Quaid-e-Azam had a wish to see Pakistan as a progressed nation. He wanted to overcome the backwardness and poor economic conditions of the Muslim nation.
A British Journalist Beverley Nichols interviewed Quaid-e-Azam in December, 1943, the first question he asked after hearing an exposition of the concept of Pakistan was, about the economic aspect of Pakistan ‘Are the Muslims likely to be richer or poorer under in Pakistan?’ Quaid-e-Azam said, ‘The Muslims are tough, people, lean and hardy. If Pakistan means that they will have to be a tougher, and for which they will not complain. But why should it mean that? What conceivable reason is there to suppose that the gift of nationality is going to be an economic liability?
When Pakistan came in to being, Quaid-e-Azam said, ‘Without economic progress, freedom is worth nothing because one cannot turn freedom to full advantage.’ It may be well to remember that it was Quaid-e-Azam’s persuasion which brought many Muslim industrialists from foreign lands to establish industries in Pakistan. Today they are settled and reaping the benefits which have occurred to them in our own free land, and they are also making notable contribution to the building up of our economy”.
When we take considerable the economic views of Quaid-e-Azam, certain questions come to lips after their appearance in our mental horizon. What were his views, regarding the development of industry and commerce? Was he a supporter of the western economic theory and practice, or did he advocate the adoption of socialisation based on the Islamic concepts of equality and social justice?
“Quaid-e-Azam was the first to proclaim that Pakistan would, be based on the foundations of social justice and Islamic socialism which emphasised equality and brotherhood of man.
Therefore, he aspired to do away with the obvious manifestations of gross social’ inequality through making Pakistan a welfare state. He did not want Pakistan to become a paradise of capitalists and land lords. He was indeed aware that Islam regarded private ownership as a sacred trust. However, he was also conscious that according to Islam, the social rank of an individual was not determined by the amount of wealth he owned, but by the kind of life he lived and his character and value system lie adopted. Islam recognised the worth of the individual but at the same time, Islam disciplined the man to give away his all to the service of God and man. It was precisely for this reason that he had rejected the Western economic theory and practice.
Quaid-e-Azam fully realised that there was no room for capitalism in Islamic society. Accordingly, he was opposed to the adoption of western capitalist, economic system in Pakistan. In his speech at the opening ceremony of the State Bank of Pakistan on 1st July, 1948, he proclaimed. The economic system of the West has created almost insoluble problems humanity and to many of us it appears that only a miracle can save it from disaster that is now facing the world. The adoption of western economic theory and practice will not help us in achieving our goal of creating a happy and contented. We must work or destiny in our own way and present to the world an economic system based on true Islamic concepts of equality of manhood and social justice.
Similarly, Quaid-e-Azam could not accept the communist ideology, economic theory and practice. While addressing the Punjab Muslim Students Federation at Lahore on l9th March, 1944, he proclaimed. I warn the communists to keep their hands off Muslims Islam is their guide and complete code for their life. They do not want any isms.
It was, undoubtedly, Quaid-e-Azam’s conviction that the Muslims had complete and effective ideology of their own and could steer clear of the pit falls of all extremist systems. Capitalism on the one hand and communism on the other. He believed that if the Muslims of Pakistan correctly interpreted by deeds rather than words, the teachings of Islam they could show the world the much needed path to peace, justice and happiness. In fact, he considered this to be the main objectives of Pakistan. Thus, he left us, as a testament the sacred task of evolving in Pakistan a policy and an economy which, besides bringing us peace and happiness, would serve a model to the world.
Quaid-e-Azam’s conception of a state was that it was means to an end and not the end in itself, on another occasion he said, ‘The state exists not for life but for good life. Quaid-e-Azam repeatedly said that Pakistan had been created for providing equal opportunities and decent living for the poor people, who compressed a large majority of our population. The idea was that we should have a state in which we could live and breathe as free men and which we could develop according to our own lights and culture and where principles of Islamic social justice could find free play.’
In general terms, therefore, the social and economic order of Pakistan, according to Quaid-e-Azam was to be based on social justice and Islamic socialism. Its marked features are brotherhood, equality of mankind and equality for opportunities for all.
Economic Policies of Pakistan
It is thus clear that Quaid-e-Azam stood for two fundamental principles regarding the economic organisation of the state…. equitable taxation in conformity with principles of social justice and Nationalisation of key industries and public utility services. That the rich should not be allowed to become richer and poor to become poorer is an off repeated clinch, but it is proposition which does not lose its force even by repetition. Obviously Quaid-e-Azam’s idea of taxation supports this preposition. He believed in the levelling down of the menacing economic disparities which account for wide-spread distress and misery and more reasonable distribution of economic burdens which have to be borne by all citizens for the common objective of maintenance of the state. This eminently sound, principle together with the idea of nationalisation of key industries and Âutility services would undoubtedly lead to the evolution of a socialistic economy which would ensure a balance between the individual’s urge for enterprise and acquisition and the good of society as a whole.
Such a consummation is perfecting in accord with the Islamic view of life. Quaid-e-Azam believed in subordinating economic activity to moral ends, for therein lies the ultimate good of mankind and that is the quintessence Islamic teachings. However, the principle laid down by Quaid-e-Azam was that Pakistan must achieve a balance between private enterprise and state control of industries and public utilities.
Industrialisation of the State
‘Nature has pressed with many good raw materials of industry and it is up to us to utilise them in the best interests of the state and its people.’
His views regarding the consolidation of the state were also dominated by his considerations of industrial progress. He said, ‘The way in which we could consolidate the state was by industrialising as fast as we could.’
To be continued