|Quaid-e-Azam with a group of Quetta students|
Once, in April, 1945, the Quaid visited a school in Qalat, Balochistan, with his host, Khan of Qalat. As a little boy shook hands with him, the Quaid pointed towards the Khan of Qalat and asked this boy as to he was. The boy replied, “Our king”. Next Quaid-e-Azam inquired with the little boy about himself and asked whether the boy knew him. The boy answered, “you are our king’s guest”. Finally, the Quaid asked the boy to introduce himself. The boy said,” I am a Baloch”. At this point, the Quaid gestured towards the Khan of Qalat and earnestly requested him to tell children that they were first Muslims and later the rest of the identities.
Among Muslim League’s monumental problems at the threshold of independence was scarcity of resources as the young nation was all set to embark on the road to development. It was at a Muslim League crucial meeting at the Sindh Government House Karachi, attended by Ghulam Hussain Hiddayat, Chief Minister of Sindh and Shaheed Soharwardi, that the Quaid advised the young nation to practice austerity, economise resources and believe in the magical principle of self-help, self-reliance and self-actualisation.
The importance Quaid-e-Azam attached to the youth and the inspiration he provided them need no introduction. When, in 1941, Raja Ghazanfar Ali, the Quaid’s close aide and admirer and Sir Sikandar Hayyat, chief minister of Punjab, desired to meet the Quaid, who was then attending the annual congregation of Muslim Students’ Federation in Lahore, the Quaid politely refused to give them appointments and requested them to check for his schedule with the office-bearers of the MSF who were coordinating all his appointments during this period.
Quad-e-Azam always regarded children as the future of the nation. He had always pinned high hopes in the future architects of the nation. The most inspiring part of the Quadi’s guidance to the youth was that he himself chaired their meetings and was thoroughly involved in their guidance and grooming. He was so confident about the youth’s potential that in 1937, he himself organised the All-India Muslim Students Youth Federation. The same year he presided and addressed its first meeting in Calcutta and said that youth was the cornerstone of Pakistan Movement, the nation has many Jinnahs in the making and our future is secured with the future generations.
The year was 1946. General elections were like a referendum for Pakistan. Quaid-i- Azam was addressing the highly inspired yet well disciplined gathering at the Islamia College, Lahore. He addressed the youth straight from the heart: “My dear young nation, I have neither lands nor the Victoria Cross to offer you. But I must tell you the fact that I am proud of you. It’s not only me but the entire nation is proud of you.”
In a meeting with the Organising Committee of the First Pakistan Olympic Games held at Karachi from April 23 to 25, 1948, the Quaid said to the first President of Pakistan Olympic Association Mr Ahmed E H Jaffar, “Dedicate yourself to sports promotion, for when you and I are gone, leadership will go into the hands of Youth, and Youth is our wealth, a raw material, that must be hammered into shape, into burnished steel to strive and smite in defence - the defence of the integrity and solidarity of Pakistan - the defence of the ideology of Pakistan.”
Quaid-e-Azam’s feelings for and image of the youth can be gauged from many a statement he made about the young nation. For example, he termed youth as ambassadors of the nation at Aligarh, acknowledged as the centre of Pakistan Movement and honoured youth as magazine of the nation at a Patna’s Muslim League congregation, believed in youth as the pillar of strength for the nation at so many places and so on. However, he prioritised for the youth the need for national character, respect for law, devotion to studies, spirit of self-reliance and the motto of unity, faith and discipline that resulted in the dream-come-true reality of Pakistan and where lies the salivation of our present problems and future prospects.
By Parvez Jamil - Daily Times