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Quaid's Pakistan discussed on final day of international Urdu conference.

Byline: Peerzada Salman

KARACHI -- The 10th International Urdu Conference concluded on Monday after passing a resolution some of whose points were: constructive and creative atmosphere needs peace therefore efforts should be made to have lasting peace in society; our society should be violence-free, especially violence against women, children and minorities should be prevented; Urdu and other regional languages should have better communication and foreign language journals and books should be translated into Urdu; the media should make sure that correct language is used by them.

Earlier, the session 'Quaid-i-Azam Ka Pakistan' had a lively debate on the contours of Pakistani society.

Dr Jaffer Ahmed said his paper was titled 'Quaid-i-Azam Ke Pakistan Ka Ighwa'. He said he was registering an FIR with the Arts Council (about Pakistan's kidnapping). ExpAlaining that he said he was born 10 years after Pakistan's creation, and all his life he thought his paradise was beneath his mother's feet and on Pakistani soil. Jinnah wanted a suitable (mozun) land for Muslims. His two-nation theory was of a particular political nature.

Dr Jaffer quoted the Quaid's speeches and argued he did not want a theocratic state. This was where his ideas were abducted (ighwa) by the civil-military bureaucracy that did not wish democracy to take root. He also mentioned the different fatwas given by the clergy against the Quaid and his movement, including Maulana Maududi's views on him.

Writer Harris Khalique said he'd like to be the first witness for the FIR presented by Dr Jaffer. He said when he was young he was a critic of the Quaid; as he grew older he started thinking otherwise. Politicians made mistakes but since they believed in democracy they knew how to rectify mistakes.

Former senator and federal minister Javed Jabbar disagreed with Dr Jaffer's arguments. He said what we were witnessing was a slow-motion process of kidnapping Quaid-i-Azam's Pakistan. No religious party had ever been voted to power in the country. Our nation was resisting that ighwa. Jinnah was in our hearts.

Mr Jabbar said the Quaid was a true jihadi because he was an ijtihadi. He was a forward-looking man. He was leaving the fossilised past behind him. Another aspect of his ijtihad was that he was trying to find a new Muslim nationalism. He tried to combine faith, culture, history and aspiration to define Muslim nationalism in South Asia.

Mr Jabbar said we often said that Pakistan was unfortunate that the Quaid left us early. He disagreed with that as well. He said 13 months were a miracle: Pakistan didn't have enough resources and 10m refugees were coming in. Even the most stable country would not have survived in that situation. 'The Quaid transmitted his spiritual energy to us.'

Mr Jabbar said we spoke nostalgically about the Quaid's Pakistan. The Quaid's Pakistan was an outline. He was not expected to fill in all the shades [for us]. He was a visionary. We would decide what kind of Pakistan we wanted to be. It's going to be a long hard struggle. 'The Quaid's Pakistan is waiting for us to create.'

Journalist Ghazi Salahuddin said on the one hand we were celebrating a great leader's birthday and then we were lamenting that his vision was being trampled. We should see today's Pakistan in light of the Quaid's life. He was a modern, secular, upright man; he believed in democracy, in the freedom of man. 'Where are we going?' he asked referring to the sense of direction.

Mr Salahuddin said 48 years back he did a show on TV with Javed Jabbar on which they could talk about anything. But the reality outside of the Arts Council hall was something else. If you wanted to see Pakistan, you should go to a city court, a thana. He pointed out there was another kind of ighwa taking place in the shape of enforced disappearances.

Chairman Senate Raza Rabbani began his speech by saying Merry Christmas to the Christian community and happy birthday to the Quaid. He said history was like a side-view mirror of a car: you were taking the car ahead and seeing the past through the mirror, but the journey was going ahead. If we didn't move forward then the future historian might not forgive

you. He confessed that we failed in filling shades to the outline that the Quaid made. Our civil society slowly conceded space. We left resistance and opted for complacency.

Mr Rabbani said this awareness was coming with the passage of time. We should move forward even if we had to become missing persons. He agreed with Dr Jaffer that the struggle for Pakistan was the struggle for provincial autonomy; but its substance was federalism. He remarked, 'Using religion for furthering a political agenda is the antithesis of what the Quaid had said.'

The final item of the day was a reading by Anwar Maqsood. In his inimitable style he rib-tickled the audience with his satire-laden commentary on society. He said since it was a literary conference he'd like to begin by talking about Faiz Ahmed Faiz, instead he'd talk about the Faizabad dharna. He spoke about a bit about the language used by today's scholars. Dharna in Pakistan had spread like malaria, he commented.

The second part of his speech was aimed at the current political situation. He made many satirical comments on Mian Nawaz Sharif's birthday (Dec 25) using phrases such as Khwaja Saad Rafiq would be cutting a na aahl cake. 'The Muslim League says that it will complete its muddat (term) but it should know that when the Mian (Nawaz Sharif) leaves, it is iddat not muddat that it should complete.'

Anwar Maqsood was also given the lifetime achievement award by the Arts Council.
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Publication:Dawn (Karachi, Pakistan)
Article Type:Conference news
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Dec 26, 2017
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