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Quaid e Azam’s Last days at Ziarat

Quaid e Azam Last days at Ziarat

Quaid-i-Azam has worked forty years for 14 hours a day for Muslims to have an independent country. He never knows about His illness during these hard works. However, a few years ago He has annual attacks of cough and fever. Bombay doctors consider these as bronchitis and generally recovered within a week with the general treatment and bed rest. For the last two years, however, these complications had increased both in frequency and severity.

Many years ago Quaid-i-Azam consulted two or three London specialists for bad stomach trouble, but they failed to diagnose any illness. A famous German doctor found no organic trouble and only recommends the regulation of diet and rest. Quaid-i-Azam stayed for a few weeks in his clinic, and return completely to a normal state of health. In 1934, Bombay doctors identify heart disease, but in Germany, a heart specialist assured no heart problem.

Quaid e Azam’s Last days at Ziarat
Quaid e Azam

On Wednesday, 21 July 1948, the Secretary-General to the Government of Pakistan, Mr. Muhammad Ali, call to doctor from Karachi to leave instantly by Air in order for consultation of the Quaid-i-Azam. In Quetta, the Quaid-i-Azam was seriously ill but nobody knew about his illness. The doctor leaves Lahore on Friday morning and arrived at Quetta at 2:30 p.m, and met at the Aerodrome by the GOC, Major-General Muhammad Akbar Khan, and Colonel K. Jilani.

In Ziarat, Mr. Amin rang up Miss Fatima Jinnah to inform the arrival of the doctor; and decided to meet Quaid-i-Azam on the next morning at 8 o’clock. The Dak Bungalow a few hundred yards from the Residency was arranged for the doctor to stay. He knowing nothing about the nature of the Quaid-i-Azam’s illness and has no necessary equipment.

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The next morning, the doctor went to the residency where he found the Quaid-i-Azam lying in bed face toward the door. He looked extremely thin and weak and had an ashen grey complexion. Three weeks ago the Civil Surgeon of Quetta prescribed penicillin lozenges for developed fever and cough. After the complete analysis of previous medical history, the doctor diagnoses lung disease and not his stomach but it is not the final diagnosis. This opinion is on physical examination, it is only confirmed after some laboratory tests. The doctor prepares a daily program of diet and rest. He permits half-boiled eggs, porridge, a slice of white bread with butter and then coffee with plenty of milk for breakfast; fruit juice at 11 o’clock; mashed potatoes and green peas, minced chicken or steamed or boiled fish with white sauce, followed by baked custard or fruit jelly with cream for lunch; tea and biscuits in the afternoon; and for dinner, minced chicken with some appetizing sauce, mashed potatoes, green peas or boiled marrow, followed by a coffee and light pudding.

The next morning Dr. Mahmood, the Clinical Pathologist, and the Civil Surgeon, Dr. Siddiqui come with all the equipment according to the instruction of the doctor. They began the laboratory investigations early in the morning on Sunday, the 25th of July.  The serious illness of lung disease was confirmed after laboratory findings. It was bad news for Miss Fatima Jinnah that she broke down. She wished her brother had listened to her earlier. For the last two months, she requests 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.

Quaid e Azam’s Last days at Ziarat
Quaid e Azam’s Last days at Ziarat

After confirming lung disease, the doctor then advised Miss Fatima Jinnah not to let the patient know the disease, as it might depress him too much and adversely affect its course. She assured that this was the only way of gaining his cooperation in the treatment and that it would not unduly alarm him. But He remained quite calm after knowing the real nature of his illness. The Quaid-i-Azam wishes to not inform his sister, about the disease, that after all, she is a woman. In his case, there was no other member of the family with whom the doctor could get in touch.

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The diet and treatment were modified in the light of the laboratory findings.  A telegram sent to Dr Alam, the X-Ray specialist, Dr. Riaz Ali Shah, 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. A telegram also sent to Karachi for certain medicines needed immediately. The doctor also recommends the presence of an experienced nurse, who could record his temperature and pulse every four hours.

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