Economic Vision of the Quaid-i-Azam

Zawwar Hussain Zaidi


I am grateful to the organisers for holding this seminar on an
important, if somewhat less known, facet of the life-work of the
Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, who transformed the All India Muslim
League from a run-of-the-mill political party into a mass movement. His
role as the founder of an independent sovereign Muslim state in South
Asia has been widely acclaimed by historians and scholars. However, his
political tour de force has rather overshadowed what he did for the
economic emancipation of Muslims before and after Independence. The
demand for Pakistan visualised not just freedom from colonial rule but,
no less importantly, liberation from the socio-economic domination of
the majority community in business, commerce, education and public
services. Jinnah knew full well that the areas to be included in
Pakistan were economically and industrially backward. They constituted
the agricultural hinterland of the industrialised areas of British
India. A survey of industrial locations during the year 1939-40,
appended below, highlights the vast disparity in industrial development
between the two areas:

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