Jinnah’s Vision on Pakistan’s Governance

Posted on August 18, 2007
Filed Under >Kruman, Law & Justice, Politics, Society
Total Views: 39336


Guest post by Kruman

Quaid i Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah of Pakistan talking to studentsSince we have been talking here about Jinnah’s vision for Pakistan, maybe we should also think about Jinnah’s vision on Pakistan’s governance. Particularly on the issue of ‘uniforms’ in politics, which is the concern of the day in Pakistan. Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah was thinking well ahead of his time. His following address has never been so pertinent as it is now.

On June 14, 1948, addressing the officer at the Military Staff College in Quetta, the Quaid-i Azam said:

During my talks with one or two very high-ranking officers I discovered that they did not know the implications of the oath taken by the troops of Pakistan. Of course, an oath is only a matter of form; what is more important is true spirit and heart. But it is an important form and I would like to take the opportunity of refreshing your memory by reading the prescribed oath to you:

“I solemnly affirm, in the presence of Almighty God, that I owe allegiance to the Constitution and the Dominion of Pakistan and that I will be duty bound honestly and faithfully serve.”

As I have said just now, the spirit is what really matters. I should like you to study the Constitution which is in force in Pakistan at present and understand its true constitutional and legal implications.

(Jinnah, Speeches and Statement 1947-1948, Oxford University Press, 2000).

Lets’ also take a few minutes to review the oath taken by members of the armed services and also the presidential oath, in terms of the constitution:

Oath of allegiance for armed services:

“I, do hereby solemnly swear that I will bear true faith and allegiance to Pakistan and uphold the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan which embodies the will of the people, that I will not engage myself in any political activities whatsoever and that I will honestly and faithfully serve Pakistan in the Pakistan army by and under the law.”

Let me reiterate, the oath states, “not engage myself in any political activities whatsoever”.

Presidential oath:

“That I will not allow my personal interest to influence my official conduct or my official decisions. That I will preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.”

Jinnah’s vision on the matter of governance of Pakistan and the supremacy of the Constitution and rule of law is very clear. Much more so than that of the rulers of today.

32 Comments on “Jinnah’s Vision on Pakistan’s Governance”

  1. dawa-i-dil says:
    August 19th, 2007 1:40 am

    I think..on 6 August ..1947..in delhi ..on a dinner..when some high pakistani Millitary Officer tried to convince Jinnah over some promotion issue..jinnah caught him by his collar and said..listen young man..millitary is a servant of civil government…

    Jinnah was very clear about that …Mllitary should not be allowed at all….in politics…

    but today..we see..in 35 years ..of pakistan..we have this dictatorship..no poltical filteration process…pakistan broke due to this…

    US surveys ..says…Mushharf is now 64% ..that people dont want him..only 33% voted for him..but still…in HAWIS of seat..he want 13 years….what the hell is this…

    yeterday…MA of PML(Q) ..did not attend his meeting…due to uniform…shear lines of breakages are withing party..but still he want 5 more years…

  2. Kruman says:
    August 19th, 2007 2:22 am

    This was quite a revelation for me. Note the tone of the Quaid, he seems concerned by what he perceives. It sounds like a teacher trying to instill a point in the minds of students.

    This speech should be played often on TV and should be read before every core commanders conference in the GHQ.

    Our legacy as a nation founded by the power of the vote, in a struggle led by an eminent lawyers like Quaid is:
    1) democracy
    2) adherence to the law and the constitution
    3) establishing a welfare state based for the people, not a security state for the army.

  3. BD says:
    August 19th, 2007 2:35 am

    Kruman, it’d be awesome if you could post a link to the source of the army oath?

    Also, has this oath undergone any revisions since 1947?

  4. August 19th, 2007 6:05 am

    Kruman bhai,

    Superb post and again shows how the Quaid’s Pakistan would have been like. Go Musharraf go!



  5. Cameo says:
    August 19th, 2007 8:09 am

    if any of the Tv channels play it for a few times, that would be really nice,

    if the armed forces dont realize whats wrong, atleast people of will appreciate where we have been going wrong in this country

  6. Kamran says:
    August 19th, 2007 11:18 am

    Dawa-i-dll, that story about Jinnah holding someone by the collar sounds made up. I doubt it happened. Seems more like what you would want to do rather than what he did. Can you give any reference for this?

    We keep making up stories and lies about what Jinnah said, what is in Hadees or what is in Quran or what Iqbal said without knowing anything, just on basis of what we think they should say!

  7. Zia says:
    August 19th, 2007 12:09 pm

    Explained in one word ” hypocrisy”. The gap between what we say and what we do. Every oath starts from

  8. PatExpat says:
    August 19th, 2007 3:29 pm

    Slightly below the belt, but the arm forces and their head’s current role is best describe by Shakespeare in Richard III:

    And now, instead of mounting barded steeds
    To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
    He capers nimbly in a lady’s chamber
    To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.

  9. Kruman says:
    August 19th, 2007 4:38 pm

    Khalid Masood Khan puts it as:
    Meter check kara lo hum say, chhapay tum marwa lo
    Border utay larna sharna aukha lagta hai

    It is the last couplet in the following video:

  10. August 19th, 2007 9:23 pm

    If only our current leaders were even 2% as intelligent as Quaid or had 1% of the vision he had 60 years ago!!……. on and off, i have felt that more than anything else we lack “LEADERSHIP” in this country…….. its almost as if there is no craddle of leadership in our country…….. not sure if I am the right one to say this but we have been very unlucky in this manner and had been getting one idiot after another for last 60 years!!

  11. gumnam says:
    August 20th, 2007 1:36 am

    Oh..I am glad that this forum is finally going to stop supporting Musharraf blindly….These quotes have been there for years..where were you Mr. Adil najam, Owais Mughal, Bilal Zubairi..is your love for musharraf getting over already!!! Let me see if you sensor this messge or you respond to it ‘politely’!!!

  12. Raza Rumi says:
    August 20th, 2007 3:21 am

    Kruman: thanks for this post. Indeed, the Quaid had a different vision for Pakistan than his followers ..

    However, I see that the comments are in sync with the anti-authoritarian mood of Pakistan these days. However, we should remember that the failure to uphold the Constitution and civilian rule is in effect collective failure. Ayub Khan was inducted in the Cabinet by a civilian government and often politicians have invited the army to take over.

    Even General Musharraf was greeted by most political forces! And, today’s anti-Musharraf and anti-army sloganeers were supporting him for several years, his referendum not to mention the 17th amendment that legalised the uniformed presidency once again..

    I am not defending military rule (God forbid!) but just want to put things in perspective _

    Let us hope that the current struggle to keep army out of power succeeds and establishes civilian supremacy.

  13. prophecy says:
    August 20th, 2007 12:36 pm

    Thanks Raza Rumi, looks like there are few who still use head instead of stomach.

    And Musharaf key ‘HAWIS’ – i love that when self appointed Gods judges others. Musharaf is no longer a professional who raise to top of his profession – leading 500 K + people, at least was able to produce his tax documentation (one year before that Mr Nawaz Shrif was paying less than myself – a person on job with 18 months of experience) . No this person cannot make an error, he has blinded by his HAWIS, and Mr God is here to tell us that. And to prove that we can now rely on Jewish influenced American media – oh my God – Mr you are supporting Jews now by opposing Musharaf. If Americans want Mush out that means Yahoodi Sazish and hence you are part of this – you are not a muslim…and perhaps paid by Isreal to publically bash Mush.

  14. Kruman says:
    August 20th, 2007 2:39 pm

    I am unable to find the oath on the ISPR website. You may want to send them an email from:

    You can send them the oath and ask them if the following phrase is really included in the oath, it may be just indian or yahoodi propaganda:)
    “that I will not engage myself in any political activities whatsoever”

    According to Article 6 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan:

    “Any person or persons who commit the act of mutiny against the parliament, judiciary and/or the elected members and officials of parliament is/are guilty of committing the highest treason. This person or persons committing such an act must be charged and prosecuted in the court of law and sentenced to death if found guilty”

    Article 243.1 of the constitution of Pakistan states that ‘The Federal Government shall have control and command of the Armed Forces’ and when a person is commissioned as a member of the Armed Forces, takes the following oath:

    “I ——, do solemnly swear that I will bear true faith and allegiance to Pakistan and uphold the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan which embodies the will of the people, that I will not engage myself in any political activities whatsoever and that I will honestly and faithfully serve Pakistan Army (or Navy or Air Force) as required by and under the law.”

  15. Allah Wasaya says:
    August 20th, 2007 3:34 pm

    There are three versions of the Constitution of Pakistan, the government’s version, the opposition’s version and the real version. You will never ever find two rival politicians agreeing on one point which is black and white in the constitution, each will give his own justification and back his argument using the constitution using his own preception and of course change it to legitimize their own actions. If our leaders had stood for it and abided by it from the beginning instead of molesting it everytime they feel like doing so, we would not be having this discussion at this time and Pakistan would not be in such an anguish as it is right now.

  16. YLH says:
    August 21st, 2007 6:29 am

    A timely reminder: Jinnah believed above all in civilian supremacy. Nothing else matters if this basic condition is not there.

    This oath of the armed forces is the current oath by the way lest there is some confusion.

  17. Umar Shah says:
    August 21st, 2007 6:37 pm

    I believe and agree with some of the comments here. Civilian administrations since the creation of Pakistan are *somewhat* responsible for supporting coups and rules by the Army. Even today the ruling Muslim League (Q) is doing the same thing. They aren’t called the kings party for nothing ;) Our politicians are also very poor losers. They cry foul and incite the army to overthrown a civilian government whenever they are in opposition. The oath becomes meaningless when the very people (representatives of the people) who legislated them invite the army to rule the country. As far as I am concerned Pakistan army is another political party interested in running the country. It is well armed compared to other parties and that is the reason why every politician considers them a power broker and is afraid of them (this being the only reason). What was that about an oath again?

  18. Kruman says:
    August 21st, 2007 8:00 pm

    Tread carefully, any encouragement of army’s participation in politics/frivolous comments about their oath of allegiance to the consitution is tantamount to treason, besides a being a “court-martialable” offense.

    Even general Musharraf, does not talk in this kind of a tone about army’s role in politics or his oath. Even he says the rights things, that army should not be involved in politics while giving his own reasons on how he was sucked into the political areana.

  19. Mubarak says:
    August 22nd, 2007 7:54 am

    Kruman, this speech of Mr. Jinnah clearly reveals that he had some kind of doubt about Army Officers that is the reason that he read the oath by himself.

    My God, this man was too ahead of his time and look at us what we have done to this country.

  20. Aqil Sajjad says:
    August 22nd, 2007 8:17 pm

    Actually, it is important that any law be enforced through punishments for violaters, otherwise, it can lose teeth. So the question is, will Mush and the other generals who participated in the coup (in violation of their oath) with him face any trial?

    The same is true for others like General Hameed Gul and Asad Durrani who as ISI chiefs were responsible for directing funds into IJI. Are they ever going to be put behind bars?

  21. Kruman says:
    August 22nd, 2007 9:30 pm

    My thougths exactly Aqeel! The constitution has been trampled under the boots with impunity. This is not a statement for public consumption, but a fact.

    Today our society is at a point where insidious statements that imply subversion of constitution/treason are uttered with impunity on public television. Here are some egregious examples:
    1) Sh Rashid saying president will not accept evey judgement from SC with good will, a threat to the superior judiciary.
    2) Sh Rasheed saying democracy can be derailed.
    3) Q leaguers in government implying imposition of martial law if Mush can’t be reelected.
    4) Intelligence chiefs spying on judges of SC, and then having the nerve to present this material in the SC.
    6) CJP incarcerated in the GHQ for 5 hours.
    7) The very existence of political cells in military intelligence agencies.
    8) Politicians like Qazi urging treason in the army by saying, “How long will the army be a silent spectator?” This was uttered during Nawaz Sharif’s 2nd term.
    9) The 17th ammendment iself! Justice Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim had the guts to bring this up before the supreme court during the CJP case, but sadly no judgement was issued on his arguments.

    The list is endless.

    Instead of digging old corpses the judiciary should atleast, from now on, start taking firm action on violations of article 6.1 (deals with treason) in the constitution.

    As a country founded by a person like Quaid-i Azam, we should be the most law-abiding nation in the world.

  22. Aqil Sajjad says:
    August 23rd, 2007 8:09 am

    The court has permitted NS and SS to come back. It has also ordered the government not to create any hurdles for their return.

  23. PatExpat says:
    August 23rd, 2007 8:30 am

    Whether we like the judgement in case of NS and SS, I think Jinnah would have been proud the way courts have finally shown some spine.

  24. Aqil Sajjad says:
    August 23rd, 2007 9:12 am

    Actually, Mush may be regretting having remitted their sentence now. The highjacking case was bogus, but if they had been in jail right now, it would have been very hard to petition the courts for relief now. In the existing situation, legally, NS and SS had a very strong case; no citizen can be stopped from entering the country. If someone has commited a crime, then they can be tried in a court and punished, but no citizen can be forced out of t he country.

  25. Kruman says:
    August 23rd, 2007 3:08 pm

    Sher Afgan has made a statement saying that judiciary should compete in elections. So far he appears to be the lone belligerent voice in the govt.

  26. Dewana Aik says:
    August 23rd, 2007 4:35 pm

    Sher Afgan is both cheap and stupid. Just like we have Arbab in Sindh giving stupid remarks about judiciary, we have Sher Afgan in Islamabad. Both, in Pir Pigara

  27. Umar Shah says:
    August 23rd, 2007 10:28 pm

    Kruman, there was nothing wrong with my comments on army’s participation in national politics. Politicians from Bhutto to Shujaat Hussain have openly advocated army rule and openly supported military presidents. Even as I write this comment, Gauhar Ayub is sitting on Indus TV and admitting that politicians have been inviting the army to interfere in politics since the 50′s. Pick up books, newspapers and magazines and you’ll find many articles on this subject. Treason is not committed by someone describing a situation but by those who derail democracy or work against the interests of the state ;)

  28. Kruman says:
    August 24th, 2007 1:16 am

    Nothing against you personally. I find it abhorring when prominent politicians like Sh Rashid, Sher Afgan, Arbab Rahim, Qazi etc talk frivolously about imposing martial law, overthrowing civilian governments. Sorry I took it out on you:)

    It is these politicians who should be tried in the SC for sedition.

    Just as Germans had to enact very strict laws after Nazi era, Pakistan needs to have strict enforcement of laws when it comes to threatening martial law, derailment of the democratic system etc.

  29. August 25th, 2007 6:48 am

    I would say that Quaid wanted to give clear guidelines to Military as well as Civil Government. I see that people are over joyed when Chief Justice was re-instated. I see that people are over joyed when Nawaz Sharif and Benazir will be allowed to return, but the question is, is anyone out of all these persons interested in getting things right with sincerity ? All I have seen by now is just hatered and victimization and fulfilment of thier own agendas without caring a bit for Pakistan.

  30. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    October 3rd, 2007 9:36 am

    Viewing so many contradictions in the posts, I prefer presenting Ustad Qamar Jalalwi’s verse on Pakistan that
    Quaid-e-Azam left behind.

    Chaman mein barq ki ye beytakalufi dekho
    keh jesay mein nay banaya thaa Gharr ussi keliay.

    Adaab arz hay

  31. qazi says:
    May 29th, 2009 6:23 am

    Dear fellows, Indeed it is a matter of pride that we the pakistani’s are independent and intelect, Pakistan will be a changed country and in occordance with the wishes of QUAID, only if we behave as we behave out side pakistan. correct yourself at home

  32. Watan Aziz says:
    August 17th, 2010 11:08 pm

    Pakistan will be a changed country and in occordance (sic) with the wishes of QUAID, only if we behave as we behave out side pakistan. correct yourself at home.

    Worth repeating!

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