Pakistan Movement

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Minar e Pakistan where the bill of Lahore Resolution was passed.

The Pakistan Movement or Tehrik-e-Pakistan (Urdu: تحریک پاکستان‎ – Taḥrīk-i Pākistān) was a religious political movement in the 1940s that aimed for and succeeded in the creation of Pakistan from the Muslim-majority areas of the British Indian Empire.

The movement progressed within India alongside the Indian independence movement, but the Pakistan Movement sought to establish a new nation-state that protected the religious identity and political interests of Muslims in South Asia.[1] The first organised political movements were in Aligarh where another literary movement was led by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan that built the genesis of the Pakistan movement.[2] An educational convention held in 1906 with joint efforts of Syed Ahmad Khan and Vikar-ul-Haq, the Muslim reformers took the movement to the political stage in the form of establishing the mainstream and then newly formed All-India Muslim League (AIML), with prominent moderate leaders seeking to protect the basic rights of Muslims in the British Raj.[3] During the initial stages of the movement, it adopted the vision of philosopher Iqbal after addressing at the convention of the AIML's annual session.[4][5] Muhammad Ali Jinnah's constitutional struggle further helped gaining public support for the movement in the four provinces.[6] Urdu poets such as Iqbal and Faiz used literature, poetry and speech as a powerful tool for political awareness.[7][8][9] Feminists such as Sheila Pant and Fatima Jinnah championed the emancipation of Pakistan's women and their participation in national politics.[10]

The Pakistan Movement was led by a small and diversified group of people whose struggle ultimately resulted in the British Empire announcing the Indian Independence Act 1947, which created the independent dominions of India and Pakistan.[11][12] The Pakistan Movement was the result of a series of social, political, and intellectual transformations in Pakistani society, government, and ways of thinking.[13] Efforts and struggles of the Founding Fathers resulted in the creation of the democratic and independent government.[14] In the following years, another nationally–minded subset went on to established a strong government, followed by the military intervention in 1958.[15] Repression and an unbalanced economy caused an upheaval which led East Pakistan to declare independence as the People's Republic of Bangladesh in 1971.[16] After many concessions an agreement was reached in 1973 in which the new Constitution established a relatively strong government, institutions, national courts, a legislature that represented both states in the Senate and population in the National Assembly.[17][18] Pakistan's phase shift to republicanism, and the gradually increasing democracy, caused an upheaval of traditional social hierarchy and gave birth to the ethic that has formed a core of political values in Pakistan.[19]

History of the movement


Robert Clive meeting with Emperor Shah Alam II, 1765.

The East India Company was formed in 1600 and had gained a foothold in India in 1612 after Mughal emperor Jahangir granted it the rights to establish a factory, or trading post, in the port of Surat on the western coast. As the Mughal Empire quickly declined in power, the British Empire expanded quickly to gain control of the subcontinent in the 1700s. The economic, social, public, and political influence of East India Company and the strong military projection further limited the rule of the last Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah II. The defeat of Tipu Sultan, the ruler of Mysore, proved to be an event which led to the fall of Mysore Kingdom under the direct or indirect rule of the East India Company.

All over the subcontinent, the British government took over the state machinery, bureaucracy, universities, schools, and institutions as well establishing its own.[20] During this time, Lord Macaulay's radical and influential educational reforms led to the numerous changes to the introduction and teaching of Western languages (e.g. English and Latin), history, and philosophy.[21][22] Religious studies and the Arabic, Turkish, and Persian languages were completely barred from the state universities. In a short span of time, the English language had become not only the medium of instruction but also the official language in 1835 in place of Persian, disadvantaging those who had built their careers around the latter language.[22]

After the Seringapatam battle, Emperor Tipu Sultan's children surrendered to Lord Cornwallis in 1799.

Traditional Hindu and Islamic studies were no longer supported by the British Crown, and nearly all of the madrasahs lost their waqf (lit. financial endowment).[21][22] Discontent by these reforms, Muslim and Hindu rebels initiated the first rebellion in 1857 which was suppressed by the British forces, followed by final abdication of last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah II, also the same year. Noting the sensitivity of this issue, Queen Victoria removed the East India Company and consolidated the power by gaining the control of subcontinent into British Empire. Directives issues by Queen Victoria led to the quick removal of Mughal symbols which spawned a negative attitude amongst some Muslims towards everything modern and western, and a disinclination to make use of the opportunities available under the new regime.[20] This tendency, had it continued for long, would have proven disastrous for the Muslim community.[20]

In justifying these actions, Macaulay argued that Sanskrit and Arabic were wholly inadequate for students studying history, science, and technology. He stated, "We have to educate people who cannot at present be educated by means of their mother-tongue. We must teach them some foreign language." The solution was to teach English.[23]

Renaissance vision

Sir Syed Ahmad Khan became an inspiration for the Pakistan Movement.

Eventually, many Muslims barred their children to be educated at English universities which had proved to be disastrous for the Muslim communities.[citation needed] Very few Muslim families had their children sent at the English universities. On the other hand, the effects of Bengali renaissance made the Hindus population to be more educated and gained lucrative positions at the Indian Civil Service; many ascended to the influential posts in the British government.[citation needed]

During this time, Muslim reformer and educationist Sir Syed Ahmad Khan began to argue for the importance of the British education.[20] Sir Syed was a jurist and a scholar who was knighted by the British Crown for his services to British Empire. Witnessing this atmosphere of despair and despondency, Sir Syed launched his attempts to revive the spirit of progress within the Muslim community of British India.[20] At notable Muslim gatherings, he argued that the Muslims, in their attempt to regenerate themselves, had failed to realise that mankind had entered a very important phase of its existence—an era of science and learning.[20] Despite harsh criticism from the Islamic orthodoxy, he helped convince many Muslim communities to realise that the very fact was the source of progress and prosperity for the British.[20][24] Therefore, modern education became the pivot of his movement for regeneration of the Indian Muslims. He tried to transform the Muslim outlook from a medieval one to a modern one.[20]

In attendance, Sir Syed advised the Muslim communities to not participate in politics unless and until they got modern education.[25] He was of the view that Muslims could not succeed in the field of western politics without knowing the system.[25] In the 1900s, Sir Syed was invited to attend the first convention of Indian National Congress, and many persuaded him to join the party but he reportedly refused to accept the offer.[25] Instead, he urged the Muslims to keep themselves away from the Indian National Congress and predicted that this convention would prove to be a Hindu party in the times to come.[25] In response to this, Sir Syed called in and established the first All India Muhammadan Educational Conference where he provided Muslims with a platform on which he could discuss their political problems. He also became an instrument of leading the Aligarh Movement to provide Western education to Muslim communities.[25] This led the establishment of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) which became pivotal place of providing modern teachings on science and technology, modern politics, law and justice, literature, history, and contemporary arts. Sir Syed's writings and scholarly works played a role in popularising the ideals for which the Aligarh stood whilst also helped to create cordial relations between the British Crown and the Indian Muslims.[25] One of his biggest achievement was the removal of misunderstandings about Islam and Christianity.[25] It was from this platform that Syed Ahmad Khan strongly advised the Muslims against joining the Hindu-dominated Congress and also promoted the idea that Hindus and Muslims are two distinct nations. His writings, arguments, theory, and efforts later conjoined and his idea was now popular as the "two-nation theory".[25] At the time of his death, Sir Syed was known as the father of "two-nation theory" and earned the title "Prophet of Education".[25]

The Aligarh movement and the two-nation theory provided the basis of the Pakistan Movement. With the help of Sir Syed and Nawab Vakar-ul-Mulk, the All-India Muslim League (AIML) was founded in 1906, followed by the vision of Sir Mohammad Iqbal of a homeland for the Muslims floated in 1930, on to the Pakistan Resolution of 1940, and the League gaining strength to finally attaining a separate homeland for the Muslims of India.[26] Since his death and the establishment of Pakistan, his name continues to be extremely respected in Pakistan, even as of today; Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology is named after him.[24]

The Muslim League Governing Council at the Lahore session. The woman wearing the black cloak is Muhatarma Amjadi Banu Begum, the wife of Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar, a prominent Muslim League leader. Begum was a leading representative of the UP's Muslim women during the years of the Pakistan Movement.[27][28]

Rise of organised movement and Muslims minority

The success of All India Muhammadan Educational Conference as a part of the Aligarh Movement, the All-India Muslim League, was established with the support provided by Syed Ahmad Khan in 1906.[29] It was founded in Dhaka in a response to reintegration of Bengal after a mass Hindu protest took place in the subcontinent. Earlier in 1905, viceroy Lord Curzon partitioned the Bengal which was favoured by the Muslims, since it gave them a Muslim majority in the eastern half.[30]

In 1909, Lord Minto promulgated the Council Act and met with a Muslim delegation led by Aga Khan III to meet with Viceroy Lord Minto,[31][32][33][34] a deal to which Minto agreed because it appeared to assist the British divide and rule strategy.[citation needed] The delegation consisted of 35 members, who each represented their respective region proportionately, mentioned hereunder.

Aga Khan III in 1936.
Nawab Mohsin ul Mulk,(left) who organised the Simla deputation, with Sir Syed Ahmed Khan (Centre), Sir Syed's son Justice Syed Mahmood (extreme right). Syed Mahmood was the first Muslim to serve as a High Court judge in the British Raj.
  1. Sir Aga Khan III. (Head of the delegation); (Bombay).
  2. Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk. (Aligarh).
  3. Nawab Waqar-ul-Mulk. (Muradabad).
  4. Maulvi Hafiz Hakim Ajmal Khan. (Delhi).
  5. Maulvi Syed Karamat Husain. (Allahabad).
  6. Maulvi Sharifuddin (Patna).
  7. Nawab Syed Sardar Ali Khan (Bombay).
  8. Syed Abdul Rauf. (Allahabad).
  9. Maulvi Habiburrehman Khan. (Aligarh).
  10. Sahibzada Aftab Ahmed Khan. (Aligarh).
  11. Abdul Salam Khan. (Rampur).
  12. Raees Muhammed Ahtasham Ali. (Lucknow)
  13. Khan Bahadur Muhammad Muzammilullah Khan. (Aligarh).
  14. Haji Muhammed Ismail Khan. (Aligarh).
  15. Shehzada Bakhtiar Shah. (Calcutta).
  16. Malik Umar Hayat Khan Tiwana. (Shahpur).
  17. Khan Bahadur Muhammed Shah Deen. (Lahore).
  18. Khan Bahadur Syed Nawab Ali Chaudhary. (Mymansingh).
  19. Nawab Bahadur Mirza Shuja'at Ali Baig. (Murshidabad).
  20. Nawab Nasir Hussain Khan Bahadur. (Patna).
  21. Khan Bahadur Syed Ameer Hassan Khan. (Calcutta).
  22. Syed Muhammed Imam. (Patna).
  23. Nawab Sarfaraz Hussain Khan Bahadur. (Patna).
  24. Maulvi Rafeeuddin Ahmed. (Bombay).
  25. Khan Bahadur Ahmed Muhaeeuddin. (Madras).
  26. Ibraheem Bhai Adamjee Pirbhai. (Bombay).
  27. Maulvi Abdul Raheem. (Calcutta).
  28. Syed Allahdad Shah. (Khairpur).
  29. Maulana H. M. Malik. (Nagpur).
  30. Khan Bahadur Col. Abdul Majeed Khan. (Patiala).
  31. Khan Bahadur Khawaja Yousuf Shah. (Amritsar).
  32. Khan Bahadur Mian Muhammad Shafi. (Lahore).
  33. Khan Bahadur Shaikh Ghulam Sadiq. (Amritsar).
  34. Syed Nabiullah. (Allahabad).
  35. Khalifa Syed Muhammed Khan Bahadur. (Patna).[35]

The Muslim League's original goal was to define and protect the interests of educated upper and gentry class of the Indian Muslims.[36] Its educational activities were based on AMU, Calcutta University, and Punjab University; though its headquarter was in Lucknow.[36] British thinker, John Locke's (1632–1704) ideas on liberty greatly influenced the political thinking behind the party's movement.[36] It was the dissemination of western thought by John Locke, Milton and Thomas Paine at the AMU that initiated the emergence of Muslim nationalism.[36] Sir Aga Khan III was appointed its first and founding president; Ali Johar wrote party's first constitution.[36] Despite its activism and educated mass, the party remained less influential in various areas as compared to political movements such as Khaksars, Khudai Khidmatgar, Ahrar, and Hirat until the 1930s.

By the 1930s, Muhammad Iqbal had joined the party whose writings, speeches, philosophical ideas, and his British education training played a crucial role in the expansion of the Muslim League.[37] Furthermore, Muslim League's pro-British stance, Jinnah, Ali Khan, and many other leaders constitutional struggle for Muslim rights made it an extremely popular party in the Muslim dominated areas of the Subcontinent.[38] Furthermore, the success of Muslim League in 1934 elections in the Muslim dominated areas played a crucial role in the split between the Muslim League and Congress became apparent when Congress refused to join coalition administrations with the Muslim League in areas with mixed religion.[38] The political scene was set that was to lead to post-1945 violence in India.[38]

World War II

On 3 September 1939, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain announced the commencement of war with Germany.[39][page needed] In 1939, the Congress leaders resigned from all British India government to which they had elected.[40] The Muslim League celebrated the end of Congress led British Indian government, with Jinnah famously quoting: "a day of deliverance and thanksgiving."[40] In a secret memorandum writing to British Prime Minister, the Muslim League obliged to support the United Kingdom's war efforts— provided that the British had recognise it as the only organisation that spoke for Indian Muslims.[40]

The events leading the World War II, the Congress effective protest against the United Kingdom unilaterally involving India in the war without consulting with the congress; the Muslim League went on to support the British war efforts, which was allowed to actively propagandise against the Congress with the cry of "Islam in Danger".[41]

The Indian Congress and Muslim League responded differently over the World War II issue. The Indian Congress refused to oblige with the Britain unless the whole Indian subcontinent was granted the independence.[42] The Muslim League, on the other hand, supported Britain, with the means of political co-operation and human contribution.[42] The Muslim League leaders' British education training and philosophical ideas played a role that brought the British government and the Muslim to be close to each other.[42] Jinnah himself supported the British in World War II when the Congress failed to form any form of collaboration.[42] The British government suddenly made a pledge to the Muslims in 1940 that it would not transfer power to an Independent India unless its constitution was first approved by the Indian Muslims, a promise it did not subsequently keep.[42]

The end of the war

In 1942, Gandhi called for the Quit India Movement against the United Kingdom. On the other hand, the Muslim League advised Prime Minister Winston Churchill that Great Britain should "divide and then Quit".[42] Negotiations between Gandhi and Viceroy Wavell failed, as did talks between Jinnah and Gandhi in 1944.[42] When World War II ended, the Muslim League's push for the Pakistan Movement and Gandhi's efforts for Indian independence intensified the pressure on Prime Minister Winston Churchill.[42] Given the rise of American and Russian order in the world politics and the general unrest in India, Wavell called for general elections to be held in 1945.[42] The Muslim League won nearly all the seats in Muslim areas while Congress did the same in predominantly Hindu areas. Polarisation was now obvious and violence erupted throughout the Subcontinent.[38]

For Jinnah, Islam laid a cultural base for an ideology of ethnic nationalism whose objective was to gather the Muslim community to defend the Muslim minorities in the subcontinent. Jinnah's representation of Indian Muslims was quite apparent in 1928, when in the All-Party Muslim Conference, he was ready to swap the advantages of separate electorates for a quota of 33% of seats at the Capital. He maintained his views at the Round Table Conferences, while the Muslims of Punjab and Bengal were vying for a much more decentralised political setup. Many of their requests were met in the 1935 Government of India Act. Jinnah and the founding fathers played a peripheral role at the time and in 1937 could manage to gather only 5% of the Muslim vote. Jinnah refused to back down and went ahead with his plan. He presented the two-nation theory in the now famous Lahore Resolution in March 1940, seeking a separate Muslim nation-state.[43][not specific enough to verify]

The idea of a separate state had first been introduced by Sir Iqbal in his speech in December 1930 as the President of the Muslim League.[44][page needed] The nation state that he visualised, "within the British Empire, or without the British Empire",[45] included only four provinces of Northwest India: Punjab, Sindh, Afghania, and Balochistan. Three years later, the name Pakistan was proposed in a pamphlet published in 1933 by Choudhry Rahmat Ali, a graduate of the University of Cambridge.[46] Again, Bengal was left out of the proposal.[46]

In a book written in 2004, Idea of Pakistan by American historian of Pakistan, Stephen P. Cohen, writes on the influence of South Asian Muslim nationalism on the Pakistan movement:[47][page needed]

It begins with a glorious precolonial empire when the Muslims of South Asia were politically united and culturally, civilizationally, and strategically dominant. In that era, ethnolinguistic differences were subsumed under a common vision of an Islamic-inspired social and political order. However, the divisions among Muslims that did exist were exploited by the British Empire, who practiced divide and rule politics, displacing the Mughals and circumscribing other Islamic rulers. Moreover, the Hindus were the allies of the British Empire, who used them to strike a balance with the Muslims; many Hindus, a fundamentally insecure people, hated Muslims and would have oppressed them in a one-man, one-vote democratic India. The Pakistan Movement united these disparate pieces of the national puzzle, and Pakistan was the expression of the national will of India's liberated Muslims.

— Stephen Cohen, Idea of Pakistan (2004), source[47]

1946 elections

The 1946 elections resulted in the Muslim League winning the majority of Muslim votes and reserved Muslim seats in the Central and provincial assemblies,[48] performing exceptionally well in Muslim minority provinces such as UP and Bihar, relative to the Muslim majority provinces of Punjab and NWFP. Thus, the 1946 election was effectively a plebiscite where the Indian Muslims were to vote on the creation of Pakistan; a plebiscite which the Muslim League won.[49][50] [51] This victory was assisted by the support given to the Muslim League by the rural peasantry of Bengal as well as the support of the landowners of Sindh and Punjab. The Congress, which initially denied the Muslim League's claim of being the sole representative of Indian Muslims, was now forced to recognise that the Muslim League represented Indian Muslims.[50] The British had no alternative except to take Jinnah's views into account as he had emerged as the sole spokesperson for India's Muslims. However, the British did not desire India to be partitioned[52][53] and in one last effort to avoid it they arranged the Cabinet Mission plan.[54][55] In 1946, the Cabinet Mission Plan recommended a decentralised but united India, this was accepted by the Muslim League but rejected by the Congress, thus, leading the way for the Partition of India.[56]

Political campaigns and support


Chaudhry Khaliquzzaman seconding the Resolution with Jinnah and Liaquat presiding the session.
First Session of All India Jamhur Muslim League

The Western Punjab had become a major center of activity of the Muslim League's pushed for Pakistan Movement. On 29 December 1930, Sir Muhammad Iqbal delivered his monumental presidential address to the All India Muslim League annual session held in Allahabad (now in India). He said:[57]

I would like to see Punjab, North-West Frontier Province [now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa], Sindh and Balochistan 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 state appears to me to be the final destiny of the Muslims, at least of North-West India.

On 28 January 1933, Chaudhry Rehmat Ali, founder of Pakistan National Movement voiced his ideas in the pamphlet entitled "Now or Never: Are We to Live or Perish Forever?"[58] In a subsequent book Rehmat Ali discussed the etymology in further detail.[59] "Pakistan' is both a Persian and an Urdu word. It is composed of letters taken from the names of all our South Asia homelands; that is, Punjab, Afghania, Kashmir, Sindh and Balochistan. It means the land of the Pure".

In 1940 Muslim League conference in Lahore in 1940, Jinnah said: "Hindus and the Muslims belong to two different religions, philosophies, social customs and literature.... It is quite clear that Hindus and Muslims derive their inspiration from different sources of history. They have different epics, different heroes and different episodes.... To yoke together two such nations under a single state, one as a numerical minority and the other as a majority, must lead to growing discontent and final destruction of any fabric that may be so built up for the government of such a state."[60] At Lahore the Muslim League formally recommitted itself to creating an independent Muslim state, including Sindh, Punjab, Baluchistan, the North West Frontier Province and Bengal, that would be "wholly autonomous and sovereign". The resolution guaranteed protection for non-Muslim religions. The Lahore Resolution, moved by the sitting Chief Minister of Bengal A. K. Fazlul Huq, was adopted on 23 March 1940, and its principles formed the foundation for Pakistan's first constitution. Talks between Jinnah and Gandhi in 1944 in Bombay failed to achieve agreement. This was the last attempt to reach a single-state solution.[61]

In the 1940s, Jinnah emerged as a leader of the Indian Muslims and was popularly known as Quaid-e-Azam (‘Great Leader’). The general elections held in 1945 for the Constituent Assembly of British Indian Empire, the Muslim League secured and won 425 out of 496 seats reserved for Muslims (and about 89.2% of Muslim votes) on a policy of creating an independent state of Pakistan, and with an implied threat of secession if this was not granted. The Congress which was led by Gandhi and Nehru remained adamantly opposed to dividing India. The partition seems to have been inevitable after all, one of the examples being Lord Mountbatten's statement on Jinnah: "There was no argument that could move him from his consuming determination to realize the impossible dream of Pakistan."[62]

The Western Punjab was home to a small minority population of Punjabi Sikhs and Hindus up to 1947 apart from the Muslim majority.[63] In 1947, the Punjab Assembly cast its vote in favour of Pakistan with supermajority rule, which made many minority Hindus and Sikhs migrated to India while Muslim refugees from India settled in the Western Punjab and across Pakistan.[64]


Sindh is the birthplace and burial place of Jinnah, the Founder of Pakistan.

The local leaders and Sindhi nationalists never submitted to the British crown, and the Hurs led by Sindhi nationalist, Pir Pagara-I fought against the British forces in 1857.[65] After Western Punjab, Sindh had been an influential and ideological place of Muslim League, since the Jinnah family hailed from Karachi.[66] When support for the Pakistan Movement reached Sindh, it became an important centre during the Khilafat Movement.[66] These activities led Sindh to be separated from the Bombay Presidency when the Muslim League passed a resolution in 1925 urging separation.[66] Furthermore, Sindh was also the birth place of Muhammad Ali Jinnah who had spent his teenage years in Karachi.[65]

During a convention held in 1938, the Muslim League devised a scheme of constitution under which Muslims would attain full independence.[65] It was the province of Sindh which first adopted the resolution for an independent Muslim state.[66] The Muslim League had secured an exclusive mandate from Sindh during the general elections held in 1945. The Muslim majority in Sindh was in support of the policy and the programme of the Muslim League as the Muslim League had good relations with Sindhi nationalists.[66]

Sindhi nationalist leader, G. M. Syed, was one of the leading figures in the movement.[65] His role as founding father and key role in the Muslim League, G. M. Syed proposed the 1940 Pakistan Resolution in the Sindh Assembly, which ultimately resulted in the creation of Pakistan.[66] On 26 June 1947, the special session held in Sindh Assembly decided to join the new Pakistan Constituent Assembly. Thus, Sindh became the first province to opt for Pakistan.[66]

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Bacha Khan with Gandhi in 1946.

Unlike Punjab, Balochistan, and Sindh, the Muslim League had little support in Khyber–Pakhtunkhwa where Congress and the Pashtun nationalist Abdul Ghaffar Khan had considerable support for the cause of the Independent India.[67][68] Abdul Ghaffar Khan (also known as Bacha Khan) initiated a Khudai Khidmatgar movement and dubbed himself as "Frontier Gandhi" due to his efforts in following in the foot steps of Gandhi.[68]

Alongside, another movement, known as Red Shirts (now known as Awami National Party) and the people of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa interpreted their program in their own way. For Pashtun intelligentsia, the Red Shirts political program was based on the promotion of Pashtun culture and elimination of non-Pashtun influence in their province.[69] For Islamic hardliners and Ulemas, their program was mainly Anti-British and their religious stand became a cause of attraction for the poor peasants which meant to check economic oppression of the British-appointed political agents.[69] Furthermore, the strong emphasis on Pashtun identity created by Bacha Khan made it extremely difficult for Muslim League's support for the Pakistan Movement. The 'Red Shirts' and the Congress were able to contain the Muslim League to non-Pashtun regions, such as Hazara Division and Attock District.[69]

The 'Red Shirts' membership rose to about 200,000 activists, which shows its fame and popularity.[69] The Khudai Khidmatgar, 'Red Shirts', and Bacha Khan himself joined hands with the Congress against the Pakistan Movement.[69] During the 1945 general elections, the Muslim League could only managed to win 17 seats against Congress who secured 30 seats. The Muslim League was highly benefited with its activists who played crucial role in gathering support for the Pakistan Movement, specifically Jalal-u-din Baba, an ethinc Hazarewal. His strong activism with the Muslim League captured a strong mandate of Hazara District and Attock District.[69] Many activists, such as Roedad Khan, Ghulam Ishaq, Sartaj Aziz, and Abdul Qayyum Khan, helped up lifted the cause and image of the Muslim League in the province.[69] Finally, a referendum was held in 1946 to decide the fate of the NWFP as to whether the people of the NWFP ( now Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa) want to vote for Pakistan or India. In this referendum, majority of vote was cast in favour of Pakistan, despite Bacha Khan wanting to accede with India.[69]

It is well documented when the Congress accepted the referendum without consulting the Khudai Khidmatgar, Bacha Khan told the Congress "you have thrown us to the wolves."[70] The spirit of the Khudai Khidmatgar movement took its last breath when it was proclaimed as a political party after the creation of Pakistan.[69] The aims and objectives were changed and gradually people lost their interest in the movement and embraced the idea of pakistan.[69]


Jinnah meeting with Balochistan's leaders.

The province of Balochistan had mainly consisted of Nawabs and local princely states, under the British Indian Empire.[71] Three of these states willingly joined with Pakistan when the referendum was held in 1947 at the Balochistan Assembly.[71] However, the Khan of Kalat chose independence as this was one of the options given to all of the 535 princely states (out of which 534 accede with Pakistan) by British Prime Minister Clement Attlee.[72]

However, "Nehru persuaded Mountbatten to force the leaders of the princely states to decide whether to join India or Pakistan",[72] and hence independence "was not an option".[72] Nehru later went on to annexe other princely states like Hyderabad with military force.[72] The Muslim League's Pakistan Movement programme was generally supported by the people of Baluchistan.[73] One of its leader and founding father of Pakistan, Jafar Khan Jamali (whose nephew later became the Prime Minister of Pakistan in 2002) was an important and key figure of the Muslim League.[73] Jafar Khan Jamali's heavily lobbying for Balochistan to accede with Pakistan highly benefited the Muslim League.[73] Another influential Baloch figure was Akbar Bugti was stalwart supporter of Jinnah who well received Jinnah who came to visit Balochistan.[74] among the Pashtunes Abdul Ghafoor Khan Durrani Qazi Muhammad Essa and Shahzada Rehmatullah Khan Saddozai they were staunch supporter and loaylist of Jinnah who played crucial role in supporting the idea of Pakistan in Baluchistan.[74] Another young activist, Mir Hazar, helped initiate student rallies and public support for Pakistan Movement in Balochistan.[75][76] In 2013, Mir Hazar Khoso, who noted and described Jinnah as his inspiration, also became Prime Minister of Pakistan in 2013.[75][76] In 1947, the Balochistan Assembly passed the resolution and cast its vote in favour of Pakistan, with a majority approving the accession with Pakistan.[71]

Other regions

Map of United Bengal

Although, Jinnah, Iqbal and other Founding Fathers of Pakistan were initially struggling for the independence of Four Provinces to create a nation-state, Pakistan.[11] The concept and phenomenon of Pakistan Movement was highly popular in the East Bengal, which was also the birthplace of the Muslim League, in the 1940s.[11] The Muslim League's notable statesman and activists were hailed from the East Bengal, including Husyen Suhrawardy, Nazimuddin, and Nurul Amin, who later became Prime ministers of Pakistan in the successive periods of Pakistan.[77] Following the partition of Bengal, the violence erupted in the region, which mainly maintained to Kolkata and Noakhali.[78] It is documented by the historians of Pakistan that Suhrawardy wanted Bengal to be an independent state that would neither join Pakistan or India but to be remained unpartitioned.[79] Despite the heavy criticism from the Muslim League, Jinnah realised the validity of Suhrawardy's argument gave his tacit support to the Bengal's plan for independence.[80][81][82] However, the plan failed after a successful involvement of Congress in Western Bengali; therefore the Muslim-majority Eastern Bengal was left no choice but to become a part of Pakistan.[83]

During the Pakistan Movement in the 1940s, Rohingya Muslims in western Burma had an ambition to annexe and merge their region into East-Pakistan.[84] Before the independence of Burma in January 1948, Muslim leaders from Arakan addressed themselves to Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, and asked his assistance in annexing of the Mayu region to Pakistan which was about to be formed.[84] Two months later, North Arakan Muslim League was founded in Akyab (modern: Sittwe, capital of Arakan State), it, too demanding annexation to Pakistan.[84] However, it is noted that the proposal was never materialised after it was reportedly turned down by Jinnah.[84]

In 1947, an armed revolution took place in Jammu and Kashmir over the issue of accession to India or Pakistan.[85] Kashmir's Hindu maharaja, Hari Singh, fearing a loss of control requested Indian intervention in Kashmir.[86] The conflict resulted in a stalemate as the "Line of Control" became the de facto border between India and Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir.[87]

Role of Ulama

In its election campaign in 1946 the Muslim League drew upon the support of Islamic scholars and Sufis with the rallying cry of 'Islam in danger'.[48] The majority of Barelvis supported the creation of Pakistan and Barelvi ulama issued fatwas in support of the Muslim League.[88][89][90] In contrast, most Deobandi ulama (led by Maulana Husain Ahmad Madani) opposed the creation of Pakistan and the two-nation theory. Maulana Husain Ahmad Madani and the Deobandis advocated 'composite nationalism', according to which Muslims and Hindus were one nation.[91] Madani differentiated between 'qaum' -which meant a multi-religious nation- and 'millat'-which was exclusively the social unity of Muslims.[92][93] However, a few highly influential Deobandi clerics did support the creation of Pakistan.[94] Such Deobandi ulama included Mufti Muhammad Shafi and Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Uthmani.[95] Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi also supported the Muslim League's demand for the creation of Pakistan[96] and he dismissed the criticism that most Muslim League members were not practising Muslims. Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi was of the view that the Muslim League should be supported and also be advised at the same time to become religiously observant.[97]


Sir Syed Ahmad Khan (1817–1898) philosophical ideas plays a direct role in the Pakistan Movement.[36] His Two-Nation Theory became more and more obvious during the Congress rule in the Subcontinent.[98] In 1946, the Muslim majorities agreed to the idea of Pakistan, as a response to Congress's one sided policies,[98][99] which were also the result of leaders like Jinnah leaving the party in favour of Muslim League,[100] winning in seven of the 11 provinces. Prior to 1938, Bengal with 33 million Muslims had only ten representatives, less than the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh, which were home to only seven million Muslims. Thus the creation of Pakistan became inevitable and the British had no choice but to create two separate nations – Pakistan and India – in 1947.[101][102][103][104]

But the main motivating and integrating factor was that the Muslims' intellectual class wanted representation; the masses needed a platform on which to unite.[36] It was the dissemination of western thought by John Locke, Milton and Thomas Paine, at the Aligarh Muslim University that initiated the emergence of Pakistan Movement.[36] According to Pakistan Studies curriculum, Muhammad bin Qasim is often referred to as 'the first Pakistani'.[105] Muhammad Ali Jinnah also acclaimed the Pakistan movement to have started when the first Muslim put a foot in the Gateway of Islam.[106]

After the independence in 1947, the violence and upheavals continued to be faced by Pakistan, as Liaquat Ali Khan becoming the Prime Minister of Pakistan in 1947.[107] The issue involving the equal status of Urdu and Bengali languages created divergence in the country's political ideology.[16] Need for good governance led to the military take over in 1958 which was followed by rapid industrialisation in the 1960s.[107] Economic grievances and unbalanced financial payments led to a bloody and an armed struggle of East Pakistan in the 1970s, in which eventually resulted with East Pakistan becoming Bangladesh in 1971.[16]

Realizing the problems and causes of the East Pakistan's separation led another nationalist subset to work on the more reform constitution that guaranteed equals rights in the country.[19] Much of Islamic texture and basic rights defined by Holy Quran were inserted in the Constitution of Pakistan in 1973; the year when the Constitution of Pakistan was promulgated.[19] In the successive periods of tragedy of East-Pakistan, the country continued to rebuild and reconstruct itself in terms constitutionally and its path to transformed into republicanism.[13] After 1971 catastrophic episode, Pakistan's phase shift to parliamentary republicanism and the gradually increasing in democracy caused an upheaval of traditional social hierarchy and gave birth to the ethic that has formed a core of political values in Pakistan.[19] The XIII amendment (1997) and XVIII amendment (2010) transformed the country into becoming a parliamentary republic as well as also becoming a nuclear power in the subcontinent.[18]

Non-Muslims contribution and efforts

Jinnah's vision was supported by few of the Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis, Jews and Christians that lived in Muslim-dominated regions of undivided India.[108][109] The most notable and influential Hindu figure in the Pakistan Movement was Jogendra Nath Mandal from Bengal. Jagannath Azad was from the Urdu-speaking belt.[110] Mandal represented the Hindu contingent calling for an independent Pakistan, and was one of the founding-fathers of Pakistan.[108] After the independence, Mandal was given ministries of Law, Justice, and Work-Force by Jinnah in Liaquat Ali Khan's government.[108] He returned to India and submitted his resignation to Liaquat Ali Khan, the then-Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Some local Christians also stood behind Jinnah's vision, playing a pivotal role in the movement.[111] The notable Christians included Sir Victor Turner and Alvin Robert Cornelius.[112] Turner was responsible for the economic, financial planning of the country after the independence.[112] Turner was among one of the founding fathers[112] of Pakistan, and guided Jinnah and Ali Khan on economic affairs, taxation and to handle the administrative units.[112] Alvin Robert Cornelius was elevated as Chief Justice of Lahore High Court bench by Jinnah and served as Law Secretary in Liaquat Ali Khan's government.[112] The Hindu, Christian, and Parsi communities also played their due role for the development of Pakistan soon after its creation.[111]

As an example or inspiration

The cause of Pakistan Movement became an inspiration in different countries of the world. Protection of one's beliefs, equal rights, and liberty were incorporated in the state's constitution. Arguments presented by Ali Mazrui pointed out that the South Sudan's movement led to the partition of the Sudan into Sudan proper, which is primarily Muslim, and South Sudan, which is primarily Christian and animistic.[113]

Memory and legacy

The Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore, Pakistan glances at night.

The Pakistan Movement has a central place in Pakistan's memory.[114] The founding story of Pakistan Movement is not only covered in the school and universities textbooks but also in innumerable monuments.[115] Almost all key events are covered in Pakistan's textbooks, literature, and novels as well.[115] Thus, Fourteenth of August is one of major and most celebrated national day in Pakistan.[116] To many authors and historians, Jinnah's legacy is Pakistan.[117]

The Minar-e-Pakistan is a monument which has attracted ten thousand visitors.[118] The Minar-e-Pakistan still continues to project the memory to the people to remember the birth of Pakistan.[118] Jinnah's estates in Karachi and Ziarat has attracted thousands visitors.[119]

Historian of Pakistan, Vali Nasr, argues that the Islamic universalism had become a main source of Pakistan Movement that shaped patriotism, meaning, and nation's birth.[120] To many Pakistanis, Jinnah's role is viewed as a modern Moses-like leader;[121] whilst many other founding fathers of the nation-state also occupies extremely respected place in the hearts of the people of Pakistan.[122]


Notable quotations

Allama Iqbal

I would like to see the Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, Sind 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 State appears to me to be the final destiny of the Muslims, at least of North-West India.[125]

Choudhry Rahmat Ali

At this solemn hour in the history of India, when British and Indian statesmen are laying the foundations of a Federal Constitution for that land, we address this appeal to you, in the name of our common heritage, on behalf of our thirty million Muslim brethren who live in Pakistan – by which we mean the five Northern units of India, Viz: Punjab, North-West Frontier Province (Afghan Province), Kashmir, Sind and Baluchistan – for your sympathy and support in our grim and fateful struggle against political crucifixion and complete annihilation.[46]

Muhammad Ali Jinnah

It is extremely difficult to appreciate why our Hindu friends fail to understand the real nature of Islam and Hinduism. They are not religious in the strict sense of the word, but are, in fact, different and distinct social orders, and it is a dream that the Hindus and Muslims can ever evolve a common nationality, and this misconception of one Indian nation has troubles and will lead India to destruction if we fail to revise our notions in time. The Hindus and Muslims belong to two different religious philosophies, social customs, literatures. They neither intermarry nor interdine together and, indeed, they belong to two different civilizations which are based mainly on conflicting ideas and conceptions. Their aspect on life and of life are different. It is quite clear that Hindus and Muslims derive their inspiration from different sources of history. They have different ethics, different heroes, and different episodes. Very often the hero of one is a foe of the other and, likewise, their victories and defeats overlap. To yoke together two such nations under a single state, one as a numerical minority and the other as a majority, must lead to growing discontent and final destruction of any fabric that may be so built for the government of such a state."[126]

Leaders and founding fathers

See also


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Further reading

External links

  • "Pakistan Movement Workers Trust (Tehrik-i-Pakistan) تحریک پاکستان". Pakistan Movement Workers Trust's official website. 
  • "The Pakistan Movement". Story of Pakistan website. 
  • "Iqbal and the Pakistan Movement". Iqbal Academy Pakistan. 
  • "The Pakistan Movement (Picture Gallery)". 
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