Pages from My Father’s Journals

Transcribed by Rafiq Kathwari

Mohammed Ali Jinnah’s Last Visit to Kashmir 10 May – 25 July 1944

Tue 9 May 1944

Mr. Jinnah was to arrive today, but he had sent a telephone message last evening that as he was tired, he could not make the journey in one day. In the evening, there was a public meeting held at Amira Kadal. Sheikh Abdullah addressed the public and exhorted them to give a right royal reception tomorrow to Mr. Jinnah.

Wed 10 May 1944

Quite an excitement from morning about Mr. Jinnah’s arrival today at 1:30 p.m. Without lunch went with G.M. Bakshi to Qazi Gund to receive the Quaid-e-Azam there. Enroute everywhere people waiting to receive the Qaid-e-Azam: at Khanabal, a large gathering. Had a little meal at Qazi Gund.

Mr. Jinnah arrived at about 4 p.m. There was some disturbance as he reached quite abruptly, and he started off. With him in other cars were Chaudry Gulam Abbas, Maulvi Yusuf Shah, and others of that group.

Maulvi Yusuf Shah’s car had been handled badly, and he had to be taken (in our car to Khanabal). He had a slight wound on his hand. I was very sorry for this. Mr. Abdullah’s organization and manhandling powers are great, inshallah. At Khanabal, we had tea in the Dak bungalow where I met Miss Fatima Jinnah and Mr. Jinnah who recognized me very well (from Jinnah’s previous two trips) and was quite nice to me. From Khanabal, Mr. Jinnah came in an open car while I traveled with Miss Jinnah in the car in which she and Mr. Jinnah were originally traveling from Lahore.

In the car there was only Miss Jinnah, me, and her driver. We had all sort of talk enroute to Srinagar where I brought her directly to my shop on Residency Road. She watched, from the showroom windows on the second floor, Mr. Jinnah’s procession in the car to Pratap Park where the reception was organized by the National Conference.

I took Miss Jinnah there. She watched the show from the second floor of an adjoining house. From there, I took her to the Golf Course where she saw the reception arranged by the Muslim Conference — a crowd of Maulvi Yusuf Shah followers there, but in discipline.

Mr. Jinnah and Miss Jinnah are staying in the house of Sir Mujtaba Ali Shah near the Nishat Mughal Garden. Drove Miss Jinnah via the old Telbal Road as the Boulevard was closed. Reached Nishat and stayed there until the arrival of Mr. Jinnah who was accompanied by my father in his car, and Chaudry Ghulam Abbas.

Sat 13 May 1944

At 6:30 p.m. to Nishat with father to meet Mr. Jinnah. Had to wait there for about an hour as he was busy with Mr. Abdullah —we discussed Kashmir politics. Mr. Jinnah’s view is that Mr. Abdullah should rejoin the Muslim Conference.

As regards the At Home, Mr. Jinnah said that even though he was not accepting any individual invitations, he would consider it, yet would welcome invitations from corporate bodies. With Mr. Jinnah for about an hour.

Sat 20 May 1944

Qaid-e-Azam has accepted our invitation to an At Home. The day fixed is Sat 27th. Gave cards for printing, mailing list, etc.

Sat 27 May 1944

(Transcriber’s note: I was as eager as any reader of this to know what happened at the At Home, but the page is faded. FYI, I am working from copies of the originals that I made about 24 years ago, yet I’m seeking access to the originals from my family. Stay tuned.)

Mon 29 May1944

Met Qaid -e- Azam in the evening. He is going to Pahalgam tomorrow morning and I am to accompany him.

Tue 30 May 1944

Qaid-e-Azam and Miss Jinnah came to pick me up. We drove straight to Pahalgam. Reached there about noon. On the way, very interesting conversation about Mr. Abdullah’s politics here, about Mr. Gandhi’s fast and why Mr. Jinnah did not ask for his release.

“I did not put him in jail,” Mr. Jinnah said. “He never consulted me when he went to jail. He never consulted me when he started his fast.”

At Pahalgam, we went to a lovely spot near the banks of the Lidder. Had a nice cold lunch. I took some snaps of Mr. Jinnah. From this place, we went by car to the Forest Rest House situated on a high altitude in a secluded place amidst pine trees.

Sent a word to Aga Nasir, who is Tehsildar, Pahalgam. He came running along and requested Mr. Jinnah for tea at the newly built government club. We, in fact, lost our way from the Forest Rest House, went along a forest trail which appeared unending, and it was most amusing when we did not know how to get down without our car. However, this forest road ended and joined the main road about three miles from Pahalgam towards Srinagar. We had to return to Pahalgam.

The newly built club is situated in a beautiful spot. Had our tea there. Left Pahalgam at about 6:30 p.m. Mr. Jinnah was very amusing on the way when he described our demhainz boats as our merchant navy ferrying sand on the Jhelum. He was in a cheerful mood. Reached Srinagar at about 8:45p.m. Leaving me at my office, Mr. Jinnah proceeded to Nishat. I had a privileged day.

Thur 1 June 1944

Mr. Jinnah moved today from Nishat to the houseboat named, “Queen Elizabeth.”

Did not see him today.

Thur 8 June1944

At 11a.m., Mr. Jinnah, Miss Fatima Jinnah, and I started for Gulmarg. We reached Tangmarg at about noon. From Tangmarg, all of us on ponies straight to Nedous Café where our table was reserved, set up at a lovely spot. The lunch was special and superb. Soon after lunch, rain started, developing into hailstorm. Fresh snow fell on adjoining hills. It got terribly cold. At about 4 p.m. the rain stopped. Mr. Jinnah suggested that we must start back to Srinagar, given the distance and the pony ride to Tangmarg. We started without tea.

A cold wind almost froze my hands. Miss Jinnah was shivering. Qaid-e-Azam enjoyed the moment very much. Reached Tanmarg at about 5 p.m. Went to Mohamed Mazan’s Cafe. Very nice tea. Left Tanmarg at 6 p.m.

On the way a very large poplar tree had fallen across the road due to the storm. It took us about 45 minutes to remove it. The sight was very interesting. Mr. Jinnah helped to clear the road. We started again, but at about a mile and a half another huge poplar had fallen. It was much worse here. It took us about an hour. Several cars had gathered. The storm seems to have been terrible as we saw about 50 poplars fallen, luckily not on the road, but on sides. Reached Srinagar at about 9 p.m.

Sat 10 June 1944

In the morning, went with Qaid-e-Azam to see a houseboat for Nawabzada Liaqat Ali Khan, General Secretary All India Muslim League, arriving on the 14th. Booked “Sheila Ann” houseboat. Returned to the office at about 3 p.m. Had my lunch.

Mon 12 June 1944

In the morning, raining. Came to the office in the afternoon.  Qaid-e-Azam was waiting for me in connection with the arrival of Nawab Zada Liaqat Ali Khan.

Wed 14 June1944

Begun Liaqat Ali Khan is arriving tonight. Sent a telegram to Mr. Lal in Rawalpindi, asking him to inform us when Begun Sahiba will be arriving. Qaid-e-Azam came to my office here at about 5:30 p.m. in anticipation of Begun Sahiba’s arrival. We waited till 9:35p.m. I was sorry that Qaid-e-Azam had to wait such a long time. But anyway, it was a pleasure for me to be with him and had quite an interesting conversation. Qaid-e Azam went to his houseboat at 9:30 p.m. I tried to sleep on the desk until 10 p.m., but they did not arrive. I left for home, keeping Gul Mohammad, Qaid -e-Azam’s only bodyguard, to wait for some time more.

On my way home to Fateh Kadal (the third Bridge), I met Begum Sahiba at Amira Kadal (the first bridge). Their station wagon was being pumped (manually) with air. They had five punctures on the way from Rawal Pindi. I took them to the houseboat in pitch dark. A little argument with some European lady about shouting for the shikarawallahs to come to the boulevard and ferry us to the boat.

At 11 p.m., Qaid -e-Azam came to the “Sheila Ann” houseboat. Stayed there till about 11:45

Fri 16 June 1944

In the morning with Qaid-e-Azam for some time as he was shopping. Returned home in the evening, Aslam (first born son) is running a high fever. Very worried about him. Called doctor Shivjee who gave him some medication. To bed at midnight.

Sun 18 June 1944

Saw “Heaven Can Wait” at Regal Cinema.

Mon 19 June 1944

Mohamad Amin and Yusuf Qureshi of the Muslim Conference came to invite my father and me for lunch in honor of Qaid-e-Azam at Maulvi Yusuf Shah’s house. Father declined. I wanted to go, but hesitated. Went to see Qaid-e-Azam who said he was ready to go but was annoyed when I told him that father wasn’t going. I was much ashamed as I also could not go. To the club for table tennis. Later, to Qaid-e-Azam for a while.

Thur 22 June 1944

At about 5:30 p.m. with father to attend an At Home (at the home of) Ebrahim Shirazi given by the Council General for Iran in Bombay. A nice small gathering.

At about 7:30 p.m. to Qaid-e-Azam. A very interesting talk about Qaid- e-Azam’s speech at the Muslim Conference.

“It was the National Conference leaders who came to me in Delhi and Lahore and invited me to see things for myself and give a decision. I have studied things for over a month. If I have given my decision, what harm have I done?”

Qaid-e -Azam was perfectly right when he stated that instead of giving him a handshake, the National Conference leaders were hurling abuses at him.

Friday 23 June 1944

Went to Seth Yusuf Ali Jeewanjee to talk to him about renting his houseboat for Mr. Jinnah. He quoted Rupees 50,000. In the afternoon, myself with Amin (younger brother) went to Gagribal for a swim. Very hot today. To Qaid-e-Azam.  Told him about the boat. Went back to the boat again to see it more minutely. Not worth the amount asked for by Seth Yusuf Ali. A little ping-pong at the club.

Mon 26 June 1944

Qaid-e-Azam came about 6:45 p.m. and drove with him to Ganderbal in his car. Miss Jinnah also with him. From Ganderbal, we went to Manasbal Lake. Returned at about 8:45 p.m.

Wed 28 June 1944

For lunch to Qaid-e-Azam’s houseboat. Begum Liaqat Ali and Miss Jinnah also there. We ate the lunch that I had prepared originally to be taken to Sonamarg. Very nice.

Thur 29 June 1944

At about 11:30 am to Gulmarg with Princess Usha Devi Holkar of Indore with her governor, and myself. The car failed about two miles this side of Tangmarg.  We got it started again. Reached Tangmarg at about 1p.m. All on foot, myself on pony. Reached Nedous cafe Gulmarg at about 3p.m. Lunch.

Fri 30 June 1944

At about 1:30 p.m., to Qaid-e-Azam. There, I met Nawab Zada Liaqat Ali Khan and Qazi Isa of Baluchistan who had arrived yesterday. For about an hour there.

Sun 2 July 1944

Tonga to Nagin. Had tea there.

Mon 10 July1944

About 8 p.m. with Inayat (brother- in- law) to Qaid-e-Azam. Had a most interesting talk with Qaid-e-Azam till 9:45p.m.

Thur 13 July1944

In the evening for some time on the Bund with Qaid-e-Azam.

Fri July 14, 1944

In the evening to Regal Cinema to see “Random Harvest,” an excellent film.

Sat 15 July1944

At about 5p.m. went to Qaid-e-Azam who has arrived today to houseboat “Queen Elizabeth.” For about ½ an hour with him. To Nawabzada Liaqat Ali Khan in his boat “Sheila Ann.” He is leaving tomorrow morning. With him for about ½ an hour.

Sun 16 July1944

At about 4:30 p.m. to Amar Singh Club, All India Women’s Conference fete. Had to pay Rupees 10 for a button flower. The sister of the Prime Minister of Kashmir was selling it. I was put in charge of collecting money. Quite an interesting function.

Tue 18 July1944

In the evening to Regal Cinema: “Glitter Bugs”— Laurel and Hardy.

Wed 19 July 1944

At about 5:30 p.m. went with Amin (younger brother) to Qaid-e-Azam. First, with Miss Jinnah for some time as Mr. Jinnah was taking a nap.

Qaid-e-Azam put several questions to Amin.

Jinnah —Why were you keen to see me?

Amin   — Because, Sir, I heard that you are a big leader.

Jinnah — Of whom?

Amin   — Of the Muslim nation, Sir.

Jinnah — What does Muslim nation want?

Amin — They want Pakistan, Sir.

Jinnah —What do you mean by Pakistan?

Amin — We have our own land, Sir.

Jinnah — Where is that land?

Amin — It is in India, Sir.

Jinnah —Which part of India?

Amin — The Northern part, Sir.

Jinnah —Which is the Northern part?

Amin — The Punjab, Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP) and the Ganges plain, Sir.

“Excellent!” said Mr. Jinnah applauding Amin.

Mon 24 July 1944

At about 4 p.m. to Qaid-e-Azam. He was not at the houseboat. Returned. Met him on the Bund. He went to Framers to get a haircut. Miss Jinnah and I went to Mary Anne’s for ice cream. Then, we went to the boat. Miss Jinnah kindly asked me to take lunch with her. We had lunch at 3 p.m. I told them we shall meet tomorrow in Baramulla where I was going this evening to prepare to welcome Qaid-e-Azam there.

Tue 25 July 1944

In the morning, at about 10 a.m. went to the other side of Baramulla across the Jhelum to inspect the welcoming stage made near the new bridge. Mr. Jinnah arrived at about 12:15 p.m. and was accorded a rousing reception. At the platform, there were two speakers, one from Sopore and the other from Baramulla. Some goondas tried to make a fuss . . . most deprecating of the National Conference, yet when Mr. Jinnah rose to speak, he was given a very calm hearing. Mr. Jinnah left at about 1p.m without any incident. (Aside: he took the all-weather road from West Kashmir via Punjab to Delhi.) After he left, there were some skirmishes in Baramulla, but nothing serious.

Wed 26 July 1944

Saw “Phantom of the Opera” at the cinema in Baramulla owned by Inayat.

Transcriber’s Note: My father, Gulam Mohammed Kathwari, aka Khawaja Gulam Mohammed Jeweler, wrote a journal from the day he entered Aligarh Muslim University in 1934 to the day he died in 1999.

Thank you, Rachel Campbell, for your extraordinary help transcribing these pages.


Muhammad Ali Jinnah (1876–1948) Barrister, politician, and the founder of Pakistan.

Fatima Jinnah (1883-1967) was stateswoman, dental surgeon and one of the leading founders of Pakistan. She was the younger sister of Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

Sheikh Abdullah (1905–1982), called the ‘Lion of Kashmir,’ played a central role in the politics of Kashmir.

Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad (1907–1972) disagreed with Abdullah’s advocacy of independence for Kashmir. In 1953, he staged a ‘coup’ with New Delhi’s help, resulting in the dismissal and 15-year imprisonment of Sheikh Abdullah by Pandit Nehru, India’s socialist Prime Minister.

Ghulam Abbas (1904 –1967) was a leading politician of Kashmir and the President of the Muslim Conference party.

Mirwaiz Muhammad Yusuf Shah (1894 –1968) was a religious leader. Mirwaiz, or chief priest, is a 400-year-old tradition unique to the culture of Kashmir.

Liaquat Ali Khan (1895 –1951) the first prime minister of Pakistan. He was assassinated in October 1951.

Qazi Muhammad Isa (1914 –1976) was an advocate of the Pakistan Movement and represented Baluchistan in the Lahore Conference that led to the ratification of the Lahore Resolution.

Princess Usha Devi Holkar of Indore (1933-2008) the only daughter of H.H. Maharaja Yashwant Rao (II) and H.H. Maharani San Rajeyogita.

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