Erecting statues as homages to the founding fathers of any country is an important responsibility of the state but it should be treated as a privilege that is earned. Theft of the monocle glasses from a statue of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah situated in Vehari yesterday is just another example of how unsafe and unprotected these monuments really are. Back in September, a much more shocking and unfortunate incident that took place in Gwadar, where Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s statue, situated on Marine Drive was blown away, either by an explosive device planted under it and detonated remotely or by a grenade hurled at it. The incidentwas another perfect example of why such installations should not be built until and unless their protection and preservation can be confidently ensured at all costs. That the location where the attack took place was considered a safe zone, in the vicinity of the residence of the General Officer Commanding (GOC) and the office of the Deputy Inspector General, clearly indicates that there was insufficient security in the area. The outlawed Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), an anti-Pakistan terrorist outfit, that usually does not go for inanimate objects, rather live targets, claimed responsibility for that attack, making it an act that is symbolic in nature, motivated by an innate hate for Pakistan and the foundation it was built upon.
A statue of an individual with the title of ‘Father of the Nation’, is not simply some stone and metal thrown together and sculpted to look like him, it is in fact a symbol and reminder of the man’s struggle and sacrifice to carve out an independent democratic nation for his people.It is not as if these installments of admiration are in high demand by the public either; the state is erecting them at its own discretion. It would perhaps therefore be best that the government desist from engaging in such unnecessary and presumably costly activities that end up doing more harm than good.