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The Quaid and the Making of Pakistan

How critical was Quaid-i-Azam’s role in the making of Pakistan? Surprisingly though, it was most succinctly and brilliantly summed up in rather unsuspecting quarters – in H.V. Hodson (d. 2000)’s The Great Divide (1969), perhaps the most authoritative British account of the imperial retreat from the subcontinent. He says: Of all the personalities in the last act of the great drama of India’s rebirth to independence, Mohammad Ali Jinnah is at once the most enigmatic and the most important. One can imagine any of the other principal actors…. Replaced by a substitute in the same role – a different representative of this or that interest or community, even a different Viceroy – without thereby implying any radical change in the denouncement. But it is barely conceivable that events would have taken the same course, that the last struggle would have been a struggle of three, not two, well-balanced adversaries, and that a new nation State of Pakistan would have been created, but for the per