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Sixty-five years after the death of its founding father, Pakistanis are still searching for Mohammed Ali Jinnah's vision for the country - and a missing historical speech.


During much of its existence, Pakistanis have been encouraged to believe that Mr Jinnah created Pakistan in the name of Islam as a theocratic state.

Others have disagreed, arguing the founding father wanted a Muslim-majority but secular and progressive country.

The debate over the two competing and contradictory visions has intensified in recent years as the country reels from growing Islamic extremism and Taliban militancy.

At the heart of this debate are some public addresses of Mr Jinnah given around the time of the partition of India in 1947.

Transcripts of those addresses have been available in Pakistan. 

Crucial speech 
 
The archives of state-owned broadcaster, Radio Pakistan, also contain cranky old audio recordings of most of those speeches, except for one: his address to the Constituent Assembly in the port city of Karachi on 11 August 1947, three days before the creation of Pakistan.

For liberals in Pakistan, it was a crucial speech in which Mr Jinnah spoke in the clearest possible terms of his dream that the country he was creating would be tolerant, inclusive and secular.

"You are free. You are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this state of Pakistan," Jinnah declared. "You may belong to any religion or caste or creed - that has nothing to do with the business of the state."

Documented evidence suggest that Mr Jinnah's words didn't go down well with the powerful and ambitious religious ideologues around him at the time, who then made sure the speech was virtually blacked out in the next day's newspapers.

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The most important and posh area of the capital has a picture of Pakistan’s founding father installed in a frame at the start of the largest road. The Cinnah Caddesi is a major road located in the heart of Ankara, the capital of Turkey. It is one of the most important arteries of traffic and commerce in the city. It was dedicated to, and named after, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. In Turkish language, Jinnah is spelled as ‘Cinnah’.

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Quaid-e-Azam is addressing Tribals Quaid-e-Azam is addressing Tribals

Quaid-e-Azam at the Afgan Border (1935) Quaid-e-Azam at the Afgan Border (1935)

Quaid-e-Azam receiving a rifle from a tribal chief Quaid-e-Azam receiving a rifle from a tribal chief

Quaid-e-Azam accepting a loaf of bread from tribesmen in Khyber Agency Quaid-e-Azam accepting a loaf of bread from tribesmen in Khyber Agency

As a gesture of goodwill, tribal leaders presenting a goat to the Quaid As a gesture of goodwill, tribal leaders presenting a goat to the Quaid

A newspaperreport before the foundation of Pakistan when tribal delegation fromKurram fata meet Quaid e Azam in delihi. A newspaper report before the foundation of Pakistan when tribal delegation from Kurram fata meet Quaid e Azam in delihi.

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Summing up his impression about the League Session the Quaid said:

“The first thing that has emerged from this session of the All-India Muslim League is that the entire body of delegates in the open session and the vast public accepted the resolution moved by the chair, also unanimously. This has shown beyond doubt that the Musalmans are capable of standing and going through an order and trial worthy of any great organization."

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Source: Paksitan Visions, An International Journal of Pakistan Affair (Quaid-i-Azam Number), Vol. II, No. 1 & 2 January-july 2001, Lahore

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As soon as the All-India Muslim League, at its Lahore Session in March 1940, adopted the resolution there was a hysterical outburst in Congress and other Hindu circles. Without pausing to consider the merits of the proposal they began to decry and oppose it tooth and nail. The Quaid in a statement appealed to the better mind of the Hindu and other communities to give serious consideration to the Pakistan Resolution as the only way of achieving India’s freedom at an early date. He said:

“I still hope at any rate the better mind of the Hindus will give earnest and serious consideration to our proposals as there lies the achievement of India’s freedom at the earliest possible period. This freedom we shall be able to retain peacefully both internally and externally.”


Source: Paksitan Visions, An International Journal of Pakistan Affair (Quaid-i-Azam Number), Vol. II, No. 1 & 2 January-july 2001, Lahore