It is almost 74 years ago that a man of vision, intellect, integrity and commitment, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah passed away in 1948, after having led a political struggle for the creation of a separate modern democratic welfare for the Muslim majority to live in peace and harmony with citizens of other faiths. He stressed upon adopting a Constitution when he addressed the First Constituent Assembly on 11 September. 

It was his belief that the modern democratic welfare state, which he envisioned, where the will of the people would reign supreme could only be guaranteed by the Constitution. Jinnah clearly elaborated on the apolitical role of the paid civil and uniformed officers, as servants of the people, in his 14 June 1948 address to Staff College Quetta. He gave us the motto of unity among all citizens of Pakistan, faith in their country and discipline regulated by rules and laws. 

Unfortunately, we have collectively failed to adopt MAJ’s vision, delayed the adoption of a constitution, and allowed usurpers like Iskandar Mirza and Ayub Khan to create obstacles. The will of the people, expressed through their elected representatives in free and fair elections, was not allowed to prevail and the basic principle of democracy based on one man, one vote, was trampled upon with the adoption of one unit, which reduced 56% majority of East Pakistan to 50%. The politically active Bengali Muslims who laid down the foundations of the All India Muslim League were agitated.

Our salvation and survival lie in adopting Jinnah’s vision. We suffered the humiliation of defeat and surrender in 1971, allowing our sovereignty to be compromised by fighting proxy wars. In the process, our economy has suffered, with extremism and terrorism haunting this country.

MALIK TARIQ ALI,

Lahore.