Quaid-e-Azam looked up and replied sternly…the ADC was taken aback!
“Whichever of the Ministers wish to have tea or coffee should drink it before leaving his home or when he returns home. The Nation’s money is for the Nation and not for the Ministers!”
After this instruction – as long as he was the Head of the nation …nothing except water was ever served in the Cabinet meetings.
Some items amounting to Rs.38.50 had been purchased for the Governor General’s House. He asked for the bill; a few items were purchased on Mohtarima Fatima Jinnah’s request; he gave instructions that the amount was to be deducted from her account. A couple of items were for his own personal use…their amount to be deducted from his personal account. The remaining items for the Governor House, he said, may be charged to the Government. Instructions were issued to check and make sure what may be charged to the government in the future.
When the brother of the British Emperor – Duke of Gloucester was going to visit Pakistan – the British envoy requested that he receive him at the Airport. He replied, “if I do so then the British head of state (King) would have to reciprocate when my brother would visit London”.
Once the ADC placed a Visiting Card before him…he took it and tearing it said, “Tell him not to come here before me, in future!” the card was his brother’s and his fault..? Printed under the brother’s name was…Brother of Jinnah, Governor General Pakistan.
During the severe winter of Ziarat, Col. Ilahi Bukhsh offered him a pair of socks. He liked them but inquired about the price. On learning that the price was Rs.2/-, he said the price was high. Col Ilahi Bukhsh replied that “the socks had been purchased from your account” to which the answer was that “even my account is a National trust…the Head of a poor country should not be so extravagant!” With that he rewrapped the socks and returned them to the Colonel.
He was impressed with the work of a particular Nurse in Ziarat and asked if he could do something for her. She said that she was from Punjab and all her family were there, she was alone in Quetta; could he could have her transferred to Punjab. He answered rather regretfully, “I am sorry…this is in the hands of the Health Ministry and not the Governor General’s jurisdiction.”
He ordered a writing table to be installed in his plane…when the File reached the Finance Ministry; the finance minister sanctioned it but sent a written note stating, “The Governor General must ask the Finance Ministry before issuing any such Order”. He gave a written apology and withdrew his previous order.
There is the incident of the Railway track barrier/gates which is well known. When Gul Hasan (his ADC, later C-in-C Pakistan Army) requested the railway track gates to be opened so that his car may pass over unhindered, his face turned red in anger and he ordered the gates to be shut saying, “If I do not obey rules – who else will!”
This was the Pakistan of 60 years ago when Jinnah was Head of State…We have evolved and arrived at this Pakistan of today. Today, railway track barriers/gates (Phatak) aside – all traffic signals of the city are switched off- both sides of the main roads are closed to traffic for an hour before the royal entourage goes by and the Head of State may announce a Rs 50 million donation or funding without a sanction of the Finance Ministry and even after a refusal for a sanction from the finance ministry, aeroplanes are purchased and on orders from the President and Prime Minister, scores of people are transferred – many people’s jobs are terminated and without merit…by bending of rules and regulations, many personnel are given promotion.
What to mention socks…even the kids’ Pampers are charged to the National treasury which has brought the expenditure of the President House to 18.5 Crores and the Prime ministers budget to 20 Crores.( Rs185 million Rs 200 million ).
Here nephews, sisters, brothers-in-law hold sway over the portals of power…where Secretaries receive phone calls from, “I am the brother in law of the Sahib.”
It is a Pakistan in which the full government is present at the airport to receive the vice-president of the United States of America. In the Cabinet meetings, besides tea, coffee, full lavish lunches and dinners are served. The kitchens of the President and prime Minister turn crores of rupees into smoke annually! This is the advanced Pakistan where 16 crore (160 million ) poor people are trying to survive!
When the Quaid e Azam left the Governor House on duty there was one police car with a single Inspector of police who also happened to be a non-Muslim – at the time when Gandhi had been killed and Quaid e Azam’s life was in danger too – in spite of that the Quaid e Azam went for his evening walk, enjoyed the fresh air without security…but today the Heads of State do not travel even ten kilometres without modern bullet proof cars, expert security guards and well-trained Commandos –