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Reply to the Address presented by the Students of Islamia College, Peshawar on 12th April, 1948.

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Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am indeed very happy to be present here today and to have the privilege of meeting and addressing the students of this great Dar-ul-Ulum, who are the future builders of Pakistan.

On this occasion the thought that is naturally uppermost in my mind is the support and help that the movement for the achievement of Pakistan received from the student community, particularly of this Province. I cannot help feeling that the unequivocal and unmistakable decision of the people of this Province to join Pakistan, which was given through the referendum held last year, was helped considerably by the contribution made by the students. I take particular pride in the fact that the people of this Province have never and in no way lagged behind in the struggle for freedom and achievement of Pakistan.

Now that we have achieved our national goal, you will expect me to give you a bit of advice regarding the manner in which we can put our shoulders behind the most difficult and important task of building up our new State into what we all wish it to be; namely one of the greatest States in the world. The first thing you should do is to learn to appreciate the difference in the approach to the problems with which we are faced now, in contrast with those which were facing us when we were struggling for our independence. During our struggle for the achievement of Pakistan we were critical of the Government which was a foreign Government and which we wanted to replace by a Government of our own. In doing so we had to sacrifice many things including the academic careers of our younger generation. May I say that you played your part magnificently. Now that you have achieved your goal that is, a Government of your own, and a country which belongs to you and in which you can live as free men, your responsibilities and your approach to the political, social and economic problems must also change. The duties required of you now are: develop a sound sense of discipline, character, initiative and a solid academic background. You must devote yourself whole-heartedly to your studies, for that is your first obligation to yourselves, your parents and to the State. You must learn to obey for only then you can learn to command. In your criticism of the Government you must learn to be constructive. Government welcomes constructive criticism. You can make a big contribution towards bringing about harmony and unity where for personal and other selfish considerations some people may adopt courses which are likely to lead to disruption and disunity. Remember that your Government is like your own garden. Your garden flourishes by the way you look after it and the efforts that you put towards its improvement. Similarly, your Government can only flourish by your patriotic, honest and constructive efforts to improve it.

I am not making any particular reference to you but now that I have had the opportunity of talking to you I must warn you not to allow your actions to be guided by ill-digested information or slogans and catch-words. Do not take them to heart or repeat them parrot-like. Take advantage of your period of training that this institution offers you, by equipping yourself to become leaders of the future generation. There is a common fault with the students against which I must warn you. The students believe that no one can tell them anything which they do not already know. That mentality is harmful and often leads to quite a lot of mischief.But if you want to learn by your own experience, and not by the experience of your elders, let me tell you that as you become older, you will be more ready to learn from your costly experiences and the knock that you shall have received during your lifetime, which will harm you more than anybody else.

I naturally welcome your statement that you do not believe in provincialism. You must learn to distinguish between your love for your province and your love and duty to the State as a whole our duty to the State takes us a stage beyond provincialism. It demands a broader sense of vision, and greater sense of patriotism. Our duty to the State often demands that we must be ready to submerge our individual or provincial interests into the common cause for common good. Our duty to the State comes first; our duty to our Province, to our district, to our town and to our village and ourselves comes next. Remember we are building up a State which is going to play its full part in the destinies of the whole Islamic World.We therefore, need a wider outlook, an outlook which transcends the boundaries of provinces, limited nationalism, and racialism. We must develop a sense of patriotism which should galvanise and weld us all into one united and strong nation. That is the only way in which we can achieve our goal, the goal of our struggle, the goal for which millions of Mussalmans have lost their all and laid down their lives.

You have referred to the question of Khyber University. Let me tell you that nothing is nearer to my heart than to have a great centre of culture and learning in a place like Peshawar, a place from where the rays of knowledge and culture can spread throughout the Middle East and Central Asia. I therefore, fully sympathise with your aspirations in this behalf and, provided you go the right way about it, perhaps you will get your University sooner than you can imagine.

Finally, I would earnestly advise you to think and act with sobriety and in all humility as selfless and true soldiers of the people, and with absolute loyalty to Pakistan.

Remember, you must have patience.Rome was not built in a day. Time factor, therefore, is essential. You must trust in your Government and I assure you that they are fully alive to the needs of the people, and particularly the masses who require special attention. Give them full chance and opportunity. The success of our achievements will depend upon our unity, discipline and faith not only in ourselves but in God who determines the destinies of peoples and nations.

I thank you once more for the honour that you have done me today. I wish you every happiness and success.

There is one thing which I am sorry to say I missed to refer in my written speech. My young friends you must now fully realise the vital change, the fundamental change that has taken place. You are not now merely to confine yourselves to becoming Government servants which was the avenue to which most of you aspired. You must now realise that fresh fields, new channels and avenues are now being thrown open to you where you have unlimited opportunities, namely, you must now direct your attention to science, commercial banking, insurance, industry and technical education.

You must be reading newspapers and knowing how Pakistan is moving fast in creating various institutions of the kind I have mentioned. Many of you do not know how fast it is going, but it is going very fast and as we go on, these institutions will multiply. Those are the avenues, those are the channels where you can do well to yourselves and also serve the nation better than as clerks. I want to impress upon those who are responsible for the education of our young boys that they must concentrate and direct all energies in this direction.

You do not know what is waiting for you. I give one instance to illustrate.I know one young man who took a Government job as usual after he had completed his university career. He was a B.Com. and had some training in the commercial system. He was very happy to get a job in a Government department on Rs. 150 p.m. He was quite happy because an average B.A. does not get more than a tongawala or a taxiwala. He was very happy. He would not have received more than a few hundreds even after 35 years’ service. But suddenly somebody picked him up and got him in his bank and straightaway he was given Rs. 500/- p.m. Now, today, that is four years after, let me tell you, that he is drawing Rs. 1,500 p.m.–Rs. 1,500 he would have never received till the time he died. Now, therefore, I once more impress upon you to direct your minds to these channels.

One thing more I would like to say that there is some impression that the public is kept away from me. This you may call the Government’s management or the State visit of mine. I want this impression to be removed. I want to make it clear that the public is absolutely free to do what they like, provided they maintain discipline; whereas the public get so excited that they break every rule and every arrangement in their enthusiasm and regard for me. But that does no good to anybody and it is dangerous. Therefore, I wish that everyone will impress upon the people especially my young friends to line up if they want to see me. You can by all means come and see me with full freedom, but line up properly, keep order and maintain discipline so that I can comfortably pass as the object is that I should see you and should see me.

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you again for the honour you have done me today.

Pakistan Zindabad

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