PRESIDENT JOHN KENNEDY AND JACQUELINE KENNEDY
AND M.A. RAHMAN CHUGHTAI NATIONAL ARTIST
Bridging countries on the art level on 13th July, 1961.
John Kennedy was an iconic President of the United States of America. Jacqueline Kennedy was nothing less. Dubbed as the American Rani, she moved places. There was a huge collection of paintings at the White House during the Kennedy tenure. The Kennedys were presented a painting of a KASHMEERI GIRL at the White House on 13th July, 1961. Our politicians would have taken such gifts home without any record. The painting is still at the Kennedy Memorial in Boston, bringing fame to Pakistan and illuminating the role of M. A. Rahman Chughtai in cementing relations between the two countries. It was exhibited in a grand show of International Gifts in 1999.
Under the auspices of USIS Lahore, Bano Qudsia was given the task of translating Jacqueline Kennedy’s biography into Urdu. That was done and the dustcover was made by M.A. Rahman Chughtai. Jacqueline Kennedy was pleased with the project and sent an autographed copy to the artist, and it was delivered at his house by the American Consulate General in Lahore, David Bane (later Ambassador at many places). Many photographs of the event are there in our archives. Those were the times when diplomats were diplomats, and when that stopped happening, It was President Ayub Khan, who had to write the book FRIENDS NOT MASTERS. No Pakistani Head of State ever had the courage to do the same. We salute him for his thoroughness as a Pakistani well loved by people of Pakistan.
Today when people can compare things, it can be said without an doubt, that after the Quaid e Azam, the most done for Pakistan was by Field Marshal Ayub Khan. Allah bless his soul!