Essay No. 50:
Jinnah’s Vision Of Pakistan: Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah is relevant to present-day Pakistan not only because of his commanding role in the struggle for the establishment of Pakistan but also because his vision is at the centre of the debate on the characteristics features of the Pakistani state and the political system.
Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah made countless statements in the pre-independence period on the rights and interests of the Muslims of British India and how to adequately protect these; the rationale for the establishment of a separate and independent state; and Pakistan, Islam and democracy. He did not articulate his ideas in terms of institutions and processes because he was busy with the independence struggle. Perhaps he thought that the broadly-based statements and enunciation of the principles only with reference to the state identity, governance and political management would make the All India Muslim League acceptable to the diversified Muslim population of British India.
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He developed a charismatic appeal for the Muslims of British India who endorsed the representative character of the Muslim League and its demand for a separate state in 1946 provincial elections. His charisma was a source of strength in the last phase of the struggle for the establishment of Pakistan. However, his death within 13 months of the establishment of Pakistan did not give him time to create constitutional institutions and processes for the new state and transfer his charisma to them.
Jinnah’s death was bad luck for Pakistan because his successor lacked his vision and political stature to fill the gap of leadership and could not quickly create a constitutional and political framework for the new state that enjoyed widespread acceptability in Pakistan. They were caught up in different political controversies that delayed constitution-making and the holding of direct national elections. All this eroded the spirit of cooperation and sacrifice that manifested amply in the last phase of the struggle for independence.