Remembering 9.11.1948

Posted on September 11, 2006
Filed Under >Adil Najam, History, People
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Adil Najam

Today is 9/11. Much will be written and much discussed on the 5th anniversary of the cruel attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, on what has happened since, on all the ways in which the world changed, and on all the other ways in which it did not. Today is a sad day, and at ATP our hearts and prayers go out to the dear ones of the victims of this tragedy, and to the loved ones of all who have lost their lives in the events that were unleashed by it.

While 9.11.2001 will be much debated elsewhere, we here at ATP want to recall the events of 9.11.1948.

For Pakistanis, 9/11 has always been a sad date. A date on which – barely a year after the nation’s birth – its founding leader, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, died. Here is a short (50 sec) newsreel video clip on Mr. Jinnah’s death :

Like every year, APP has announced in advance how the “nation” will mark this occasion, and every newspaper (e.g., Dawn) has printed this “news” on its front page:

ISLAMABAD, Sept 10: The nation will observe Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s 58th death anniversary on Monday with a pledge to transform Pakistan into a vibrant, progressive and enlightened country as envisioned by the great leader.

I am glad that the APP has he psychic power to know exactly how this “nation” will observe the anniversary, even before the occasion. They have been making the same stale prediction every year for as long as I can remember. Maybe, we as a “nation” do actually make that “pledge” every year. Its just that we have not been very good at keeping the pledge.

Some might argue that the “nation” had already begun to let Mr. Jinnah down even in those brief 13 months that he lived in the country he had founded. Others like to believe that Pakistan’s history might have taken a very different path had he lived longer. It may well have. I am just not sure what that path might have been given that tensions between him and those who were running day-to-day Pakistan had begun to appear even while he was alive.

His death, and the circumstances of his death, was itself not without controversy (see, for dramatic effect, the opening scenes of the movie, Jinnah, here). But today, September 11, should not only be a sad reminder of his untimely death. It should also be a moment to reflect on his life. And, maybe, it should be a moment to reflect on what lessons that life might have to offer for the future.

From its very inception, ATP has had an ongoing discussion on the legacy of Mr. Jinnah and the various meanings it has for different people. Today seems to be an appropriate day to continue that discussion; to think, yet again, about the meaning of the life and death of Mr. Jinnah.

Related ATP Posts:
– Read about the Other Side of Mr. Jinnah
– Watch Jinnah: The Movie
– Read about Jinnah’s first message to the nation
– Watch historic footage from August 1947
– Read about the Jinnah-Gandhi relationship
– Listen to and watch Mehdi Hassan’s classic, “yeh watan tumhara hai”, which is in many ways Jinnah speaking to the rest of us.

91 responses to “Remembering 9.11.1948”

  1. The content is awesome !

  2. Zainab says:

    it took me 3 hours to go through this entire page, crammed with valuable information, heated yet very interesting arguments backed with even more valuable information and in the end, a great sense of acheivement to realize that Yasser Latif Hamdani stole the show all the way from top to bottom! no one could match his caliber of the enormous flood of insight he has provided all of us with regarding our 2 great leaders of the subcontinent. i’m really impressed. YLH, with ppl like you as part of our nation, we can never lose hope! 2 ppl today have awakened the patriot in me, one is Mr. Shahid Malik (a britsh parliament member, pakistani by origin, i watched his interview on ARY middle east on the programme: The Forum) and second is you ofcourse. all i can say to you both is, Thank You.

  3. YLH says:

    Well said Baber…

    In addition to the speeches that I quoted on the JUI Verdict board, I also investigated the quote by Adnan Siddiqui. He is quoting Quaid-e-Azam’s speech to Baloch Jirga of tribal elders at Sibi Darbar on February 14, 1948 … exactly 59 years ago today. This can be found on Page 206 of the Jinnah Papers Volume VII

    The Quaid is invoking the ideals of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) to convince the Baloch tribals that Modern democracy was not in any way a contradiction to Islam…

    But if at all, we were to humor Adnan Siddiqui and accept that by referring to Islamic principles (of Equality, Fraternity, Justice and government by people’s participation), he was contradicting his own earlier words promising an inclusive and pluralistic, I daresay, secular democracy … which should be more authentic… the speeches he made to the constituent assembly and from his governor house or those he made to Baloch tribal jirga convincing them of democracy ?

    People come up with some inane arguments… but the argument that by praising the Holy prophet and speaking of Islamic Principles of Equality Fraternity Justice and democracy … Jinnah contradicted his firm stance on secular democracy … takes the cake.

  4. Baber says:

    There are still people alive who have seen Jinnah otherwise the mullahs would have stated that he had a long beard. And on the back of the school books would be a picture of Qaid with beard.

  5. Amir Aziz says:

    Hi Saima:

    I wonder if you attended PAF Inter College. If you did I wuould love to chat with you. My e mail address is Take care.

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