Jinnah & Today’s Politics in Islamabad


The case of independence movement of Pakistan led by Jinnah and his politics is pretty much different than the situation we have now in Islamabad.

One cannot compare the past and present. But if you must, how can one forget the “Direct Action Day” that started at the end of January of 1947 and lasted for nearly five weeks. And there was not a single condemnation that came from Jinnah during the Rawalpindi riots in March of 1947 against the Sikhs by the Muslims. On the other hand on 13th Sept 1947 when the slaughter of Muslims in East Punjab was at its worst, Jinnah said: “The Sikhs have sworn to kill every Muslim in India in revenge for the killings in Rawalpindi.”

When Dawn newspaper was banned on 29th January in Punjab because of the Civil Disobedience Movement in the province by the Muslim Leaguers who were dynamic supporters of the cause of Pakistan, Jinnah was still in Karachi issuing statements in favor of Civil Disobedience and condemning the ban on Dawn.

But if you still say Jinnah was a constitutionalist, recall the event when on 10th of February 1947 the Union Jack was removed from the High Court building and Muslim League flag was hoisted instead. This was pretty much unconstitutional. In this regards the Principal of Islamia College Dr Omar Hayat and many other students were apprehended by the police. Jinnah again issued the condemnation against the arrest but nothing came out officially from Jinnah against such acts.

The point is, Jinnah never ordered or supported the communal riots nor did he order the hoisting of ML flag on High Court instead of Union Jack. But his silence in all the issues was more of an agreement with all the events rather than disagreements or neutrality; he knew that Pakistan was not possible without street politics.

If anything, the Pakistan Movement gained true success through street politics and pressure tactics.

Still, one cannot just compare the political situation of 1947 with 2014. But if one must, the brutal facts must be acknowledged.

Some people believe that Pakistan came into being by passing some bureaucratic and colonial hurdles while sipping coffees and smoking cigars in the guest houses in a time when everything was peaceful on the streets.

Jinnah was a shrewd politician. But, nonetheless, a politician, who, many a times during the Pakistan Movement, was consciously result-oriented rather than process-oriented.

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