Jinnah’s Vision of Pakistan Was a Secular Democracy: Wolpert

Washington, DC: “The Pakistan Jinnah envisioned was neither a narrow-minded theocracy nor a feudal tyranny or martial dictatorship, but a democratic polity governed by law and equal opportunities for all,” writes Stanley Wolpert in his new book – ‘Shameful Flight’ – on the partition of India.
Wolpert, quoting the Quaid-i-Azam’s famous Constituent Assembly speech about all Pakistani citizens being equal under the law, no matter what their religion, writes, “Jinnah meant every word of it, but tragically, he was mortally ill and could barely continue to work. He could do little more than to articulate his secular and liberal ideals to his Muslim followers, many of whom found them impossible to comprehend. For most of his last pain-filled year, Governor General Jinnah lacked the strength to help Pakistan create and securely establish the vital democratic institutions it so desperately needed. He was so frail during his last months that he remained bed-ridden in Balochistan’s hill station Ziarat.”
Wolpert, author of several books of Indian history and biographer of Jinnah and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, also writes about an intelligence report by the chief of Punjab police, Gerald Savage, which said that Master Tara Singh planned to have the Quaid-i-Azam “killed” during his swearing-in ceremonies at Karachi as governor general of Pakistan. The Quaid was informed of the threat but, writes Wolpert, “Jinnah, who had faced down several previous assassination attempts, was unperturbed by learning of this latest ‘threat’ to his life, which never occurred.”


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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