December 25th is perhaps one of the most significant days of the year for Pakistanis. The founder’s birthday compels us to reflect on who we are as a nation, where we are headed and if we are coming up to the expectations that the Quaid had from his nation. A leader who was a visionary and thought ahead of his times, believed every citizen of the country that he founded, including women, needed to give his absolute best for the progress and prosperity of Pakistan, and make it stand tall in the community of nations.
Jinnah was a great advocate of women’s education and their participation in all aspects of national life. As in everything else, he set an example by supporting his sister, Ms. Fatima Jinnah, in seeking higher education, supporting her career as a dentist, and taking her along his many tours across the Subcontinent, even Balochistan and Frontier where women were rarely seen in public sphere. This was done to demonstrate that women have just as much of a stake in national life as in family life and they should play their part to the best of their abilities.
He believed it was imperative that the women of Pakistan comprehend the significance of their role and make full use of their potential. He, however, saw this role to be modelled in accordance with our own customs, traditions and religion. He was a staunch supporter of women having their own careers, but he did not believe that working outside the home was the only way women could play their part in nation building and development of the country, rather they could also make their contribution in this regard by supporting their men and raising their children as responsible, productive citizens. After all, women are the best equipped to transfer morals and values essential to bringing about societal change that strengthens a nation from within. It is heartening to see that the women of Pakistan are indeed doing this, giving substance to the hope that the years to come will see the Quaid’s dream become a reality.
Quaid-e-Azam envisioned an all-inclusive Pakistan and if we are to take our country to the heights of glory, we need to revisit our conduct as a nation and try to mould it according to the Quaid’s vision. Each one of us is duty-bound to act for the good of the country in our own capacity; that is the only way we can realize the dream of the Quaid and achieve our national destiny. The longer we take to do this, the longer will the journey be for Pakistan to achieve its destiny.
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