Visit Fatima Jinnah from Karachi

Fatima Jinnah

After obtaining a dental degree from University of Calcutta, she became a close associate and an adviser to her older brother Muhammad Ali Jinnah who later became the first Governor General of Pakistan. A strong critic of the British Raj, she emerged as a strong advocate of the two nation theory and a leading member of the All-India Muslim League. After the independence of Pakistan, Jinnah co-founded the Pakistan Women's Association which significantly played an integral role in the settlement of the migrants in the newly formed country. After the death of her brother, she continued to remain a prominent philanthropist, but did not remain politically active until 1965 when she participated in the presidential election against military dictator Ayub Khan, only to lose the primary because of election rigging by the military.

After battling a long illness, Jinnah died in Karachi on 9 July 1967. She remains one of the most honoured leaders in Pakistan. Her legacy is associated with her support for civil rights, her struggle in Pakistan Movement and her devotion to her brother. Referred as Maader­e Millat ("Mother of the Nation") and Khaaton­e Pakistan ("Lady of Pakistan"), many institutions and public spaces have been named in her honour.

Early life and career

Jinnah was born on 30 July 1893, the youngest of seven children to Jinnahbhai Poonja and his wife Mithibai, in a rented apartment on the second floor of Wazir Mansion, Karachi[citation needed. Jinnah had seven siblings: Muhammad Ali, Ahmad Ali, Bunde Ali, Rahmat Ali, Maryam, Fatima and Shireen. Of a family of seven brothers and sisters, she was the closest to Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Her brother became her guardian upon the death of their father in 1901.She joined the Bandra Convent in Bombay in 1902. In 1919, she was admitted to the highly competitive University of Calcutta where she attended the Dr. R. Ahmed Dental College. After she graduated, she opened a dental clinic in Bombay in 1923.

Muhammad Ali Jinnah's companion

Jinnah lived with her brother until 1918, when he married Rattanbai Petit. Upon Rattanbai's death in February 1929, Jinnah closed her clinic, moved into her brother Muhammad Ali Jinnah's bungalow, and took charge of his house. This began the lifelong companionship that lasted until her brother's death on 11 September 1948. Paying tribute to his sister, Ali Jinnah once said, "My sister was like a bright ray of light and hope whenever I came back home and met her. Anxieties would have been much greater and my health much worse, but for the restraint imposed by her".

Honours and legacy

Jinnah remained extremely popular and is considered as one of the greatest woman Pakistan has produced. Jinnah is a source of the awakening of women's rights. In Pakistan, she rose to stand as Pakistan's national symbol, and unlike Ayub Khan who died in poor health and yet no honours were given him, Jinnah received tremendous honours from the society after her death.Later, the Government of Pakistan built a monument in honour and remembrance of her.

Fatima Jinnah died in Karachi on 9 July 1967. The official cause of death was heart failure, but rumours persist that she was murdered at her house. It is claimed that some officials of the local Karachi police said that she was found beheaded in her drawing room. In 2003, the nephew of the Quaid-i-Azam, Akbar Pirbhai, reignited the controversy by suggesting that she was assassinated by the Ayub Khan establishment.

Presidential election 1965

Jinnah won the popular vote in the presidential election of 1965. However through post election rigging, coercion and manipulation of the electoral college, Ayub Khan got himself elected as the President of Pakistan.[citation needed] It is believed that had the elections been held via direct ballot, she would have won. The Electoral College consisted of only 80,000 Basic Democrats, who were easily manipulated. The importance of this election lay in the fact that a woman was contesting the highest political office of the country. The orthodox religious political parties, including the Jamaat-e-Islami led by Maulana Maududi, which had repeatedly declared that a woman could not hold the highest office of a Muslim country, modified their stance and supported the candidature of Jinnah. The election showed that the people had no prejudice against women holding high offices, and they could be key players in politics of the country.During a lawsuit, Matloobul Hassan Syed deposed that during Jinnah's election campaign against General Ayub Khan, when some local Shia leaders told her that they would vote for Ayub, she contended that she could represent them better as she was a Shia.According to Liaquat H. Merchant, "the Court was inclined to repose more trust in the avowed non-sectarian public stance of the Quaid and his sister". Both Muhammad Ali Jinnah and his sister "carefully avoided a sectarian label. 

Located at: Fatima Jinnah, Karachi, Pakistan
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