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Nawaz Sharif's party in embarrassing goof up

The Nawaz Sharif's PML-N advertisement, quoting MA Jinnah's speech, has created a new stir in Pakistan.

world Updated: Jan 01, 2008 14:08 IST

The PML-N, party of former premier Nawaz Sharif, a vocal opponent of the Pakistan Army's involvement in politics, had apparently goofed up in an advertisement in which it quoted the nation's founder's comments on the role of the military.

The PML-N advertisement used certain quotes it attributed to a speech reportedly made by Pakistan's founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah at the army's staff college in Quetta.

But the Daily Times reported on Wednesday that the quotes were actually from two different addresses by Jinnah. In the advertisement issued on December 24 in an English newspaper, the PML-N had said that Jinnah's speech was made at the staff college on June 14, 1948.

In the first paragraph, Jinnah was quoted as saying, "Never forget that you are the servants of the state. You do not make policy. It is we, the people's representative, who decide how the country is to be run. Your job is to only obey the decisions of your civilian masters."

Another paragraph read, "I am sure democracy is in our blood indeed, it is in our marrow of bones. Only centuries of adverse circumstances have made the circulation of the blood cold. It has become frozen, and our arteries have not been functioning. But thank God, the blood is circulating again. It will be a people's government."

The newspaper said Jinnah never made either remark while delivering a speech at the staff college, Quetta. The first paragraph was taken from Jinnah's advice to Col Akbar Khan (later Gen Khan).

The second paragraph was taken from Jinnah's presidential address at a session of the All India Muslim League held in Delhi on April 24, 1943. PML-N spokesman Ahsan Iqbal said he was not aware of the advertisement and would investigate the issue.

Sharif, who was deposed by President Pervez Musharraf in a military coup in 1999, on Monday reiterated that the military should have no role in Pakistan's politics.