New Delhi: In an opinion piece on Sunday, Dawn said that between 1947 and late 1950s, not much was written on the country’s founding father Mohammad Ali Jinnah.
The country had then faced many problems but the rulers of the time hardly made any attempt to evoke Jinnah’s sayings or personality to address the issues, Nadeem F Paracha wrote.
“The 1950s were a highly mutable period in the history of Pakistan. The country’s founding party, the All-India Muslim League was constantly ravaged by infighting, and unable to address the economic, ethnic and religious challenges that had sprung up,” the Op-ed noted.
“In 1956, when the indirectly-elected Constituent Assembly passed the country’s first constitution, there was again little or no mention of Jinnah.
“What’s more, Jinnah’s sister who had authored a book on her brother was dissuaded (by the government) to publish it. The book was not published until 1987,” Paracha wrote.
The article further noted that in 1954, the then government had authorised British writer Hector Bolitho to write a biography of Jinnah. “But the published version was heavily censored. Entire quotes of Jinnah were removed from the final text while others were altered,” the article said.
“It was as if the state and the government of Pakistan in the 1950s had failed to find any use for Jinnah’s thoughts,” the article said, noting “Perhaps Jinnah’s memory had seemed to be too multicultural in tone and tenor to a state trying to enforce a more monolithic idea of Pakistan?”
The author said that this attitude was radically altered by the arrival of the Ayub Khan regime in 1958. He was the first Pakistani ruler to promptly start placing Jinnah’s portrait alongside his own in public rallies, Paracha said.
In his quest to modernise Pakistan, Ayub Khan constantly evoked Jinnah as a progressive Muslim, he wrote.