The emergence of Pakistan in world’s map is a story of long struggle of 95 million South East Muslims under the charismatic leadership of Mohammad Ali Jinnah. The dynamic personality of Jinnah has significantly altered the course of the history. He was a man of principles, possessed a strong sense of self-esteem, and showed unbending attitude towards disruptive rivals.
Mohammad Ali Jinnah was an outstanding figure of 20th century not only in South East India, but in the whole world. It is said that without Gandhi, Hindustan would still have gained independence and without Lenin and Mao, Russia and China would still have endured Communist revolution, without Jinnah there would have been no Pakistan in 1947.
The leader of the nation, the fonder of the Pakistan was born in a rented apartment on the second floor of a prosperous and historic building known as Wazir Mention in Karachi. The story of Pakistan’s independence is incomplete without the description of Wazir Mansion. It is not just a birthplace of our leader; it is a source of inspiration to our patriotic feelings, it is a symbol of unity and it guides the citizens of Pakistan towards the path of prosperity.
The auspicious building of Wazir Mansion is a national treasure and a source of inspiration to the citizen of Pakistan. It is located on a street known as Chagla Street (now Barkati Street), Kharadar, near Merewether Tower Karachi.
It was the year 1874, when Jinnah bhai (1857-1902), an affluent Gujarati merchant and exporter of cotton, wool, grain, and range of other goods, moved to Karachi from Kathiawar, because of his business partnership with Grams Trading Company whose regional office was set up in Karachi. At that time, Karachi was a part of Bombay presidency.
Mr Jinnahbhai and his wife Sakina Bano started the new phase of their life in a two room’s apartment at the first floor of Wazir Mansion. They got the apartment for rent in 1874 and settled here for more 16 years.
Two years later, born a great human being, a great man and a great leader Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Quaid spent 16 years of his early life in Wazir Mansion. He then in 1892 left for London, United Kingdom to get higher education. After the birth of Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah, the house was sold to someone else by the owner, and the Quaid’s family shifted to another big rented house in Karachi. Wazir Ali Ponwala purchased it during 1940s.
“In 1953, the Government of Pakistan acquired this historic building and protected it under Ancient Monuments Preservation Act, 1904, and the Pakistan Public Works Department (PWD) was assigned the work of its renovation and conservation. The birthplace museum was formally inaugurated by the then governor-general of Pakistan on August 14, 1953.”
The department of archeology and museum renovated and up graded the museum in 2004 with the cost of Rs 25.04 million. The project completed in 2010.
It is built with jute mortar and tiles masonry in lime. There is a public reading room and library at the ground floor of the building and museum at the first floor. It is said that the entrance of the museum used to have a fountain, but due to renovation needs, it was removed some time ago. The reading room has a complete record of leading newspapers since 1953. Students, history lovers and general public visit the library featuring an extensive collection of about 5000 books on the topics, Quaid’s biography, freedom movement, politics, law and history of Pakistan.
Walls are decorated with the rare and precious collection of Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s photographs. Wooden stairs take the visitors to the first floor. The balcony of the first floor is divided into three big showcases like rooms. One of these rooms is a place where the great leader was born in 1876. This room consists of the Quaid’s birth bed, a set of faded white couches, and a dressing table.
Here visitors can find the law books of the Quaid. There is a set of 31 volumes of England law, and 684 law books belonged to the Quaid. At least 10 books of law carry the name of Mohammed Ali Jinnah in his own handwriting.
The two rooms consist of sofa set, dressing table and writing table, carpet and rug. All these furniture used by Quaid as governor general of Pakistan. Same room contains the bed in which Quaid breathed his last on 11 sept 1948.
Second floor is decorated with nine showcases. Six showcases are fixed with wall while two situated in the middle of the room. In one shelf, there is a small manuscript of Holy Quran, transcribed in Naskh script in second showcase, there is a miniature model of clock tower made in soft yellow stone in four sections and placed on marble base. The clock was prented to Quaid by Muslim Mrwari jamaat of jaiselpur. The most interesting display are arm and armless chairs, corner chair, X shaped piano chair, one center table and two side boards.
An oil painting of Quaid-e-Azam, which was made by artist Tajamul Hussain, and map of Pakistan scribed on marble also displayed here. In the three central showcases a wooden ashtray with the monogram M.A.J, A jaipur made silver cigarette case, Swiss made table clock, silver lock and key, letterheads, a glass ink stand, a yellow notebook, an emersion model radio, a smoking pipe, , a expensive brass inkpot, and Jinnah’s tortoise shell optical frame in brown lather case, wooden engraved perfume box, and a pen depicting the photo of the Quaid are arranged in a very organized way with the description.
Mohammad Ali Jinnah was a well-dressed leader of his time. He owned a fine collection of unique and sophisticated well-tailored suits. He was a huge fan of the spectacles, and silk ties. Indian viceroys of that time unanimously agreed that they had never seen such a well-dressed gentleman in India. To get visual knowledge of Quaid’s dress collection visit second floor of Wazir Mansion. Here you can find two suites, ties, tailcoat, trousers, gent’s braces. Interestingly most of the dressesses stitched in London, Paris and Bombay.