Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was undoubtedly one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century who led the Muslims of the sub-continent. Quaid-i-Azam was gifted with exceptional qualities of leadership, integrity, determination, and an unconquerable will to achieve. He defied the mighty hostile forces that had joined hands to deprive the Muslims of the sub-continent of their political rights and liberties. Through his charismatic leadership and statesmanship, he led the Muslims of India to the great goal of independence from the British rule and Congress dominance. He united a people into a nation under the flag of All India Muslim League. He showed the power of “faith, unity, and discipline” throughout the Independence Movement.
Quaid-e-Azam firmly believed in democracy and constitutionalism. Addressing the All-India Muslim League session, in 1916, he said, “There are no people in the world who are more democratic even in their religion than the Musalmans.” Even during the independence movement, he followed constitutional and legal ways to win the freedom. He displayed through elections, held in 1946, that the All-India Muslim League was the only representative party of the Muslims of India. Thus, he practically showed that the will of the people “is most important for governing the country and achieving the milestones of prosperity”. Quaid-e-Azam advanced for the creation of unity integral to an Islamic welfare state in line with his vision.
Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had a clear concept of constitutional, civil and political rights for democracy in Pakistan. He assured that the constitution of Pakistan would be framed by the elected assembly. He envisaged a free, progressive, humane and modern Pakistan ruled by justice irrespective of religion, colour or caste where everybody would be equal before law. Immediately after the creation of Pakistan in 1947, there was the bigger task ahead of him to lay the foundations of this new country. Jinnah knew well that the areas which were to form Pakistan had no industrial base and were economically backward. Therefore, as early as December 1943, he had a comprehensive Five-Year Program drawn up for the economic and social uplift of the proposed Muslim State. He rightly regarded industrial and economic development as a prerequisite for preserving the cohesion and freedom of this newly found nation.
Moreover, the Quaid had a vision of a strong Pakistan that is self-sufficient and a progressive economy in order to become part of the developed nations of the world. To achieve this goal, the Quaid consulted Muslim experts on the economy. At the Quaid’s behest, Mohammad Ali Habib, a leading banker, analyzed the rapid industrialization of Pakistan. He made a number of suggestions for the printing as well as fiduciary issues of the Pakistan currency, division of the Reserve Bank of India’s assets and liabilities and useful employment of refugees. The Quaid further recommended that a government should borrow only for financing public enterprises which were productive, such as canals, railways, steal and cement plants, and minimizing current account deficits.
It is pertinent to mention that Quaid-i-Azam stressed that “Our planning committee chalks out an economic system; it will be based upon the teachings of Quran”. His vision for the economy was as follows: “We must work for our destiny in our own way and present to the world an economic system based on true Islamic concepts of equality and social justice. We will thereby by fulfilling our mission as Muslims and giving to humanity the message of peace which alone can save it and secure the welfare, happiness and prosperity of mankind”.
While addressing the students of Islamia College, Peshawar on 12th April 1948, the Quaid said: “The success of our achievements will depend upon our faith, unity, and discipline not only in ourselves but in Allah who determines the destinies of people and nations.”
Overtime the Muslims of India thought through the mind of the Quaid, looked through the eyes of the Quaid, felt through the heart of the Quaid. The Quaid not only created Pakistan but was the embodiment of Pakistan. An incredible and inspirational man he stood against all odds to fulfill the dream of millions of Muslims of a separate homeland — to what is known today as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.