The Great Politicain

JINNAH is the founding father of Pakistan. But to Pakistanis, he was something more: he is their role model. A role model if only because of the principles he had owned up and practised during his long political career, and, moreover, because of the congruence of his behaviour pattern and politics with his professed principles throughout his public life.

While Jinnah’s own public life and political behaviour provide a role model for the rulers, administrators and politicians, he showed a remarkable perspicacity in identifying the problems that would be encountered in building up Pakistan as he envisaged it — as a welfare state.

The most critical problems confronting Pakistan today are, above all, those of law and order, corruption, nepotism and jobbery, and of greed, ineptitude, hypocrisy, and the insensitivities of those in power, whether in the government at various levels or in the opposition. On these problems Jinnah dwelt repeatedly during his tenure as governor-general, beginning with his August 11, 1947, address to the Constituent Assembly. Now, consider how relevant are the following guidelines he had set out in that memorable address.

i) “The first duty of a government is to maintain law and order, so that the life, property and religious beliefs of its subjects are fully protected by the state.”

ii) “... everyone... no matter to what community he belongs, ... no matter what his colour, caste or creed, is first, second and last a citizen of this state with equal rights, privileges and obligations... we are all citizens and equal citizens of one state.” (This dictum in the present context should logically be extended to include various sects and ethnic groups).

iii) “... always be guided by the principles of justice and fair play, without any... prejudice or ill-will,... partiality or favouritism.”

iv) “... the evil of nepotism and jobbery ... must be crushed relentlessly ... Never tolerate any kind of jobbery, nepotism or any influence...