Fatima Jinnah’s mysterious death
Fatima Jinnah was the mother of nation and most respected woman in history. Yet, the disruption on her death give rise to many questions.
Fatima Jinnah, sister to Muhammad Ali Jinnah was considered Mader-e-Millat (nation’s mother). Pakistan’s first presidential candidate. She is still remembered for her passionate support for civil rights and devoted struggle in Pakistan Movement.
Miss Fatima Jinnah was looked upon by people as natural substitute to her brother after Mr. Jinnah’s death. As she was his guardian and political companion too. There were many people and forces against the idea for her taking over after her brother’s death. Therefore, the forces ensured that Miss Jinnah’s voice is overpowered by every means.
Radio Pakistan once halted their broadcasting while Miss Fatima Jinnah made her speech on her brother’s death anniversary. Even after two death anniversaries of Quaid, Fatima Jinnah couldn’t address the nation directly. Her speeches had to be reviewed by administration before broadcasting, as the forces at that time were afraid that she would criticize the government. Miss Fatima’s book ‘My brother’ was ruthlessly censored by Shariful Mujahid in the name of ‘Ideology of Pakistan’. This was never accepted by Miss Jinnah.
However in 1951, on Mr. Jinnah’s third death anniversary the administration agreed to her terms, and she went on air. During her speech most of the parts were censored where she criticized government which she didn’t know about. Next day, newspapers were filled with criticism and condemnation. Although the administration never took the blame for censoring her speech and called it a ‘technical difficulty’.
Miss Fatima Jinnah was almost at odds with Pakistan’s rulers at that time. On October 7th, 1958, martial law was imposed in Pakistan and Commander-in Chief, Field Marshal Ayub Khan was designated as Chief Martial Law Administrator. Mr Ayub Khan was suggested by his advisers that he should become the President of the country. Opposition parties nominated Miss Fatima Jinnah to compete presidential elections against Ayub Khan.
Elections were held in January 1965, the opposition lobby believed that Miss Fatima would win the election but the results were contrary and Mr. Ayub Khan had won. Pakistan’s history would have been very different if Miss Fatima had won those elections. The elections were brutally rigged in the favor of Ayub Khan. Miss Fatima Jinnah turned against the Ayub Regime as she was certainly put off by basic democracy empowerment which took away adult franchises from people of Pakistan. Due to the repercussions of 1965 war the Ayub Regime began stumbling.
On 9th July, 1967, Miss Fatima Jinnah was found dead under mysterious conditions at her house. It was reported that her body had deep cuts and wounds all over. Although, only a day before her death she attended a wedding and was fairly well. Few years later Ghulam Sarwar filed for an application for exhumation of Fatima Jinnah’s remains for post-mortem. Later, Hasan A. Sheikh and other respected individuals, too, expressed similar concerns. As predicated nothing came out of it.
During her funeral, no commoner was allowed near her dead body and if to do so they were charged with truncheon or tear gas. On August 2, 1971 a local Urdu newspaper reported that Miss Fatima Jinnah was murdered. It consisted of interviews of people who were hired to give Miss Jinnah ghusl. One of the men Hidayat Ali claimed that corpse had visible wounds on it with opening in stomach, which oozed out blood and other bodily fluids. Her bloodied clothes were kept as evidence with Hidayat Ali.
However, He said no one from the administration inquired in request and this matter was never made public. When she stood in elections against Ayub Khan in 1964, she became a vary of hope for the people of country. Clearly, she was a hurdle in the way of many country’s rulers, who wanted to remain in power and wanted to get rid of her.
Even decades later we still wonder what were the mysterious circumstances of Miss Fatima Jinnah’s death? The power she held on people, did they fear her and the power?
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