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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

2001 as year of the Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. (2001-19)

On December 25, 1876 a child was born in a prominent mercantile family of Karachi who was destined to change the course of history in South Asia and to carve out a homeland for the Muslims of India where they could peruse their destiny according to their faith and ideology.

From his very childhood, young Jinnah developed the habit of stern independence and self-reliance. In 1892, he was called to the Bar at the very early age of 16. He stayed for four years in England and on his return, started his practice in Bombay. The early period was spent in hard and constant labour. However, he soon came to be looked upon not only as a brilliant lawyer, but also as a man of great integrity and character. He was soon elected to the Imperial legislative Council.

Mr. Jinnah began by accommodating the Congress point of view, and was called 'Ambassador of Hindu-Muslim Unity' when he brought about rapprochement between the Congress and the Muslim league in 1916. He soon felt, however, that the Congress was merely a camouflage for consolidating Hindu India at the expense of Muslim, and it was at the London meetings of the Round Table Conference during 1930-32 that he received the shock of his life. "In the face of danger" he said, "the Hindu sentiment, the Hindu mind, the Hindu attitude led me to the conclusion that there was no hope of unity".

Mr. Jinnah returned from England in 1934, and set out to galvanizing the Muslim League into a most dynamic organization. "We are a Nation" he asserted, "with our own distinctive culture and civilization, language and literature, art and architecture, names and nomenclature, sense of value and proportion, legal laws and moral code, custom and calendar, history and tradition, aptitude and ambitions; in short, we have our own distinctive outlook on life and of life. By all canons of international law we are a Nation."

In subsequent years, Mr. Jinnah, popularly known by the title "Quaid-e-Azam" (the Great Leader), came to symbolize the Muslim aspirations for a separate independent homeland, and in 1940 the Muslim League, under his inspiring leadership, demanded that India should be partitioned and the Muslim majority areas should constitute the sovereign, independent State of Pakistan. It was his ardent advocacy and unbending character, his unshakable determination and his power of persuasion that brought about the successful fruition of the Muslim struggle in the shape of Pakistan.

Quaid-e-Azam performed the opening ceremony of the establishment of State Bank of Pakistan on 1st July, 1948. The Quaid-e-Azam was accompanied by Mohtarma Fatirna Jinnah. On arrival, he was greeted by State Bank's first Governor, Mr. Zahid Husain. After having inspected a Guard of Honour of a detachment of Pakistan Army, Quaid- e-Azam took the salute.

The function, among others, was attended by the members of Central Board of Directors of State Bank of Pakistan Sir Maratab Ali Shah, Mr. Wabiduz-Zaman, Mr. Hatim A. Alavi, Mr. Jogesh Das and Mr. Kasim Hussain Kassam Dada. The freedom fighters, Pirzada Abdul Sattar, Sir Gbulam Hussain Hedayatullah, Khawaja Shababuddin. Mr. I.I. Chundrigar, Raja Ghazanfar Ali Khan, Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar, Sir Zafarullah Khan and Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan were also present to witness the creation of the Bank.

Inaugurating the Bank, Quaid-e-Azam began his historic, and what turned out to be his last public address by saying "the opening of the State Bank symbolizes the sovereignty of our State in the financial sphere'. Quaid-e-Azam has specially come to Karachi by interrupting his stay in Ziarat for the occasion of national importance. With his characteristic foresight he could see as early as that, as the put it in the concluding portion of his inaugural speech, that the Bank "will develop into one of our greatest national institutions".

The three other stamps epitomize Quaid-e-Azarn Muhammad Ali Jinnah's visit to 5 Heavy Anti Aircraft Regiment (Artillery) on 21st February, 1948 and 2/15 Punjab on 15- 4-1948. The 5 Heavy Anti Aircraft Regiment (Artillery) was given the unique honour of being the first Armed Forces unit to be visited by Quaid-e-Azam.

Regimental parade was held in Quaid's honour. When Quaid-e-Azam reached the saluting dais the Regiment gave a general salute. While the Regiment was still at 'present arm' Quaid was requested by Lieut. (later Admiral) Ahsan, his ADC, to move to review the parade. The parade commander just could not decide to order the Regiment to 'order arm' as Quaid was then moving. Thus Quaid reviewed the Regiment at 'present arm'. A tradition was thus born on Quaid's first visit to the Unit. Since then the 5 Heavy Anti Aircraft Regiment has been claiming the right to be inspected at 'present arm' as Quaid had inspected it at 'present arm' on his first visit. The claim of 5 Heavy Anti Aircraft Regiment was examined and re-examined many a time when finally it was approved by the Chief of Army Staff General Mirza Aslam Baig and Maj. Gen. Agha Masood Hasan, GOC Army Air Defence Command, inspected the 5 AD Regiment guard at 'present arm' at Quetta for the first time, when Lieut Colonel (now Major General) Tahir Mahmud Qazi was the Commanding Officer.

Since then the Regiment has a unique honour of being reviewed at 'present arm' and using the motto "Fakhr-e-Quaid". The stamp places the visit of Quaid to 5 Heavy Anti Aircraft Regiment in Philatelic history.

The Quaid was seventy-one when Pakistan was born. He was spared by Almighty only for one year to set the ship of the new State on its keel. In spite of his immense prestige and popularity he conducted himself strictly as a constitutional Head of the state and never deviated from democratic conventions and constitutional Propriety.

He died on September 11, 1948 deeply mourned by a grateful Nation but as one of the great immortals of history. Date of Issue (December 25, 2001)