Abstract

In the last four decades, particularly after the break-up of Pakistan in 1971, different interpretations have emerged on the creation of Pakistan. Some have argued that the place was ‘insufficiently imagined’, another claims it was used as ‘bargaining counter’ to maximise concessions from the colonial ruler; others have equated its birth with ‘shameful flight’ of the British and yet other scholars are still trying to ‘making sense of Pakistan’. While a more recent study has characterised the creation of Pakistan as ‘Muslim Zion’-- calling the ‘rejection of old land for the new’, fallaciously equating the creation of Pakistan with the making of Israel. The questions on the nature, origins and circumstances of Pakistan’s birth have also roused considerable interest on the role and leadership of Jinnah- the founder and creator of Pakistan. Most of these studies have looked at Jinnah as some kind of passive bystander; whether he is portrayed as ‘savior’, or driven by personal ambition to be the ‘sole spokesman’ of Indian Muslims, or because there was a ‘vacuum’ and dearth of leaders, hence Jinnah could emerge as filler or the hostility of the Indian National Congress and Mohandas K. Gandhi, that prompted his rise. It is ironic and sad that, until 1993, the first volume of his collected papers could not be published; in Pakistan itself many continue to see Jinnah, as ‘uncomfortable father of the nation’. Patrick French has incisively remarked that neither Indians nor Pakistanis seem keen to claim him as a ‘real human being’; Pakistanis have confined him to ‘an appearance on the bank notes in demure Islamic costumes’… his achievement, howsoever, ‘flawed it may be, was phenomenal.’