Colonel Elahi Bux As Quaid E Azam’s Doctor:
I was sitting out on my lawn studying after dinner on Wednesday, 21 July 1948, when the telephone bell rang. My servant who attended to the telephone came out and announced a trunk call from Karachi. Wondering who could be calling me up from Karachi, I listened and found it to be Mr Muhammad Ali, the Secretary General to the Government of Pakistan. He began by enquiring casually if I had made any plans for the holidays. When I told him I had arranged to spend them at Quetta and expected to leave on the 9th or 10th of August, he sprang a surprise by asking me to leave immediately by Air in order to make myself available for consultation by the Quaid-i-Azam. I was to keep my visit confidential and get in touch with the GOC at Quetta who would provide the transport for me to Ziarat, where the Quaid-i-Azam was staying. As Mr Muhammad Ali had given no details, I anxiously wondered how ill the Quaid-i-Azam was. Next morning I went to the Orient Airways’ office and booked a seat for Friday, there being no Air service on Thursdays.
Colonel Elahi Bux Leave Lahore to Reach Ziarat Quaid’s Residency:
Leaving Lahore on Friday morning I arrived at Quetta at 2:30 p.m. and was met at the Aerodrome by the GOC, Major-General Muhammad Akbar Khan, and Colonel K. Jilani. The Governor-General’s car was waiting for me. Snatching a hurried lunch at the GOC’s house, I immediate proceeded to Ziarat, In Quetta the Quaid-i-Azam was believed to be seriously ill but nobody knew what he was suffering from. All I could gather was that he abhorred injections and patent medicines and preferred to be addressed as ‘Sir’ and not as ‘Your Excellency’.
The journey from Quetta to Ziarat was quite pleasant. Only a small portion of the road is tarred but its surface is not bad for motoring. The rugged scenery reminded me of the Waziristan hills in the neighborhood of wana, where I had spent the earlier part of my service with the Army. We drove through the main road of Ziarat and then turned right, taking the road to the Residency which was about a 100 yards from the GOC’s bungalow. From its name I had imagined Ziarat to be an attractive place, but it turned out to be rather disappointing.
Colonel Elahi Bux’s Arrival at Quaid’s Residency:
At the GOC’s bungalow I found that Mr Amin had gone to the Commissioner’s house a few yards down the road, where I was glad to meet him and also the Commissioner, Mr A.R. Khan, and his wife to whom he introduced me. I was offered tea which I enjoyed after my journey. Mr Amin told me that the Quaid-i-Azam had been very ill for the last few days and that I had been expected to arrive earlier by a specially chartered plane. He then rang up Miss Jinnah to inform her of my arrival and was asked to let me know that the Quaid-i-Azam had decided to see me the next morning at 8 o’clock. This rather leisurely manner of seeking medical advice caused me some surprise, which wore off later when I discovered the Quaid-i-Azam’s life long reluctance to undergo a regular medical treatment. The Dak Bungalow, where arrangements had been made for me to stay, was a few hundred yards from the Residency overlooking the noisy main bazaar of Ziarat. It looked deserted but the rooms were clean and the furniture adequate. I installed myself quickly, and to while away the time tried to look through some medical books after dinner but the light of the kerosene lamp was too dim and my mind was full of anxious thoughts. Not knowing anything about the nature of the Quaid-i-Azam’s illness, I wondered how it would be possible to investigate him without modern laboratory aids. I thought that if I had been given some idea of the disease I could have got the necessary equipment and doctors from Lahore. There was also the problem of obtaining the latest medicines. Thinking it over I realized that it was futile to worry about a situation which could not be remedied. I drew strength and peace from the evening prayer, soon went to bed, and slept soundly.
First Meeting With Quaid E Azam:
Next morning after breakfast I walked up to the Residency and the exhilarating morning air of Ziarat made me feel more optimistic. The Residency, the official summer residence of the AGG in Baluchistan, is a stone-and-wood double storey building standing on a hill, with a spacious lawn and hard courts in front, and fruit trees and masses of flowers all round. It looked like a veritable oasis in the barren surroundings of Ziarat, but I was hardly in a mood to appreciate its beauty. What I admired with pride was the Governor-General’s dark blue flag. As I reached the front verandah of the house an ADC greeted me and look me at once to Miss Jinnah. I had expected her only to give me an account of the Quiad-i-Azam’s illness and to specify the time when he would be prepared to see me. But to my surprise she at once took me upstairs to his bed-room. I was naturally somewhat nervous at the prospect of meeting the great man, of whom I had only had a glimpse from a distance in the Bagh-i-Jinnah when the West Punjab Government had given a tea party in his honour in the autumn of 1947. As I entered the bed-room I found the Quaid-i-Azam lying in bed facing the door . He greeted me cheerfully and shook hands with a smile. He looked shockingly thin and weak and had an ashen grey complexion. He had never had a robust constitution, and even at the tea party in the Bagh-i-Jinnah had looked very frail and anaemic, but his appearance that morning frightened me. He must have guessed what was in my mind, for he diverted my attention by motioning me to a chair and inquiring if I had a pleasant journey. I sat down and asked for a detailed account of his present and previous illnesses.
Realization of Quaid’s Health Actual Condition:
Realizing its documentary value I maintained a day to day record of what the Quaid-i-Azam said to me, from the moment he graciously greeted me to the last faint words he uttered, and I am now able to draw upon it. ‘There is nothing much wrong with me,’ he told me, ‘except that I have got stomach trouble and exhaustion due to overwork and worry. For forty years I have worked for 14 hours a day, never knowing what disease was. However, for the last few years I have been having annual attacks of fever and cough. My doctors in Bombay regarded these as attacks of bronchitis, and with the usual treatment and rest in bed, I generally recovered within a week or so. For the last year or two, however, they have increased both in frequency and severity and are much more exhausting.’ While I was listening to him I found him losing breath after each sentence and sometimes pausing in the middle. His mouth was dry and he moistened his lips many times while talking.
The voice lacked tone and was at times almost inaudible. He had a couple of fits of coughing within a short period which left him exhausted. I did not wish to tire him but it was essential to take his history in detail before examining him physically. It was fortunate that the Quaid-i-Azam , as was his habit, never went into unnecessary details and answered my questions briefly and precisely. After a short pause during which he closed his eyes and looked more dead than alive, he continued, ‘About three weeks ago I caught a chill and developed fever and a cough for which the Civil Surgeon of Quetta prescribed penicillin lozenges. I have been taking these since; my cold is better, the fever is less, but I feel very weak. I don’t think there is anything organically wrong with me. The phlegm which I bring up is probably coming from my stomach’ and if my stomach can be put right I will recover soon. Many years ago I had a rather bad stomach trouble for which I consulted two or three London specialists, but they failed to diagnose my illness, and one of them even advised an operation. Not being satisfied, I didn’t submit to the operation and on the advice of another London doctor went to Germany and consulted a famous doctor. He told me that I had no organic trouble and only needed rest and a regulation of diet. I stayed in his clinic for a few weeks and recovered completely. In 1934 I was diagnosed by the Bombay doctors to be suffering from heart disease, but a heart specialist in Germany assured me that my heart was perfectly normal.’
After listening to the history I proceeded to examine him. I observed with distress that he was much thinner than he appeared with clothes on and could not make out how he had managed to survive and work in such an advanced stage of emaciation. But as I had seen equally severe cases among the prisoners of war at Singapore, many of whom had recovered with improved nutrition after their release, I hoped that if he had no organic disease, adequate and nourishing diet with complete rest might benefit him also. The physical examination, however, dimmed my hopes, although I did not reveal my fears to the patient. At the end of the examination I expressed a desire to have him investigated further before I could give my final diagnosis, but hinted that the root cause of the trouble appeared to me to be lung disease and not his stomach. The Quaid-i-Azam still believed, however, that his primary trouble was the stomach, and urged me to pay more attention to it. I assured him that the treatment of his stomach would not be neglected, and that I could not treat his lung disease without improving his general nutrition, and that required correction of any digestive abnormality. He appeared to be satisfied with my explanation. When I came downstairs I found Miss Jinnah waiting for me in the verandah anxious to know the result of my examination. I acquainted her with my findings but expressed my inability to give a final opinion without further investigation. I, however, told her that it was disquieting to find him so anaemic and emaciated and with a low blood-pressure. Miss Jinnah then informed me that he was much better than he had been three days ago, when he condition had alarmed her so much that she had sent for me without obtaining his permission, for fear he might refuse. Then, at the suggestion of Mrs A.R.Khan, she had started giving him frequent small feeds of fruit juice and jug soup. It was after this that he had begun to improve slowly. I told Miss Jinnah that soups had practically no food value, and that they should be replaced by a nourishing, easily digestible and low residue diet.
Complete analysis of Quaid’s Health Condition with Civil Surgeon, Dr Siddiqui, Dr Mahmood, the Clinical Pathologist:
I then sat down to prepare a daily program of diet and rest. For breakfast, I allowed him porridge, half-boiled or scrambled or poached eggs, thin slices of white bread with butter followed by coffee with plenty of milk; fruit juice at 11 o’clock; minced chicken or steamed or boiled fish with white sauce, mashed potatoes and green peas followed by baked custard or fruit jelly with cream for lunch; biscuits and tea in the afternoon; and for dinner, minced chicken or grilled fish with some appetizing sauce, mashed potatoes, green peas or boiled marrow, followed by a light pudding and coffee. Miss Jinnah appeared to doubt the advantage of giving the Quaid-i-Azam such a diet, but she did not say anything. Sensing her objection I emphasized the urgent necessity of giving the patient a high caloric diet. To aid digestion and assimilation I prescribed a digestive mixture. After nothing down detailed instructions about rest, diet, and medicines I set about securing a microscope and reagents for the examination of the blood, sputum, etc. I rang up the civil Surgeon at Quetta to send the necessary equipment, along with his Clinical Pathologist, to Ziarat. Next morning the Civil Surgeon, Dr Siddiqui, appeared himself with Dr Mahmood, the Clinical Pathologist, and all the equipment I had asked for. Fortunately, both of them happened to be old pupils of mine, and I was very pleased to meet them again. They began the laboratory investigations early in the morning on Sunday, the 25th of July. It was at about 11 o’clock, while I was sitting in Mr Amin’s office, that Dr Siddiqui came and asked if he could speak to me alone. I suspected bad news, and the laboratory findings confirmed my suspicions.
Meeting with Quaid’s Sister Fatimah Jinnah:
Revolving all aspects of the case in mind I walked thoughtfully up to the Residency. I found Miss Jinnah sitting in the verandah and told her of the laboratory findings. She remained perfectly composed. One could see in the firmness of her resolute face a striking resemblance to her famous brother. She wished to know more details and the chances her brother had of overcoming his disease. I told her that it was not possible for me to express any opinion without an X-Ray examination of the chest and his response to specific treatment. Nevertheless, I assured her that the best medical aid and all the facilities which Pakistan could offer would be placed at the Quaid-i-Azam’s disposal, and that I would do everything in my power in a professional and personal way to help. It was after this that she broke down. She wished her brother had listened to her earlier. For the last two months she had been begging him to call a specialist but he would not listen and continued to work until he got so exhausted that he was forced to take a rest. After a short stay at Quetta and Ziarat, he had picked up quickly but then had again gone to Karachi for the opening ceremony of the State Bank. The journey had proved too much for him and he had lost whatever he had gained by rest. He had looked much weaker and ailing after his return from Karachi and had taken to bed with fever and a cough. He always maintained that she worried unnecessarily and that the attacks of cough and fever were only brought on by overwork and exposure.
Considering that he was averse to taking medicines and reluctant to follow seriously the programme prescribed by doctors, there was no doubt that a rest in bed for a few days did produce wonderful results. How she wished that the diagnosis had been made earlier! I shared her regret, but held out the hope that God, in response to the prayers of the whole Nation, would make him live long enough to see Pakistan strong and great. I then advised her not to let the patient know the real nature of his disease, as it might depress him too much and adversely affect its course. She assured me that this was the only way of obtaining his cooperation in the treatment, and that it would not unduly alarm him. I could not anticipate his reaction, but was only too eager to elicit his fullest cooperation to be able to shoulder my great responsibility, and therefore decided to act on Miss Jinnah’s advice, and make the result of my investigations known to him. While I was telling him the grave news I watched him intently, all the time uncertain whether I had not made a mistake. He, however, remained quite calm and all he said after I had finished was, ‘Have you told Miss Jinnah?’ I replied, ‘Yes, Sir. Since I thought it proper to conceal the nature of the illness from you, fearing it might have an adverse effect on you, I had to take her into confidence.’
The Quaid’s Interrogation regarding the examination:
The Quaid-i-Azam interrupted me and said, ‘No, you shouldn’t have done it. After all she is a woman.’ I expressed regret for the pain caused to his sister, but explained that there had been no other course. In conformity with medical ethics if a doctor thought it inadvisable to inform the patient it was his duty to acquaint a responsible member of the family with the true state of affairs. In his case there was no other member of the family with whom I could get in touch. I had told Miss Jinnah and she had thought it desirable that the Quaid-i-Azam be informed in order to secure his willing help. It was a difficult situation for me. The Quaid-i-Azam listened patiently and in the end said, ‘It doesn’t matter, what is done is done. Now tell me all about it. How long have I had this disease? What are the chances of my overcoming it? How long will the treatment last? I should like to know everything and you must not hesitate to tell me the whole truth.’ I replied that I could not give a definite opinion until I had gauged the extent of the disease process by means of an X-Ray examination but felt confident that with the aid of the latest drugs there should be a fair chance of a considerable improvement. What I had told him did not appear to have disturbed his composure unduly and I was greatly impressed by the manner in which he had taken the grave news.
Meeting with Dr Riaz Ali Shah, Dr Alam, the X-Ray specialist, and Dr Ghulam Muhammad at Ziarat Residency:
I came downstairs and sat down to modify the diet and treatment in the light of the laboratory findings. After this sent a telegram to Dr Riaz Ali Shah, Dr Alam, the X-Ray specialist, and Dr Ghulam Muhammad, the Clinical Pathologist of the Mayo Hospital, Lahore, to come to Ziarat with the necessary equipment and portable X-Ray apparatus. I had also a telegram sent to Karachi for certain medicines needed immediately. When I visited the patient in the evening I was pleased to find that he had taken the prescribed diet and digested it. His temperature did not rise that day and he felt slightly better. Next morning I advised Miss Jinnah to engage a nurse. So far she had herself been looking after her brother. I was afraid that if with her frail constitution she broke down under the strain of nursing it would greatly upset him. She agreed with me but said that the patient would first have to be got round since he had an aversion to a nurse attending on him. When approached on the subject, the Quaid-i-Azam flatly turned down the suggestion. He failed to see the necessity of it, as his work was being done to his entire satisfaction by his servants. I patiently tried to explain to him how necessary it was to have the attendance of an experienced nurse, who could record his temperature and pulse every four hours. The Quaid-i-Azam countered this argument by saying that his pulse and temperature could easily be recorded by the local doctor or one of his assistants. I did not pursue the discussion and in deference to his wishes engaged a lady compounder recommended by the local doctor to undertake this duty. Next morning when I went to the Residency Miss Jinnah remarked. ‘This lady compounder is a very smart and efficient person. Last night when the Quaid-i-Azam asked her what his temperature was, she said she was sorry she could not tell him without the doctor’s permission. Instead of being displeased he praised her after she had left.’ Being himself a man of principle he could appreciate anybody who did his duty properly. That day Mr Hassan Ispahani, the Ambassador to the USA, came to see the Quaid-i-Azam and also met me. He enquired about the nature of the illness-which, of course, I could not reveal-and told me that if I needed any medical aid from America he would gladly arrange to provide it by a special plane. After his interview he came downstairs visibly moved. I hoped he had not betrayed his anxiety before the patient. In his evident concern he repeated his offer of medical help from America but did not think it would be needed, as the Quaid-i-Azam appeared to have confidence in the treatment and felt he was in good hands. I found Mr Ispahani’s account of the Quaid-i-Azam’s helpful attitude most reassuring.
Meeting with Miss Fatimah Jinnah and Discussion regarding Precautionary Measures:
In the evening I told Miss Jinnah that the Quaid-i-Azam was not wearing sufficiently warm clothes and as he did not cover himself properly there was a great danger of his catching a chill in the chest. With her permission I ordered thirty yards of Vyella cloth from Karachi to replace the silk pyjamas he had been wearing.
The following conversation took place when I brought up the matter next morning:
‘Sir, the silk pyjamas you have been wearing are too thin for you, and there is a danger of your catching a chill.’
‘I have only got silk ones but I intend to have some more made of handloom cloth.’
‘But, Sir, cotton will not do; you must have woolen ones.’
‘But I have told you I haven’t got them.’
‘As I think you should have them, without your permission I have ordered 30 yards of Vyella cloth from Karachi.’
‘Listen, Doctor, take my advice. Whenever you spend money on anything think twice whether it is necessary, in fact, essential or not.’
‘Sir, in your case whenever I make a decision I think many times before I put it up before you, and I have come to the conclusion that woolen pyjamas are absolutely essential for you.’
‘All right, I give in.’
Changes in the Food Menu of Quaid e Azam:
This was said with a smile. I was very pleased with my success as I had been given to understand before I had met him that he could sometimes be unreasonably stubborn. This incident encouraged me to hope that I would be able to persuade him to do whatever I considered necessary provided I could offer a sound reason for it. After obtaining this insight into his mind all the measures I suggested were duly reasoned out and I never shirked a candid medical discussion. I believe he took a liking to me because I explained in a non-technical manner all that could be communicated to him about his illness. This procedure always goes a long way in creating in the patient’s mind faith and confidence in his doctor, particularly in the case of highly intelligent and educated patients, for they are rarely satisfied unless they are convinced of the rationale of the treatment. That is why confidence and faith in the doctor not uncommonly contributed more to the ultimate recovery than drugs and other therapeutic measures.
The Quaid-i-Azam did not relish his food at lunch that days. His cough continued to be troublesome and there was also a rise in temperature towards the evening. At about 9 o’clock I got a letter from Miss Jinnah saying that his pulse had gone up very high. I was perturbed but on re-examination found no fresh complication and was able to reassure her. Downstairs in the drawing room I met the Prime Minister, who had come to Ziarat that day with Mr Muhammad Ali to see the Quaid-i-Azam. He anxiously enquired about the Quaid-i-Azam, complemented me on having won the first round by securing the patient’s confidence, and expressed the hope that it would contribute to his recovery. He also urged me to probe into the root cause of the persistent disease. I assured him that despite the Quaid-i-Azam’s serious condition there was reason to hope that if he responded to the latest medicines which had been sent for from Karachi he might yet overcome the trouble, and that the most hopeful feature was the patient’s strong power of resistance. I was moved by the Prime Minister’s deep concern for the health of his Chief and old comrade.
Discussion with Drs Riaz Ali Shah, Alam, and Ghulam Muhammad:
That evening Drs Riaz Ali Shah, Alam, and Ghulam Muhammad arrived and we had a preliminary discussion. Next afternoon I took them to the Residency and introduced them to Miss Jinnah. She had met Dr Shah before. After reviewing the night’s report, I took Dr Shah with me and introduced him to the Quaid-i-Azam, who greeted him with a smile. I had already given him a complete account of the Illness, so when he proceeded to examine the patient I left the room. After about 20 minutes he came out and gave me his findings. Soon afterwards Drs Alam and Shah went in to have the Quaid-i-Azam X-Rayed. It was fortunate that Dr Alam could bring his private portable X-Ray apparatus with him, for the patient was too weak to be shifted to Quetta for the X-Ray. Dr Alam later told me that the picture might not turn out to be a good one as on accunt of extreme weakness the Quaid-i-Azam could hardly hold his breath for a few seconds or support himself in bed, both of which were necessary to obtain a good result. However the film which was developed in the Dak Bungalow the same evening proved to be quite satisfactory, but it showed that the damage done to the lungs was much more extensive than we had guessed from our physical examination, and that the disease must have been going on insidiously with periods of exacerbation and remissions for at least two years. The X-Ray picture impaired our confidence in the effect of the latest medicines on the patient. The next morning we derived more information from the detailed laboratory examinations carried out by Dr Ghulam Muhammad. These confirmed our previous findings and in addition gave us a more accurate insight into his disease and body’s response.
Return of Drs Alam and Ghulam Muhammad to Lahore:
I allowed Drs Alam and Ghulam Muhammad to return to Lahore and requested them not to divulge to anyone the nature of the Quaid-i-Azam’s illness and if possible, even their visit to Ziarat. Dr Shah and I visited the Residency the next morning and familiarized Miss Jinnah with our findings. Then we went in to see the patient and told him about our line of treatment. We again urged him to get a nurse, but he was adamant in his refusal. I had discussed with Dr Shah the question of a nurse the night before and had requested him to tackle the Quaid-i-Azam when he next met him. So after giving him an injection Dr Shah stayed on in the room to broach the subject. A few minutes later he came out to announce triumphantly that the Quaid-i-Azam had at last agreed to engage a nurse. We were naturally pleased, as without the help of a good nurse he could not be expected to respond satisfactorily to our treatment. When we visited him again in the evening we were happy to learn that he had a fairly good day and had enjoyed his breakfast and lunch. Dr Shah repeated the injection of the new medicine. Luckily it had no reaction or untoward effect. Although the fever persisted that day, the next day it started coming down, and the day after the temperature remained normal throughout. There was also a marked improvement in the cough, sputum and general condition of our patient. The pulse became normal in rate and the appetite improved considerably. After that there was a slow but definite improvement.
One day Miss Jinnah complained that the Quaid-i-Azam had not enjoyed his dinner and had found the eggs for breakfast boiled too hard. I suggested that she should engage Mr Amanat Ali, a former chef of the Maharaja of Kapurthala, who had lived in Paris for many years and learned the culinary art from leading chefs of the Ritz and other hotels. In the hope that his expert cooking might induce her brother to take more nourishment and hasten his recovery, she arranged to send for the chef immediately.
Return to Lahore with Quaid’s Permission:
On the 3rd of August I obtained the Quaid-i-Azam’s permission to go to Lahore for four days for an important College business. When I was first summoned to Ziarat I had planned to examine him, give my opinion to the doctor in attendance and return within three or four days. I had not anticipated that he would be so ill. In the beginning there was no question of my leaving him in that state, but when he started improving and his temperature became normal, I decided to leave him for a few days in Dr Shah’s care. I left by car for Quetta in the afternoon to catch the train to Lahore. In the train, looking at the desolate and barren hills of Baluchistan, my thoughts went back to the Architect of Pakistan on whom they had cast such a potent spell. Although I had left him in a satisfactory condition and in the hands of a very able colleague of mine, my heart was in Ziarat, and I was all the time praying that nothing untoward should happen to him during my absence. On reaching Lahore I was relieved to find to telegram or telephone message from Ziarat waiting for me. But the next day, while in the College Office, my heart sank when my wife rang me up to say that a telegram had come from Ziarat asking of the immediate return of Dr Alam with his ultraviolet apparatus along with me. I left on Friday morning by plane and reached Ziarat at 8 o’clock. Miss Jinnah was very pleased to see me back. Dr Shah reported that in my absence the Quaid-e-Azam had grown weaker and his blood pressure had fallen considerably, but the injections of coramine he had been given had improved him. The next day, august the 7th was Id-ul-Fitr. We said our prayers in the Id Gah and prayed for the Quaid-i-Azam’s health and long life. In the evening Dr Alam gave him ultra-violet therapy, commencing first on the leg for a few minutes with the intention of increasing it daily according to the patient’s tolerance, for a longer time on both legs. The improvement continued gradually but on the evening of the 9th we noticed a slight swelling of the feet with a reduction in the urinary output. This disturbing sign led us, not withstanding his weakness, to propose that he should be shifted at once to Quetta, in the hope that the lower altitude would benefit him.
Accordingly, on the morning of the 11th I informed Miss Jinnah that the new symptoms indicated heart and kidney weakness which necessitated the move. She was most distressed, but was a little reassured when I told her that these signs were not due to a disease of the heart or the kidneys but were early manifestations of the weakness of these organs and could be remedied by administering the appropriate tonics. The difficulty, however, was how to explain the sudden move to the patient. During my short stay at Ziarat I had come to realize how hard it was to satisfy a shrewd lawyer like him with half-truths. I was doubtful of being able to stand his searching cross-examination, still after some hard thinking I ventured into his room and approached the subject in this manner:
‘Sir, we noticed a couple of days ago a slight swelling of your feet along with a reduction in the urinary output. The swelling has not progressed but it is necessary that we should move you to Quetta immediately. There is nothing to worry about, but if the swelling increase it may tax the heart.
Preparation to move Quetta:
The height of Ziarat is too much for you but we could not move you earlier as you were too weak.’ After listening to me he asked when we proposed to move him. I suggested the next day, August the 12th. He said he would think it over and let me know in the morning. When we reopened the subject in the evening he declined to move the next day as it did not give sufficient time for packing, I then suggested the 13th to which he replied, ‘Have you considered that the 14th of August is the first Anniversary of Independence, and you want me to move in its eve? This is impossible. The earliest would be the 15th. I pleaded that the sooner he was taken to Quetta the better, and added that a doctor made a decision only after weighting very carefully the pros and cons of the course he advocated. Lest he should feel unduly perturbed, I assured him that his condition at the time was not worrying us but no one could foretell what a delay might do. Finding me firm he agreed and enquired at what time we proposed to leave. I told him we would start at 3.30 in the after-noon. He asked, ‘Why not at two?’ I replied that I had already advised him to have lunch at 1.30 and a couple of hours rest after lunch, so by the time he was ready it would be 3.30. I then conveyed the decision to Miss Jinnah, and she instructed Lieut. Mazhar, the ADC, to make all arrangements. We were very pleased that the Quaid-i-Azam had agreed, since for the last two days I had been greatly worried about the edema of the feet. That he had abandoned his objection to move on the eve of the anniversary of the establishment of Pakistan furnished yet another instance of his essential reasonableness. Those who considered him obstinate never really understood him. No power on earth could change him when he thought he was right, but once he was convinced he was wrong he did not hesitate to yield, even when he hated to do so. From that day we had no apprehension that he would withhold his cooperation if we succeeded in making out a convincing case for our line of treatment.
Swelling on the Feet of Quaid e Azam:
On the morning of the 12th we noticed that the swelling of the feet had diminished appreciably and the output of urine had increased. We decided to celebrate this happy turn and went out after lunch for a picnic. The short walks we took in the evenings did not give us much exercise and we were eager to climb to the top of the mountain to the west of Residency. We were told we could go round it and then climb to the top from where a path joined the main road to Ziarat. After walking for about a mile or so we found a road forking to the right and the left. We asked one of the local inhabitants where the road to the right led. To our great surprise, he said, ‘Ziarat’. We thought he was fooling us, but on further questioning learnt that Ziarat was the name of a tomb. We took the road on the left and started climbing the hill. Drs Alam, Ghulam Muhammad and I managed to get to the top after an hour and a half’s fairly steep climbing, but Dr Shah could follow us only about half the way and then gave up. We came down by the same way, as it was getting late, and we were not sure of the other route. At the foot of the hill we found Dr Shah quenching his thirst from a fountain. In the evening when we visited the Residency we learnt from Miss Jinnah that the Quaid-i-Azam had spent three hours in the verandah and had his tea there.
He had remarked that it was an ideal day for a picnic and expressed the hope that we would enjoy ourselves. I told Miss Jinnah I was looking forward to inviting both of them to a picnic one day when he had recovered sufficiently. Alas, this hope was never realized.