Thursday, January 10, 2013

Leave Baba Ji Aside This Defamatory Spin-Doctoring

The much-awaited self-claimed ‘political drone’ has now most likely hit Pakistan today. According to the media, since we do not have access to the full text of the speech, it was maliciously claimed that the Father of the Nation, Muhammad Ali Jinnah had taken the oath of allegiance to King George VI and held a British passport; that is to imply that all present foreign nationals of Pakistani origins are thus justified to sit in the legislature, lead political parties, organise protest rallies and even incite a revolution and overthrow a constitutionally-elected government in Pakistan.

At the moment, this piece does not address the question whether foreign nationals may/can do so; the matter is still sub judice although the Supreme Court has already judged that foreign and dual nationals can NOT sit in the legislature and are barred by the Constitution of the Republic.

Nonetheless, such ‘political drones’ can not and must not be condoned. This is not a drone but an over-blown trombone to dethrone the Father of the Nation for personal motivations. Prima-facie, it is a slanderous statement not only meant to defame Jinnah but also a divisive statement to confuse and mislead people, a distractor to sway political debate from the burning issues that the country faces, and an outright gimmick to avoid constructive solutions and resultantly promote chaos.

With the much-hyped, -awaited and -incited 14th of January ‘Revolution’ and the threats to transform the Constitution Avenue of Islamabad into Cairo’s Tahrir Square by the parties led by dual nationals in the background, the shameful political spin-doctoring is apparently meant to appeal to different audiences and is reprehensible.

Lord Acton said, “history to be above evasion or dispute, must stand on documents, not opinions.” According to the available evidence and historians of all backgrounds, Muhammad Ali Jinnah was NOT a British citizen but was rather a British subject by birth. As a result, he was logically and legally entitled to hold the “Empire of India” or the British India passport (see inset). The fact is that Jinnah travelled around the world as a member of the Indian Legislative Assembly and as a private individual as a British subject because there was no Pakistani state physically existing that he could have represented. Would the people making such absurd claims now also like to reveal his tax returns, properties and assets in England (being a falsely purported British citizen) in their next salvo?

One must not forget that even when Pakistan had established in 1947, it legally remained a self-governed Dominion of the Empire and under the British Crown until 1956 when the first Constitution was finally passed and a republic was born. Note that the Pakistani and other citizens of the British Commonwealth (former colonies) and the European Union still enjoy certain privileges including differential voting rights, if they are legal residents of Britain. But when it comes to relationships between sovereign states and equals, the European Union citizens are not allowed to vote or run for the U.K. Parliamentary elections – they can only vote in European and local elections in the U.K. It is critical to understand this distinction because herein lies the subtle neo-colonization; after all, colonization is in many ways a defeatist mental construct, a sustained perception of low self esteem and a perpetual relationship of dependency. Can the Pakistanis likewise go around the world and vote or run for the German Bundestag or the U.S. House of Representatives or the Canadian House of Commons? No.

So, to any one who wishes to make this abhorrent and egregiously slanderous suggestion to dispute Jinnah’s character and his unflinching loyalties to the raison d’être and existence of the state of Pakistan, please recall his Presidential address at the 1940 session of the All India Muslim League, recall his stance during the Cripps and the Cabinet Missions, read his tone and tenor in communications with the British-the superpower of the day (for instance, see inset), and recall why he chose to bid farewell to a British Governor-General. Can any one of the worthy foreign-nationals-cum-domestic-revolutionaries dare communicate with a present day superpower in this manner? Can they hold the weight of over 180 million people that they are supposed to represent on their angel-winged shoulders?

Sadly, in recent years, poor Jinnah has sort of become the mask that various political actors have tried to wear at different times to impersonate him, fake his accomplishments, and interpret his life and work opportunistically, often contrary to the historical context and relevant facts. It is, therefore, utterly illogical and repugnant to compare Jinnah, the Great Leader, with some of the highly controversial spin-doctors of Pakistani politics who have a long track record of appeasement to different constituencies on a wide range of issues from blasphemy law and usury to revelation, spirituality, counter-terrorism, fund-raising, military dictatorships and constitutionalism.

In a nutshell, to suggest that Jinnah, in holding a British India passport, was loyal to all British commands and/or his action was/is somehow comparable to the political parasites and opportunists, keeping foreign nationalities and holding poor Pakistani people as hostages, is really a disgusting attempt to twist the facts, defame Jinnah, falsely rewrite the history and confuse and mislead the people. The Pakistanis earnestly need to rekindle their self-esteem and strength of character to reclaim their self-independence.

Remember that ‘no one can make you feel inferior without your consent’!

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