Note: Photo taken from Dunya News website.
It is a sad day indeed for any patriotic Pakistani. The Quaid’s residence at Ziarat was destroyed in a rocket attack. It was a wooden structure which was burnt to ashes along with all the artifacts. At first I was deeply saddened when I heard the news. I visited this place about 21 years back and can recall how beautiful it was. The house, the furniture the surroundings everything was just perfect.
I got this news through a Face Book share. And this was followed by yet another news of an a attack on Bolan Medical College in which 14 students died with many more were injured. The surprising thing which I observed was that there were messages by the public on social media which showed how depressed and disturbed they were.
Yes, the incident is sad indeed, but it does not mean that we loose hope. In fact, what I have been able to understand form these attacks is that the terrorists or whatever they are (may they rot in hell) are trying to demoralize the nation as a whole and hence they have chosen such a target. One that is closer to our hearts, and one that is sure to hurt us real bad. To the extent that we start losing hope. But by doing so we are playing in to their hands. We are doing exactly what they want.
The Quaid’s residence was a symbolic, somewhat synonymous with the Quaid himself. That, it has been destroyed dos not mean all is lost. Though, someone failed to do his duty, still all is not lost. We can and will construct many more such buildings, if the spirit is not defeated. The spirit has to remain alive, at all costs. And that is what matters most.
Through a media campaign people are being led to believe that Baloch people want separation from Pakistan, but recent elections have proved otherwise. So these enemies of Pakistan have struck at a place which symbolizes our ideology, in a way. They may be able to kill a few of us, they maybe able to destroy a few of our buildings but they will never be able to kill our spirit. And that is what we should fight for. Pakistan Zindabad.
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You must read the following article by Allama Mashriqi’s grandson:
“Allama Mashriqi’s Historic Car: A Symbol of a National Heritage in Ruin”
By Nasim Yousaf
Allama Inayatullah Khan Al-Mashriqi played a pivotal role in bringing freedom to British India. He made countless sacrifices to liberate the nation and endured atrocities both within and outside prison in pursuit of a united India (India was ultimately divided for political reasons). It is a great misfortune for the people of the region, then, that the artifacts of this illustrious leader, who dedicated his life to the people, are now scattered or lay in ruin. The blame for this tragedy falls primarily on the Government of Pakistan, who has failed to collect materials related to Mashriqi since independence in 1947.
A prime example of Mashriqi’s destroyed belongings is his old Renault car. Mashriqi had purchased the car while on a trip to Europe in 1926 (the other vehicles he owned were a Hudson and a Willys jeep). I have fond memories from my childhood of playing in these cars as I pretended to be behind the wheel. Today, the Hudson and Willys jeep have been lost and the Renault is on the verge of death. The Renault car is currently in a highly dilapidated state; it lies rotting and rusted in the garage of Mashriqi’s house in Icchra (Lahore). This historic car is a national treasure and should be treated as such. I am extremely disappointed and saddened that the Government of Pakistan has allowed these belongings to reach this state. Leaders of Mashriqi’s stature are born once in centuries and indeed deserve to have their belongings pristinely maintained and displayed in museums.
Mashriqi’s car thus needs immediate restoration. Unfortunately, the Government of Pakistan has failed in its duty to preserve this artifact of national importance. Time is now running short before the Renault car is completely consumed by rust. Experts indicate that it can still be restored, provided that the Government of Pakistan takes immediate action.
More importantly, the Renault car is but only one example of the broader problem: that of the Government’s inaction with regards to Mashriqi’s legacy. Despite Mashriqi’s tremendous sacrifices for the nation and pivotal role in the freedom movement, there has been no effort by the Government to establish a single research institute or other organization to collect all of his materials. There remain extensive unpublished documents on Mashriqi and the Khaksar Tehrik at places such as the National Archives of Pakistan, the National Documentation Centre (Islamabad), the National Archives of India, and the India Office Records and Private Papers (administered by the British Library). Furthermore, many of Mashriqi and the Khaksar Tehrik’s works (including “Al-Islah” [Lahore, Delhi, Calcutta], “The Radiance” [Aligarh], pamphlets, flyers, memos, photo albums, etc.) are not available in libraries. In addition, Mashriqi’s books and speeches still need to be translated from Urdu into other languages. Allama Mashriqi’s followers also published papers from multiple locations, including “Al-Mashriqi” (Peshawar), “Piyam-e-Ithad” (Abbottabad), “Jihad” (Calcutta), “Mujahid” (Rangoon), “Akhuwat” (Peshawar), and “Khaksar” monthly (launched in 1939 from Nairobi, Kenya in Urdu, English, and Gujrati). And countless other documents remain scattered or decaying in various locations.
The Government’s failure since independence in 1947 to collect materials related to Mashriqi, particularly those depicting Mashriqi’s fight against the British Raj, renders a tremendous disservice to the people of the region; future generations would hold it responsible for this gross neglect. Even if Mashriqi had political differences with Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah over the partition of India, these should not be used to deprive the nation of the knowledge of his services. In fact, even Indians should recognize that Mashriqi’s fight for a united India benefited them as well. By bringing to light Mashriqi’s differences with his contemporaries, the nation can learn from the past.
In closing, it is time that the Government wakes up and makes a concerted effort to fill this void in the nation’s history. It must, without further delay, establish a dedicated museum on Allama Mashriqi to house his articles, artifacts, unpublished manuscripts, and the 1926 Renault (French make). Furthermore, as a grandson of Mashriqi, I demand that the Government setup an Allama Mashriqi Research Institute and Chair on Mashriqi at a major university (preferably Punjab University) to centralize and coordinate the collection of all research materials related to Mashriqi. The people of Pakistan, particularly those in power, must not forget that the freedom they enjoy today is a result of Mashriqi’s strenuous fight against the slavery of imperialist rule. Mashriqi is a national hero and the Government must treat his legacy with the same spirit and devotion with which he served his people.
Nasim Yousaf is a scholar and historian who has presented papers at U.S. conferences and written many articles and books. He has also contributed articles to the “Harvard Asia Quarterly” and the “World History Encyclopedia (USA).” His forthcoming book entitled “Mahatma Gandhi & My Grandfather, Allama Mashriqi” uncovers many hidden realities behind the freedom of British India.