Islamabad: Honourable Members! The nation, Inshahallah, will be celebrating the 65th Independence Day of our beloved motherland after three days from now.
You are all aware that the present National Assembly has set this tradition of celebrating our Independence Day during its regular sessions. This year too, we are adhering to this past practice.
And for this reason, today’s historic date, August 11, has been selected so that we — the elected parliamentarians — could jointly pay homage to the truly democratic philosophy of our Great Leader the Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, which was laid by him on August 11, 1947 before the first Constituent Assembly of Pakistan.
The historic sitting of August 11, 1947 is important on many It is, in fact, a landmark in our nation’s parliamentary history.
The first-ever session of Pakistan’s Constituent Assembly was held in Karachi from August 10 to August 14, 1947.
However in this 5-day long session, it’s the August 11 sitting, when some of the most crucial decisions were taken which would have their impact for all times to come.
The Order of the Day of August 11 reveals that during this sitting:
• The House elected the Quaid-e-Azam as its first permanent President. The Quaid then presented his vision of a future Pakistan.
• Our Country’s first Prime Minister Quaid-e-Millat Liaquat Ali Khan placed the design of our National Flag for the approval of the Assembly, which was unanimously granted.
• It was also on this day that the House constituted a Committee to form its Rules of Business and
• A Negotiating Committee was also formed to determine the representation of the Tribal areas and former princely states in the Constituent Assembly.
This agenda clearly reflects that critical questions of the nation’s identity, the code of conduct for its representatives and the importance of the valiant tribesmen for this newborn country — were all taken up by the House on one single day — August 11, 1947!
I, therefore, genuinely believe that although Pakistan was formally created on August 14 but the future guiding philosophy of this nascent state was determined on August 11.
And this is best reflected in the maiden speech of the Quaid to the Assembly.
It was not merely a speech. It was the reflection of the basic ideology of Pakistan – equality, brotherhood, social justice!
It was the setting of the direction of the nation’s future – democracy, liberty, human rights!
And it was a charter of responsibilities for all organs of the State, the legislature, executive and the judiciary – responsibility, accountability, fair-play!
Today, as our beloved country faces numerous challenges and we all seek national unity, integration, restraint and mutual understanding amongst our ranks, I would like to remind you what the Quid had advised.
Let us seek inspiration and guidance from his wisdom and let us read the true message, embedded in his sayings.
He said and I quote:
The first and the foremost thing that I would like to emphasize is this — remember that you are now a Sovereign legislative body and you have got all the powers. It, therefore, places on you the gravest responsibility as to how you should take your decisions. The first observation that I would like to make is this. You will no doubt agree with me that the first duty of a Government is to maintain law and order, so that the life, property and religious beliefs of its subjects are fully protected by the State.
if we want to make this great State of Pakistan happy and prosperous we should wholly and solely concentrate on the well-being of the people, and especially of the masses and the poor. If you will work in co-operation, forgetting the past, burying the hatchet, you are bound to succeed. If you change your past and work together in a spirit that every one of you, no matter to what community he belongs, no matter what relations he had with you in the past, no matter what is his colour, caste or creed, is first, second and last a citizen of this State with equal rights, privileges and obligations there will be no end to the progress you will make.
You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed — that has nothing to do with the business of the State.
We are starting in the days when there is no discrimination, no distinction between one community and another, no discrimination between one caste or creed and another. We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one State.
For more information, contact:
Karamat Hussain Niazi
National Assembly of Pakistan
Parliament House, Islamabad
Tel: +9251 922 1082 -83
Fax: +9251 922 1106