Iskander Mirza's first broadcast
Iskander Mirza was the fourth and the last Governor-General (since
the office was replaced by the Presidentship during his tenure and
thereby he became Pakistan's first President). He replaced the ailing
Ghulam Muhammad first as an acting Governor-General and then as
a full Governor-General sworn into office on October 5, 1955.
The following is the text of his first broadcast
to the nation two days later.
Governor-General Iskander Mirza's first broadcast
On assuming charge as Governor-General, I am overwhelmed
by a deep feeling of gratitude to Almighty God, who, in His kindness
and munificence, has placed me in a position from which I can render
my humble services to the nation.
Creator of nation
My thoughts turn from the Creator of us all to the
creator of this nation-that great statesman, the leader of us all-the
Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. At all times and on all occasions
his name inspires us, because never in the course of human history
was so much owed by so many to a single individual.
In the dark days that preceded the creation of Pakistan,
he alone broke the clouds as a constant source of light-the cynosure
of all eyes in Muslim India.
Round him revolved the hopes and aspirations of our
nation-and he by his wisdom, sagacity and skill, led us, by successful
strategy and tactics, to our goal of the establishment of Pakistan,
which is now assured of an honored place in the comity of nations.
Every Pakistani today and for ever shall be grateful
to him for opening for its avenues of destiny and national service.
As he said in his last broadcast to the nation, "Nature
has given you everything you have got unlimited resources. The foundations
of your State have been laid, and it is now for you to build, and
build as quickly and as well as you can. So go ahead and I wish
you God speed! It is for us to take up the task entrusted to us
by our Quaid-i-Azam and accomplish it in a manner worthy of his
Tribute to Ghulam Muhammad
On this occasion, I must also make a reference to
Mr. Ghulam Mohammad, my illustrious predecessor. He steered the
ship of this State successfully in the field of finance during our
first difficult years. Twice as Governor-General, by swift and resolute
action, he saved the country from chaos. He gave his best to the
service of the country and I wish him a life of health and happiness.
The suffrage of the representatives of the people
have called upon me to shoulder the onerous responsibilities of
this high office at a very important juncture in our history. I
am deeply conscious of the responsibilities which my new office
imposes upon me.
I do not believe in platitudes. It is not my habit
to say anything which I do not mean. But I may assure you in all
earnestness that I consider myself a humble servant of the nation,
to whose service I re-dedicate my life today. I shall give you all
that I have of my body and mind and my conscious and your verdict
will always be my judges.
During our short but momentous history, the country
has been in the grip of many a problems of great domestic and international
importance. The question of Constitution-making has rightly exercised
the mind of the nation to a point of frustration. My Government
and I are determined to give you a workable democratic Constitution
as early as your representatives in the Constituent Assembly choose
to make it.
The commendable manner in which the new Assembly is
addressing itself of late to its tasks encourages me to hope that
it will deliver the goods which have long been delayed. The passing
of the Constitution will pave way for general direct elections which
we are anxious to hold as early as possible.
It is my earnest desire to help in the preparation
of a democratic Constitution. Democracy presupposes the existence
of a national approach in solving our problems. We must cease to
think in terms of the interests of the East and West Wings of Pakistan
and look at every problem from the national point of view.
Democracy cannot function successfully and efficiently
unless we place our allegiance to Pakistan above all local loyalties.
In a democracy the political parties have to place
the interests of the nation above party interests. I hope the parties
and individuals in the Constituent Assembly will rise to the occasion,
when framing the Constitution by keeping this consideration in mind.
I am fully aware of the difficulties and deficiencies
with which our economic and administrative structures are beset.
My Government will do everything in its power to improve them. But
this is a task in which a heavy burden of responsibility lies on
our intelligentsia as well.
The intelligentsia is the backbone of every society.
On account of political angularities and other hardships of life,
this class in our country has become an unfortunate victim of frustration
which is not wholly unjustified. This has affected the growth of
a positive social conscience in our midst. It has also impeded the
flowering of our genius into cultural and intellectual pursuits.
These are the essence of a worthwhile life and I appeal
to you to reorientate [sic] your outlook and give them a fair chance
and place in our national set-up. I am anxious to ensure, the development
of proper incentives for the promotion of these finer values of
The pattern of our economic and social order is continuously
complicated by the problem of refugees. This is a colossal task
and the Government would do its best to cope with it. This requires
organized planning and speedy execution. I must appeal to the public
to supplement the efforts of the Government by pooling not only
their resources but also their thoughts to expedite the work of
In our international policies, we stand for peace
and freedom. Our adherence to the Turco-Iraqi Pact is symbol of
our resolve to promote the cause of peace and democracy. We shall
be loyal to our friends.
We are anxious to strengthen the bonds of good neighborly
friendship with Bharat. But the problem which has so far baffled
our mutual efforts is that of Kashmir. This is not a problem of
Pakistan or of Bharat alone. This is a problem of peace of justice
and of the inherent desire of freedom-loving people to exercise
their right of self-determination.
I hope and trust that the next meeting between the
Prime Ministers of Bharat and Pakistan will bring about a just solution
of this thorny problem.
If not we shall have to take the matter back to the
Security Council. We cannot let the cause of the people of Kashmir
lapse under the pressure of intransigence on the part of one party
I assure the people of Kashmir that we fully share their anguish
and anxieties. But be patient. We shall always stand by you. We
do not consider any sacrifice too great to uphold your cause.
I am happy at the restoration of normal relations with our other
neighbor, Afghanistan. The Afghans are not only our neighbors but
we have time-honored ties of faith and history with them.
We earnestly desire to strengthen these bonds. We
want them to be happy and prosperous. We would gladly co-operate
with them in any program of economic or technical assistance which
they may require.
But I must, however, say in unambiguous terms that
the territorial integrity of Pakistan is inviolable and we shall
not countenance any design or desire to encroach on even an inch
I wish to pay my tribute on this day to our Armed
Forces who since the very inception of Pakistan have stood like
a rock in the service of the country and who by their discipline
and efficiency have qualified themselves to be counted amongst the
best in the world.
I wish you peace and goodluck. I earnestly request
you to imbibe unity, faith and discipline not merely as a slogan
but as a code of actual practice.
Do not harp too much on the past. Mind the present
and look to the future with hope and resolution. We must put our
shoulders jointly to the wheel of destiny and take our country and
nation to the goal which our traditions have marked for us and which
our aspirations justify.
Source: Iskander Mirza Speaks (Speeches, Statements
and Private Papers)
Compiled and Edited by Ahmad Salim (1997). Gora Publishers,
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