On this day of rejoicing I send my greetings to Muslims all over the world and wish them very happy Eid.
For us the last Eid-ul-Fitr, which followed soon after the birth of Pakistan, was marred by the tragic happenings in East Punjab. The blood bath of last year and its aftermath–the mass migration of millions–presented a problem of unprecedented magnitude. To provide new moorings for this mass of drifting humanity strained our energies and resources to breaking point. The immensity of the task very nearly overwhelmed us and we could only just keep our heads above water. The brief span of 12 months was not sufficient to see all the Mohajreens settled in profitable employment in Pakistan. Considerable progress has been made in resettling them but a good many remain to be rehabilitated. We cannot rejoice till every one of them has been put on his feet again. I am sanguine that by next Eid this formidable and intractable problem will have been solved and all the refugees absorbed in Pakistan’s economy as useful members of society.
The history of the last 12 months has been one of continuous struggle against heavy odds, but what sustained us during these dark days, was our unity of purpose and firm resolve to see that our young State did not founder under the blows of our enemies. We have weathered the worst storms and the safety of the shore, though distant, is in sight. We can look to the future with robust confidence provided we do not relax and fritter away our energies in internal dissension. There never was greater need for discipline and unity in our ranks. It is only with united effort and faith in our destiny that we shall be able to translate the Pakistan of our dreams into reality. You are celebrating Eid today after a month of fasting. Why was fasting enjoined upon Muslims if it were not to teach them discipline and orderliness? These are the virtues to cultivate and in that lies your salvation and that of the nation.
My Eid message to our brother Muslim States is one of friendship and goodwill. We are all passing through perilous times. The drama of power politics that is being staged in Palestine, Indonesia and Kashmir should serve an eye opener to us. It is only by putting up a united front that we can make our voice felt in the counsels of the world.
Let me, therefore, appeal to you–in whatever language you may put, when the essence of my advice is boiled down, it comes to this–that every Mussalman should serve Pakistan honestly, sincerely and selflessly.