LAHORE – Speakers at SAFMA seminar on “Mr. Jinnah’s vision of Pakistan” called upon the national leadership and the parliament to make Quaid-e-Azam’s vision of Pakistan as preamble of the constitution which he presented in his inaugural address to the constituent assembly on 11 August 1947.
MNA Shafqat Mehmood, PTI, I.A. Rehman, Director HCRP, Editor Rashed Rahman, senior columnist Ata-ul-Haq Qasmi, Justice Nasira Javed Iqbal and Mr. Imtiaz Alam addressed the seminar moderated by Advocate Abdullah Malik. A large number of intellectuals, writers, journalists, and civil society activist participated in the proceedings.
Mr. Shafqat Mahmood said that Mr. Jinnah was a democrat par excellence who was committed to equal rights for all section of society regardless of their creed, ethnicity, gender and colour. He emphasized that we should have a uniform education system and education be given the first priority to promote Jinnah’s modernist and moderate viewpoint.
Mr. I.A Rehman recalled that Mr. Jinnah never wanted a state run by theocracy and was a great champion of fundamental human rights and peace with the neighbours. Mr. Ata-ul-Haq Qasmi and Justice (retd.) Nasira Iqbal called for replacement of objective resolution with the 11th August speech of Quaid-e-Azam. They expressed their grief over deterioration of society and increasing intolerance. Ms. Nasira demanded an effective population control and increased participation of women in national life.
Mr. Rashed Rahman blamed successive military rules for the retarded growth of democratic institutions. He stressed the need for an inclusive federal system which gives equal share to the federating units. Mr. Imtiaz Alam, Secretary General SAFMA, presented the resolution before the house which approved it.
The resolution demanded that Quaid-i-Azam Muhammed Ali Jinnah’s vision of Pakistan was enlightened, moderate, democratic, federalist, pluralist, tolerant and inclusive of all religions, ethnicities and the people of all shades and classes, poor, women and minorities in particular. He believed in equality of rights for all citizens regardless of their creed, colour, ethnicity and gender and rejected theocracy and violent means. His speech of 11th August 1947 be made preamble of the 1973 Constitution and all provisions and laws that discriminate against citizens on the basis of religion, ethnicity, caste and gender must be changed in accordance with the Quaid’s vision. The National Assembly resolution of 11th August must be implemented.
It says: National Action Plan against terrorism is going on well on military front and it needs to be extended to education, culture, politics and media. A democratic, enlightened and inclusive narrative must be promoted to defeat religious/sectarian extremism. A reformation is urgently needed to promote justice, equity, modernity and peace.
It emphasized: democracy needs to be further deepened, sovereignty of people expressed through elected representatives of the people must be respected, rights of the provinces, minorities, women and working people must be respected and all institutions of the state must work within their constitutional domain.
The resolution demanded that fundamental human rights, women rights, freedom of expression, right to know, due process of law and justice must be respected.
It called upon the government that it must firmly implement its pronounced policy of not allowing any kind of terrorism spoil its relationship with its neighbours and the international community and work for peace in collaboration with the countries of the region. National Security Advisors’ meeting must ensure ceasefire and resumption of Composite Dialogue process with India. Pak-Afghan amity must be ensured to restore peace in Afghanistan.