Home > Quaid - e - Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah

Muhammad Ali Jinnah (1876 . 1948) - A brief Summary

Photo of Muhammad Ali Jinnah Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah was born at Karachi on December 25, 1876. He was a lawyer and politician who fought for the cause of India's independence from Britain, then moved on to found a Muslim state in Pakistan in 1947. Jinnah entered politics in India in 1905 and by 1917 his charisma and diplomacy had made him a national leader and the most visible supporter of Hindu-Muslim unity. His strong belief in gradual and peaceful change was in contrast to the civil disobedience strategies of Mohandas Gandhi, and in the '30s Jinnah broke from the Indian National Congress to focus on an independent Muslim state. In 1940 he demanded a separate nation in Pakistan and by 1947 he managed to get it from the British and India. Through civil wars, a rotten economy and millions of displaced refugees, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah ("the great leader") pretty much built a country from scratch.

Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah [Detail]

Birth and Schooling

Jinnah's father Jinnahbhai Poonja (born 1850) was the youngest of three sons. He married a girl Mithibai with the consent of his parents and moved to the growing port of Karachi. There, the young couple rented an apartment on the second floor of a three-storey house, Wazir Mansion. The Wazir Mansion has since been rebuilt and made into a national monument and museum owing to the fact that the founder of the nation, and one of the greatest leaders of all times was born within its walls.

On December 25, 1876, Mithibai gave birth to a son, the first of seven children. The fragile infant who appeared so weak that it 'weighed a few pounds less than normal'. But Mithibai was unusually fond of her little boy, insisting he would grow up to be an achiever.

Officially named Mahomedali Jinnahbhai, his father enrolled him in school when he was six -- the Sindh Madrasatul-Islam; Jinnah was indifferent to his studies and loathed arithmetic, preferring to play outdoors with his friends. His father was especially keen towards his studying arithmetic as it was vital in his business. By the early 1880s' Jinnahbhai Poonja's trade business had prospered greatly. He handled all sorts of goods: cotton, wool, hides, oil-seeds, and grain for export. Whereas Manchester manufactured piece of goods, metals, refined sugar and used to import into the busy port. Business was good and profits were soaring high.

In 1887, Jinnahbhai's only sister came to visit from Bombay. Jinnah was very fond of his Aunt and vice versa. She offered to take her nephew back with her in order to give him a chance of better education at the metropolitan city Bombay, that was much to his mother's dismay who could not bear the thought of being separated from her undisputedly favorite child. Jinnah joined Gokal Das Tej Primary School in Bombay. His spirited brain rebelled inside the typical Indian primary school which relied mostly on the method of learning by rote. He remained in Bombay for only six months, returned to Karachi upon his mother's insistence and joined the Sind Madrassa. But his name was struck off as he frequently cut classes in order to ride his father's horses. He was fascinated by the horses and lured towards them. He also enjoyed reading poetry at his own leisure. As a child Jinnah was never intimidated by the authority and was not easy to control.

He then joined the Christian Missionary Society High School where his parents thought his restless mind could be focused.

Karachi proved more prosperous for young Jinnah than Bombay had been. His father's business had prospered so much by this time that he had his own stables and carriages. Jinnahbhai Poonja's firm was closely associated with the leading British managing agency in Karachi, Douglas Graham and Company. Sir Frederick Leigh Croft, the general manager of the company, had a great influence over young Jinnah, which possibly lasted his entire life.

Jinnah looked up to the handsome, well dressed and a successful man. Sir Frederick liked Mamad, recognizing his extreme potential, he offered him an apprenticeship at his office in London. That kind of opportunity was the dream of all young boys of India, but the privilege went to only one in a million. Sir Frederick had truly picked one in a million when he chose Jinnah.

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The Wedding

When Jinnah's mother heard of his plans of going to London for at least two years, she objected strongly to such a move. For her, the separation for six months while her dear son had been in Bombay was testing, she said that she could not bear this long never ending stretch of two to three years. Maybe the intuition told her that separation would be permanent for her and that she would never see her son again.

After much persuasion by adamant Jinnah, she consented, but with the condition that Jinnah would marry before he went to England. 'England', she said 'was a dangerous country to send an unmarried and handsome young man like her son. Some English girl might lure him into marriage and that would be a tragedy for the Jinnah Poonja family.' Realizing the importance of his mother's demand, Jinnah conceded to it.

Mithibai arranged his marriage with a fourteen-year-old girl named Emibai from the Paneli village. The parents made all wedding arrangements. The young couple quietly accepted the arranged marriage including all other decisions regarding the wedding like most youngsters in India at that time.

'Mohammad was hardly sixteen and had never seen the girl he was to marry.' Jinnah's sister Fatima reports. 'Decked from head to foot in long flowing garlands of flowers, he walked in a procession from his grand-father's house to that of his father-in-law, where his fourteen year old bride, Emi Bai, sat in an expensive bridal dress, wearing glittering ornaments, her hands spotted with henna, her face spotted with gold dust and redolent with the fragrance of attar.'

The ceremony took place in February 1892; it was a grand affair celebrated by the whole village. Huge lunch and dinner parties were arranged and all were invited. It was the wedding of Jinnahbhai Poonja and Mithibai's first son and the entire village was lured into the festivity.

During their prolonged stay in Paneli, Jinnahbhai's business began to suffer. It was needed for him to return but he wished to take his family and his son's new bride along with him. The bride's father however, was adamant that Jinnah should stay for the customary period of one and a half month after marriage. The two families, newly bonded in marriage, were about to break into a quarrel until the intervention of young Jinnah. He spoke to his father-in-law in privacy and informed him that it was necessary for his father to return immediately along with his family. He gave the option of either sending the young bride back with him or sending her later when he would go to England for two or three years. Jinnah's persuasive power, coupled with extreme politeness was evident even at that age. Emi Bai's father consented to send his daughter, and the wedding party returned to Karachi.

How Jinnah felt about that marriage and his new bride was uncertain, he had little time to adjust since he sailed off to England soon after his return. Upon their return to Karachi, his young bride observed the custom of covering her face with her headscarf in front of her father-in-law. But the progressive Jinnah soon encouraged her to discard this practice.

He studied in the Christian Mission School until the end of October in order to improve his English before his voyage that was planned by November 1892, though some argue that he sailed in January 1893. He was not to see his young bride ever again as she died soon after he sailed from India.

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A Journey to London

Jinnah barely sixteen sailed for London in the midst of winter. When he was saying goodbye to his mother her eyes were heavy with tears. He told her not to cry and said: 'I will return a great man from England and not only you and the family but the whole country will be proud of me. Would you not be happy then?' This was the last time he saw his mother, for she, like his wife, died during his three and a half year stay in England.

The youngest passenger on his own, was befriended by a kind Englishman who engaged in conversations with him and gave tips about life in England. He also gave Jinnah his address in London and later invited to dine with his family as often as he could.

His father had deposited enough money in his son's account to last him the three years of the intended stay. Jinnah used that money wisely and was able to have a small amount left over at the end of his three and a half year tenure.

When he arrived in London he rented a modest room in a hotel. He lived in different places before he moved into the house of Mrs. F. E. Page-Drake as a houseguest at 35 Russell Road in Kensington. This house now displays a blue and white ceramic oval saying that the 'founder of Pakistan stayed here in 1895'.

Mrs. Page- Drake, a widow, took an instant liking to the impeccably dressed well-mannered young man. Her daughter however, had a more keen interest in the handsome Jinnah, who was of the same age of Jinnah. She hinted her intentions but did not get a favorable response. As Fatima reflects, " ... he was not the flirtatious type and she could not break through his reserve."

On March 30, 1895 Jinnah applied to Lincoln's Inn Council for the alteration of his name the Books of Society from Mahomedalli Jinnahbhai to Mahomed Alli Jinnah, which he anglicized to M.A. Jinnah. This was granted to him in April 1895.

Though he found life in London dreary at first and was unable to accept the cold winters and gray skies, he soon adjusted to those surroundings, quite the opposite of what he was accustomed to in India.

After joining Lincoln's Inn in June 1893, he developed further interest in politics. He thought the world of politics was 'glamorous' and often went to the House of Commons and marveled at the speeches he heard there. Although his father was furious when he learnt of Jinnah's change in plan regarding his career, there was little he could do to alter what his son had made his mind up for. At that point in life Jinnah was totally alone in his decisions, with no moral support from his father or any help from Sir Frederick. He was left with his chosen course of action without a pillar of support to fall back upon. It would not be the only time in his life when he would be isolated in a difficult position. But without hesitation he set off on his chosen task and managed to succeed.

The Theatre

During his stay in London, Jinnah frequently visited the theatre. He was mesmerized by the acting, especially those of the Shakespearean actors. His dream was to 'play the role of Romeo at the Old Vic.' It is unclear when his passion for theatre was unfurlled, perhaps it occurred while watching the performances of barristers, 'the greatest of whom were often spell-binding thespians'. This was no passing phase in life, but an obsession which continued even in his later years. Fatima reminiscences, " Even in the days of his most active political life, when he returned home tired and late, he would read Shakespeare, his voice ... resonant."

With a theatrical prop, his monocle, always in place in court, he performed like an actor on stage in front of the judge and jury. With dramatic interrogations and imperious asides, he was regarded as a born actor.

After being enrolled to the Bar he went with his friends to the Manager of a theatrical company who asked him to read out pieces of Shakespeare. On doing so, he was immediately offered a job. He was exultant and wrote to his parents about his newfound passion. He said, 'I wrote to them that law was a lingering profession where success was uncertain; a stage career was much better, and it gave me a good start, and that I would now be independent and not bother them with grants of money at all. My father wrote a long letter to me strongly disapproving of my project; but there was one sentence in his letter that touched me most and which influenced a change in my decision: "Do not be a traitor to the family." I went to my employers and conveyed to them that I no longer looked forward to a stage career. They were surprised, and they tried to persuade me, but my mind was made up. According to the terms of the contract I had signed with them, I was to have given them three months notice before I quitting. But you know, they were Englishmen, and so they said: "Well when you have no interest in the stage, why should we keep you, against your wishes?"

The signed contract is proof that how important the stage career was for Jinnah at that time, it was possibly his first love. His father's letter had dissuaded him for the time being, disheartened and dejected, he had consented to his wish. But it was probably the last time he changed his mind after seriously devoting it to something.

Ruttie Jinnah

After his return to India Jinnah chose Bombay for his residence since he no longer had any intrest in Karachi after the demise of his mother and his wife. His father joined him there and died in Bombay on the 17th of April 1902, soon after Jinnah had started his political career.

In the next two decades after his return from London, Jinnah established himself first as a lawyer and then as a politician. Devoted completely to his work he sailed between England and India and from one stage of his political career to the next.

Jinnah vacationed in the north in Darjeeling in 1916, staying at the summer home of his friend Sir Dinshaw Manockjee Petit, the son of one of the richest and most devoutly orthodox Parsi of the nineteenth century. It was in that summer that he met Dinshaw's only daughter Ratanbai. Born on February 20, 1900, Ratanbai, or Rutti as she used to be called, was a charming child. ' ... Precociously bright, gifted in every art, beautiful in everyway. As she matured, all of her talents, gifts and beauty were magnified in so delightful and unaffected a manner that she seemed a fairy princess' - Stanley Wolpert, Jinnah of Pakistan.

She was sixteen at that time and Jinnah was about forty. He was enamored by her beauty and charm and she was awe struck by Jay, as she called him. Jinnah spoke to Sir Dinshaw about inter-communal marriages, to which his friend had replied that he was not opposed to them. When Jinnah put forth his offer of a marriage proposal for his daughter Ruttie, Sir Dinshaw was taken aback. He refused bluntly and said there was no chance of his ever agreeing to such a thing. That was the end of their friendship as Sir Dinshaw never gave in. He forbade Ruttie to meet Jinnah while she lived in his house. The couple patiently waited for two years required for Ruttie to come of age. In February 1918 Ruttie turned 18 and was free to marry. On April 18, 1918 Ruttie converted to Islam at Calcutta's Jamia Mosque. On April 19, 1918 Jinnah and Ruttie married at a quiet ceremony at Jinnah's house in Bombay. The Raja Sahib of Muhamdabad and a few friends attended the wedding. The wedding ring that Jinnah presented to Ruttie was a gift from the Raja. Nobody from Ruttie's family attended the wedding.

The first few years of their marriage were a dream for both of them. They were a head- turning couple; he in his elegant suits, stitched in London, she with her long, flowing hair decked in flowers. There was no limit to their joy and satisfaction at that time. Their only woe was Ruttie's complete isolation and ostracism from her family.

Jinnah's political life began to take its toll on his time in 1922. His heavy work schedule did not allow him to spend enough time with his young and vibrant wife. Though she was supportive of his work, the element of his lack of time was taxing for her. She could not lure him away from his work. She was engulfed with feelings of desolation. By September of 1922 she packed her bags and took their only daughter Dina with her to London.

Though her heart was still set on life with Jinnah, she could not accommodate herself to his busy schedule. From London she wrote a letter to her friend Kanji in India in which she said: 'And just one thing more - go and see Jinnah and tell me how he is - he has a habit of overworking himself and now that I am not there to tease and bother him, he will be worse than ever.'

When she returned from England, the couple tried to give their marriage another chance, but Jinnah was involved in campaigning for elections as an independent Muslim for the general Bombay seat. Jinnah was to undergo a five-month tour to Europe and North America. He decided to take Ruttie along as an attempt to save their failing marriage. But in this trip the rift grew. There was no chance of reconciliation and in January 1928 the couple separated.

Ruttie lived at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Bombay, almost as a recluse, her health failing drastically. On February 20, 1929, Ruttie Jinnah died. It was her 29th birthday.

She was buried two days later in Bombay according to Muslim rites. Jinnah sat like a stone statue throughout the funeral. But when asked to be the first to throw earth on the grave as the closest relative, Jinnah broke down and wept uncontrollably. Later Justice Chagla said, 'That was the only time when I found Jinnah betraying any shadow of human weakness.'

Jinnah had been good to his wife. He had been a doting husband, fulfilling the demands of his young and enthusiastic wife. She also, had played her part justly, had supported him and encouraged him in his career. But the lack of time fatefully pulled them so far apart that eventually no reconciliation was possible. The time of their separation was a trying one for Jinnah, in the photographs of this period he is never seen smiling.

Dina

Exactly 28 years before the birth of Pakistan, Dina was born on August 14, 1919 at midnight. Jinnah's only child, she was his sole comfort after the death of his wife. Though away at school most of the time, she was home briefly for holidays. A dark eyed beauty, she was a charming young girl. She had her mother's smile and was pampered by her doting father. After her mother's death, Fatima took the responsibility of her care.

While living in London, Dina would cajole and pester her father to take her to a pantomime on High Road insisting that she was on holidays and must be entertained. The time was a blissful one spent in London. But they later grew apart, Dina never joined her father in Pakistan. She came to Karachi only for his funeral.

The relationship was marred by the fact that Dina wanted to marry a Parsi-born Christian, Neville Wadia. Jinnah tried to dissuade her, just like Sir Dinshaw had tried to influence his daughter many years ago, but to no avail. Justice Chagla recalls, " Jinnah, in his usual imperious manner, told her that there were millions of Muslim boys in India, and she could have anyone she chose. Then the young lady ... replied: 'Father, there were millions of Muslim girls in India. Why did you not marry one of them?'

The relationship became formal after she married. They did correspond, he addressed her formally as 'Mrs. Wadia'.

Dina and Neville lived in Bombay and had two children, a boy and a girl. Shortly after that they separated.

Though isolated in many ways, Jinnah was always cared for by his sister Fatima who kept house for him and nursed him till his death. She was his sole companion, never faltering, always present for him in the time of need.

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The Lawyer:

"Having qualified as a barrister in England and having made his mark in India, Jinnah's name could be justly added to the 'list of great lawyers' academically linked to Lincoln's Inn. Jinnah practiced both law and politics for half a century; he made a fortune as an advocate and earned glory and gratitude of prosperity as leader of the Indian Muslims. When Jinnah left the shores of free England and voyaged to subject India in 1896, he had perhaps no idea that, one day, he would be obliged by the erstwhile Hindu leaders to make history and his biggest brief would be to win the case of the Indian Muslims for a separate homeland."
Aziz Beg, Jinnah and his Times.

London

Jinnah left for England in January 1893, landed at Southampton, catching the boat train to Victoria Station. "During the first few months I found a strange country and unfamiliar surroundings," he recalled. "I did not know a soul and the fogs and winter in London upset me a great deal". He worked at Graham's for a while surrounded by stacks of account books he was expected to copy and balance. His father had deposited enough money in his account in a British bank to last for three years of his stay in London. He took a room as houseguest in a modest three-story house at 35 Russell Road in Kensington.

He arrived in London in February 1893 and after two months he left Graham's on April 25 of that year to join Lincoln's Inn, one of the oldest and well reputed legal societies that prepared students for the Bar. On June 25, 1893, he embarked on his study of the law at Lincoln's Inn. His quest for general books especially on politics and biographies led him to apply to the British Museum Library and he became a subscriber of the Museum Library. The two years of "reading" apprenticeship that he spent in barrister's chambers was the most important element in Jinnah's legal education.

Entrance to Lincoln's Inn, London

He used to follow his master's professional footsteps outside the chambers as well.

When Jinnah landed at Southampton, it was the peak of British power and influence in the world. The Victorian era was about to end and a new economic order was struggling to be born. Young Jinnah was greatly affected by the life in what was then called, "the greatest capital of the world", where people had more freedom to pursue what they believed in. Apart from his upbringing according to the traditions and ethics of a religious family, the Victorian moral code not only colored his social behavior but also greatly affected his professional conduct as a practicing lawyer. Jinnah's political beliefs and personal demeanor as a public man in India for four decades clearly indicate that his training, education and life in London profoundly influenced his way of life. It was that influence and training that helped him a great deal in presenting the most important case of his life and eventually led him to win that case a free country for the Muslims of the subcontinent.

In London, he received the tragic news of the death of his mother and first wife.
Nevertheless, he completed his formal studies and also made a study of the British political system by frequently visiting the House of Commons. He was the youngest student ever to be called to the Bar.

"It was in London that he acquired love of personal freedom and national independence. Inspired by the British democratic principles and fired by a new faith in supremacy of law, liberalism and constitutionalism became twin tools of Jinnah's political creed which he daringly but discreetly used during the rest of his life." Aziz Beg, Jinnah and his Times.

He was greatly influenced by the liberalism of William E. Gladstone, who had become prime minister for the fourth time in 1892.

Jinnah also took keen interest in the political affairs of India. He was extremely conscious of the lack of a strong voice from India in the British Parliament. So, when the Parsi leader Dadabhai Naoroji, a leading Indian nationalist, ran for the British Parliament, it created a wave of enthusiasm among Indian students in London. Naoroji became the first Indian to sit in the House of Commons. Naoroji's victory acted as a stimulus for Jinnah to lay the foundation of the "political career" that he had in his mind.

Jinnah was a marvelous speaker and was recognised as a balanced and reasoned debater. His power of speech had an ability to mesmerise the audience. Frank Moraes, an eminent Indian journalist, painted Jinnah's skills and attributes, " ... watch him in the courtroom as he argues a case. Few lawyers command a more attentive audience ... No man is more adroit in presenting his case. If to achieve the maximum results with the minimum effort is the hallmark of artistry, Mr. Jinnah is an artist in his craft ... The drab courtroom acquires an atmosphere as he speaks. Juniors crane their necks forward to follow every movement of the tall, well-groomed figure, senior counsels listen closely, the judge is all attention".

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BOMBAY (1896-1910)

Jinnah left London for India in 1896. He decided to go to Bombay after a brief stay in Karachi. He opted for Bombay because it offered scope for the exercise of his legal faculties and ground for his political ambitions. Bombay had the brightest constellation of India's lawyer-politicians, at that time. Ranade, Badruddin, Tyabji, Gandhi, Tilak, Gokhale, Cowasji, Dadabhoy Naoroji, Bholabhai Desai, Wacha, Nariman and many more renowned men were based in Bombay.

He was enrolled as a barrister in Bombays' high court on August 24, 1896. He took up lodgings in Room No.110 of Apollo Hotel. Father's business had suffered serious losses by then, and he could hardly get any brief for a year or so but he never stopped helping the poor and needy, even in his precarious financial position. In a letter to the Times of India, Bombay, the June 10, 1910 issue, he appealed to the well-off section of the Muslim Community in Bombay to aid a Muslim orphanage in the city. He donated a handsome amount to the orphanage at a time when his practice was not even flourishing. By 1900, he was introduced to Bombay's acting advocate-general, John Molesworth McPherson, and was invited to work with him in his office. But soon he succeeded in crossing all the hurdles to become a leading lawyer of India. He won many famous cases through powerful advocacy and legal logic.

In politics, he admired Dadabhai Naoroji and another brilliant Parsi leader Sir Pherozeshah Mehta. It was Pherozeshah Mehta, who entrusted him to defend him in the famous Caucus Case. Jinnah hit the headlines in this case; it was remarkable how a 62-year-old statesman of the Congress and an eminent lawyer had entrusted his defence to a young Muslim barrister.

Jinnah's career as a lawyer is full of marvelous legal victories. Either it was the Sapru-Jinnah encounter in Bhopal high court or the famous Bawla murder trial of 1925; a legal case against the great Hindu leader Bal Ganghadhar Tilak or his last case in 1945 where he defended Bishen Lal at Agra; Jinnah always proved to be the most enviably popular counsel.

Sir Stafford Cripps called Jinnah the most accomplished lawyer -- outstanding amongst Indian lawyers and a fine constitutionalist. As a fellow barrister of Bombay High Court put it, "he was what God made him, a great leader. He had sixth sense: he could see around corners. That is where his talents lay ... he was a very clear thinker ... But he drove his points home -- points chosen with exquisite selection --show delivery, word by word."

Joachim Alva said "he cast a spell on the courtroom ... head erect, unruffled by the worst circumstances. He has been our boldest advocate." Jinnah's most famous legal apprentice M.C. Chagla, the first Indian Muslim to be appointed chief justice of the Bombay High Court said, "What impressed me the most was the lucidity of his thought and expression. There were no obscure spots or ambiguities about what Jinnah had to tell the court. He was straight and forthright, and always left a strong impression whether his case was intrinsically good or bad. I remember sometimes at a conference he would tell the solicitor that his case was hopeless, but when he went to the court he fought like a tiger, and almost made me believe that he had changed his opinion. Whenever I talked to him afterwards about it, he would say that it was the duty of an advocate, however bad the case might be, to do the best for his client". He reminisced that Jinnah's 'presentation of a case' was nothing less than a piece of art."

Jinnah appeared in the annual session of the All India Congress, Calcutta, 1906. Dadabhai Naoroji presided over the session with Jinnah serving as his secretary. In his speech Dadabhai called the partition of Bengal a "bad blunder for England" and addressed the growing distance between the Hindus and the Muslims in the aftermath of partition. He called for a thorough political union among the Indian people of all creeds and classes. "The thorough union, therefore, of all the people for their emancipation is an absolute necessity ... They must sink or swim together. Without this union, all efforts will be vain."

Jinnah reiterated this call for national unity at every political meeting he attended in those years, and he emerged as true Ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity. He met India's poetess Sarojini Naidu at that Calcutta Congress, who was instantly captivated by the stunning appearance and rare temperament of India's rising lawyer and upcoming politician.

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THE GOVERNOR GENERAL

Quaid-i-Azam and Fatima Jinnah drove on the morning of August 14th, from the government house to the Legislative Assembly hall along a carefully guarded route, lined with soldiers as well as police alerted to watch for possible assassins, since reports of a Sikh plan to assassinate Jinnah, had reached Mountbatten and Jinnah several days earlier. But only shouts of "Pakistan Zindabad" and "Quaid-i-Azam Zindabad" were hurled at his carriage. The Mountbattens followed in the crowded semicircular chamber of Pakistan's parliament, which had been Sind's Legislative Assembly. Lord Mountbatten graciously felicitated Jinnah and read the message from his cousin, King George, welcoming Pakistan into the Commonwealth. Jinnah replied:

"Your Excellency, I thank His Majesty on behalf of the Pakistan Constituent Assembly and myself. I once more thank you and Lady Mountbatten for your kindness and good wishes. Yes, we are parting as friends ... and I assure you that we shall not be wanting in friendly spirit with our neighbors and with all nations of the world."

A witness reported: "If Jinnah's personality is cold and remote, it also has a magnetic quality -- the sense of leadership is almost overpowering ... here indeed is Pakistan's King Emperor, Archbishop of Canterbury, Speaker and Prime Minister concentrated into one formidable Quaid-i-Azam."

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THE LAST YEAR

Pakistan became constitutionally independent at midnight between the 14th and 15th August 1947. The Quaid assumed charge as the Governor General of Pakistan on August 15, 1947.

Soon after that Jinnah riveted himself to work. The colossal task of building Pakistan from scratch needed his immediate attention. Since the Lahore Resolution of 1940, he never rested even for a moment. But he surpassed himself after becoming the first head of the biggest Muslim State. From the day he arrived in Karachi on August 7, till he breathed his last, is a tale of self abnegation, exemplary devotion to duty and intense activity.

Even at the hour of triumph, Jinnah was sick and in pain. He had little or no appetite; he had lost his gift of being able to sleep at will and he passed many sleepless nights; also, his cough increased and with it his temperature. The harrowing tales of the sufferings of the refugees affected him deeply.

Of the numerous disputes with India and domestic worries,evidently the unsolved problem of Kashmir, his inability to complete the Constitution of the new state of Pakistan, and the plight of the millions of refugees who had arrived in their new homeland utterly destitute affected him the most.

The scale of the refugee problem and the depth of the tragedy were indeed heart rendering. For Pakistan the problem of coping with the refugees was proportionately far more serious than it was for India. Her territory and resources were much smaller and her administration was still in its infancy.

It was not only the plight of the Muslim refugees who had arrived from India that grieved the Quaid-i-Azam deeply. The sad condition of the Hindus in Pakistan hurt him no less.

Apart from Kashmir, there were two Princely states Junagarh and Hyderabad that formed the subject of disputes between India and Pakistan. All the states in the subcontinent except these three had acceded either to India or Pakistan by 14th August 1947. It so happened that all these three were ruled by princes whose own religion was different from that of the majority of their subjects.

He took the oath of office as Governor General on August 16th before members of the Cabinet and high civil and military officers.His Eid day message was broadcast two days later on August 18th. It was a memorable message which appeared with steamers in all the newspapers of the country. "I wish on this auspicious day a very happy Eid to all Muslims wherever they may be throughout the world -- and Eid that will usher in, I hope, a new era of prosperity will mark the onward march of the renaissance of Islamic culture and ideals."

The Quaid's first public appearance after assumption of office was also on Eid day, August 18th, when he offered his Eid prayers on Bunder Road.He was the guest of honour a week later of the Karachi Municipal Corporation. He urged the need of devotion to duty and "building up and reconstructing Pakistan in a manner that will command the respect of sister nations and find a place of honour along with great nations of the world as an equal."

On September 17, the Quaid, accompanied by Fatima Jinnah visited refugee camps in Karachi. He was visibly moved by their pain and tales of woe. There were touching scenes when an old woman sought his blessings for her sole surviving grandson.

The Quaid laid the Foundation-stone of the Vakila Textile Mills on September 25. Making a speech on the occasion he showed his grasp of the economic problems. He said, "If Pakistan is to play its proper role in the world to which its size, manpower and resources entitle it, it must develop Industrial potential side by side its agriculture and give its economy an industrial bias. By industrialzing our state we shall decrease dependence on the outside world for the necessities of life, give more employment to our people and also increase the resources of the new State."

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