslims, especially the so-called educated and intelligentsia. Unfortunately, it is this class that is selfish and morally and intellectually corrupt. No doubt this disease is common, but amongst this particular class of Muslims is rampant.”

Expressing the importance of freedom of speech and expression in an address on April 18, 1948, at Edwards College, Peshawar, the Quaid said: “I want you to keep you heads up as citizens of a free and independent sovereign State. Praise your Government when it deserves. Criticize your Government fearlessly when it deserves, but do not go on all the time attacking, indulging in destructive criticism taking delight in running down the Ministry or the officials.”

On social equity and fraternity of man, the Quaid observed: “Brotherhood, equality, and fraternity of man --- these are all the basic points of our religion, culture and civilization and we fought for Pakistan because there was a danger of denial of these human rights in this Subcontinent.”

On December 14, 2010, in London, Quaid-i-Azam expounded on the idea that democracy, equality and liberty are pillars of a Muslim belief: “Democracy is the blood of Muslamans, who look upon complete equality of manhood [mankind] … [and] believe in fraternity, equality and liberty.”

Warning about the dangers of provincialism and sectionalism, on March 21, 1948, at a public meeting, the Quaid said: “So what is the use of saying, ‘We are Bengalis, or Sindhis, or Pathans, or Punjabis.’ No, we are Muslims. Islam has taught us this, and I think you will agree with me, that whatever else you may be and whatever you are, you are a Muslim. You belong to a nation now; you have now carved out a territory, vast territory, it is all yours; it does not belong to Punjabis or a Sindhi, or a Pathan, or a Bengali; it is your….Provincialism has been one of the curses; and so is sectionalism --- Shia, Sunni, etc…Now I ask you to get rid of this provincialism, because as long as you allow this poison to remain in the body politics of Pakistan, believe me, you will never be a strong nation, and you will never be able to achieve what I wish we could achieve.”

Quaid-i-Azam emphasized equal treatment and rights of minorities. On July 14, 1947, at a press conference in New Delhi, the Quaid said: “Minorities to whichever community they may belong, will be safeguarded. Their religion of faith or belief will be secure. There will be no interference of any kind with their freedom of worship. They will have their protection with regard to their religion, faith, their life, and their culture. They will be, in all respects, the citizens of Pakistan without any distinction of caste or creed.”

The Quaid always stressed the importance of unity, faith and discipline. In reply to North Western Railway Officers’ welcome address in Karachi on December 28, 1947, the Quaid said: “I have no doubt that with unity, faith and discipline we will only remain the fifth largest State in the world but will compare with any nation of the world…You must make up your mind now. We must sink individualism and petty jealousies and make up our minds to serve the people with honesty and faithfulness. We are passing through a period of fear, danger and menace. We must have faith, unity and discipline.”

Quaid-i-Azam always emphasized the importance of law and order. In a speech at University Stadium, Lahore, on October 30, 1947, he observed: “Remember that the scrupulous maintenance and enforcement of law and order are the prerequisites of all progress. The tenants of Islam enjoin on every Muslaman to give protection to his neighbors and to the minorities regardless of caste and creed.”

Quaid-i-Azam was an advocate of the two-nation theory. In replying (September 17, 1944) to Mr. Gandhi’s contention (September 15, 1944: I find no parallel in history for a body of converts and their descendants claiming to be a nation apart from the parent stock), the Quaid observed: “We maintain and hold that Muslims and Hindus are two major nations by any definition or test of a nation. We are a nation of a hundred million people, and, what is more, we are a nation with our own distinctive culture and civilization, language and literature, art and architecture, names and nomenclature, sense of value and proportion, legal laws and moral codes, customs and calendar, history and traditions, aptitudes and ambitions - in short, we have our own distinctive outlook on life and of life. By all canons of international law we are a nation.”

On a number of occasions, Quaid-i-Azam expressed his desire of having peace and friendship with India. Speaking at a press conference in New Delhi on July 14, 1947 he said: “I sincerely hope that they [relations between India and Pakistan] will be friendly and cordial. We have a great deal to do… and think that we can be of use to each other [and to] the world.”

Quaid-i-Azam always expressed his desire of upholding the principles of the UN Charter, and to have peace and prosperity among nations. In February 1948, in a broadcast to the USA, he observed: “Our foreign policy is one of friendliness and goodwill towards all the nations of the world. We do not cherish aggressive designs against any county or nation. We believe in the principle of honesty and fair play in national and international dealings and are prepared to make our utmost contribution to the promotion of peace and prosperity among nations of the world. Pakistan will never be found lacking in extending its material and moral support to the oppressed and suppressed peoples of the world in upholding the principles of the United Nation’s Charter.”

Quaid-i-Azam believed in friendly relations with the United States. On February 26, 1948 while replying to the US ambassador’s speech in Karachi the Quaid expressed his desire of friendly relations with the United States: “I am hopeful that good relations and friendship already existing between the peoples of America and Pakistan will be further strengthened and the bonds of friendship between our two countries will be more firmly riveted.”

Speaking at the Dacca University Convocation on March 24, 1948, the Quaid presented the case of Urdu to be the national language of Pakistan: “Urdu [is] a language that has been nurtured by a hundred million Muslims of this subcontinent, a language understood throughout the length and breadth of Pakistan and above all, a language which, embodies the best in Islamic culture and Muslim tradition…is nearest to the language used in other Islamic countries.”

In a speech at Muslim University Union, Aligarh, on March 10, 1944, the Quaid emphasized the importance of women’s rights in the development and progress of nations: “No nation can rise to the height of glory unless your women are side by side with you…”

Quotes by Quaid is a fascinating read. It is full of inspiring gems reflecting the wisdom of Quaid-i-Azam. It should be read by all who seek to understand Quaid-i-Azam’s wisdom and vision for Pakistan. Dr. Ahmed S. Khan is a professor at the College of Engineering and Information Sciences, DeVry University, Addison, IL 60101 (askhan@devry.edu).




Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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