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Friday, August 14, 2009


Who Created Pakistan?
By Prof Sharif al Mujahid

Indeed, a host of factors has gone into the making of Pakistan. Of prime significance among them were: a fortuitous configuration of forces and events (both natinal and international), the myopic policies of the Indian National Congress, the adroit leadership of Quaid-i-Azam Jinnah, and the massive response his appeal for Pakistan elicited from the Muslim masses across the length and breadth of Indian subcontinent.
However, as I have argued in Quaid-i-Azam Jinnah (1981), by far the most critical variable was Jinnah himself. Of course, the "response" factor was also crucial for the simple reason that without that measure of response, there would have been no Pakistan; but, then, the response itself was the handiwork of Jinnah, since he alone, and no one else, could have elicited that response.
And that response did not come easily, much less simultaneously or uniform from various regions in the subcontinent. Moreover, Jinnah had to labour long and hard; he had to build up unity in Muslims' disparate ranks, step by step; he had to work assiduously for nine long years before he could prepare Muslim India politically, psychologically, and otherwise to a point that it returned an overwhelming verdict in favour of Pakistan during the general elections of 1945-46.
The present article concerns the respective roles of the Muslim majority and minority provinces in building up the final response, the differential in their respective responses at various stages, and their criticality in the final denouement.
The instrument through which the Muslim response to Pakistan was articulated and built up was the All India Muslim League (AIML). The AIML, founded in 1906, gathered strength and momentum within a decade, went into eclipse during the tumultuous, emotion-laden Khalifat movement (1920-23), was revived by Jinnah with the assistance of Fazl-i-Hussain in 1924, became divided into Jinnah and Shafi Leagues over the Muslim response to Simon Commission in 1927, and later into Aziz and Hedayat factions (1933), and was finally re-united under Jinnah's leadership in 1934. The united Muslim League held its first session in Bombay in April 1936, where it formulated its programme and decided for the first time in its annals to contest (provincial) elections, scheduled for early 1937. Despite the lack of an organizational network, of finances, and of an organ to back up its cause and candidates, the Muslim League yet secured 112 (about 23 percent) out of 491 Muslim seats. Its performance was comparatively better in the Muslim minority provinces, but poor in the Muslim majority ones, except in Bengal where it emerged as the single largest party. However, having won the largest number of Muslim seats on an all-India basis, it emerged as the only Muslim party on an all-India plane. Moreover, it could lay claim to the pan-Indian Muslim constituency.
Although three more years were to elapse before the Pakistan platform was adopted at Lahore, the struggle for Pakistan had, in a sense, begun in 1937. these three crucial years represented the predatory stage for launching the Pakistan demand, and had Jinnah not taken the steps transforming it into the authoritative spokesman of the pan-Indian Muslim community, the Pakistan platform could never have been adopted, and if perchance it had, the movement would have failed to take-off. Hence, in the final analysis, the fortunes of the Muslim League at various stags and in various regions provided, as it were, an index to the nature, quantum and strength of Muslim response to the Pakistan demand, whether actual or potential, at various junctures and in various regions.
One reliable index of the strength of the AIML in the Muslim majority and minority regions is provided by the number of League sessions held in the two regions. Till 1937 when the Muslim League was reorganized, 19 sessions (or part sessions) were held in the Muslim minority areas, and 11 in the majority ones, four of them in Calcutta, and the inaugural session in Dacca (1960); (for our purposes, the whole of Bengal and Punjab are considered Muslim majority areas, and not the post 1947 bifurcated provinces). This measure of AIML's strength in the minority areas was also reflected in its showing at the hustings in early 1937.
As Anil Seal has shown, political consciousness had first come to the coastal presidencies of Bengal, Bombay and Madras, and much later and much too slowly to the land-locked provinces of Upper India. This was also the case with Muslims, except for United Provinces which had been the focal point of Muslim politics since the days of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. For long, Bengali Muslims had, for various reasons, been denied an equitable share in the portals of power, and felt oppressed; that, in part, explains why the Muslim League, often considered the party of the underdog in power terms on an all-India plane, had always shown strength in Bengal much the same way as it did in Muslim minority areas, and as against the predominantly Muslim north-west India.
A strategist that Jinnah was, he was keen to consolidate his gains in the minority provinces and in Bengal before launching the Muslim League further afield. The developing policy of the Congress in these provinces and its posture in Bengal gave him the chance of a life-time which he seized adroitly. The Muslim League entered into a coalition in Bengal with Fazlul Haq's KPP, and in the Hindu provinces, into a headlong confrontation with the Congress. The Muslim north-west (Punjab, Sind and the Frontier), then dominated by provincial notables and parties, could well wait till he had consolidated the Muslim League and made it a comprehensive all India Muslim party vis-a-vis the Congress.
As attested to by both Professors Coupland and Robinson, the U.P. was the "key" province of Indian politics; it was also the province which had provided Muslim leadership on an all-India plane. U.P. also became the test case for the Congress' attitude on the Muslim issue. It was therefore, to be won over for the Muslim League at all costs. This explains why Jinnah for Lucknow as the venue for the 1937 session instead of Lahore where the reception to the League was unpredictable in view of the Unionist ministry under Sir Sikander Hayat Khan.
In the post-1936 period as well, the pattern of League sessions, in terms of their venues, was the same as in the pre-1936 period: five in Muslim minority provinces as against two (Lahore and Karachi) in the majority provinces; (no sessions were held during 1944-47). However, the most important of them were Lucknow (1937) and Lahore (1940). "We are here not to follow history but to create history", declared the Raja of Mahmudabad, Chairman, Reception Committee, at Lucknow. Jinnah himself considered the Lucknow session as "the most critical" in the League's entire history (as of that date), involving "the fate and future of the Musalmans of India, and the country at large". It would however, be superseded by Lahore which Jinnah termed as "a landmark in the history of India". Even so, but for Lucknow, there would have been no Lahore.
In perspective, Lucknow represented more than a turning point in modern Muslim India's history. Here the AIML transformed itself into a democratic organization, declared its entry into mass politics, and added to itself external appurtenances (such as a party flag, an anthem, and a Volunteer corps) which symbolize and entrench the party in the popular mind.
Lucknow also witnessed the adherence of three important regional notables to the Muslim Leageu's ranks. Sir Sikander Hayat Khan, Fazlul Haq and Sir Muhammad Sadullah, the prime Ministers of the Punjab, Bengal and Assam respectively, joined the AIML along with their followers in the provincial legislatures. Their adherence ensured for the AIML a dominant position in the Muslim majority provinces as well, repaired a flaw in its representative status, and transformed it into a pan-Indian party in the real sense of the term.
Lucknow also represented the first break-through to revitalize and reorganize the Muslims. It electrified and enthused the Muslim masses as nothing else had done before. And it produced immediate results. Within three months, some 90 branches were set up and about 100,000 new members were enrolled in the United Provinces along. Within two months some 40 branches were set up in the Punjab, and Begum Shah Nawaz requested affiliation of Punjab Provincial Muslim Women's League with the AIML. The enrollment campaign in Sindh had picked up by February 1938, and a visit by Jinnah was suggested by Sir Abdullah Haroon. Husain Shaheed Suhrawardy assured Jinnah of setting up branches all over Bengal, and Abdul Matin Chowdury reported of the Assam Provincial League gaining in strength. And between 1 January 1938 and 12 September 1942, the Muslim League won 46 (82%) out of 56 Muslim seats in by-elections.
Thus the period between Lucknow (1937) and Lahore (1940) was much too crucial in endowing the Muslims and the Muslim League the "third party" status in Indian's body politic, the other two being the British, and Hindu-dominated Indian National Congress. The struggle during this period was waged chiefly in the Muslim minority provinces except for Bengal, and the Muslims in these provinces served as the vanguard for the battle of Muslim India. The all-India (as against provincial) leadership was also for the most part provided by these provinces. Leaving out Jinnah, who had shifted himself from a Muslim Wind to the Muslim diaspora, the two most important offices, viz., those of the General Secretary and the Treasurer, were occupied respectively by Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan and the Raja of Mahmudabad. Again, the attitude of the Congress during 1937-39 was in issue concerning Muslims mostly in these provinces, and the exit of its ministries provided the Muslim League the chance to demonstrate its strength, which it did by observing a "Deliverance Day" on 22 December 1939. And by then the Muslim League had been recognized, though reluctantly, as representing a sizeable body of Muslims, by both the British and the Congress.
But for these developments, which were for the most part confined to the Muslim minority provinces, the Muslim League could not and would not have launched upon the big leap forward: to fashion a permanent platform in Pakistan in 1940. Meantime, thanks to Abdullah Haroon, the Sindh Provincial Conference in October 1938 proved to be a trend setter: for it proclaimed Hindus and Muslims as two distinct nations, and called for "political self-determination" and "full independence" for Muslims.
Interestingly through, the Pakistan goal, despite its being solely concerned with the Muslim majority provinces, did not initially enthuse these provinces as it did the Muslim minority provinces. This may, in part, be explained by the ambivalence of Sikander (Punjab) and Fazlul Haq (Bengal), and the active opposition of the Frontier (Congress Leaders. But if the movement for Pakistan were to succeed, the main centers of Muslim population - viz., Bengal and the Punjab-had to be won over. Indeed, as pointed out by C.H. Philips, The Muslim areas were the key to Pakistan". And Jinnah knew this more than any one else. Hence the Muslim League would now concentrate almost wholly on these areas. The marathon campaign against the Congress' refusal to concede Muslims their religio-political entity in India's body politic during 1937-39 was extremely successful, culminating in the recognition of Muslims as the "third" side in the Indian political triangle. Now the impending battle was against "The traditional provincial politician, with his regional loyalties" in the Muslim majority areas.
In the post-Lahore period, the Muslim League was activitiated in these areas as never before. Such was the mass response that Lord Linlithgow, the Viceroy, reported in January 1941 that "it would be most difficult politically for either Sikander or Fazlul Haq, even if they wanted to do so themselves, to come out against him" (Jinnah) and, by implication, against the Muslim League. And in March 1942 he reported that in Bengal and the Punjab, support for the League was "probably stronger" outside the Assembly than within, and that the Bengal League's demand for a general election after Haq's revolt (1941) was "significant".
This surmise was amply corroborated by primary League and membership figures. Primary Leagues in 11 out of 18 districts in Bengal totaled 1565 in 1944; membership in ten districts stood at 541,170. Sindh claimed some 300,000 members-i.e., about one-fourth of the adult Muslim population -in 1944. Additionally, at the instance of G.M. Syed, the Sindh Assembly passed a resolution in favour of Pakistan.
Despite Khizr Hayat Tiwana's revolt in 1943, Punjab reported a 200,000 membership figure in 1944-45, and the Muslim Students Federation's campaign in rural Punjab under Abdul Sattar Khan Niazi had unnerved the Punjab premier. The Sirajganj Conference (1941) in Bengal and the Sialkot Conference (1943) in the Punjab Indicated how deep a dent had been caused in the strongholds of the traditional politicians, with their regional loyalties.
All these developments would still not have ensured the emergence of Pakistan, but for the massive verdict returned in the general elections of 1945-46. The Congress fought and nail. How crucial was that verdict comes out, inter alias in the voluminous correspondence carried on by the indefatigable Sardar Vallabhbhai Pate (who, though ailing, ran the Congress election campaign so determinedly and so efficiently) with the Congress leaders in the provinces, to keep himself apprised of what was happening in the Muslim constituencies. He was keen on getting all the disparate groups opposed to the Muslim League forge a united front and issued detailed instructions to the provincial leaders about the strategy to be adopted. Though equally keen on getting a negative verdict from each and every Muslim seat throughout India, yet he conceded " the Punjab and Bengal hold the key in the present election... " He told Bhim Sen Sachar, " The Punjab is a key and prosperous province of Pakistan"; indeed, " The Punjab holds the key to the future of India". And he assured Azad about the availability of ample funds to contest Muslim seats in Bengal, Assam, and the Frontier, and wrote to Vazirani and Shidwa about " defeating the League" in Sindh.
In the elections to the Central Assembly, the Muslim League secured all the 30 Muslim seats, with 87.7 per cent vote being in its favour. In the provincial polls, the Muslim League won 113 out of 119 seats (94.95%) in Bengal, 79 out of 86 seats (91.9%) in the Punjab; 28 out of 36 seats (77.8%) in Sindh; and 17 out of 36 seats (47.2%) in the Frontier (but polled more votes than the Congress: 41.65% against 38.34%). More astounding was the vote in Pakistan's favor in the minority provinces; 31 out of 34 seats (91%) in Assam, 34 out of 40 seats (85%) in Bihar, 54 out of 66 seats (82%) in the U.P.; 13 out of 14 seats (93%) in the Central Provinces (C.P), and all the seats (100%) in Orissa, Bombay and Madras.
A breakdown and analysis of the election results, region wise, indicate the following. On the all-India basis, the Muslim League won 87.7 percent of the central and provincial Muslim seats and about 85 per cent of the votes cast in the (contested) Muslim constituencies. In the Muslim majority provinces (Bengal, Punjab, Sindh and the Frontier), its aggregate percentage of seats was 84.5 per cent. More important, the " key provinces' of Bengal and the Punjab had voted overwhelmingly in Pakistan's favour. The league's score in Sindh was flawed due to the post-nomination rebellion of G.M. Syed, but a mid-term election in December 1946 returned a massive Verdict in Pakistan's favor, rectifying the previously flawed situation. The Frontier vote was somewhat disappointing (although not too inextricable because of a host of reasons); but the call for Pakistan really picked up during 1946-47 to a point that in the Frontier Referendum of July 1947, the vote in Pakistan's favor was 99 percent of the votes cast and about 51 per cent of the total electorate.
In the Muslim minority provinces, the aggregate percentage of seats won for Pakistan was 89.9 per cent. The contribution of these provinces is also noteworthy on three counts. First, the major contributions to the League's election fund came from Bombay presidency, the Gujrati Muslim business houses in Transvaal (South Africa) and the Muslim businessmen and merchants of Calcutta while even the Punjab being short of funds to the tune of Rs. 300,000. These donations enabled the Muslim League not only to offset somewhat the Congress' edge in terms of funds (e.g., the Congress allocated Rs. 150,000 for Muslim seats in Bengal and provided for more funds from G.D. Birla, Congress' chief financier), but also to fight the elections successfully in the Muslim majority provinces. Second was the singular contribution of the Ali students during the election campaign in the Punjab, Sindh and the Frontier (as delineated and documented by Mukhtar Zaman in his Students' Role in the Pakistan Movement).
Third, and most important, was the altruism of Muslims in the minority provinces. In voting for Pakistan, the Muslims in the majority areas were voting for power to themselves, but those in the minority areas were voting for power the their brethren in the majority areas. They were, moreover, voting for scuttling the maneuverability and the immense advantage that the inclusion of these areas in an all-India federation or confederation would have provided them, and to offer themselves as scapegoats" for the emergence of Pakistan. And for their Verdict in Pakistan's favor, they had to pay in blood, tears and toil. About one-half million Muslims in the minority areas perished in the conflagration that engulfed the subcontinent during 1946-47 And even to this day fifty eight years after event, they are paying, and that without any painful reappraisals, without any regrets and without any remorse, for their " crime" in helping their co-religionists across the border to have a sovereign state of their own, independent of the rest of residue India. To conclude, then. The contribution of the minority provinces in the making of Pakistan was as follows. They strengthened and consolidated the Muslim League as a pan-Indian Muslim party to a point that it could fashion a permanent platform in Pakistan and call for the division of India in 1940. They provided the initial momentum for Pakistan while those in the majority areas, especially those in the power structures of the Punjab and the Frontier, were lukewarm. They contributed substantially and significantly in terms of experienced and dedicated leadership, funds, and publication of literature, election workers and publicists in the final battle for Pakistan.
Even so, all this would have been of no avail, had the Pakistan movement not really picked up in the majority areas, and had they not responded so massively to the call for Pakistan in the closing years of the struggle. Had they not voted for Pakistan, there would certainly have been no Pakistan? Likewise, had the minority provinces not built up so assiduously the momentum for Pakistan in the initial years or had they voted en bloc against Pakistan, there would probably have been no Pakistan.
Thus, in the final analysis, the majority and minority provinces played complementary roles in the birth of Pakistan, and their respective roles were equally critical. Pakistan was demanded in the name of the Muslim nation in undivided India. By the same token, and as the foregoing analysis indicates, the creation of Pakistan must be laid to the door of each and every Muslim in undivided India.


By Aqeel-uz-Zafar Khan

Since the creation of Pakistan experiments have been made to as- certain the will of the people regarding the reconstruction of national institutions. From time to time, various governments envisaged plans, schemes and proposals, to strengthen and streamline the structure of private and public establishments, according to the emerging needs. However, the process of reformation, during the last so many years, evidently failed to satisfy the national requirements as well as the public opinion.
Once again the nation is passing through the election experiment to be held from 18th of August. The election campaign, with each passing day is gaining momentum throughout the country. In a democratic society, elections are considered as an integral part of the political system, destined to change the government, peacefully, by the majority votes. In the parliamentary system, prevailing in Britian since centuries, the will of the people, ascertained through the ballot, became the beacon of light for the people at home and abroad. Inspired by the peaceful means of transfer of power, many British colonies adopted the parliamentary system for the good governance of their country. Pakistan, being an important part of the British Empire, opted for the parliamentary system, based on British conventions. However, since independence, the country witnessed very many changes in the form and format of the government, mutilating the very pattern of the parliamentary structure. Even the constitution of the country was abrogated, changed, modified and amended to suit the desire of the ruling class.
Now, under the guidance of President Musharraf, new reforms have been introduced to associate the common man with the representative institutions. For the first time in the history of Pakistan the women were granted 30 percent representation in the assemblies. The Local Bodies elections being held on the non-party basis providing opportunity to the honest and capable candidates to contribute their share in the development of healthy society, free from the prevailing corruption. The elections will be a test for the politicians who claim to enjoy popularity among the electorates. In order to hold free and impartial elections, the Election Commission has prescribed a code of conduct to be followed by the candidates. It is a basic requirement of the election procedure, which will strengthen the democratic traditions. During the British rule elections were envisaged to be held in the peaceful atmosphere, free from the intimidation of officials as well as the resourceful and influential candidates. Even the Elections of 1945-46 were considered very transparent which paved the way for the ultimate success of Muslim League's candidates. The electorates were provided opportunity to exercise the right of vote according to their conscience. At this critical juncture, the pressure tactics were vehemently condemned by Quaid-i-Azam who in his press conference at Karachi on 6th September 1945 stated that:
"It would be highly improper for me to interfere or to influence the activities, proceedings and decisions of the Parliamentary Board, Provincial or Central, or for that matter, of any tribunal set up by the League. No inducement can ever be given to any person; howsoever high he may be, in joining the Muslim League. It will be corruption to do so and no honest man can be a party to it."
While discussing the election issues, it must be realized that the destiny of the Sub-continent was decided during the elections of 1945-46. The elections established, beyond any doubt, the claim of the All India Muslim League as the sole representative organization of 10 million Muslims of India. Hitherto, League's assertions to represent the entire Muslim community were disputed and emphatically denied by the Indian National Congress, stressing on its national character, having in its fold the eminent Muslims of various castes and communities, supporting its policy and program. The Muslims belonging to Congress, publicized by the Congress press as 'Nationalist Muslims', invigorated the position of the Congress in the political parlays between the Congress and the League. The government of India too subscribed the Congress views about the Muslim minority.
The Congress forcefully advocated that all the sections of Indian population, desire and demand, a democratic united India, free from the communal exploitation. The British government supported the Congress stance and the general public in England, influenced by the Congress propaganda, treated the Muslim League as a communal organization, struggling to safeguard the interests of upper class Muslims, particularly the landed aristocracy. To achieve the freedom of India, the Congress launched the violent campaign of 'Quiet India' against the Government of India in August 1942. The government suppressed the agitation. In spite of the crackdown on its members, leaders and activists, who were arrested and kept in confinement till July 1945, the party position remained intact, powerful enough to encounter the government against any decision, contrary to its aims and objects.
As regards the British government, although it emerged victorious against Germany and Japan in the Second World War (1939-45), it substantially lost the moral and material capacity to subdue and subordinate the spirit of Indian nationalism. According to political perceptions in England, the Indian circumstances were becoming unfavorable for the government and it would be impossible to crush any violent agitation against the British rule. Consequently, the British government asked Lord Wavell, the Viceroy of India to invite Indian leaders for consultations. On June 14, 1945, Lord Wavell, in his broadcast announced that: " I have been authorised by His Majesty's Government to place before the Indian political leaders proposals designed to ease the present political situation and to advance India towards her goal of full self government." He also announced holding elections saying that: " The appropriate time for fresh elections for the Central and Provincial legislatures will be discussed at the Conference."
Before concluding his broadcast he expressed the noble sentiments:
" Finally, I would ask you all to help in creating the atmosphere of goodwill and mutual confidence that is essential if we are to make progress. The destiny of this great country and of the many millions who live in it depends on the wisdom and good understanding of the leaders, both of action and of thought, British and Indian, at this critical moment of India's history."
The Simla Conference deliberated on the Indian problems till July 14 without reaching any settlement between the principal political parties. Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad, President of the Congress remarked about the breakdown of the conference as:
" ... the position taken by Mr. Jinnah was that the Muslim League on behalf of the Muslim should nominate Muslim members in the new Executive Council. The Congress found that such a position would be inconsistent with its basic national character. "
However, Lord Wavell took the responsibility and announced that:" I wish to make it clear that the responsibility for the failure is mine."He also stated that the general elections would be held in the coming winter.
The elections became the most important, crucial and urgent problem to be faced by the national parties. It was more important for the Muslim League, which was still consolidating its position among the Muslim masses. Sensing the importance of elections, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, before leaving Simla, issued a statement on 16th July, emphasising that:
" Every province and every district must be thoroughly and systematically organized and the result of the elections would be the acid test and the verdict given at the polling booths will be the main criterion by which the solidarity and unity of Musalmans will be judged both in India and abroad all over the world."
He invited Muslims attention towards financial assistance stating that:
"I have not made any appeal for funds since 1942, as there was no need for it but I want to impress upon our people that we do require money now to face these elections all over the vast Sub-Continent of India in eleven provinces as well as for the centre. I hope that my appeal will meet with cordial and generous response."
Thus the President of the League started the election campaign, just after the failure of the Simla Conference. He issued statements, addressed public meetings, circulated appeals, and received numerous deputations, emphasing the importance of the success of League's candidates. On 31st October, he pronounced that " The elections will give a clear verdict on the issue whether the Muslims of India stands for Pakistan or for Akhand Hindustan. It is therefore a question of life and death with Muslims of India. If we are defeated in the elections, then we would be nowhere, but I have full faith in you and, I see clearly that Musalmans of India today understand the issues before them. We have no press, nor financial support the Congress has, but, we Muslims, are politically more conscious than Hindus are, the handicaps notwithstanding."
The election campaign started by the Muslim League stirred all sections of Muslim population. The appeal for funds made by the Quaid demanding that: "Give me the silver bullets and I will finish the job." inspired the Muslims who contributed generously for the election fund. Even the school students devoted their pocket money for the cherish goal of Pakistan. The Muslim women having no monetary resources threw away their ornaments before the fund raising parties in excitement. The students of the Muslim University Aligarh played a pivotal role in the election campaign. More than six hundred students spread away in the far-flung areas canvassing and collecting votes for the ML candidates. They approached Muslims of every walk of life to support the national cause of Pakistan and succeeded in counteracting the powerful material means, employed by the Congress to defeat League's Candidates. The student army found by the League in the election battle, fought pitched battles with the anti-League voters from one corner of India to another. The credit for the success of the League undoubtedly goes to the student community.
Another important factor, which consolidated the position of the League, was the participation of ulema and sufis. The religious divines entered in the election campaign from different sides and changed the nature of elections from the political battle into the religious Jihad. The spiritual element introduced by the religious personages sanctified the struggle and the ordinary Muslim, hitherto reluctant to side and support the League, treating it a West-oriented organization, joined the campaign that decided the future of India. The invaluable support extended by the divines shortened the distance for the realisation of Pakistan.
Eminent ulemas and spiritual leaders such as, Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani, Maulana Abdul Hamid Badayuni, Dewan Syed Ale Rasul Ali Khan of Ajmer, Pir Ladlay Hussain of Gulharga, Khwaja Ghulam Sadeed-ud-din of Tonsa, Sajjada Nasheen of Pakpattan, Syed Ghulam Mohiuddin Chisti of Golra, Maulana Qamar-ud-din of Saeeyal, Pir Syed Jamiat Ali Shah of Alipore, Maulana Syed Fazal Shah of Jalalpur and many more participated in the election campaign. The spiritual leaders directed their followers to only vote for the Muslim League candidates. The Fatawas issued by the ulemas and messages propagated by the spiritual heads created a deep impression that Pakistan enjoyed the blessing of the God Almighty. It goes without saying that without the support of the religious leaders it was nearly impossible for the League to secure cent percent votes in the election of Central Legislative Assembly, which decisively produced favourable results in the Provincial Assembly elections subsequently held in 1946. The contribution of ulemas for the creation of Pakistan must be realised as a most significant factor to be remain a living force in the contemporary history of Pakistan.
-- The author is former Senior Research Fellow, Quaid-i-Azam Academy.

A dream destination
By A Javed

In the sub-continent, there emerged many movements in the 19th and 20th centuries with extensive impacts and aspirations. These movements with their specific endeavor achieved colossal popularity and successes. Pakistan Movement is one of those movements, resulting in a separate state for the Muslims of the Indian sub-continent.
The first brick in the foundation of Pakistan was laid in 712 A.D. when Mohammad Bin Qasim anchored at Debal Port, freed the Muslim women and children from the prisons of Raja Dahir and constructed the first mosque at the town. Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah acclaimed the event in these words: "The Pakistan Movement started when the first Muslim put his foot on the soil of Sindh, the gateway of Islam in India".
Muslims came to the Indian sub-continent as rulers. They were in minority and had a religion different from that of the majority whom they dominated. The locals accepted Islam in large numbers but even then the majority of non-Muslims remained high. The rotten governmental system and characterless behaviour of the last Mughal rulers paved the way for the downfall of the Mughal dynasty. Muslim rule in India was not ousted by the Hindu majority but by outsiders - the East India Company and the British. These outsiders received support from all religious communities, but the most disturbing stage came when the British showed their intention to establish majority rule under their supervision, which was called democracy. This created deep fear among the Muslims who saw their future as slaves of the Hindu majority.
The Muslims of the sub-continent, because of the stigma attached to them for their role in the 1857 war of independence, were groping in the dark. After that, the British provided opportunities and facilities to the Hindus as their allies in every aspect of life, while the Muslims were ignored. The Hindus in turn fully availed this opportunity to harm the Muslims and destroy their culture. The Muslims, however, were aware of the fact that the Hindu majority would overwhelm them. The Hindus were far ahead in the fields of trade, commerce and technology. British-backed Hindus launched many movements to restrain Muslim culture and even their existence and convert them to Hinduism.
For this purpose, the Hindus started a movement to establish Hindi language in the sub-continent instead of Urdu. However, the Urdu language came to birth in the sub-continent in the Muslim era and it was common in Hindus and Muslims. Therefore, there were two main reasons as to why the Hindus detested this language. First, it recalled the Muslim regime in the region and secondly, all the literature of Muslim culture and religion had been translated in this language. In 1867, the Hindus of Benaras started a movement to declare the Urdu language as foreign and demanded to establish Hindi language in the sub-continent.
In 1875, Arya Samaj movement was begun to oust the Muslims from sub-continent. Under this movement, the Muslims were declared "Aliens". Following the creation of the Indian National Congress in 1885, the Muslim leaders saw through the game of this "National" movement and cautioned their people of the hovering hazards. The establishment of Muslim League in 1906 was a challenge to the Indian National Congress. Maulana Hasrat Mohani presented a plan to the Government for a country envisaging two separate states for the Hindus and Muslims. Chaudhary Rehmat Ali further developed this concept. He displayed great wisdom and foresight by putting forth not only a name but in large measure the scheme that ended in the inception of Pakistan. Maulana Mohammad Ali, Maulana Shaukat Ali and Maulana Zafar Ali Khan spread the message of Pakistan through their logical lectures and articles in newspapers.
At the end of 19th century, the Muslims had to face much difficulty to survive. At the same time, they were the target of both the British and the Hindus. At this critical hour, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan guided the Muslim nation and practically took steps to save its status. He equated education with power and declared that the Muslims could improve their political, social and economic condition only through the medium of modern and scientific education. He cultivated the concept of a separate Muslim nation on the basis of religion, culture and history. He inspired the Muslims of the sub-continent to demand a separate homeland where they could arrange their lives and affairs of the State according to the dictates of Holy Qur'aan and Sunnah.
The early 20th century, the period of 1908-1914 was most disturbing for the Muslims of the sub-continent. It was not only the local Indian affairs, which were frustrating them politically, but the activities of the imperialists in the rest of the Muslim world were also a source of much anguish.
The anti-Muslim attitude of the Indian National Congress and other activities goaded the Muslims to become politically stronger. On 30th December 1906, Mohammedan Educational Conference was organised, in which a new political platform was announced for Muslims named "All-India Muslim League".
The Government of India Act of 1909 - also known as the Morley-Minto Reforms -- gave Indians limited role in the central and provincial legislatures, known as legislative councils. For Muslims, it was important both to gain a place in the Indian politics and to retain their Muslim identity, objectives that required varying responses according to the circumstances, as the example of Muhammad Ali Jinnah illustrates. Jinnah began his carrier as an enthusiastic liberal in the Congress. But in 1913, he joined the Muslim League, which had been shocked by the 1911 annulment of the partition of Bengal into cooperating with Congress to make demands on the British. Jinnah continued his membership with Congress until 1919. During this dual membership period, he was described by leading Congress spokesperson as the "Ambassador of Hind-Muslim Unity". Jinnah, with his tiring efforts, brought the two parties on one agenda in 1916, which is called Misaq-e-Lakhnao.
The Muslims of sub-continent observed October 27, 1919 as "Khilafat Day". Khalifat Movement was launched at the end of 1st World War to pressurise the British to accomplish their promise to retain the Caliphate in Turkey. This movement encouraged the Muslims and produced political enthusiasm among them. Muslim clerics started taking part in politics.
In this movement, however, the most outstanding contribution was of Dr. Sir Mohammad Iqbal, the great philosopher and poet and symbol of Muslim nationalism. On his return from Europe in 1908, he started his great task of reforming the Muslims through his poetry. His entire poetry is based on the Qur'aanic philosophy of Islam, by which Muslims, especially the educated, were awakened. Allama also recognised the Two-Nation Theory. He was actually the dreamer of a new Muslim state of Pakistan.
The demand for Pakistan became popular during the Second World War and Muslim community was organised under the banner of the All-India Muslim League. Branches of the party were opened even in the remote corners of the subcontinent. Literature in the form of pamphlets, books, magazines and newspapers was produced and distributed to explain the rationale for demanding Pakistan. With an overwhelming majority of the Indian Muslims now convinced about the imperative need for Pakistan, the entire Muslim population of the Indian subcontinent rallied around the Quaid-e-Azam who under the platform of the Muslim League led them to their dream destination - Pakistan.

Remembering role of Ulema in
Pakistan Movement

By Mohd Saleem Shaikh

In 1940 the Muslim League formally endorsed the partitioning of British India and the creation of Pakistan as a separate Muslim state. During pre-independence talks held in 1946, therefore, the British government found that the stand of the Muslim League on separation and that of the Congress on the territorial unity of India were strongly irreconcilable.

The British then decided on partition and on August 15, 1947, transferred power dividedly to India and Pakistan. The latter, however, came into existence in two parts: West Pakistan, as Pakistan stands today, and East Pakistan, now known as Bangladesh. The two were divided by 1,600 km (1,000 miles) of Indian territory.
The separate homeland that is now named 'Pakistan' was obviously a direct outcome of insurmountable struggle and a raft of sacrifices by audacious Muslims of sub-continent from all walks of life.
Apart from the role of politicians of the sub-continent in the struggle of freedom for Muslims of India, the contribution of writers, theologians, journalists, students, women and mainly Ulema and mashaikh is worth remembering. They all channeled their energies and sources in the making of the Muslim nation and the idea of what is called two-nation theory. In pith, the credit for the success of the struggle cannot be attributed to a mere single section of the society. Irrespective of professions and strata of society, each and every Muslim was motivated and moblised to take active part.
Broadly speaking, almost all the Ulema and mashaikh as well as other prominent leaders belonging to all schools of thought from the entire sub-continent readily propped up the cause of what was named 'Pakistan Movement'.
Of the Ulema and mashaikh, Allama Shabbir Ahmed Usmani was the outstanding personality who rendered really valuable services for mobilizing and gearing up the movement of Pakistan. He and other noted Ulema and Mashaikh had a great number of followers spread over the sub-continent, who put their hearts in speeding up movement of separate homeland for the Muslims of the united India.
Hence, the services of the Ulema and Mashaikh in the movement of Pakistan proved strong backing and boosted efforts carried out by the Muslims of the sub-continent for a separate Muslim state, where they would spend their lives in accordance with Islamic laws and principles without any fear. Their services included educating their disciples and awakening the general masses to the need of Pakistan for the Muslims of the sub-continent, making physical and personal contacts with the people even in distant areas, convening of public meetings and ingraining the idea of inevitable necessity of an independent country in their minds.
Moreover, while complying with the instructions and directions of the Quaid-i-Azam in strict manner under the able guidance and instructions, the Ulema and Mashaikh spread the message in all corners of the sub-continent, infused the Muslims and worked ceaselessly to achieve the goal.
Maulana Shabbir Ahmed lent his full support in the election campaigns of the Muslim League and even pleaded in favour of Quaid-i-Azam against all opposition, directed from other ill-advised and ill-informed rather blind Ulema and Mashaikh. He always publicly announced his complete faith in the honesty and integrity of Quaid-i-Azam and even exhorted the Muslims to vote to the Muslim League. For, it was struggling hard for carving out a new Muslim State on the global map where the Islamic laws and traditions shall possibly be formulated and practiced. He advised the Muslims not to lend an ear to Hind-influenced Muslims or the nationalist Muslims. On one occasion, he said that any one who casts his vote for the opponents of the Muslim League must think of the eventual aftermaths of his action in terms of the interests of his nation and the answers that would be called upon to yield on the Day of Judgment.
Therefore, the role of our Ulema and Mashaikh in the Pakistan Movement is really highly laudable and worth of writing in letters of gold. They prevailed upon their followers for awakening the common people, they toured the country in spite of the difficulties in the means of communication, they addressed meetings and enabled the nation to reach that goal which they have resolved for.
In this connection, the names of Pir Jama'at Ali Shah, Mian Ghulam Ullah Sharaqpuri, Pir Ghulam Mohyuddin Golravi, Allama Allauddin Siddiqui, Allama Shabbir Ahmed Usmani and many other noted religious leaders will ever be remembered with regard to the superb services they rendered for the cause of Pakistan's making. It is worth mentioning here that when the matter of Aligarh University's progress and later that of the financial needs of the Muslim League for its development rose, Hazrat Pir Jama'at Ali Shah subscribed lakhs of rupees on his behalf and on that of his followers. In the same way, when the 1945 elections were in full swing, Khawaja Hasan Nizami of Taunsa and other deities asked their followers to work for the success of the Muslim League.
Apart, the grand historic congregation of Benares, which was attended by more or less six thousand Ulema and Mashaikhs as well as hundreds of thousands of students from every sphere of life delivered real support to the Pakistan Resolution in 1940, and so made the task of the achievement of Pakistan considerably easier.
Similarly, the landmark convention of the All-India Muslim League in 1946 was attended by a great number of Ulema and the Mashaikh including Pir Jama'at Ali Shah, Maulana Jamal Mian of Farangi Mahal (Lucknow) as well as the inspiring personality of Maulana Abdul Hamid of Badaun in Uttar Pardesh. As recorded in Pak-India history, afore-mentioned religious leaders and scholars enjoyed deep and intensive influence of the common people and had a large number of followers and adherents. Given the reasons, these Ulema and Mashaikh proved a strong source of greater strength and sacrifice for the Muslim League, who devoted themselves to the cause of Pakistan Movement for freedom.
After reviewing Pakistan's history, one comes to a conclusion that religious scholars have been a great source for building the nation in one way or the other. Convinced by the fact that they continue to enjoy the status of strong opinion leaders in our society with ever-rising number of their followers, their role can be utilized for the country's socio-economic development other than just spreading and teaching Islam.
It has been observed that isolating them from putting their efforts and minds for the country's socio-economic and political development is a major cause behind the outlook they present.
However, one hardly disagrees to the idea that Ulema can be made play their proactive role in helping the government in its fight against sectarianism and in promoting national harmony and tolerance in the society, help project a real and peaceful image of Islam in the world, help other Muslim countries to counter anti-Islamic propaganda, help eradicate drug abuse from society and help the government to control birth rate by augmenting population awareness in their speeches.
Being a due role of the religious scholars and orators towards society's uplift in all spheres of life, they should preach their followers and disciples through their lectures and sermons to work at all possible levels for society's socio-cultural and politico-economic development by contributing their efforts to combat society's different burgeoning problems. For example, corruption, rape, dowry, hoarding, illiteracy, AIDS, rising population, pollution, child labour, bigotry, chauvinism, terrorism, religious extremism and fanaticism, etc.
There are some so-called religious scholars in the country who have played havoc to the country's image. They preached nothing but extremism, fanaticism, sectarianism and hatred against other religious outfits to the extent. Several religious organisations, many of them albeit banned to continue to operate freely under different names, circulated inflammatory material and brainwashed the minds of youths towards fanning religious hatred, extremism, fanaticism and sectarianism; thereby, peaceful youths were turned militants. The time proved such obnoxious roles as destructive roles rather than constructive. As a result, Pakistani society continues to suffer awfully.
It is high time religious scholars realised their due role and rearranged themselves and contributed to salvage the ailing society. Its equally obligatory on them to preach Islam in its true spirit that stands for tolerance, brotherhood, tranquility and peace without harming or preaching hatred against another religion or religious outfit.


By Adnan Qazi Ali

It was through the remarkable efforts of our founding heroes and great sacrifice of the associated recruits that Pakistan was created. No one will contend that it was an effort which involved beliefs, tenacity, devotion and unending efforts.
As acknowledged by the Quaid-i-Azam, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, perhaps the very creation of the homeland was easier than its development and preservation.
The creation of Pakistan gave the people a periphery, within which was their homeland where they could exercise their new-found independence. Thus, they had a flag under which they could unite and build a mechanism to acquire the benefits of collective identity. If the creation was a long and arduous process, then to derive the benefits is perhaps even more difficult, entailing an unrelenting contribution of individual effort.
Correct, relevant, and cutting-edge education is the central pillar that can ensure continuity in every aspect. In recognition of this task the Quaid-i-Azam, M A Jinnah addressed the Punjab Muslim Students' Federation (October 31, 1947), and said, "You are the nation builders of tomorrow and you must equip yourself with discipline, education and training for the arduous task lying ahead of you. You should realise the magnitude of your responsibility and be ready to bear it."
In a separate message to the All Pakistan Educational Conference (27 November 1947),
Jinnah pointed out that "Education does not only mean merely academic education..... There is an immediate and urgent need for training our people in scientific and technical education in order to build up our economic life."
This directly refers to the development of values that correlate to dignity of labour. Over half a century ago, the Quaid pointed out that we need to pay "greater attention to technical and vocational education." In another speech in Dacca University (March 24, 1948) he stressed that .... "There is no shame in doing manual work and labour."
Education must provide a suitably equipped workforce for the nation. This can only be achieved if there is a close link between industrial requirements in the measured future and the provision of education today. Jinnah emphasised this when he said "We should see that our people undertake scientific, commerce, trade and, particularly, well planned industries."
While the importance of education was accentuated, it is doubtful that it was fully understood by the people, who misconstrued the broad spectrum covered by 'Education'. Instead, there was continued focus on just academic education, wherein traditional, channelled and dependent thinking did not allow due regard to vocational education.
In many conversations, articles and books, we have discussed educational burdens in Pakistan where we apportion accountability to different organisations; be it the government, private sector organisations, universities or schools. While this may have some credence, it absolves the individual of any responsibility. Therefore, the individual relaxes while the corrective measures are allocated to other parties.
Quaid-i-Azam, M A Jinnah made a speech on 22 December 1947 of which the words are as relevant today. "Despite the progress of civilization, the law of the jungle, unfortunately, still prevails. Might is considered right and the strong do not refrain from exploiting the weak. Self-advancement, greed and lust for power sway the conduct of individuals as that of nations. If we are to build a safer, cleaner and happier world let us start with the individual."
Indeed, let us start with the individual and let us point the finger inwards, to ourselves. But, one can only take initiative if there is creative ability that extends from independent thought; otherwise it is easy to continue repetitive debates that have persisted for so many years. The model of rote-learning has guaranteed the failure to acquire this new thinking. At best, it is possible to reproduce only a percentage of what has been assigned to memory. We may be forgiven for thinking that our teaching experience spans over half a century and, therefore, should amount to something; maybe it is the experience of one day that has been reproduced over the last fifty years.
Independence of mind on a national level can only be augmented through a changed model of education - a paradigm shift from learning by memorization to a real understanding of the subject matter. In other words, instead of just teaching, a teacher is required to help a child to learn. This should be initiated at primary school level and continued throughout the learning cycle.
After considerable discussions on this issue, spanning over many years, the initiation of this cultural change is evident in some schools today. It is clear that this is but a small percentage, but cultural changes never materialize overnight. Some upper grade schools in the private sector are concentrating on this issue and have been successful in initiating this change. The magnitude of this necessary change, from teacher centred classrooms to a student centred classrooms, is immense, and will take much time before concepts are fully understood and adequately practised. Nevertheless, the process has been initiated in some areas, which is one step towards the independence of mind.
Similarly, in the public sector, which comprises the majority of Pakistani students, some efforts are being made to move in this direction. For example, teacher training for all government primary school teachers in Sindh and Balochistan has been initiated through the Education Sector Reform Assistance (ESRA) programme. One of the implementing partners of the ESRA programme, United Education Initiative (UEI) is delivering teacher training in four districts of Sindh, with a firm focus on student centred training. Following full training workshops, a trainer accompanies the participant teachers back to their schools where assistance is provided to ensure that the learned practices are actually implemented. A notable change can be seen in many classrooms.
Again, we should be mindful that the comments above do not relate to a changed educational ethos, but a significant beginning towards that objective.
Education at all levels has a great scope for improvement and, as has been noted above, some work is being done in this regard. As a nation, we have also been looking at other models from the West to update our efforts. This is indeed as it should be as research is one of the key factors in development. But caution is needed to ensure that models are not 'imported' regardless of their application within our society. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan had also pointed out that the progress of the sub-continental Muslims would be hindered if the knowledge of western sciences and arts were excluded. This philosophy did not endorse a total adaptation of the western way of life, but actively promoted the strengthening of religion and cultural together with additional knowledge. In spite of tremendous challenges, he managed to create the Scientific Society in 1864, that translated books from English to Urdu. He founded the Muslim Educational Conference in 1886 and developed the Alighar educational model that started from primary level, but later developed into a distinguished university. His philosophy was to attain knowledge irrespective of its origin, and to avoid alienation from the West. These issues are as relevant today as they were in his time. But perhaps we have transcended Sir Syed's philosophy and paid little regard to the facilitation of our societal, industrial, religious and cultural requirements. As a result, we have models of western and international education that provide a qualification in Pakistan but perhaps are lacking in application to the indigenous requirements. This hinders independence of thought on a national level and blocks the pathway to true liberation.


By M Shafique Ahmed

Pakistan, the cherished dream of Allama Iqbal, his associates, and the millions of the Muslims of the subcontinent is celebrating today, the 58th year of freedom, after the historic partition of India on August 14, 1947, amidst great Hindu opposition. The day, which is rejoiced, is also a reminder of the services and sacrifices of the Muslim leaders and their followers. Actually, a handful Muslim and the Hindu soldiers in the 'War Of Liberation' of 1587 had already started the struggle for freedom. After its tragic failure, the mistrust of the Muslims by the British rulers coupled with the Hindu prejudices, pushed the Muslims into great socio-economic difficulties. Not only their 'jagirs' were confiscated, positions in the Civil and Military services were denied to them, opportunities of education, business and trade were also closed to them. Hindus, due to their policies, were in the good books of the Britishers, and were shown more favours. The condition of the Muslims got from bad to worse. The one time 'rulers' were reduced to the 'ruled' facing other problems. The Hindus wanted them to live as a second rate citizens. The deteriorating plight of the Muslim-India was greatly disturbing to the Muslim leaders of the day.
Such being the predicament of the Muslims, Sir Syed Ahmed was the one, who realized that the Western education was urgently required to bring the Muslims out of their morass. Hence, he started the M.A.O. High School, Aligarh in 1873, which subsequently rose to a college in 1877, and ultimately the college bloomed into a full-fledged Muslim University of Aligarh in 1921. The University in course of time started attracting the Muslim students from all over India. Thus the out-going students were not only baked in discipline but were also ready to take the national uplift. The Muslim University of Aligarh thus proved a great asset in the advancement of the Muslim struggle for freedom.
Another remarkable event that took place, was the establishment of the Muslim League in 1906, by the Muslim leaders like Sir Syed Ahmed, Nawab Mohsinul Mulk, Waqarul Mulk, Khawaja Salim Ullah, the later Sir Agha Khan and many other Muslim thinkers of the day to give a strong platform for the Muslims, as the Hindus were getting from the All India National Congress. Due to the mounting prejudices of the Hindus, Sir Syed Ahmed was the first person to declare that the Hindus and the Muslims were two different Nations, and the Muslims needed a separate homeland for their culture, identity, language and the religion. This gave rise to the famous' Two-Nation-Theory', which proved a very strong point for the Muslims in their demand for a separate homeland.
On his return from England, the young Jinnah started his legal practice in Bombay (Now Mumbai). He further joined the All India National Congress in 1906. The Indian politics was, however, not new to him, as he had already kept himself in touch with it, when he was studying in England.
He wanted 'Self Rule' for India through the constitutional means. He therefore, urged the Hindus and Muslims for unity. But the partisan attitude of the Hindu leaders greatly disappointed him and in utter disgust, he resigned from the All India National Congress in 1920. On the persuasion of the Muslim leaders he joined the All India Muslim League in 1913, the party was disorganized and the Muslims were greatly demoralized. They were on the look out of a dynamic leader who could boost and make the party more vocal. The Quaid not only gave a new leadership and direction to the Muslim League, but made it more vocal, gave courage and new hope. He fully supported the Two-Nation-Theory propound by Sir Syed Ahmed and others. By 1939, he emerged as the undisputed leader of the Muslims, who reposed their full confidence in him.
The historic 'Lahore Resolution' of the Muslim League was presided over by the Quaid on March 23, 1940 and attended by the Muslim leaders from all over the country with thousands of the Muslims from all walks of life. Thus the 'Lahore Resolution' was a great leap in the freedom movement. Not only the call for a separate homeland was fully endorsed, and it was on the lips of every Muslim and all the Muslims were thus brought under the banner of Muslim League, with the Quaid in the driving seat. Due to his increasing pressures on him, he was obliged to give up his lucrative legal practice. He undertook hectic tours within the country and abroad to explain the people the meaning of a separate homeland for the Muslims, which, he said would be free from all kinds of exploitations and Hindu domination. With the astute leadership, foresight and deep insight of the Quaid, the decades-long struggle of the Muslim League from 1913 to 1947, came to a successful culmination on August 4, 1947 in the shape of a new Muslim State of Pakistan. Quaid-e-Azam despite his health problems choose to be the first Governor General and Liaquat Ali Khan as the first Prime Minister of Pakistan. Sadly, the untimely death of the Quaid did not give him the time to settle the Kashmir and other issues with India in his lifetime.
The entry of the Quaid-i-Azam in the All India Muslim League was a great blessing in disguise. Not only did he reorganised a disorganised Muslim League but pleaded the cause of Muslim freedom due to his political acumen, that no one else could have done. With his dynamic leadership, the Muslim League got its destined goal. His life is, therefore, a role model for the younger generation and the politicians of the day. In his personal life, he was a strict disciplinarian, punctual to a minute, and unshakably firm in his resolutions. That he was tough to deal with, has also been acknowledged by his Hindu and English contemporaries. He fought all his life for his principles and was never a loser.
Pakistan is today faced with many a serious internal and external problems that need our unity in all the ranks. The country during its tumultuous 58 years of life, despite several upheavals, has by the grace of God achieved nuclear capability. Kashmir still is a core issue, as the Indian Government is not showing any flexibility in its stance over it, which is the biggest hurdle in the normalization of the estranged relations between the two countries. We are showing flexibility in more than one way, but the Indian government is not reciprocating it.
Like the other third world countries, Pakistan is also plagued with poverty, hunger, disease and unemployment of the youth. Measures are underway to curb the menacing terrorism, corruption, extremism, intolerance, fundamentalism and other forms of social evils for our safe living and to keep good relations with our neighbours and the super-powers. New development projects have been launched in the various parts of the country and incentives are being offered to foreign investors to accelerate the pace of industrializations. Lately, the country has taken a bold step to privatise some of our Corporations for their better management.
On this day of the 58th independence anniversary, we have to pledge and conduct ourselves, wherever we are, in a befitting manner so that we are no more designated as the 'extremists', 'fanatics', 'fundamentalists' and 'Logue State' by the Western media. It is unfortunate that the 'civilized' West is blind to its own acts of terrorism that is being carried out is many Muslim countries.
In the words of General Pervez Musharraf, President of Pakistan, we should aim at' enlightened moderation' to keep us from all evils. In this changing world, we are required to adjust ourselves more cautiously, if we have to survive. We have to go with the political currents of the times, and not against them. If we do this, no harm will ever come to us. Pakistan Paindabad!

Women in Pakistan from 1947 to 2005
By Rafia Haider

A cursory look at the status and contribution of Muslim women pertaining to Indo - Pak subcontinent glaringly exposes the fact that they who remained in the forefront during struggle to establish a separate home land for Muslims in India and braved through the auguries with dignity were exposed to challenges of one or the other hue once the mission was accomplished.
This is ironical as the very women, very rightly expected to contribute towards freedom struggle, were largely attempted to have no substantial political role in the newly created country, though the nation was expected to be modern and progressive. Women were but very subtly denied any direct involvement in the decision making process.
Yet, all this did not deter the strong willed who not only successfully changed their life course but also emerged as beacon for thousands of others, both in rural and urban sector. The challenge or to be more precise the hindrances initially garbed under facet of social values were later witnessed to have their strong economic and political connotations, in particular context of our country.
A deliberate attempt was made to do away with a middle class - educated segment of the society replaced by a nova riche or those in the lowest rung of poverty. This was but resisted by moderate elements with a modern approach, in its truest meaning. Against all odds, educational status and level of awareness continued to be substantially improved.
Education followed by health sector, which initially were the domain of women willing to reflect their caliber and excel their professional competency gradually broadened to other fields right from economic arena as banking and corporate sector, to media and politics.
Despite the fact that here too women were attempted to be treated as pawns yet the latter's determination made the world realize that she owing to situations may opt for temporary compromises but has the determination and capacity to make the dent in the statuesque and move forward with grace towards conditions which could not be altered.
Yes, the achievement for some of the prominent ladies were by virtue of their ancestry and family background, but for hundreds of thousands this was due to sheer will power and commitment to the cause. Why to overlook the thousands of women councilors who during a short span of three years, during the very recent past, reflected their acumen and did bring certain change in the lives of the people they represented.
But celebrating the 58th anniversary of our independence in the year 2005 we find that the dichotomy has become all the more evident in the Pakistani society where a woman is found carving a niche for herself - also presumably extended all respect yet continues to be exposed to gender based discriminations.
There are customs reflecting feudalistic and tribal mindset, which continue to haunt many of the local women, mainly rural based ladies, as Karo Kari or Honor Killings. Under the practice here women are largely made escape goat by the families or clan to settle scores enemies - male member of the opponents may be killed along with ones' own sister, wife or daughter for having an illicit relationship.
Urban women, with better education and socio-economic opportunities are a little better off and comparatively empowered. Ironically, however, no more than 30% of the country's total population is urban. Rural women despite their contribution to national economy, as agricultural workers, are largely marginalized and vulnerable to biased traditions.
It would not be out of context to mention that large majority of Pakistan comprises Muslims and Islam being a religion of Justice with the attributes Adl-e-Ahsan (equity) provides protection to women so much so that even the false accusation of unchastity is disliked in Sura Nur. Verse 11 and the verse 4 of the same Surah, provided punishment of eighty stripes in addition to disqualification as witness, forever to those who accuse chaste women of adultery.
Yet hundreds of women are registered to be killed at the altar of Honor. The situation can be attributed to the fact that Pakistan is a feudal society where traditions and customs have prevailed upon.
Available surveys reveal that a large majority of local women are also exposed to gender based discrimination in both rural and urban areas - domestic violence and harassment at work place are among the few that often go unnoticed as victims fear to be ostracized.
Studies established that women are largely unconscious of their rights. 45 % of them accept violence as way of life, 33 percent do not react as they consider themselves helpless, 19 percent protest and only four percent retaliate and suffer the most.
Positive development is the fact that government of Pakistan has reflected its political will to address the situation and an "Access to Justice Programme" has been introduced under Ministry of Law and Parliamentary Affairs, with major focus on legal aid for women and appointment of women judges in higher judiciary.
The tackling of the issue of honor killing has also been attempted. It was only recently that Honor Crime has been included in the Pakistan Penal Code, while definition of Wali has also been reviewed ensuring that convicted or accused may not be offered any protection under garb of wali (that is father, son, brother or uncle of the victim). Moreover, tribal customs of Sawara and Vini under which any member of her family gave women as price for murder committed has also been declared a crime.
Meanwhile, taking note of the anti woman stance adopted under Hudood Ordinance, an amendment has been in the same under which no individual could be apprehended under Hudood Law lest courts order so that too after receiving an investigation report based on thorough enquiry undertaken by a police officer with a rank of no less than Superintendent Police.
Despite all these measures, need for state sponsored efforts to change the feudal mind set of people settled both in rural and urban sectors along with economic and political empowerment of women can not be overlooked. Fortunately women have been provided 33% representation at all levels of decision-making bodies.
Yet, what is registered to be missing is the realization on part of women to inculcate sense of gender equality among their off spring, particularly in their sons which may further be incorporated in the educational curriculum of local schools.
Here one may mention that Pakistan despite being signatory to Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is yet to ratify Universal Declaration of Human Rights in its Toto, which may also warrant certain modification in the country's constitution itself.
Legal concession extended to foreign wives of Pakistani men is much needed for women citizens of the country too. The distinction is reflective of gender discrimination and needs to be rectified. It was on much persuasion on part of the National Commissions on Women Status that children born to Pakistani mothers with fathers of alien origin have been authorized, through an amendment to seek Pakistani citizenship.

The birth of Pakistan

The British Parliament passed the Indian Independence Act on July 18, 1947. The Act created two dominions, Indian Union and Pakistan. It also provided for the complete end of British control over Indian affairs from August 15, 1947. The Muslims of the Sub-continent had finally achieved their goal to have an independent state for themselves, but only after a long and relentless struggle under the single-minded guidance of the Quaid.
The Muslims faced a gamut of problems immediately after independence. However, keeping true to their traditions, they overcame them after a while. Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was appointed the first Governor General of Pakistan and Liaquat Ali Khan became its first Prime Minister. Pakistan became a dominion within the British Commonwealth of Nations.
The boundaries of Pakistan emerged on the map of the world in 1947. This was accomplished on the basis of the Two-Nation Theory. This theory held that there were two nations, Hindus and Muslims living in the territory of the Sub-continent. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan was the first exponent of the Two-Nation Theory in the modern era. He believed that India was a continent and not a country, and that among the vast population of different races and different creeds, Hindus and Muslims were the two major nations on the basis of nationality, religion, way-of-life, customs, traditions, culture and historical conditions.
The politicization of the Muslim community came about as a consequence of three developments:
1. Various efforts towards Islamic reform and revival during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
2. The impact of Hindu-based nationalism.
3. The democratization of the government of British India.
While the antecedents of Muslim nationalism in India go back to the early Islamic conquests of the Sub-continent, organizationally it stems from the demands presented by the Simla Deputation to Lord Minto, the Governor General of India, in October 1906, proposing separate electorates for the Indian Muslims. The principal reason behind this demand was the maintenance of a separate identity of the Muslim nationhood.
In the same year, the founding of the All India Muslim League, a separate political organization for Muslims, elucidated the fact that the Muslims of India had lost trust in the Hindu-dominated Indian National Congress. Besides being a Hindu-dominated body, the Congress leaders in order to win grass-root support for their political movements, used Hindu religious symbols and slogans, thereby arousing Muslim suspicions regarding the secular character of the Congress.
Events like the Urdu-Hindi controversy (1867), the partition of Bengal (1905), and Hindu revivalism, set the two nations, the Hindus and the Muslims, further apart. Re-annulment of the partition of Bengal in 1911 by the British government brought the Congress and the Muslim League on one platform. Starting with the constitutional cooperation in the Lucknow Pact (1916), they launched the Non-Cooperation and Khilafat Movements to press upon the British government the demand for constitutional reforms in India in the post-World War I era.
But after the collapse of the Khilafat Movement, Hindu-Muslim antagonism was revived once again. The Muslim League rejected the proposals forwarded by the Nehru Report and they chose a separate path for themselves. The idea of a separate homeland for the Muslims of Northern India as proposed by Allama Iqbal in his famous Allahabad Address showed that the creation of two separate states for the Muslims and Hindus was the only solution. The idea was reiterated during the Sindh provincial meeting of the League, and finally adopted as the official League position in the Lahore Declaration of March 23, 1940.
Thus these historical, cultural, religious and social differences between the two nations accelerated the pace of political developments, finally leading to the division of British India into two separate, independent states, Pakistan and India, on August 14 & 15, 1947, respectively.


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