Quaid & Christmas in Washington

04 جنوری 2014

Christmas in Washington - apart from the usual shopping frenzy hyped by the media and driven by herd mentality - saw the release of the autobiographical movie, "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom." Imprisoned for 27 years - 18 years in the stark seclusion of Robben Island, off the coast of Cape Town - Nelson Mandela had plenty of time to ruminate, reflect, and probe the depth of the human condition. Significantly, Robben Island prisoners drew spiritual strength from a Muslim shrine there, containing the remains of a holy man, Sayed Abdur Rahman, who died in 1754 and who had defied Dutch rule. Mandela's closest fellow inmate at Robben Island was Ahmed Mohamed Kathrada.
The Quaid was one personality who empowered Mandela. In Mandela's own words: "Ali Jinnah is a constant source of inspiration for all those fighting against racial or group discrimination."
Also, on December 25, Washington's Pakistani community decided to celebrate Quaid-e-Azam's birthday with a mega-event mobilized through vigorous team effort at the Holiday Inn in the Washington suburb of Springfield, Virginia. It included flag-hoisting, singing of the national anthem, cake-cutting, slideshows, and music, ably emceed by Dr Zulfiqar Kazmi, and was complemented by fine food served to 350 attendees, with a robust Kashmiri presence, including Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai. Lahore-based industrialist Javed Elahi noted that impetus for this event came from community stalwarts, led by Hamid Malik, Mian Wasim, Zarif Khan, and Moazzam Aftab, without any elite patronage or push from the embassy, which he interpreted as a gradual maturing of the Pakistani community.
It confirms Hazrat Ali's adage that it is the common citizen, not the privileged class, who is the pillar of the state.
I was tasked to deliver the keynote address on the life and legacy of the Quaid. The contrast between the Quaid and the current stock at the helm couldn't be more stark. His probity was beyond reproach. Even Mahatma Gandhi called him "incorruptible." None from the Quaid's family profited commercially or politically from Pakistan.
Compare this now with the takers at home who have amassed billions and whose family members are treated like dynastic royalty. The Quaid had no international support. Even Muslim luminaries were downright hostile and skeptical. Yet, he marched on and never gave up.
Now, there are mind-boggling materiel and manpower resources in the Muslim community, along with the 57-member OIC, yet a passive defeatist mindset paralyzes them. And the cause of Kashmir and Palestine remains at a standstill.
Imbuing those he led with a collective sense of Muslim nationhood,
the Quaid had the unique capacity to surmount the divisive walls of sectarianism, tribalism, ethnicity, and provincialism, and motivated
Muslims to gather under one big tent. The fact that he belonged to the Shia denomination of Islam was a non-issue. Sectarian polarization today poses an existential threat to the solidarity and prosperity of the Muslim world.  The hallmark of Quaid's leadership was his high knowledge, high aim, and high character.
It was refreshing to witness that the flame lit by the Quaid in Lucknow (1937) and Lahore (1940) is continuing to glow 10,000 miles away in Washington.

”بالم آن لائن“

عمران خان صاحب نے بالآخر کراچی پر توجہ دینا شروع کردی ہے۔ گزشتہ ہفتے کے دو ...