ISLAMABAD, Dec 21 (APP):Quaid-e-Azam was a charismatic personality who changed the course of history and inspired millions with his lifelong political struggle and still stirs the imagination of the people in Pakistan looking for political change through constitutional and democratic means.
Roedad Khan, in his nineties, is among few of those still alive, who met Quaid-e-Azam on numerous occasions and saw how he influenced his followers and united them on a single platform for creation of Pakistan.
“I saw Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah for the first time at Manto Park on March 23 , 1940 as a tall, handsome and intelligent man with great leadership qualities. He with his sincere words spell bound all the listeners who were ready to believe his words and follow him even without knowing what he was saying.”
“On my bicycle , I reached Manto Park to listen to the visionary thoughts of Quaid-e-Azam”, Roedad Khan said, Pakistani politician and former civil servant who is among those few alive who saw the creation of Pakistan and observed Quaid’s struggle very closely.
Talking to APP in an interview on Thursday, Roedad Khan said, he was studying at Aligarh Muslim University from 1942 to 1944 when he met Quaid-e-Azam for the second time. Aligarh Muslim University was close to Quaid-e-Azam’s heart and he used to visit the university students twice a year.
Again when I was sub-ordinate judge, I heard about Quaid-e-Azam’s arrival in Peshawar in 1946. I took leave from my office and rushed to the venue and saw a number of Pakhtuns sitting there to listen to Quaid-e-Azam.
“I was surprised at the level of trust and love those Pakhtuns have for Quaid-e-Azam who completely agreed with each and every word of Quaid although they were unable to comprehend completely due to language barrier as Quaid’s Urdu was not good enough,” he recalled
He said just check their utter devotion to Quaid’s words and uninterrupted applause. When I talked to few of them, they said, “We don’t understand the language but whatever Quaid is saying is right”.
Again in 1948, Quaid-e-Azam addressed the civil servants at Government House Peshawar and said, “Ministers will come and go but you will remain there. You are the backbone of the administration. Let me tell you the politicians will force you to commit wrongdoings but you have to resist them.”
“I am aware of that, while resisting the pressure, you will suffer and may be transferred to far-flung areas but I want you to make sacrifice for Pakistan. Your biggest problem will be corruption not at the level of `patwaris’ and `thanedars’ but mega corruption by those who at the height of power,” Quaid said.
Quaid continued, “Your next biggest problem will be provincialism but remember, you are Pakistani first and after that you are Punjabi, Sindhi, Balochi and Pakhtun. Your identity is Pakistan.”
He said during a Radio Broadcast after creation of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam while addressing the Americans said, “The constitution of Pakistan will be made by the assembly and Pakistan will be a sovereign, independent, and progressive country. Pakistan will be a democratic state; it will function in accordance with egalitarian principles of Islam”.
Roedad Khan said, “Quaid clearly said in 1943 that if feudal landlords and politicians will dominate Pakistan, then I will not have this Pakistan”.
Former Prime Ministers of Pakistan, Khawaja Nazimuddin, Liaquat Ali Khan, Feroz Khan Noon, Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy were incorruptible persons and we need such incorruptible persons today at the administration level, he said.
Roedad Khan said youth and independent judiciary are two rays of hope for creating a stronger Pakistan.
Roedad Khan, born on September 28, 1923, is a Pakistani politician and former civil servant. He was a leading figure in Pakistan from the start to the end of the Cold War. During his long career, Khan was one of the most senior civil servants of Pakistan.
Roedad Khan had worked with five presidents of Pakistan including Ayub Khan, General Yahya Khan, Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry, General Zia-ul-Haq and Ghulam Ishaq Khan.