In most of the world, December 25 is celebrated as the birthday of Jesus. In Pakistan, it is more widely celebrated as the birthday of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Pakistan’s founding father whose insistence on a separate state for the Muslims of British India led to the partition of the raj.Ardeshir Cowasjee, one of Pakistan’s great public intellectuals and writers, has chosen this date to retire as a columnist for The Dawn newspaper, an English language newspaper that consistently offers some of the best Pakistani news anywhere. His last column mourns the death of Jinnah’s vision for the country: secular, tolerant, open and democratic.I had the great honor and pleasure of meeting Mr. Cowasjee at a dinner in his beloved city of Karachi a year and a half ago. His passion for his country, deep knowledge of its affairs, and his love for humanity regardless of race and religion made a powerful impression on me then, and I’ve enjoyed keeping up with his views from time to time since my return. Pakistan and the world stand in need of more people like him and I am glad to learn from his column that he will continue to write from time to time.Read Ardeshir’s column here, and go here to see the home page of Dawn.
A Pakistani Patriot Lays His Burden Down