Web Desk (July 9, 2018): 51st death anniversary of Madar-i-Millat (Mother of the Nation) Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah is being observed with fond memories, reverence, and solemnity today.
Various government and private organizations have chalked out special programs to highlight the services rendered by Fatima Jinnah for creation of Pakistan.Madar-i-Millat Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah, who was a younger sister of the Founder of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam (Great Leader) worked tirelessly side by side with her brother Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali to help gather the women of sub-continent on one platform, which made the struggle for achieving a separate state for Muslims- known now as Pakistan.Fatima Ali Jinnah was born on July 9, 1893. After obtaining a dental degree from the University of Calcutta in 1923, she became a close associate and an adviser to her older brother Muhammad Ali Jinnah who later became the founder and first Governor General of Pakistan. She was one of the leading and pioneering woman figures in the Pakistan Movement and served as the executive member of Pakistan Movement committee working under her brother, Muhammad Ali Jinnah. A strong critic of the British Raj, she emerged as a strong advocate of the two nation theory and a leading member of the All-India Muslim League.After Pakistan appeared on the map of the world as a free country on August 14, 1047 Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah co-founded the Pakistan Women’s Association which played an integral role in the settlement of the women migrants in the newly formed country.Jinnah, popularly acclaimed as the Madr-e-Millat, or Mother of the Nation for her role in the Freedom Movement, contested the 1965 elections at the age of 71. Except for her brief tour to East Pakistan in 1954, she had not participated in politics since Independence.After the imposition of martial law by Ayub Khan, she once wished the regime well. Yet after martial law was lifted, she sympathised with the opposition as she was strongly in favour of democratic ideals. she decided to contest the elections for the president’s office in 1965 when Ayub announced elections. She was challenging the dictator and self-proclaimed “president” Ayub Khan in the indirect election, which Ayub Khan had himself instituted.Elections were held on 2 January 1965. Fatima Jinnah won the popular vote in the presidential election of 1965. However through post election rigging, coercion and manipulation of the electoral college, Ayub Khan got himself elected as the President of Pakistan. It is believed that had the elections been held via direct ballot, she would have won.She remained the closest confidante of her brother until his death. She wrote the book My Brother, in 1955 but it was only published 32 years later, in 1987.
Fatima Jinnah died in Karachi on 9 July 1967. The official cause of death was heart failure, but rumours persist that she was murdered at her house at the behest of the military junta. She was laid to rest next to her brother, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, in Karachi.Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah remains one of the most honored leaders in Pakistan, with nearly half a million people attending her funeral in Karachi.