QUAID-I-AZAM AS GOVERNOR GENERAL (1947-48)

Quaid-i-Azam became first Governor General of the nascent state of Pakistan on August 15, 1947. The new responsibility was like bed of thrones for him. The new country was faced with lot of problems like refugee rehabilitation, issue of princely states, non-availability of a workable system for running affairs of the State, farming of new constitution and financial strains etc. Quaid-i-Azam tackled these problems boldly and with failing health in such a manner that its parallel can not be found rarely in history of the world.

Quaid-i-Azam was fully aware of the part played by Muslims of India in the creation of Pakistan. During the short period that he lived after the creation of Pakistan, he undertook “despite failing health long and arduous journey to the remotest parts of the country in an effect to keep up the confidence and moral of the people.”1 Quaid-i-Azam laid down correct precedents and traditions for the growth of a democratic Pakistan. For instance, despite insistence of the people, he declined to accept Presidentship of Muslim League as “he considered it inconsistent with his position as Head of the State.”2

The nascent state of Pakistan was engulfed with shortage of funds and requirements of the State as he told Begum Shah Nawaz “only twenty crores of rupees in the treasury and nearly rupees forty crores of bills lying on the table.”3 Beside appealing for funds, he introduced a note of simplicity and austerity into the conduct of offices.

Quaid-i-Azam was fully aware of the role of officials taking interest in politics are being dragged to serve political ends. In his talk to Government Officers at Peshawar on 15 April 1948, he emphasized, “you should have no hand in supporting this political party or that political party, this political leader or that political leader—this is not your business…. Your duty is not only to serve that government loyally and faithfully, but, at the same time, fearlessly, maintaining your high reputation, your prestige, your honour and the integrity of your service.”4

Quaid-i-Azam being a constitutionalist was firm believer and staunch supporter of rule of law. According to the A.D.C. of Quaid-i-Azam, Major Gul Hasan, “around 400 government servants assembled before the gates of Governor General House, for a protest, the staff asked for permission to scatter the protestors through lathi charge, but Quaid-i-Azam, told the staff that peaceful protest is their constitutional right.”5

Quaid-i-Azam was in favor of giving provincial autonomy to the provinces. It is evident from the fact that right from his Fourteen Points till establishment of Pakistan, he always emphasized provincial autonomy.

Quaid-i-Azam firmly believed that no nation can consolidate without education. In a message to All India Educational Conference, he said, “There is no doubt that the future of our state will, and must, greatly depend on the type of education, we give to our children. There is immediate and urgent need for giving scientific and technical education to our people and at the same time, we have to build up the character of our future generation.”6

Quaid-i-Azam stressed on the economical and financial development of the country. “The organizations like Muhammadi Shipments, Orient Airways, Habib Bank, Muslim Commercial Bank, All India Federation of Muslim Chambers of Commerce and Industries and Printing Press came into being.”7 On eve of opening ceremony of State Bank of Pakistan, he said, “I shall watch with keenness the work of your research organization in evolving banking practices compatible with Islamic ideals of social and economic life.”8 In another occasion addressing a gathering at Chittagong, he said, “you are only voicing my sentiments and the sentiments of millions of Musalmans when you say that Pakistan should be based on sure foundations of social justice and Islamic socialism—no other ‘ism’—which emphasize equality and brotherhood of man. Similarly you are voicing my thoughts in asking and aspiring for equal opportunity for all.”9

Quaid-i-Azam believed in a foreign policy based on peace, tranquility and cooperation. On eve of the inauguration of Pakistan Broadcasting Service, he said, “Our object should be peace with in and peace without. We want to live peacefully and maintain cordial, friendly relations with our immediate neighbours and with the world at large.”10

References

  1. 1.Jamil-ud-Din Ahmad, Glimpses of Quaid-e-Azam (Karachi: Royal Book Company, 1990), p. 46.
  2. 2.Ibid., p. 47.
  3. 3.Stanley Wolpert, Jinnah of Pakistan, p. 344.
  4. 4.Waheed Ahmad, ed., The Nation’s Voice: Launching the State and the End of the Journey, Vol. VII (Karachi: Quaid-i-Azam Academy, 2003), p. 338.
  5. 5.Qayyum Nizami, Quaid-i-Azam Bahasiyat Governor General (Urdu) (Lahore: Jehangir Books, 2010), p. 120.
  6. 6.Waheed Ahmad, op.cit, p. 110.
  7. 7.Qayyum Nizami, op.cit, p. 147.
  8. 8.Waheed Ahmad, op.cit, p. 428.
  9. 9.Ibid., p. 289.
  10. 10.Ibid., p.1.

THE LEGEND

Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the voice of one hundred million Muslims, fought for their religious, social and economic freedom. Throughout history no single man yielded as much power as the Quaid-i-Azam, and yet remained uncorrupted by that power. Not many men in history can boast of creating a nation single handedly and altering the map of the world but Jinnah did so and thus became a legend. Stanley Wolpert has paid a tribute to Jinnah in a befitting manner:

"Few individuals significantly alter the course of history. Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with creating a nation-state. Mohammad Ali Jinnah did all three.”

LIFE AND TIMES

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BIRTH, EDUCATION and Early Career

Early life of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

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political career

POLITICAL CAREER

Comprehensive detail about the political career of Quaid-e-Azam.

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Quaid-i-Azam and The Transfer of Power

Role of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah in Pkaistan Movement.

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GOVERNAL GENERAL

A description about life of Quaid-e-Azam as Governor General of Pakistan.

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