January 4th, 2009 by Shakir Lakhani

Every few years there is an attempt by vested interests to create doubts among Pakistanis about Mr. Jinnah’s birthplace. There is of course no doubt that he was born in Karachi, but the detractors say that he was born in Jherruck (near Thatta). I have studied this matter in detail, and the only basis for it is that someone (I think it was the late Syed Ghulam Mustafa Shah, PPP MNA from Thatta) inserted in Sindhi textbooks the disinformation about the founder of Pakistan being born in Jherruck. His aim of course was to make Jherruck a place of pilgrimage so that its infrastructure would be improved, roads and schools would be built and tourism in the region would increase.

Some years ago, during BB’s second stint in power, this controversy was raised by those who apparently think Mr. Jinnah was out of his senses when he said he was born in Karachi (and this was the main reason for selecting Karachi as the capital of Pakistan). Even his two sisters (Ms Fatima Jinnah and Ms Shirin Jinnah) said many times that Karachi was the great man’s birthplace.

But just because of a single textbook which said otherwise, Ms Humera Alwani, PPP legislator has presented a bill to declare Jherruck as the birthplace of the Quaid. My question is, why wasn’t this issue raised when Mr. Jinnah and his associates were alive or when the Quaid’s official biography was published in the nineteen fifties? Why didn’t Sindhi MNAs and MPAs object when BB herself said that Karachi was the city in which the Quaid was born? And finally, why are they ignoring the many English and Urdu textbooks in Pakistan which confirm this?

I wouldn’t be surprised if one of these days someone builds a tomb in Jherruck and claims that the Quaid is buried there (and not in the mausoleum in Karachi)! Anything is possible in Pakistan.