Mohatta Palace, Karachi

Miss Fatima Jinnah lived her last years in Mohatta Palace. She died there. Or may be assassinated. No one knows. She was fine a day before as she attended a wedding ceremony. Her dead body was found the next day. Her body was taken by state machinery immediately. Her last rituals were done by the state and her family wasn’t allowed.

She was buried in haste. People tried to protest at the clandestine burial activities, to which they were beaten up by the security.

Her death is a mystery even today. Just like her book which was not allowed to be published.

And that, Mohatta Palace, was her last home. She died here. But there is nothing related to her. No furniture or any item of her usage. Nothing. As if she never lived here. Or never even existed. It was literally saddening to visit this place.

She used to live on 1st floor. How many times she would have looked from those windows? To the eternal downfall of the state for which she gave her complete life.

While sitting on the bench in front of stairs, I could see her. Going upstairs. Tired and broken. In white saree. And suddenly she turns and looks down at me and I couldn’t stare in eyes.

Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah was the first Opposition Leader of Pakistan. Her success could have been the initiation of civil rule in the country. But she was labeled. Disgraced. Humiliated. Perhaps murdered too.

And with her, went down all our hopes of a democratic state.

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