Islamic Republic of Pakistan emerged as an independent state on
14 August 1947. It has its roots into the remote past. Its establishment
was the culmination of the long struggle by Muslims of the South-Asian
subcontinent for a separate homeland of their own. Its foundation
was laid when Mohammad bin Qasim subdued Sindh in 711 AD as a reprisal
against sea pirates that had taken refuge in Raja Dahir's kingdom.
The advent of Islam further strengthened the historical individuality
in the areas now constituting and further beyond its boundaries.
The historic origins of the land stretch far back into time. Some
of the earliest relics of Stone Age man have been unearthed in the
Potohar region near Rawalpindi and, in the Indus valley more than
four millennia ago, a mature and sophisticated civilization flourished
around the twin cities of Harappa and Moenjodaro. With the arrival
of Muslim military led by Mohammad bin Qasim and trading expeditions
from Arabia, the subcontinent began to emerge as a unified and exemplary
Islamic state - a trend that reached its full swing under the Mughal
dynasty in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries AD. The names
of the great emperors of this period - Babur, Humayun, Akbar, Jehangir,
Shah Jehan and Aurangzeb - ring with splendour and power.
impact of Islam on the South-Asian subcontinent was deep and far-reaching.
Islam introduced not only a new religion, but also a new civilization,
a new way of life and new set of values. Islamic traditions of art
and literature, of culture and refinement, of social and welfare
institutions were established by Muslim rulers throughout the subcontinent.
A new language URDU, derived mainly from Arabic and Persian vocabulary
and adapting indigenous words and idioms, came into existence.
the decline of Muslim power during 16th and 17th centuries the British
(starting with the East India Company) began to emerge as the dominant
force in South Asia. Their rise to power was gradual, extending
over a period of 100 years. They replaced the Shariah by what they
termed as Anglo-Muhammadan law whereas Urdu was replaced by English
as the official language. These and many other developments had
great social, economic, and political impact especially on the Muslims
of subcontinent. The uprising of 1857, termed as the Indian Mutiny
by the British and the War of Independence by the Muslims, was a
desperate attempt to reverse the adverse course of events.
failure of the 1857 War of Independence had disastrous consequences
for the Muslims as the British placed all the responsibility for
this event on them. Determined to stop such a recurrence in future,
the British followed a repressive policy against the Muslims. Properties
and estates of those even remotely associated with the freedom fighters
were confiscated and efforts were made to close all avenues of honest
living for them. The Muslim response to these situations also aggravated
their plight. While this repression was going on, the Muslims kept
themselves aloof from modern education as well as government service.
But, their compatriots, the Hindus, did not do so and accepted the
new rulers without reservation. They acquired modern western education,
imbibed new culture and captured position hitherto filled in by
the dawn of the 20th century, a number of factors convinced the
Muslims of the need to have an effective political organization.
Therefore, in October 1906, a deputation comprising 35 Muslim leaders
met the Viceroy of the British at Simla and demanded separate electorates.
Three months later, the All-India Muslim League was founded by Nawab
Salimullah Khan at Dhaka, mainly with the objective of safeguarding
the political rights and interest of the Muslims. The British conceded
separate electorates in the Government of India Act of 1909, which
confirmed the Muslim League's position as an All-India party.
leaders and thinkers, having insight into the Hindu-Muslim question
proposed separation of Muslim India. However, the most lucid exposition
of the inner feeling of the Muslim community was given by Allama
Muhammad Iqbal in his Presidential Address at the All India Muslim
League Session at Allahabad in 1930. He suggested that for the healthy
development of Islam in South Asia, it was essential to have a separate
Muslim state in the Muslim majority regions of Indian subcontinent.
Three years after his Allahabad Address, a group of Muslim students
at Cambridge, headed by Chaudhry Rehmat Ali, issued a pamphlet,
Now or Never, in which drawing letters from the names of the Muslim
majority regions, they gave the nomenclature of "PAKISTAN"
to the proposed state.
three Round Table Conferences were convened in London during 1930-32,
to resolve the Indian constitutional problems. The Indian National
Congress and All India Muslim League leaders, who were invited to
these conferences, could not draw up an agreed formula and the British
Government had to announce a "Communal award" which was
incorporated in the Government of India Act of 1935. Before the
elections under this Act, the All India Muslim League, which had
remained dormant for some time, was reorganized by Quaid-i-Azam
Mohammad Ali Jinnah who had returned from England in 1934, after
an absence of nearly five years. The Muslim League could not win
a majority of Muslim seats since it had not yet been effectively
the elections, the attitude of the Congress leadership was arrogant
and domineering. The classic example was its refusal to form a coalition
government with the Muslim League in the United Provinces. Instead,
it asked the League leaders to dissolve their parliamentary party
in the Provincial Assembly and join the Congress. They also began
mass contact movement to persuade the Muslims to join the Congress
and not the Muslim League. One of its leaders, Jawaharlal Nehru,
even declared that there were only two forces in India, the British
and the Congress. Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah challenged and
countered that there was a third force in South Asia constituting
the Muslims. The All India Muslim League, under his gifted leadership,
gradually and skillfully started organizing the Muslims on one platform.
1937-39, several Muslim leaders and thinkers, inspired by Allama
Iqbal's ideas, presented elaborate schemes for partitioning the
subcontinent according to two-nation theory. The All India Muslim
League effectively took these schemes into consideration and finally,
on 23 March 1940, the All India Muslim League, in a resolution,
at its historic Lahore Session, demanded a separate homeland for
the Muslims in the Muslim majority regions of subcontinent. The
resolution was commonly referred as the "PAKISTAN RESOLUTION".
The demand for a separate homeland had a great appeal for the Muslims
of every persuasion. It revived memories of their past greatness
and future glory. They, therefore, responded to this demand immediately.
This demand became very popular among the masses.
1945, after the failure of the Simla Conference, convened by the
Viceroy, Lord Wavell, the elections were called to determine the
respective strength of political parties. All India Muslim League
election campaign was based on the Pakistan demand. The Muslim community
responded to this call in an unprecedented way. The Muslim League's
victory was outstanding. After the elections All India Muslim League
called a convention of the newly elected League members in the Central
and Provincial Legislatures at Delhi. This convention, which constituted
virtually a representative assembly of the Muslims of South-Asia,
on a motion by the Chief Minister of Bengal, Hussain Shaheed Suharwardy,
reiterated the Pakistan demand in clearer terms.
October 1946, an Interim Government was formed. The Muslim League
sent its General Secretary Mr. Liaqat Ali Khan with the aim to fight
for the party objective from within the Interim Government. After
a short time, the situation inside the Interim Government and outside
convinced the Congress leadership to accept Pakistan as the only
solution of the communal problem. The British Government, after
its last attempt to save the Cabinet Mission Plan in December 1946,
also moved towards a scheme for the partition of India. The last
British Viceroy, Lord Louis Mountbatten, came with a clear mandate
to draft a plan for the transfer of power. After holding talks with
political leaders and parties, he presented a Partition Plan for
the transfer of power, which after approval of the British Government
was announced on June 3, 1947. Both the Congress and Muslim League
accepted the plan. Two largest Muslim majority provinces, Bengal
and Punjab, were partitioned. The Assemblies of West Punjab, East
Bengal, Sindh, Balochistan, the Quetta Municipality, and the Shahi
Jirga voted for Pakistan. Referenda were held in the NorthWest Frontier
Province (NWFP) and District of Sylhet in Assam, which resulted
in an overwhelming vote for Pakistan. As a result on August 14,
1947 a new Ideological Islamic State "Pakistan" came into