- The real lawyer who create the nation
By Akhtar Aly Kureshy
How lucky we are to live in a peaceful and independent society where everything is being managed and controlled by ourselves. We can live without feeling some sort of inferiority complex or fear of any pressure of some diehard religious group, and this is all because of the greatest personality of the Subcontinent. Our youth has little knowledge about how this country was achieved by the Quaid-i-Azam. His competence, dedication, sincerity and leadership were aboveboard and recognized by the entire world. He was a man of great integrity and he was absolutely impeccable in his professional etiquettes, having a dynamic approach and vision of high values. He was a leader with the potential to change the world.
In the early days of the Quaid’s life the General Manager of a leading Trading Company of Karachi, who was a friend of Jinnah’s father, willingly offered an apprenticeship to Jinnah in his company in London in 1892. The offer was reasonable, therefore Jinnah’s father, Jinahbhai Poonja, accepted this offer because it would teach his son the practical experience of business administration and thereby train him to join his firm when he (Jinnah) would return from London. The young Jinnah accepted the task and sailed to England in January 1893. Just after working for three months in the British company, the young Jinnah happened to see a barrister robed in a black gown with collars and bands and wearing a wig, and that very moment he was inspired to be a barrister. Due to his motivation, he easily passed the preliminary examination for the study of law, Bar-at-Law, to join Lincoln’s Inn.
While addressing the Karachi Bar Association in January 1948, the Quaid-i-Azam was pleased to disclose the reason he joined Lincoln’s Inn: that in the main hall of Lincoln’s Inn there was a grand fresco in which the name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was prominently mentioned among the lawgivers of the world.
After completing his legal education Quaid decided to return to his homeland to start his career as a barrister and got enrolled in the Bombay High Court as an advocate in August 1896. The wheels of fortune took the young Jinnah in a different direction, in early days of his legal practice, Quaid joined the chamber of John M. Macpherson, Acting Advocate General of Bombay, whose efforts assisted the Quaid to apply for a temporary post of Presidency Magistrate of Bombay. Mr. Jinnah officiated as Presidency Magistrate for only six months and soon after the expiry of this tenure, Sir Charles was so impressed by his performance that he offered him a permanent appointment on a salary of Rs 1500 per month.
Today we are celebrating the special event of Quaid-i-Azam’s Day with national zeal and dignity, and should renew the commitment of making Pakistan as Quaid-i-Azam wanted it to be. Pakistan needs to be strengthened and modernized by securing its solidarity and advancement
The Quaid confidently refused the offer by politely saying that his ambition was to earn Rs 1500 per day. Mr. Jinnah’s confidence proved well founded as he did start earning Rs 1500 per day, which was a huge amount in those days, and he became a renowned lawyer with a lucrative practice in a few years. These exposures built the personality of Quaid as a great leader who made history by giving voice to the suppressed Muslims of the Subcontinent.
The former US President Clinton during his official visit to Pakistan in 2000 at a lunch hosted in his honor, surprised the invitees by paying tribute to Quaid-i-Azam saying that Mr. Jinnah was the greatest constitutional lawyer of the Commonwealth. Sir Stafford Cripps while speaking on the BBC remarked, “(Mr. Jinnah is) a most accomplished lawyer, outstanding amongst Indian lawyers and a fine constitutionalist.” While arguing a case in the Bombay High Court, Mr Justice Martin angrily shouted at Mr. Jinnah, “You are not addressing a third class magistrate,” and Jinnah spontaneously replied, “There is not a third class counsel before your Lordship.” In 1941 Mr. Jinnah appeared before the Sindh Chief Court in a case of Bisham Bardas & Co versus Sachoo Mal. The Court room and its corridors were jampacked as the public and advocates desired to see and hear Mr. Jinnah. When Chief Justice Davis and Justice Weston entered, seeing the huge crowd the Chief Justice ordered the doors of courtroom be closed. Mr. Jinnah got up and smilingly said that the door of justice must always remain open, the judges agreed to the suggestion. However at Mr Jinnah’s behest the crowd remained quiet.
When Mr. Jinnah appeared in any case either in the High Court or in the Privy Council, judges would show great respect for his arguments. His competence was outstanding and remarkable and he would secure a fair judgment. It is on tr record of various judgments that judges registered their appreciation of his arguments and the valuable assistance he afforded them Lord Denning, the Master of Rolls, who was also known as the Master of Rulings, recalled with great pleasure that Mr Jinnah had been a member of Lincoln’s Inn. Edgar Snow, a famous American writer, acknowledged the competence of Mr Jinnah by saying that he had won the most monumental judgments in the history of the Indian Bar. A letter written to Lord Birkenhead by Mahatama Gandhi, admitted that Mr Jinnah is one of the cleverest lawyers of India and this was not less than a moral victory.
It was noticed by everybody that Mr. Jinnah had some extraordinary features and principles which distinguished him from all his contemporaries. Even his opponents, both in the legal field or political arena, acknowledge his competence and prudence. His multi-dimensional charismatic personality is a source of inspiration for generations of all times and particularly for our youth who are the future of Pakistan. Though he was a physically thin person, suffering from serious deceases, he was considered to be an un-breakable man whose immaculate handling of his mission to gain a homeland for the Muslim’s of the subcontinent, wrested victory from the British and outwitted the narrow-minded Hindus. His efforts changed the map of the world by adding a new country for Muslims. It is the need of the hour to strictly follow the footsteps of the Quaid-i-Azam to reach our ultimate destiny of peace and prosperity and build a nation according to his vision. Today we are celebrating the special event of Quaid-i-Azam’s Day with national zeal and dignity, and should renew the commitment of making Pakistan as Quaid-i-Azam wanted it to be. Pakistan needs to be strengthened and modernized by securing its solidarity and advancement.
The writer is an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Law Professor, member of International Bar Association and former Assistant Attorney General for Pakistan.