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Muhammad Ali Jinnah
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World Leader
    (December 25, 1876-September 11, 1948)
    Born in Karachi, Pakistan
    Member of the Indian National Congress (1896-1913) and Muslim League (1913-47)
    Governor-General of Pakistan (1947-48)
    Known in Pakistan as 'Great Leader' and 'Father of the Nation'
    He became estranged from his daughter when she married a Christian.
    It was unclear whether he was a Sunni or a Shia, leading to a protracted court battle after his death about which religion's inheritance laws would govern his will.
    His call for 'Direct Action' in response to the Indian National Congress' refusal to partition India into Hindu and Muslim states triggered riots in Calcutta that killed over 7,000 people (August 16, 1946).
    After futile negotiations to preserve Indian unity, Lord Mountbatten concluded, 'Mr. Jinnah was a psychopathic case.'
    During World War II, he opposed Gandhi's 'Quit India' campaign and supported the British war effort.
    He was stabbed by a would-be assassin (July 26, 1943).
    Following the partition, he joined Indian leaders in visiting border regions to encourage peace.
    He tried to establish Pakistan as a secular state, declaring, 'You may belong to any religion, caste or creed; that has nothing to do with the business of the state.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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