“I naturally welcome your statement that you do not believe in provincialism. You must learn to distinguish between your love for your Province and your love and duty to the state as a whole. Our duty to the State takes us a stage beyond provincialism. It demands a broader sense of vision and a greater sense of patriotism. Our duty to the State often demands that we must be ready to submerge our individual or provincial interests into the common cause for the common good. Our duty to the state comes first: our duty to our province, to our district, to our town and to our village and ourselves comes next.”
- Mr. Jinnah / Quaid-e-Azam
- Speech: Responsibilities of the youth
- Context: Speech to the Students of Islamia College, Peshawar
Provincialism and ethnic politics is an evil curse that must be defeated from our body-politic if we are to prove that the post-colonial state is not just a bad version of the colonial one.
The young people are motivated to organize, consolidate and unite the citizens of Pakistan towards the common cause of social and economic progress. National progress will never be achieved if we dedicate our energies to select provinces. A provincial bias would result in a predatory competition where a powerful province may unfairly control resources and marginalize weaker less developed provinces. Such a political arrangement would definitely breed resentment amongst provinces and as a consequence, damage nationhood and weaken our people’s sense of belonging to Pakistan.
A broader sense of vision demands that we perceive each province to be a dignified ‘unit’ of the whole in which each plays its unique role. Our service, devotion and duty is first to the whole [Pakistan], then to the unit [Province] and then to sub-units [districts, towns, villages]. We ought to enable economic progress across all provinces.
This broader sense of vision will not only enable us to submerge our individual or provincial interests for the common good but also promote goodwill, camaraderie and evoke a deep sense of unity that is required to script an awesome transformation of a poor third-world country into a vibrant economic powerhouse and a hub of progressive ideas.
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