Posted by: Administrator | 12 July, 2006

President speech on Birthday of Quaid-e-Azam 2001

25 December 2001

Speech of President General Pervez Musharraf delivered at the mausoleum of Father of the nation Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah,

“As I stand here today to mark the conclusion of the year of the his greatness and his unique achievements. In the words of the famous historian, Stanley Wolpert, “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 Muhammad Ali Jinnah did all three. “There cannot be a more fitting and better deserved tribute to the father of this nation.

Ladies and Gentlemen, 25 Dec 1876, the birth of the Quaid and 14 Aug 1947, the birth of Pakistan. Both, the Quaid and Pakistan, we incomplete without the other. Today, we gather to salute this man, who gave us an identity — Pakistan Today I ask all those who consider themselves the sole custodians of Islam: can there be a better Muslim in the present times than this great man who created this citadel of Islam? It is fitting, therefore, that we look at our own conscience as a nation and assess our own deeds as his followers and admirers. Let us cast our thoughts back to the chaos and confusion of 1947: what did we face then? Despair and difficulties:

Our very survival questionable. Sustainability of Pakistan doubtful. Finances to run the country coffers empty. Governmental institutions non-existent. Millions homeless. Neighbour not reconciled and hostile. Nation’s defence weak. Yet, with faith in Allah and the will to succeed we converted:- Chaos into order: Despair into confidence.

Doubtful sustainability into unquestionable reality —. In cohesive defence into united and motivated force. Disorganized functioning into institutionalized governance.

“How did all this phenomenal transformation occur? A leader with unquestionable integrity, honour, dignity and honesty led, and the people rose to the occasion. We proved all dooms day pundits wrong.  

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Where there is Unity, Faith and Discipline mountains can be scaled, oceans can be crossed and skies can be reached. The early years of Pakistan seem like good old days, a past remembered with nostalgia. Our elders call it a happy dream. Why do we have nightmares now instead of those happy dreams? What was Quaid’s vision? What have we achieved? Are we following his path or deviated from it? Let us draw lessons from the Quaid. On 11 Aug 1947, in his address to the Constituent Assembly, Quaid-i-Azam said, “you are free you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or any other place of worship In this state of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the state.”

Also on 10 March 1944, in his address to the Aligarh Muslim University Union he said, “No nation can rise to the height of glory unless your women are side by side with you. We are victims of evil customs. It is a crime against humanity that our women are shut up within the four walls of the house as prisoners. I do not mean that we should imitate the evils of western life. But les us try to raise the status of our women according to our own Islamic ideals and standards.”

The Quaid believed in Pakistan as a welfare state, drawing inspiration from the tenets of true Islam, built on foundations of democracy with respect and protection for the individual, with equal rights for all men, women and children irrespective of their religious faith or political views. What have we done to this vision? Leave aside tolerating other religions we refuse to accommodate views of various sects in our own religion. We are killing each other for difference in Fiqas and Muslaqs. We have undermined Islam to a level that people of the world associate it with illiteracy, backwardness, intolerance, obscurantism and militancy.

“How do we treat our women? We still take them to be second-class citizens. While Islam gives them an equal status, it is the supposed custodians of Islam who undermine their role. The Quaid was extremely conscious of the prevailing social evils in society. On 11 Aug 1947 while taking over as Governor General of Pakistan in his address to the constituent Assembly he said, “One of the biggest curses from which the subcontinent is suffering is bribery and corruption. That really his a poison. We must put it down with an iron hand. Along with many other things, good and bad, has arrived the great evil of nepotism and jobbely. This evil must be crushed relentlessly. I want to make it quite clear that I will not tolerate any kind of jobbely or nepotism or any influence directly or indirectly brought to bear upon me.”

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Corruption and nepotism had eaten us up like termites from within. The country is in a debt trap, looted by its elite and leaders, with its honour and dignity compromised and its future generations held to ransom. A state of degeneration had reached where earning and living on ill-gotten Haram wealth was accepted by society and no more held as shameful.

Merit became the greatest victim of nepotism Giraeen bazzi, cronyism, family links were used for professional acceptance and advancement to such an extent that it caused despondency, disillusionment and hopelessness in people with merit. Today we are in a state where incompetence and mediocrity reigns supreme. At the time of independence our bureaucracy played a key role in establishing governance and creating institutions of State.

While addressing Government offices on 14 April 1948 in Peshawar the Quaid had this to say, “you occupy very important positions in the administration. The first thing is that you should never be influenced by any political pressure, by any political pressure, by any political party of any individual politician. If you want to raise the prestige and greatness of Pakistan, you must not fall victim to any pressure, but do your duty as servants of the people and the State, fearlessly and honestly. Governments are formed, governments are defeated. Prime Ministers and Ministers come and go but you stay on. Your duty is only to serve the Government loyally and faithfully, but at the same time maintaining your high reputation and prestige.”

“It is a pity that it did not take bureaucrats very long to forget these precious words and they too got carried away by the general decline in ethics. Compromise on principles and ethical values and adopting ‘yesmanship’ for self-promotion has become a norm rather than an exception. How can Pakistan rise in the face of such apathy? Together with all these ills, we Pakistanis, also gradually gave up our patriotic favour in favour of provincialism and regionalism. This is another area where the father of our Nation had given wise advice.

While addressing students of Islamia College Peshawar on 12 April 1948 he said, “Our duty to the State comes first, our duty to our Province, to our district, to our town and to our village and ourselves comes later. Remember, we are building up a State, which is going to play its full part in the destinies of the whole Islamic World. We, therefore, need a wider outlook, an outlook which transcends the boundaries of provinces, limited nationalism and racialism. We must develop a sense of patriotism which should galvanize and weld us all into one united and strong nation. That is the only way in which, we can achieve our goal, the goal of our struggle, the goal for which millions of Musalmans have lost their all and laid down their lives”

Alas! Provincial disharmony through myopic, partisan, governmental decisions and actions had eroded our spirit of patriotic nationalism. Our preferences and motivations are the exact opposite of what Quaid-i-Azam told us. To use self comes first, then our village, then the district, followed by the Province, the poor Nation coming last of all.

Quaid-i-Azam was always sensitive to the security and defence of the country. He knew the threats to it when, in reply to a Swiss journalist’s question on 11 March 1984, whether Indian and Pakistan would come to a peaceful settlement of their vital differences and disputes, he replies, “yes, provided the Indian Government will shed the superiority complex and will deal with Pakistan on an equal footing and fully appreciate the realities.” How true, even today.

While addressing officers of Staff College, Quetta on 14 June 1948 he remarked, “you, along with other forces of Pakistan are the custodians of the life, property and honour of the people of Pakistan. A very heavy responsibility and burden lies on your shoulders.” To 5 Light Anti Aircraft Regiment in Malir he said, “You have fought many battles in far flung areas of the globe. Now you have to stand guard over the development and maintenance of Islamic democracy, Islamic social justice and the equality of man on your own native soil. You will have to be alert, very alert, for the time of relaxation is not yet there.” “These remarks hold true even today. We confront an external and internal challenge. But let me assure my countrymen, that your armed forces are fully prepared and capable of defeating all challenges by the grace of Allah. Those irresponsible politicians who issue distorted and self-serving statements to cause dissent among the forces have no clue about the unity and discipline that our forces enjoy. The armed forces will, Inshallah measure up to the expectations of the Quaid.

“Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let us very seriously and sincerely ponder, what should be the course ahead? Everything, God forbid is not lost. Pakistan, a nuclear power of 140 million people is alive and kicking. We have to rechart our course. The way forward is the way of the Quaid, as deified by the Father of the Nation. No bigoted extremists will be allowed to derail us, and we the vast silent majority must vow not to be voiceless, passive onlookers to our own internal destruction. We must act in unison to implement Quaid’s vision. Let us sink all religious and sectarian differences and show tolerance of others beliefs, views and thoughts. Let us vow to mind our own business and also to actively stop those who profess to be better Muslims than others.

Let us, always remember, our identity is Pakistan. Pakistan has to come first. “PAKISTAN HAMARI JAN, SABSE PEHLE PAKISTAN”. Our strength is in unity. How apt is Iqbal’s verse.

“FARD QEM RABTE MILLAT SE HAI-TANHA KUCHH NAHIN

MAUJ HAI DARYA MEIN BAIROON-E-DARYA KUCHH NAHIN”.

“Let us root our corruption, I specially appeal to the rich elite who have enough and can do without more “HALAL KI  KAMAEN AUR HALAL KI KHAEN.” Let the society treat the corrupt with contempt so that the fear of God is put into them and they at least hide and feel ashamed instead of showing off their ill-gotten riches.

We must restore meritocracy and shun nepotism, Let the deserving get the reward. Let the deserving get the reward. Let us not equate the horse with the mule or the donkeys. How can we progress or perform well if people with merit are not in the saddle? Bureaucrats created governance in Pakistan from scratch. Where is that creed now? I appeal to all Government servants to stand up to principles against any wrong by anyone. Regain your lost prestige through integrity, dedication, honesty and selfless service.

We in the Government will follow the Quaid’s advice given during the Presidential address at the Punjab Muslim Students Federation on 2 March 1941, “there are at least three main pillars which go to make a Nation worthy of possessing a territory and running a government. One is education. Next, no nation and no people can ever do anything very much without making themselves economically powerful in commerce, trade and industry. And, last you have got to prepare yourselves for your defence — defence against external aggression and to maintain internal security.”

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In Quaid’s own words of 28 Dec 1948, while addressing officers of North Western Railway, “we are going through fire, the sunshine has yet to come. But I have no doubt that with unity, faith and discipline we will compare with any nation of the world. Are you prepared to undergo the fire? You must make up your mind now.” I am sure that our nation is determined to meet the challenge we face today with the same dauntless courage which inspired the Quaid-i-Azam to turn the dream of Pakistan into a living dynamic reality.

The challenges we face today are in no way less than what Pakistan and Pakistanis faced in 1947. Although in many ways Pakistan has progress — in many ways Pakistanis have deteriorated. Pakistan had reached a point where Pakistan’s and the Quaid’s vision had blurred. We cannot and we will not allow that to happen. For two years now we have constantly reminded ourselves that Pakistan comes first. All decisions I make are made with Pakistan and Quaid’s vision in mind.

Come, my countrymen and women, all of us who love Pakistan and who believe in this country let us today resolve to life this nation to the heights that it is capable of achieving. It requires a super human effort, I know, but in the last two years I have seen that desire in your eyes — there is hope and there is the will. We have turned the corner.

Pakistan has the capacity, strength and resilience – it just awaits us. Let us combine and make the effort- I promise I will never let you down- Inshallah.

I cannot perhaps do better than to conclude my observations with this stirring quote from the Quaid.

Pakistan has a great future ahead of it. I t is now for us, to take the fullest advantage of what nature has so abundantly provided us with, and build up a glorious and mighty state. I thank you all. Pakistan Paindabad.”

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