Pakistan Resolution in retrospect Muslim's struggle for independent statehood
Pakistan Resolution: From concept to reality

Constitution making in Pakistan: An exercise replete with constant amendments

Harbinger of freedom The day of destiny
Air Chief Marshal Tanvir M Ahmed Ni (M), S Bt  
Pakistan Resolution in retrospect
By Prof Sharif al Mujahid

Pakistan owes her emergence to four outstanding leaders – Sir Syed Ahmad Khan (1817-98), Maulana Mohammad Ali (1878-1931), Mohammad Ali Jinnah (1876-1948), and Allama Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938). These leaders provided intellectual and political leadership to Indian Muslims during the ninety years (1858-1947) of the British imperial dominance.

Surprisingly though, all of them were thorough-bred nationalists at one time or another. But, betimes, they got disillusioned and shied away willy-nilly from their Hindu compatriots, either because of Hindu ethnocentrism in the late 19th century or Congress's rather exclusive, unitary nationalism in the 1920s and 1930s. That makes Pakistan, in part, a product of these Hindu, myopic approaches, asymmetrical with the prime dictates of the ground realities in a multi-nation and multi-cultured subcontinent. In part it was, of course, a product of the Muslims' quest for an equitable share in power, a quest designed primarily to organise their society on the basis of their pristine value structure.

Interestingly, three of these four leaders – Sir Syed, Iqbal and Jinnah – had initially started out as full blooded nationalists, but were obliged to end up, finally, at threshold of Muslim "separatism". And that, of course, after a good deal of traumatised reappraisals. So did Maulana Mohammad Ali, who joined mainstream nationalist politics midway through his career. But he was the foremost "nationalist" leader along with Gandhi during the Khilafat and Non-Cooperation Movement (1920-22), and he also presided over the subsequent Cocanada Congress session (1923), a unique honour for a Muslim, an honour that was inexplicably denied to Jinnah, though he occupied the top echelon of Congress leadership for several years and was considered the embodied symbol of Hindu-Muslim unity. Yet, within seven years, Mohammad Ali would vehemently denounce Gandhi's much-trumpeted Civil Disobedience Movement, launched in April 1930. In his presidential address to the All India Muslim Conference at Bombay on April 23, 1930, he declared, "We refuse to join Mr Gandhi, because his movement is not a movement for the complete independence of India but for making the seventy millions of Indian Musalmans dependents of the Hindu Mahasabha". And he was cheered by over 20,000 Muslims that had gathered on the occasion (Times of India, April 24, 1930).

Jinnah's postures and predilections during his long political life (1904-48) were a microcosm of Muslim India's during the period.
For some seventeen years (1904-20), he had stood on the Congress's platform, pleading the Congress cause and envisioning a truly nationalist destiny for India. For another sixteen years (1921-37), though out of Congress for good, he was still working for a nationalist destiny; he was still striving for a Hindu-Muslim settlement and he was still collaborating with the Congress and its leadership. In pursuit of his mission, he devised several constitutional formulae, but all to no avail.

At the Congress-sponsored All Parties National Convention at Calcutta in December 1928, called to consider and ratify the Nehru Report (1928) as the blueprint of India's future constitution, Jinnah had put forward the six minimum Muslim demands for acceptance. But all of them were outvoted one by one. In vain did Jinnah argue: "... what we want is that the Hindus and Muslims should march together until our object is obtained... I want you ... to rise to that statesmanship which Sir Tej Bahadur describes. Minorities cannot give anything to the majority... If they are small points, why not concede? It is up to the majority and majority alone can give."

In aggregate terms, the most acrimonious and acerbic controversy in Indian politics in the late 1920s (since the Nehru Report) and all through the 1930s had hinged around the basic issue of Hindu "Unitarianism" vs Muslim Federalism. The difference in the approaches was sharply reflected in the formation of ministries in the Hindu and Muslim majority provinces in mid 1937. While the Muslim provinces went for coalition governments, the Hindu provinces under the Congress's aegis opted for exclusive, one party government.

Till early 1937, however, Jinnah was still his "nationalist" self; preaching his credo eloquently; trying to unite Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs.

But, alas, Jinnah came to be caught on the wrong wicket. For one thing, at about this time, Pandit Nehru, the Congress Rashtrapathi (1936-38), began expounding his controversial "two-forces" formula, which counted Muslims out of India's politic body as a religio-political entity. He fired his first salvo in that direction on September 18, 1936, saying that ". . . the real contest is between two forces - the Congress representing the will for freedom of the nation and the British Government in India and its supporters who oppose this urge and try to suppress it. Intermediate groups, whatever virtue they may possess, fade out or line up with one of the principal forces. The issue for India is that of independence. He who is for it must be with the Congress and if he talks in terms of communalism he is not keen on independence."

To this formula Nehru returned, on January 10, 1937. Shorn of its sophistry and anti-imperialist tone, this represented a challenge to Muslim individuality in Indian politics, an individuality which they had nurtured and claimed since the times of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. It also represented not only a challenge to the continued existence of the Muslim League (AIML), but also a moment of truth for Jinnah who had led that body continuously since 1919, except for his three years of self-exile (1931-34) in England.

Yet Jinnah's response was surprisingly conciliatory, if only because he still hoped for a rapprochement with the Congress. In his speech at Calcutta's Muhammad Ali Park, on January 4, 1937, he said "I refuse to line up with the Congress. I refuse to accept this proposition. There is a third party in this country and that is Muslim India.... We are not going to be camp followers of any party". (Italics for emphasis) Despite this timely rebuttal, he held out the olive branch, saying, "We are willing as equal partners to come to a settlement with our sister communities in the interest of India." And Jinnah reaffirmed this stance repeatedly for the next six months.

The deep divergence that characterised the Hindu-Muslim, Congress-League, thinking in 1937 stemmed from the basic dichotomy between Hindu "Unitarianism", a la the Nehru Report, and Muslim federalism, a la Jinnah's Fourteen Points (1929). In essence, it centered on the issue that whether India was uni-national or bi-national, whether it was uni-cultured or bi-cultured. In denying the "intermediate groups" the right to existence and in denying "all third parties' in the historical sense, Nehru was not only denying the AIML the right to exist or its due importance; more important: he was denying the Muslims the right to organize themselves politically on a platform of their own or on a platform other than that of the Congress. In other words, he was denying them their distinct individuality in India's body politic as a religio-political entity.

Jinnah, as opposed to this, felt that India was multi-national and multi-cultured; that Muslims had the right to maintain their separate entity; that Muslim India represented the "third party" in India's body politic; that they should refuse to be "camp followers of any party" and that, above all, Muslims should organise themselves politically to make the third party claim a fait accompli. As a corollary to this claim, he demanded equality of status for Muslims. Of course, he repeatedly offered to coalesce with the Congress in the struggle for freedom, but only if the Muslims were "assured of their political freedom".

Thus, he told a meeting at the residence of Syed Ali Zaheer, presided over by the pro-Congress Syed Wazir Hasan, on May 9, 1937, "While we shall not knock at the Government House, we shall not also bow before Anand Bhawan", the Congress headquarters at Allahabad. Six weeks earlier, in late March 1937, he had told the AIML Council in categorical terms why he considered the Muslims' merger with the Hindus, and the AIML's with the Congress, almost impossible. It was impossible for Muslims to merge with Hindus because "their language, culture and civilization are quite different", he argued. National self-government, he said, was his creed; but Muslims "must unite as a nation and then live or die as a nation" (italics for emphasis).

The Muslims were considered a minority at this stage of India's political evolution. But "minorities", argued Jinnah in the Indian Legislative Assembly on February 7, 1935, while speaking on the Report of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Indian Constitutional Reforms, "means a combination of things. It may be that a minority has a different religion from the other citizens of a country. Their language may be different, their race may be different, their culture may be different, and the combination of all these various elements – religion, culture, race, language, arts, music, and so forth – makes the minority a separate entity in the State, and the separate entity as an entity wants safeguards. Surely, therefore, we must face this question as a political problem; we must solve it and not evade it…"

Thus, what was at issue in the Congress-League, Nehru-Jinnah, controversy was, above all, the status of Muslims in Indian politics. Their status, in turn, depended upon whether India was uni-national or bi-national. The Congress's political conduct in 1937, remarked Penderel Moon in his Divide and Quit, meant that "there would be no room on the throne of India, save for Congress and Congress stooges". The developing Congress's policy, thus, gave Muslims a foretaste of what the Hindu un-remitted centralism and homogenic ambitions meant. Under the sort of nationalist dispensation envisaged by the Congress, Muslims would surely be relegated to a back seat. Their values would be at a discount, their cultural identity in jeopardy. Above all, they would have no hope of shaping their spiritual, social, and cultural life according to their own ethos. All this meant culturicide, pure and simple. The Congress's conduct and rule were thus, in gross violation of 'minority' rights, civil society, and of adequate, if not good, governance – issues which, under the prevalent Westphalian Model (1648), with its overriding credo of the sovereignty of 'nations' and the 'sanctity' of borders, had not acquired the measure of importance and criticality which they have had since the demise of the Soviet Union (1991), the prime anti-Human Rights paradigm in the twentieth century. All this obviously posed a new and serious challenge to Muslims as a religio-cultural entity.

In immediate terms, it was this situation, at once despairing and agonising, that turned Muslim thinking towards Pakistan. If the Islamic way of life could not be preserved in an all-India set up, it should be saved wherever it was possible. Pakistan, or more accurately the demand for it, was thus a last-ditch attempt: an attempt to centralise, to quote Iqbal, "the life of Islam as a cultural force" in a specified territory, so that "the most living portion of the Muslims of India" could develop to the fullest in that territory, their "spiritual, cultural, economic and social life according to their own genius", to quote Jinnah, – a development which was practically impossible under the sort of dispensation envisaged by the Hindu-dominated Congress. Such, in short, were the urges and motivations that, in immediate terms, led to the formulation of the demand for Pakistan.

At another level, with the grim prospect of having been denied a place on the throne of India, what alternative did the Muslims have except for forging a throne for themselves in their majority provinces? And Pakistan simply meant only that much - and nothing more. Hence, in 1940, Muslims had no choice but to go to the Pakistan platform – unless they were prepared to be decimated as a religio-political entity in India's body politic.

– (The writer was Founder-Director of the Quaid-i-Azam Academy (1976-89), and authored Jinnah: Studies in Interpretation (1981), the only work to qualify for the President's Award for Best Books on Quaid-i-Azam.)

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Muslim's struggle for independent statehood
By Qutubuddin Aziz

The Lahore session of the Muslim League (ML) on March 23, 1940, was historic and momentous. It was the biggest concourse of Indian Muslims in their political history since the fall of the once-mighty Mughul Empire in 1857 and the advent of British colonial rule in the subcontinent. More than 100,000 Muslim activists from every nook and corner of the Subcontinent congregated on that day in the historic city of Lahore and proclaimed to the world their determination to make the Pakistan Resolution for Independence and Muslim Statehood the goal of their struggle under the leadership of the Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

Even then there were some Doubting Thomases but by and large, the Muslim masses throughout India welcomed the Pakistan Resolution which was hammered out by the nation's leaders in the mammoth gathering in the Minto Park (renamed the Iqbal Park) on the starry night of March 23, 1940. The Muslim nation now hugged the path of independence and statehood shown by Allama Iqbal in the 1930 session of the All India Muslim League in Allahabad. Ten years had passed since that historic event and the political will of the Muslim nation had now acquired the strength of steel. The engine of their political struggle, namely the All India Muslim League, was now strong enough to lead them on the pathway to Pakistan.

A year earlier, the Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah had given loud and clear hints to the nation and foreign powers that the die would be cast in the next Lahore session of the All India Muslim League (AIML), after which the battle for creating Pakistan will ensue and "Pakistan" will be the battle cry of the Muslim nation. The watch-words of "Faith Unity and Discipline" were the munitions which the Quaid-i-Azam gave to the nation for waging the battle for Pakistan. The most dependable powerhouse in the struggle for Pakistan was the Muslim nation's unity.

The international impact of the Muslim League's Lahore session was colossal. Teams of newsmen had come to Lahore from all parts of the world to report the proceedings of the session and the decisions taken. The BBC was giving copious coverage to the ML's Lahore session; the American Radio networks were not lagging behind. The Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah who was a brilliant communicator for the foreign media, himself took care of the arrangements for briefing newsmen. He had mobilised some of the most talented and articulate young men and women of pro-Muslim League families from Punjab to liaise with the foreign media representatives for the coverage of the ML's Lahore session.

In the forefront of the young lobbyists designated by the Quaid-i-Azam to liaise with the foreign media representatives was the dynamic Mumtaz Shahnawaz whose illustrious mother, Begum Jahanara Shahnawaz was a leading light in the Muslim League High Command and the glittering Reception Committee for the Lahore ML session. The Muslim Leaders had learnt some good lessons from the way the Congress organised its annual sessions. Tazi, as this highly-read Muslim female intellectual was known in League circles in Lahore, was a powerful spokeswoman for the ML and its Pakistan demand.

Many years later when I was serving as the Minister for Information at the Pakistan Embassy in London, I met some veteran British Journalists who had covered for their media organisations in the UK, the ML's Lahore session in March 1940. They spoke highly of the excellence of the media arrangements for this convention.

In Cairo, in 1960, I met an eminent Arab journalist who had covered the ML's Lahore session and interviewed the Quaid-i-Azam. "Lahore is a glorious city, with the most imposing evidence of the greatness of Moghul architecture", he said to me. Visitors to Lahore found the people of Lahore immensely hospitable and a sense of pride in their Islamic Faith imbued them with zeal and élan for Pakistan. In later years, I heard from some Muslims who attended the ML's Lahore session that the Muslim tonga-drivers (drivers of horse drawn carriages- then a popular mode of travel on Lahore's streets) refused to accept fares from the Muslims visiting Lahore for the ML's session. Owners of wayside food shops gave free food to the visitors for the ML's session. The spear-wielding Khaksars who were angered by the brutal police firing on March 19, were mesmerised into becoming followers of the Quaid-i-Azam and were performing security duties to protect the giant Muslim League pandal (canopy) in the Minto Park, the venue of the ML's session in Lahore. The Quaid-i-Azam had issued press statements condemning the Punjab police firing on the unarmed Khaksars and urged the coalition ministry of Sir Sikander Hayat Khan who was the then Chief Minister of Punjab, to pay compensation to the bereaved families and to punish the officers who ordered the police firing. The Quaid-i-Azam had urgently summoned Nawab Bahadur Yar Jung from Hyderabad Deccan to use his good offices for placating the chief of the Khaksars to help maintain peace in Lahore during the ML's session. The Quaid's visit to the Mayo Hospital to console the bereaved families of the Khaksars had a magical effect on Lahore's political atmosphere and groups of Khaksars trekked to the Minto Park and took oaths to safeguard the pandal and protect the Muslim Leaguers in Minto Park. It was an incredible change of political weather in Lahore. Thus a plank of the conspiracy by hostile forces to derail the ML session was smashed by the Quaid-i-Azam's foresight, tact and diplomacy.

The forces inimical to Muslims had learnt beforehand that the ML session would be called upon to pass a resolution for the partition of India to create two independent states, one for the Hindus and the other for the Muslims. Neither the Congress, nor the Unionists in the Punjab, favoured the partition of India. The British wanted their Indian Empire to stay a whole. British newsmen noted and duly reported the Quaid's two hour speech in which he expounded on the Muslim case for independent statehood under the banner of Pakistan. They noted in their reportage that although the Quaid spoke in the English language which was not mother tongue of the majority of the audience, they listened to him in rapt attention and their vociferous cheering and deafening shouts of "Quaid-i-Azam Zindabad" and "Muslim League Zindabad" demonstrated that their hearts beat in unison with that of their Quaid. A Muslim Pathan from the highlands of the Northwest Frontier commented, "I may not understand the English language but I am with Jinnah because he is true and honest and seeks our good".

The Lahore session of the Muslim League saw a glittering assemblage of the provincial and local ML leaders from all parts of the Subcontinent. It was a magnificent demonstration of Muslim unity and pleased and elated Jinnah beyond words. Maulvi Fazlul Haque popularly known as the Lion of Bengal who was one of the sponsors and proposers of the Pakistan Resolution in the ML's Lahore session, expounded on the merits and objectives of the Pakistan Resolution. He catalogued the many injustices done to the Muslims by the Congress rulers of the seven provinces wherein the Congress ruled for some two and a half years after the 1935 General Election in the subcontinent under the British-drafted Government of India Act. While supporting the Resolution vociferously, the Muslim League leader from the United Provinces, Choudhry Khaliquzzaman, thundered denunciation of the Congress Raj and the efforts of the Congress leaders to divide the Muslims in order to deprive them of their just rights. He said, "The Muslims of the United Provinces (U.P) would not get the benefits of Pakistan because their minority status would not place them in the Muslim-majority Pakistan scheme but the U.P. Muslims would be happy to see their brethren in the Muslim majority areas as a part of independent Pakistan". He expressed full confidence in the leadership of the Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

Speaking on behalf of the Muslims of the Central Provinces (CP) Syed Abdur Rauf Shah declared that the Muslims of CP fully supported the Muslim League's demand for an independent Pakistan. He added "please do not be worried by the injustices that would befall the Muslims of Central provinces under an independent Hindu India. God is our protector; we have strong hearts and faith in God's protection. We want Pakistan to be a safe home for our Muslim brethren. Keep aloft the banner of Islam. We are under Allah's protection. We want Islam to thrive in Pakistan and Allah's blessings on Muslims in the Muslim majority areas that would form independent Pakistan".

From the Bombay province, I I Chundrigar said that the injustices heaped on Muslims under the Congress rule in seven Provinces, had compelled the Muslims to seek Pakistan, a free state of their own, instead of being doomed to minority status in a Hindu-dominated India. For them Pakistan was the best choice.

From the Bihar Muslim League, Nawab Mohammad Ismail supported the Pakistan Resolution and eulogised the brotherly attitude of the people of the Punjab towards the Muslims from the provinces where they were in a minority. Nawab Ismail said that the Muslims of Bihar would make every sacrifice to see their Muslim brethren in the Muslim-majority provinces united and free in a single independent Muslim State to be called Pakistan. He declared amid cheering, "Mr Jinnah is the voice and true spokesman of the Subcontinent's Muslims who are united in demanding independent Muslim Statehood under the banner of the Muslim League".
From Baluchistan, Qazi Mohammad Isa voiced thunderous support for the Pakistan Resolution. He said that the ill-treatment of Muslims in the seven provinces ruled by the Congress for two and a half years had forced the Muslims to demand Pakistan and the partition of India. The Muslims of Balochistan, like the Muslims of the NWFP would strive their utmost to safeguard the interests of the Muslims in the rest of India. "They are our brothers in Faith: and their defence is our moral and religious duty."
Similar sentiments of Islamic fraternity were projected in the speeches of Haji Abdullah Haroon and Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah from the Sindh province.

The province of Sindh had prospered and the Muslims felt safe in a separate Sindh province. The Sindh Provincial Assembly had earlier passed a resolution calling for the creation of an independent state, composed of the Muslim-majority areas of the Subcontinent. Projecting the views of the Muslims of Madras province in Support of the Pakistan Resolution, Abdul Hamid Khan said that for the past three decades the Muslim League had been fighting for the independence of the Subcontinent and the end of colonial rule and it had extended cooperation to the Congress in the freedom struggle but the Muslims were ill-treated under Congress rule in seven provinces of India and this had opened their eyes. They were now justified in demanding an independent state of their own in the subcontinent. He therefore fully supported the Pakistan Resolution in the Muslim League session.
I I Chundrigar declared that the Bombay Muslims supported the Pakistan Resolution in the ML session because they apprehended Hindu oppression on Muslims in a Hindu-majority India as was their bitter experience under Congress Raj in seven provinces in India for two and a half years. Pakistan was therefore the best solution of the vexing communal problem.

One of the most powerful speeches in favour of the Pakistan Resolution was delivered by the renowned freedom fighter and journalist, Maulana Zafar Ali Khan, Editor of the Daily Zemindar. He said, "I today feel as if I am living in a Muslim environment of freedom and Islamic belief. For years I have championed the cause of freedom for this Subcontinent and worked for Hindu-Muslim cooperation in the struggle for freedom for the entire Subcontinent's teeming millions. But I have felt disillusioned by the Conduct of the Congress rulers. For them independence means the right to oppress and ill-treat the non-Hindu minorities. The Congress rulers have not undertaken any economic enterprise to benefit the Muslim masses in India. I am skeptical of any Constitution or political setup that would doom Muslims to the unenviable status of a powerless, downtrodden minority; subservient to the Congress rulers. I therefore support the Pakistan Resolution in the Muslim League's Lahore Session" From the Muslim ruled State of Hyderabad Deccan, Nawab Bahadur Yar Jang gave the fullest measure of support to the Pakistan Resolution and praised the dynamic leadership of the Quaid-i-Azam who had skippered the Muslim nation to the ramparts of independence and the goal of Pakistan was now within the easy grasp of the Muslims.

Hours after midnight, the Pakistan Resolution in its final form, as approved by the Subjects Committee, was read to the huge audience followed by its Urdu translation. An outburst of cheers from every section of the audience greeted the Resolution and thus it was passed by unanimous acclamation. The foundation of Pakistan was thus laid and battle lines for winning Pakistan were drawn. As dawn was about to be ushered in by the Heavens on earth, the Quaid-i-Azam, resplendent in his white Achkan and Choridar Pyjama rose to thank the participants in the Muslim League session and God Almighty for His benign mercy and guidance. He looked at the profile of the Mughul-built Badshahi Mosque in the distance and near it was the tomb of Allama Iqbal. In emotion-charged words Jinnah said "We are now taking the path Allama Iqbal had shown us in the Muslim League's Allahabad session in 1930. We will achieve for the Muslim nation the Muslim majority State he envisioned and independence and separate statehood are now our goals. The Muslim League will lead us to our goal-Pakistan".

On August 14, 1947, the Muslim majority independent State of Pakistan was established. Poet Iqbal's dream won a reality.
A powerful impact of the Muslim League's March 1940 Lahore session and the adoption of the Pakistan Resolution therein was a sense of self-confidence that gripped the Muslim nation from the hoary heights of the towering Karakoram peaks to Cape Comorin in South India. The success of the Lahore session of the Muslim League and the splendid unity and organisation it demonstrated, gave the Muslim League excellent international publicity and the concept of Pakistan, which was enshrined in the Lahore Resolution, gained worldwide currency.

The word Pakistan did not appear in the text of the Resolution but the name of Pakistan, coined by a group of Muslim students of the Cambridge University in the United Kingdom led by Choudhry Rehmat Ali as the nomenclature for the new Muslim State they proposed for the Subcontinent, caught the fancy and imagination of the Muslim masses in the Subcontinent. Thus "Pakistan" was embedded in the hearts and minds of the Muslims in the Subcontinent as the name of the sovereign and independent state promised to them by their Great Leader, the Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah on March 23, 1940, in Lahore. Pakistan symbolised for them the golden haven of their hopes and expectations that would make them the free citizens of a great Muslim country. The agony and pain the Muslim masses had experienced for two and a half years under the rule of the Hindu-dominated Congress had welded them into a single nation and they hugged the dream of Pakistan with their hearts and souls. Even the Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah who at one time strove for Hindu-Muslim unity in seeking freedom and independence for the Subcontinent, was now a champion of Muslim separatism, demanding the Partition of India and the creation of two independent States, one for the Muslims and the other for the Hindus.

The March 23, 1940, Pakistan Resolution of the Muslim League in Lahore was the first salvo fired in the battle for Pakistan and in barely seven years of an epic political struggle, the Muslims made their dream state of Pakistan a massive reality. There is eminent truth in the verdict of the Quaid-i-Azam's American biographer, Stanley Wolpert, (Jinnah of Pakistan) "that few individuals significantly alter the course of history, fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with creating a nation state. Mohammad Ali Jinnah did all three. Jinnah virtually conjured that country into statehood... by the force of his indomitable will. His place of primacy in Pakistan's history looms like a lofty minaret over the achievements of all his contemporaries in the Muslim League ...."

The beacon of Muslim statehood lit by the Quaid-i-Azam in the Muslim League's Lahore session in 1940 ignited the fires of Muslim political renaissance in thousands of Muslim communities all over India and gave new faith and fire to the Muslims of the Subcontinent in the movement for their political emancipation under the banner of the All India Muslim League. I cannot forget the words of Lord Mountbatten which he uttered at the launching in London of his biography by Ziegler, "if there had not been Mr Jinnah there would have been no Pakistan". The Lahore session of the Muslim League in March 1940 set the seal of universal Muslim allegiance to the Quaid-i-Azam as the best spokesman of the Muslim nation in the Subcontinent.

The Quaid-i-Azam's sister, Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah told me in 1978 that the Quaid-i-Azam bore the strain of the ML's Lahore session with heroic courage and it seemed that the spectacle of Muslim unity in Lahore and the goal of Pakistan announced in Lahore had boosted his willpower anew. "I want to live longer to be able to see the birth of Pakistan," he said to his loving sister a few hours after the ML's Lahore session had ended as scheduled and the delegates were preparing to return to their respective hometowns and tell their Muslim countrymen more about what had been accomplished in Lahore in the national march on the high road to independence and Pakistan. My mother, Begum Syed Abdul Hafiz, who attended the ML's Lahore session as a woman member of the delegation from the United Provinces (UP) told me that many of the delegates, before leaving Lahore went to the shrine of Data Ganj Baksh and prayed for the well-being of the people of Lahore and sought God's support for the early success of the Pakistan Movement that would usher into being the Muslim State of Pakistan. The ML's Lahore convention had given the Muslims an unbreakable spirit of fraternal comradeship.

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Pakistan Resolution: From concept to reality
By Khwaja Razi Haider

It is a historical fact that after the events of 1857 and the subsequent consolidation of the British Raj in India, the political thinkers and intellectuals of the Sub-continent started to think about the political, religious cultural and social future of India. As a result, many ideas, plans, proposals and schemes were put forward for the partition of India and the formation of a separate Muslim state. Apart from indigenous proposals, British parliamentarians, writers and others were also thinking in terms of the bifurcation of India.

The first such scheme for the partition or division of India was voiced by a British Parliamentarian John Bright in June 1858. Addressing the House of Commons he suggested "five or six large presidencies with complete autonomy, ultimately becoming independent States." After two decades, in December 1877, he again reiterated that "he is seeing several independent and sovereign states in India when British withdrawal had been affected."

After 1857, since the Muslims of India were grossly marginalised in the social, religious and political fields, they were not inclined to accept the demand for partition of India into two independent and autonomous states. Although the actual struggle for the establishment of a proposed Muslim state started in March 1940 from the platform of the All India Muslim League (AIML), it nonetheless has a long historical background. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan was the first Muslim thinker who stressed that Hindus and Muslims are two different nations, hence any attempt to fuse them into one nation would fail. Accordingly in 1867, before the Divisional Commissioner of Banaras, he very clearly said "I am convinced both these nations will not join whole heartedly in any thing. At present, there is no hostility between the two communities, but on account of the so-called educated it will increase immediately in future. He who lives will see." After the establishment of the Indian National Congress in 1885, his conviction became firmer when he said "Indian National Congress is a Hindu organisation and it can not provide safeguard to the interests of Muslims."

Although Sir Syed Ahmad Khan did not present in principle, any plan or proposal for the partition of India, yet he provided a basis to the Indian Muslims for thinking about their future.

From to 1940, more than one hundred proposals and schemes for the partition of India were presented by different quarters. In these proposals, the principal of partition was presented mostly on administrative and communal grounds; however, these proposals not only popularised but also paved the way for the vivid description and elucidation of the Two Nation Theory.
It is amazing that the first scheme for the partition of India was presented by John Bright in 1858, a Britisher. On the 4th of June 1858, while participating in a discussion in the British Parliament concerning the Government of India, he was of the opinion, "A great country like India cannot be administered by Britain for a long time, one day we will have to let them rule. Hence it is necessary to abolish the Governorship and instead of keeping a colony, and for administrative purposes, India should be divided into five presidencies." It is however strange that in 1947, the last scheme after some 90 years, was also presented by Viceroy Lord Mountbatten- a British.

In 1887, Theodore Beck, educated at Cambridge and the Principal of M. A. O. College at Aligarh, after reviewing the political and social condition of India observed that "Muslims are a separate nation, rule of majority is impossible; Muslims will never agree to be ruled by the Hindu majority."

The second scheme for the partition of India was proposed by a renowned Muslim Scholar Jamaluddin Afghani who in 1879, proposed a broader Muslim state. He was of the opinion that there should be a Muslim State incorporating the north-west Muslim majority provinces of India, Afghanistan and Muslim Central Asia.

During the tenure of Viceroy Lord Ripon, in 1883 a British writer Wilfred Scawen Blunt, visited India and held negotiations with different leaders. He wrote in his book Ideas about India that "practically India is to be divided as such that all Northern provinces under the Muslim Government while the South provinces under a Hindu government".
A great Muslim journalist and novelist Maulana Abdul Haleem Sharar, after analysing the deteriorating conditions of the Indian Muslims and the chances of future Hindu-Muslim riots, felt that if the current problems were to be solved, the partition of India was a must.

In 1899, another British intellectual and the principal of MAO College Aligarh, Theodore Morison proposed that the only solution to the Indian political uncertainty was to centralise the Indian Muslims in one province or tract of the country, for instance, the north of India from Peshawar to Agra.

From 1899 to 1913, no clear proposal for the partition of India came out, although some political and communal incidents and events took place which strengthened the faith of the Muslims in the Two Nation Theory. Amidst all this, the Governor of United Provinces Sir Anthony MacDonald's order to replace Urdu as the official language was a main event which permitted the use of the Devnagri language in place of Persian and Urdu in government offices. This order was very perturbing for the Muslims of India. At this stage a companion of Sir Syed, Nawab Mohsinul Mulk founded the Urdu Defence Council and protested against the Governor's order. In 1901, another organisation was formed by Nawab Wiqarul Mulk named "Mohammadan Political Organisation"; the main objective of the organisation was to voice the Muslim grievances and demands before the Indian Government. In the same year Viceroy Lord Curzon after bifurcating Punjab established northern frontier area as a province.

But the most shocking event was revealed on October 16, 1905, when Lord Curzon decided to divide the province of Bengal into two. This was a blessing for the Muslims of India but was against the interests of the Hindus.

In 1906, the All India Muslim League (AIML) came into being. In 1908, the Muslims of India achieved more successes through the efforts of AIML; with the help of new reforms, the right for separate electorate for the Muslims was accepted.

The Minto-Morley Reforms in 1909 ensured that the Muslims would be free to choose their own candidates. According to the same reforms, the Administrative Council of Viceroy was expanded and changed into Imperial Legislative Council. Almost simultaneously, on December 12, 1911, at his coronation ceremony, King George V announced the cancellation of the division of Bengal. This was a painful moment for the Muslims, while the Hindus who were continuously raising voices against this decision, celebrated joyously. These events forced the Muslims of India to struggle for their rights as a separate community.

On 10th May, 1913, a newspaper called Comrade published a comic column written by a journalist named Wilayat Ali Bambooq where he said, "to solve the Hindu-Muslim problem, Hindus and Muslims must be separated from each other. North India must be handed over to Muslims, while the rest may be handed over to Hindus".

From 1913 to June 1917 five proposals came out about India's constitutional and administrative future but in September 1917 the two Khairi Brothers, Abdul Jabbar and Abdul Sattar, played a prominent role in advancing the idea of a Muslim state in India.
During the period 1913 to 1917, a vital change occurred in the political scenario of the Sub-continent through the efforts of M A Jinnah, who was actively participating in politics from the platform of the Indian National Congress and the Legislative Council. He joined the AIML in 1913 and made efforts to create communal harmony between Hindus and Muslims. He was gaining popularity on both sides but some ideologies were not in favour of Jinnah's efforts.

In 1918, Sir Aga Khan in his book "India in Transition" proposed a plan of a huge federation of South Asia with India as its nucleus and centre.

From 1919 to 1923, some other politicians and social scientists proposed schemes. Prof. Muhammad Sarwar in his book Afadat wa Malfuzat-i-Hazrat Maulana Ubaidullah Sindhi, wrote that in 1924 an anti-British personality Ubaidullah Sindhi in his manifesto issued from Istanbul in 1924, observed that each region of India was to be called "Swarajiya Republic" and the collection (India) was to be known as the Indian Federal Swarajiya Republican State". The Federal Capital was to be at Delhi.

Apart from Sindhi's observation, Maulana Hasrat Mohani, a renowned poet and politician was the first Indian who moved a resolution demanding, "Complete independence" for India from the Congress platform during its 1920 annual session and again in his presidential address delivered before the ML's annual session at Ahmadabad in Dec 1921. Three years later, Maulana Hasrat presented a slightly amended proposal in his meeting with the Hindu leaders in 1924. Mohani proposed his scheme on two grounds: that no country could be really free under dominion status and that the Muslims would receive a better deal under the independent Federal structure. In the same year Lala Lajpat Rai a Congress leader, founder of the Hindu Mahasabha and a journalist, wrote several articles on the Hindu-Muslim problem and on Pan-Islamism.

In May 1925, Khilafat leader Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar, while commenting on Sardar Gul Khan's proposal in his journal Comrade, said "Muslims have no desire to rule over Hindu areas". Maulana Muhammad Ali never gave any concrete suggestion about the partition of India but from his writings and speeches it is indicated that he had a very clear idea about the partition of India.

Apart from Patric Fagan's assumption that Muslims will fight for their domination in north India, few other opinion came forward in 1925 which are on record. In the same year some teachers and students of the Aligarh Muslim University prepared a scheme of partition in which they suggested that India should be rearranged on the basis of a new theory of nationality. The scheme was published in the form of a pamphlet and distributed on the occasion of jubilee celebration of the Aligarh Muslim University.

Journalist Murtaza Ahmad Khan Maikash, Syed Sardar Ali Khan and Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Khan, Sir Ross Masud also presented their proposals but all were superseded by the proposal made by Allama Iqbal in his presidential address. Allama Iqbal proposed that "I would like to see the Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, Sindh, and Baluchistan amalgamated into a Single state. Self-government within the British Empire or without the British Empire, the formation of a consolidated North-West Indian Muslim appears to me to be he final destiny of the Muslims, at least of North-West India." In the same address, Iqbal also said "the principal of European democracy can not be applied to India without recognising the fact of communal groups. The Muslim demand for the creation of a Muslim India within India is, therefore, perfectly justified" The proposal of Iqbal was not only welcomed by the Muslim circles but also gained popularity and importance even in non-Muslim circles.

In 1933, a very thought provoking declaration was made by Choudhary Rahmat Ali, a student of Cambridge University. After passing the examination of Law, during the Round Table Conferences in January 1933, Rahmat Ali issued a declaration entitled "Now or Never: Are we to live or perish forever?" In his declaration, Rahmat Ali demanded a Muslim homeland. The homeland of the Muslims of the Sub-continent was named in the first sentence of the declaration as 'Pakistan', according to which "…we mean the five Northern units of India, viz., Punjab, North-West Frontier Province (Afghan Province), Kashmir, Sind and Baluchistan." Choudhary Rahmat Ali's proposal embodied in his declaration, gained significance and importance due to two reasons: first, he issued this declaration at a time when the Round Table Conferences were in session in London; second, that Rahmat Ali was the only person who suggested a name "Pakistan" for his proposed Muslim homeland. After Rahmat Ali's declaration, a flood of opinions and suggestions burst forth in India and internationally. The word "Pakistan" became immensely popular.

In August 1933, the Joint Parliamentary Select Committee of British Empire discussed the said declaration with the visiting deputation of the Indian Muslims. From 1933 to 1936, no clear proposal came forward.

In April 1934, Jinnah was elected the president of the AIML again. He reorganised the League with the purpose to participate in the elections which were due to be held under the India Act of 1935.At this crucial stage Allama Muhammad Iqbal extended his full support to Jinnah. During 1936 and 1937 he was in touch with Jinnah and was continuously writing to him on the issues which the Muslim India was facing. In his letter on 28, May 1937, Iqbal commenting and elucidating the seriousness of the Muslim India's situation wrote that to solve these problems it is necessary to redistribute the country and to provide one or more Muslim states with absolute majorities. 1937 to early 1940 were the years when many a proposal, suggestion, scheme and observation came forward about the partition of India on Hindu Muslim basis from all the corners of the country.

1940 was the landmark of the demand for partition because in that year AIML in its annual session held in March 1940 at Lahore in the supreme leadership of the Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah presented its separate Muslim homeland plan. The plan was embodied in a resolution, which was initially called Lahore Resolution, which later became famous as Pakistan Resolution. The entire struggle of All India Muslim League after March 1940 was concentrated around this Resolution till the creation of Pakistan in August 1947.

Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada, Professor Sharif al Mujahid and K K Aziz in their research work summarised these proposals and schemes with authentic sources and came to the conclusion that the historic Pakistan Resolution was not the end but the beginning which led to the creation of Pakistan.

--The author is Acting Director, Quaid-i-Azam Academy, Karachi

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Constitution making in Pakistan:
An exercise replete with constant amendments

By Aqeel-ul-Zafar Khan

One of the most delicate issues faced by the British Government in India attributed to complex communal problems; the different communities residing in the vast continent of India, professing diverse faiths, inherited district social and political traditions, divided by the regional and geographical areas, always created a difficult task for the policy makers in their efforts to unite the people on a common platform. During the 20th century the British Government initiated efforts to establish a legal framework order to streamline the aims and objectives of different communities.

The Acts of 1909 and 1919 were designed to meet the ever-increasing needs of the educated Indians, who demanded substantial share in the management of public institutions. Imbibed with national spirit and driven by the dream of freedom from the foreign yoke, the Indian leaders, irrespective of their political affiliation, pressurised the British Government to introduce reforms in the public institutions of India. Realising the growing discontent among the Indian people, the British Government invited the prominent persons, representing various interests and classes, to England to participate in the Round Table Conferences held in 1930-32. The delegates deliberated on the basic issues and tried to evolve a viable constitution, catering to the needs of the rulers as well as the ruled. It was a unique exercise in the history of constitutional development. The British parliament passed the Government of India Act on August 2, 1935, providing a framework for the future development of a popular constitution. The Act was amended by the British parliament on  July 18, 1947, as the Indian Independence Act, setting up in India, two Independent Dominions.

On August 14, 1947 Pakistan came into being as an independent country. The preparations for the constitution of the new dominion were commenced with the election of the Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah as the first president of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on August 11, 1947; it was a historic occasion. Addressing the Constituent Assembly the Quaid said,

"The Constituent Assembly has got two main functions to perform. The first is the very onerous and responsible task of framing our future constitution of Pakistan and the second of functioning as a full and complete Sovereign body as the Federal Legislature of Pakistan."

Identifying the major problems to be confronted by the Legislature he pointed out, "The first observation that I would like to make is this: You will no doubt agree with me that the first duty of the government is to maintain law and order, so that the life, property and religious beliefs of its subjects are fully protected by the State. The second thing that occurs to me is this: One of the biggest curses from which India is suffering - I do not say that other countries are free from it, but, I think our condition is much worse - is bribery and corruption. (Hear, hear). That really is a poison. We must put that down with an iron hand and I hope that you will take adequate measures as soon as it is possible for this Assembly to do so."

Condemning the evil of black-marketing, he categorically stated, "A citizen who does black-marketing commits, I think, a greater crime than the biggest and most grievous of crimes. These black-marketers are really knowing, intelligent and ordinary responsible people, and when they are indulged in black-marketing, I think they ought to be very severely punished."

Another evil he described and which needed to be crushed in the new state was nepotism and jobbery. He declared, "I want to make it quite clear that I shall never tolerate any kind of jobbery, nepotism or any influence, directly or indirectly, brought to bear upon me. Wherever I find that such a practice is in vogue, or is continuing anywhere, low or high, I shall certainly not countenance it".

In this speech he laid down important guiding principles to be followed by the lawmakers and administrators. He briefly stated his ideas about the duties of the future state. Rejecting the criticism against the creation of Pakistan, he referred to the prevailing situation. He said, "Any idea of a United India could never have worked and in my judgment it would have led us to terrific disaster. Maybe that view is correct; maybe it is not; that remains to be seen."

The question of minorities remained a core issue in any political adjustment. In spite of countless efforts, both individual and collective and private and official, Hindu-Muslim unity became a dream, never to be realised. The partition of India conclusively decided the fate of the minorities in each dominion. The minority issue acquired a new dimension in parameters of Pakistan. In spite of the prevailing hatred and discontent, the Quaid assured the minorities that their rights and interests would be safeguarded. He laid down the noble principle for the posterity of Pakistan, "Now if we want to make this great State of Pakistan happy and prosperous we should wholly and solely concentrate on the well-being of the people, and especially of the masses and the poor. If you will work in co-operation, forgetting the past, burying the hatchet, you are bound to succeed.

If you change your past and work together in a spirit that every one of you, no mater to what community he belongs, no matter what relations he had with you in the past, no matter what is his color, caste or creed, is first, second and last a citizen of this State with equal rights, privileges and obligations, there will be no end to the progress you will make."

Pakistan, being an ideological state, was demanded to establish an Islamic State which created fears in the mind of the minorities about the safety of their own religion and culture. To remove this misconception the Quaid declared: "You are free: you are free to go to your temples; you are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed -- that has nothing to do with the business of the State." He further stated that "in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State."

Concluding his historic address, he pronounced his policy, reflecting his noble sentiments, "I shall always be guided by the principles of justice and fairplay without any, as is put in the political language, prejudice or ill-will, in other words, partiality or favouritism. My guiding principle will be justice and complete impartiality, and I am sure that with your support and co-operation, I can look forward to Pakistan becoming one of the greatest Nations of the world." The Quaid's speech was appreciated worldwide; even his opponents admired the liberal and secular ideas expressed in the speech. However, questions were repeatedly asked about the pattern of the constitution, which he articulated in his broadcast speech to the people of the USA in February, 1948.

"The constitution of Pakistan has yet to be framed by the Pakistan Constituent Assembly. I do not know what the ultimate shape of this constitution is going to be, but I am sure that it will be of a democratic type, embodying the essential principles of Islam. Today, they are as applicable in actual life as they were 1,300 years ago. Islam and its idealism have taught us democracy. It has taught equality of man, justice and fair play to everybody. We are the inheritors of these glorious traditions and are fully alive to our responsibilities and obligations as framers of the future constitution of Pakistan. In any case Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state- to be ruled by priests with a divine mission. We have many non-Muslims- Hindus, Christians and Parsis- but they are all Pakistanis. They will enjoy the same rights and privileges as any other citizens and will play their rightful part in the affairs of Pakistan."

After his death Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan, inspite of the critical situation faced by the country, devoted his energies for the preparation of the constitution. On March 7, 1949 he moved in the Constituent Assembly, the Objective Resolution, embodying the main principles on which the constitution of Pakistan was to be based. The objective resolution became preamble of future constitutions.

"In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful;

Whereas sovereignty over the entire Universe belongs to God Almighty alone and the authority which He has delegated to the State of Pakistan through its people for being exercised within the limits prescribed by Him is a sacred trust;

This Constituent Assembly, representing the people of Pakistan, resolves to frame a constitution for the sovereign independent State of Pakistan. Wherein the State shall exercise its powers and authority through the chosen representatives of the people;

Wherein the principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice as enunciated by Islam, shall be fully observed.

Wherein the Muslims shall be enabled to order their lives in the individual and collective spheres in accord with the teachings and requirements of Islam, as set out in the Holy Quran and the Sunnah; Wherein adequate provision shall be made for the minorities freely to profess and practise their religions and develop their cultures;

Whereby the territories now included in, or in accession with, Pakistan and such other territories as may be hereafter be included in or accede to Pakistan shall form a Federation wherein the Units will be autonomous with such boundaries and limitation on their powers and authority as may be prescribed;

Wherein shall be guaranteed fundamental rights including equality of status, of opportunity and before law, social, economic and political justice, and freedom of thought, expression, belief, faith, worship and association, subject to law and public morality;

Wherein adequate provision shall be made to safeguard the legitimate interests of minorities and backward and depressed classes;

Wherein the independence of the judiciary shall be fully secured;

Wherein the integrity of the territories of the Federation, its independence and all its rights including its sovereign on land, sea and air shall be safeguarded; So that the people of Pakistan may prosper and attain their rightful and honoured place amongst the nations of the world and make their full contribution towards international peace and progress and happiness of humanity. The first constitution of Pakistan was prepared in eight years. The Constant Assembly was dissolved by Governor General Ghulam Muhmmad in October, 1954. A new Assembly tackled the task vigorously and on February 29, 1956, presented the first constitution which was promulgated on 23rd of March, 1956 as the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. However, its life was very brief and on October 7, 1958, the first Martial Law was imposed in Pakistan and the constitution was abrogated. The Martial Law regime appointed a Constitution Commission which produced its report in 1961 and a new constitution was promulgated by President Ayub Khan based on the basic democracies and presidential system. This constitution was also abrogated by General Yahya Khan when he imposed Martial Law in 1969. The nation remained without a constitution till 1973 when a new Constituent Assembly adopted the present constitution unanimously.

The Constitution is considered a sacred document to be preserved and protected. It signifies the aspirations of a nation. However, in the case of Pakistan, the constitution was neither respected nor implemented in letter and spirit. The present constitution was amended on a number of occasions to serve the needs of the rulers. God knows how long the country would face this situation which is becoming alarming every day. God save Pakistan. (Ameen)

--The author is a former

research fellow-Quaid-i-Azam Academy
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Harbinger of freedom
By Imtiaz Rafi Butt

A day, an hour, of virtuous liberty,

Is worth a whole eternity in bondage.

- Joseph Addison-

The final destiny of the Muslims, which the Poet of the East, Allama Iqbal, had envisioned in 1930, became a reality after 1940. By then the Muslim politics had taken a new and significant turn. The departure from the post-1937 policy was remarkable. The Muslims no longer wanted an Indian federation.  As the Congress traveled towards the idea of a "United India", so did the League turn towards "Muslim Independence". The Indian political situation had undergone a basic fundamental change and never again was it to be the same.

The Muslims and the Congress:

The rule of the Congress ministries from July 1937 to October 1939 had been nothing short of a nightmare. The files of the Muslim newspapers of the period testify to the undemocratic and anti-Muslim character of the Congress. The "just and legitimate demands" of the Muslims were ignored. The Quaid-i-Azam accused the Congress of aiming to revive "Hindu domination and supremacy" over the entire subcontinent.

Muslim reaction to Congress rule is said to have, maybe, led directly to the creation of Pakistan. It was widely believed that had the Congress government lasted longer, communal fighting would have broken out on an unprecedented scale. "If the Hindus were bent on having a strong centre, let them have it.  But let the Muslims have their own separate centre," this was partition: the Muslim reply to Hindu Unitarianism. And this was Pakistan: the Muslim retort to Hindu hegemony.

Prominent leaders:

Even before the All India Muslim League passed its historic Pakistan Resolution in March 1940, the establishment of a separate Muslim state or states in the subcontinent had been advocated by a number of public figures. These harbingers of Pakistan had emphatically suggested that the Hindus and the Muslims were distinct communities with the attributes of different nations and recommended the division of the country between the two.  As far back as 1867, Sir Syed had said:  "It was now impossible for Hindus and Muslims to progress as a single nation."  Despondent over the future of Muslims in India he told a students' gathering in Ludhiana that the Muslims were a nation. "All individuals joining the fold of Islam, together constitute a nation of Muslims."The disunity of India had been pointed out by Sir John Seeky; author of "The Expansion of England" as early as 1883. He said, "India is not a political name, but only a geographical expression. India does not mark the territory of a nation or a language, but the territory of many nations and many languages."

Syed Amir Ali, author of the famous work, "The Spirit of Islam" also described the Hindus and the Muslims as two nations. Sir Muhammad Iqbal was the first important public figure to propound the idea of partition from the platform of the Muslim League.  He articulated his vision in 1930, in his presidential address at Allahabad.

Chaudhry Rehmat Ali, a Muslim student at Cambridge coined the word "Pakistan" and found the Pakistan National Movement in 1933. He said, "The Mussalmans pass a history, a civilisation, a culture of their own.  In our present struggle our back is to the wall ...... for us is a question of "to be or not to be," we know that Pakistan is our destiny."

Although ideas of Muslim separation had been floating in the Indian political atmosphere, yet none had dared to give them a concrete shape.  Allama Iqbal had put forward a suggestion but had then relapsed into silence. He inspired rather than led his co-religionists. He was the Mazzini and not the Cavour of Muslim India. Rehmat Ali was consistent but less equipped. Only an established political party could father the idea by making it a plank in its programme.

ML session, Lahore 1940:

This is precisely what the Muslim League did at Lahore in March 1940. In its historic session at Lahore, the League for the first time, adopted the idea of partition as its final goal. The Quaid's presidential address on the occasion is a landmark in the history, for it made an irrefutable case for dividing India into Hindu and Muslim states. The Quaid had, at long last, discovered the truth about the Congress and its intentions. "When you scratch a Congressman, you find a Hindu underneath," he said.

On 23rd of March 1940, a resolution was passed by Moulvi Fazlul Haque, the Chief Minister of Bengal, and was adopted unanimously. The resolution inter alia stated:  "Resolved that it is the considered view of this session of the All India Muslim League that the areas in which the Muslims are numerically in a majority as in the North-Western and Eastern Zones of India should be grouped to constitute 'Independent States' in which the constituent units shall be autonomous and sovereign."  The resolution was seconded by Chaudhry Khaliq-uz-Zaman, and supported among others by Maulana Zafar Ali Khan, Sardar Aurangzeb Khan, Sir Abdullah Haroon and I I Chundrigar.

Demand for a separate state:

From then onwards, the Muslim League policy was clear and unmistakable. It did not want one India with a clear Hindu majority, which through a parliamentary system of government and so-called democratic process would nullify Muslim rights and interests. The Pakistan Resolution was the Muslim answer to Congress ambitions. The Quaid did not have to define Pakistan. All knew what he meant. Beverley Nichols, visiting India in 1943, asked the Quaid how he would describe the vital principle of Pakistan. "In five words," replied the Quaid, "the Muslims are a nation."

With the adoption of the Pakistan ideal, Muslim nationalism came into its own. It had taken Muslims three quarters of a century to finally decide what they wanted. "They had tried everything," says Dr KK Aziz, a renowned scholar, "a revolt in 1857, friendship with Britain, opposition to the Congress, extremist agitation, co-operation with the Congress, belligerent neutrality, negotiations, appeals, threats."  The march of history had made a nation of a community. No longer, writes Dr Aziz, did they eat out their heart in sullen impotence, trusting in the beneficence of the British or the goodwill of the Hindus.  To the Congress claim that India was a National State, the Muslims answered with the brand new idea of separate Muslim nationalism.

Why did the Muslim demand Pakistan? Because, they feared the prospect of Hindu domination. Z A Suleri gave three main reasons behind the demand for Pakistan: Muslims having ruled India before the advent of the British were entitled to rule at least the Muslim majority areas; Hindu and Muslim philosophies of life and ways of life were so far apart from each other that it was "impossible for them to live together;" Muslims were convinced that their economic and social problems could be solved only by an approach to Islam, and this was impractible until they had a state of their own. Carimbhoy Ibrahim was of the view that the attitude of the Congress had always been communal and that it had never taken the Muslims into confidence when it wielded power. It always wanted to establish Hindu raj by introducing the Vidya Mandir Scheme, the Wardha Scheme, the "Bande Mataram" song and other Hindu practices and beliefs.  Not once in any way had it shown a desire to accommodate the Muslims.


Thus, 83 years after the formal end of the Mughal empire, the Muslims of South Asia firmly decided on the political future they wished to shape for themselves. The struggle for Pakistan had begun.

How, one may ask, did the Founding Fathers accomplish such a monumental task? Through unflinching resolve, patriotic zeal and singleness of purpose. They battled against formidable odds before they could reach the frontiers of the Promised Land. But, sad to relate, within a few years of the Quaid's demise, a band of usurpers raised their ugly heads.  They crippled the Muslim League, blacklisted old and venerable politicians, threw caution to the winds, embarked on a reckless career and played havoc with what the founder had achieved. They even lost one half of the country. The other half that survived is also under threat. Pakistan is in a jam. Its political, economic and social fabric is in tatters. "The centre cannot hold. The best lack all convictions, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." Could we bring back the spirit of the forties? Yes, we can, if a stroke of good fortune brings forth a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens endowed with the same resolve, passion and dedication that had fired the hearts of the Men of 1940. Time is running out. How much longer shall destiny test our patience?

-- The writer is Chairman, Jinnah-Rafi Foundation

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The day of destiny
By Mohammad Qasim


The All India Muslim League played a vital role in the creation of Pakistan in the year 1940. Muslim league had become a stronger political party for the Muslims of Indo-Pak Subcontinent, under which the Muslims were struggling for a separate homeland for them. The great leader of the Muslims, Mohammad Ali Jinnah by the time had become the lining symbol of Muslim unity and Muslim politics and the Muslims had so completely centred on him that he had become almost an institution in himself.

During the session:

In the year 1940, the annual session of the Muslim league opened at Lahore, on the 22nd of March amidst scenes of great enthusiasm. Thousands met in the League Pandal which was tastefully decorated. This was a great moment and thousands of lovers of Mohammad Ali Jinnah were waiting for the historical speech. Mohammad Ali Jinnah arrived in the afternoon and was led directly to the Pandal. Nawab of Mamdot, welcomed the participants and pointed that the greatest achievement of the League was the suspension of the Federal part of the Government of India Act of 1935.

In the presidential address delivered by Mohammad Ali Jinnah, he explained the position of the Muslims and the criticized the Hindus and the Britishers and their diplomacy role against Muslims. He observed thus:

"As soon as circumstances permit or immediately after the war at the latest, the whole problem of India as future constitution must be examined de novo and the Act of 1935 must go once for all. We do not believe in asking the British Government to make declarations. These declarations are really of no use. You cannot passably succeed in getting the British Government out of this country by asking them to make declarations."

Jinnah also criticised the attitude of the Congress towards the constitutional problem and various Hindus suggestions for the establishment of a Constituent Assembly. Finally, he outlined the Muslim demand in most emphatic terms. "The problem in India is not of an inter-communal but manifestly of an international character and it must be treated as such. So long as this basic and fundamental truth is not realised, any constitution that may be built will result in disaster and will prove destructive and harmful, not only to Muslims but the British and the Hindus also. If the British Government is really in earnest and sincere to secure peace and happiness of the people of this subcontinent, the only course open to us all is to allow the major nations separate homelands by dividing India into Autonomous National States. There is no reason, as to why these states should be antagonistic to each other. On the other hand, the rivalry and the natural desire and efforts on the part of one to dominate the social order and establish political supremacy over the other in the government of the country will disappear. It will lead more towards natural goodwill by international pacts between them, and they can live in complete harmony. This will lead further to a friendly settlement all the more easily with regard to minorities by reciprocal arrangement and adjustments between Muslim India and Hindu India, which will far more adequately and effectively safeguard the rights and interests of the Muslims and various minorities".

On 23rd March 1940, the Chief Minister of Bengal, Moulvi Fazalul -Haque moved the following Resolution:

" Resolved that It is the considered view of this session of the All India Muslim League that no Constitutional Plan would be workable in this country or acceptable to the Muslims, unless it is designed on the following basic principle, namely that geographically contiguous units are demarcated into regions which should be so constituted, with such territorial readjustments as may be necessary, that the areas in which the Muslims are numerically in majority as in the North Western and Eastern Zones of India would be grouped to constitute 'Independent States' in which the constituent units shall be autonomous and sovereign."

The Impact:

The Lahore Resolution was indeed a landmark in the history of India and of the Muslims. Before this, the Muslims of India had no goal and no future in view and Muslim politics remained in the hands of the individuals with conflicting interests and inclinations. As soon as Lahore Resolution was passed by the Muslim League, the Hindu press started criticising the Muslim League and declared this resolution as Pakistan Resolution. The personality of Mohammad Ali Jinnah was also criticised by the Hindus and their prominent leaders. Mohammad Ali Jinnah got nationwide popularity after Lahore Resolution, because the Muslims of India had a lot of expectations from him and he was the only source of inspiration for the Muslims.


Slowly and gradually, Muslim were moving towards their goal and in a short span of seven years of their struggle, the Muslims of Indo-Pak Subcontinent finally succeeded in getting Pakistan, on 14th of August, 1947. The dream of Mohammad Ali Jinnah and thousands of other Muslim workers came true on this day. Every year on 23rd of March, the country celebrates this day with great joy and enthusiasm.

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Air Chief Marshal Tanvir M Ahmed Ni (M), S Bt
Chief of The Air Staff
Pakistan Air Force

I extend my warm felicitations to all officers, junior commissioned officers, airmen, DSGs and civilian employees of the Pakistan Air Force on the anniversary of the passage of the Pakistan Resolution. It was on this momentous day that the Muslims of the sub-continent, under the dynamic leadership of the Quaid-i-Azam, resolved to achieve a separate homeland to be able to live in dignity and honour.

Each year, the 23rd of March invokes the memory of our forefathers' epic struggle for independence. The emergence of a sovereign Muslim state on the map of the world only seven years later was, indeed, an unprecedented feat, characterized by an astute political acumen. The new state is a glorious tribute to the supreme sacrifices of the Muslims of the sub-continent and their unshakeable faith in their destiny.

As we rejoice in remembrance of this landmark event, we should not neglect our obligations to safeguard our national freedom. History brings to fore the irrefutable fact that freedom does not guard itself; it has to be jealously nurtured through sweat and blood. To meet squarely this daunting challenge, we must infuse ourselves with the same heroic spirit, as was the hallmark of our illustrious predecessorsí struggle for Pakistan.

This year, our pride and joy redoubles, as the nation and the PAF proudly welcome their own all-weather, multi-role, fourth generation JF-17 fighter aircraft, jointly manufactured with the help of our Chinese friends. As it adorns the airspace of our motherland, it symbolizes the expression of our roaring resolve to remain committed in the face of all crises and meet all challenges with courage and composure. The height attained by the JF-17 would, in fact, reflect the as yet un-scalable peak that our Armed Forces are destined to achieve in their march towards excellence and glory.

May Allah guide us on the path of dignity and honour, and may he give us vigor and strength to make the defence of the country impregnable! Aameen.

Pakistan Air Force Zindabad!
Pakistan Paindabad!

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