Resolution in retrospect
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
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
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
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
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
struggle for independent statehood
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
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
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
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
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.
Resolution: From concept to reality
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
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
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
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
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
--The author is Acting Director, Quaid-i-Azam Academy, Karachi
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
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."
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."
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."
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."
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."
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."
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.
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.
name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful;
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
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;
principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social
justice as enunciated by Islam, shall be fully observed.
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;
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;
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;
provision shall be made to safeguard the legitimate interests of
minorities and backward and depressed classes;
independence of the judiciary shall be fully secured;
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.
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)
author is a former
By Imtiaz Rafi
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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."
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.
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.
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,
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
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
day of destiny
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 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 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."
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".
23rd March 1940, the Chief Minister of Bengal, Moulvi Fazalul -Haque
moved the following Resolution:
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
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.
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.
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
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
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!