S:     Ah, another 25th December spent listening to debates about what Quaid-e-Azam ‘really wanted’.

A:     An Islamic theocracy? A secular state? Some sort of a hybrid?

S:     Who knows, who cares?

A:     Who cares? He’s the founder. I think it kind of matters what the guy who led the movement for Pakistan actually had in mind.

S:     Well, we do have his speeches to draw conclusions from and as it turns out, he has said just enough to be painted as both a liberal secularist and a religious theocrat. You are free to pick and choose. You are free to make interpretations in line with your ideological leanings.

A:     I think it’s of great importance that we resolve these differences. How do we progress if we remain divided on basic questions such as why this country was created? What sort of a system and society did the founding father(s) envision? Then again, I guess clarity is too much to ask for around here. When you have groups and parties who thrive due to this rampant confusion and misinterpretation, it is highly unlikely they will sit idly by as we attempt to distinguish myth from reality.

S:     I don’t think that’s the problem. I mean, yes, it is a problem but not the big one, the real one. It’s easy to ‘misinterpret’ and ‘misrepresent’ Muhammad Ali Jinnah because there are great inconsistencies in his speeches and actions. Honestly, I do not care what he wanted assuming we can some day agree on what he in fact wanted. For how long will we obsess over excerpts from the past? It is about our present and our future, and here we are, engaged in a never-ending, ultimately futile debate. Pakistan can be whatever we want it to be. We decide today what’s good for us and what’s bad. What our founders wanted should not prevent us from reaching a sensible decision.

A:     You can’t just do that, you know. You can’t break away from history, show such disregard for the vision and sacrifices of those who struggled to make Pakistan a reality, and start anew.

S:     Not only can you do that, but also I feel that you must. We’re alive, and they’re dead. We decide what happens now.