On august 14 1947 mount batten flew to Karachi and addressed the Pakistan constituent Assembly, a simple ceremony marked the formal transfer of power from Britain to the people of Pakistan.
Pakistan from its very inception faced a large number of problems like; Demarcation of boundaries, Uprooting of Muslims in Punjab, Refugees’ resettlement, The accession of Hyderabad, Jonagadh, and Kashmir, Division of Indian Assets, Administration Problems, Language Controversy, and Population Problems. Many challenges in setting up new economic, judicial, and political structures, organizing the bureaucracy and the armed forces, resettle the Mohajirs (Muslim refugees from India), and establish the distribution and balance of power in the provincial and central governments were standing ahead. Pakistan in such hard-pressed situation, although Quaid was in ill health, he tried hard to keep the end up. He strongly took the hold of the national and international affairs. His strategies to run Pakistan in post partition era had a close connection to that of the strategies to establish Pakistan. Quaid’s strategies can be classified as follows:
1- The Post of Governor General:
According to the Indian Act 1935 the post of the Governor General in the British Commonwealth officially meant simply being the British Monarch’s representative, a ceremonial head of the state and cipher of the executive Government. Before the partition Mountbatten was keenly interested in the post of Governor General of Pakistan, he proposed his idea to Mr. Jinnah and wished to have a positive reply, but Jinnah denied and remained firm on his decision even Mountbatten threaten him of the gloomy future of Pakistan. And in fact the uneven distribution of Indian assets was the consequence of Jinnah Mountbatten clash. After the emergence of Pakistan Jinnah himself hold the post of Governor General. The wit in this act of Jinnah was that, he had a deep and thorough knowledge of British Diplomacy and British Politics. As a representative of British Monarch, any British would have done no favour to the people of Pakistan so Jinnah being the leader of his people and having a sound influence in British government, was the most appropriate person for the post of Governor General of Pakistan. Jinnah’s strategy behind being Governor General was to maintain nation’s trust on “Governor General” as well as British Government’s.
2- Constitutional Requirements:
Constitution is the basic requirement of a country as it prescribes the rules and regulations according to which a state or government has to be organized. In this regard under section 8 of the Independence Act, The Indian Act of 1935, became with certain adaptations, the working constitution of Pakistan. But there was the need of a constitution, so a Constituent Assembly was arranged in order to frame the constitution for the country and to act as a legislative Assembly or Parliament until that constitution came into effect. In the inaugural session of the Constituent Assembly (10—14 August 1947 in Karachi ) Mr. N.J Mandal was elected as temporary chairman of the Assembly. And in the Quaid being the only candidate proposed for the presidency was elected as the president of the Constituent Assembly. Quaid’s strategy regarding constitutional development can be better analyzed by his saying in his speech, opening the Constituent Assembly.
“If we want to make this great State of Pakistan happy and prosperous we should wholly and solely concentrate on the well-being of the people, and especially of the masses and the poor… you are free- you are free to go to your temples mosques or any other place of worship in this state of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion, caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the state… in due course of time Hindus will cease to be Hindus and Muslims will cease to Muslims- not in a religious sense for that is the personal faith of an individual- but in a political sense as citizens of one state”
Actually Quaid didn’t want people of Pakistan to scatter around on the basis of religious grounds. His approach to maintain the national integration and to remove the national disharmony among the people. He favoured to develop a constitution acceptable for all people living in Pakistan, in order to preserve the rights of minorities.
3- Peace Keeping And Resettlement of Refugees:
The fact that about a half million people died, about 5.5 million muslims and about 3 million Hindus and Sikhs had to leave their ancestral homes has made the partition intensely emotional. The history of bloodshed and human slaughter didn’t end at the partition, instead it was at its utmost with the announcement of partition. On September 18 1947, London Times wrote, “More Indian people have been killed during the short space of the past months than in all the civil broils of the past fifty years. And Millions have been rendered homeless.[2 ]
Quaid outshone the great determination at this desperate situation and ordered immediately to provide relief to the refuges. He also attempted to protect the religious minorities and convince them to remain in Pakistan. Quaid’s this act was basically an endeavour to maintain peace in those hard times. Some critics and give another title to this act of Quaid, as Ayesha Jalal wrote, “Jinnah was after partition seen as the “protector general of the Hindus” for his role in protecting them. He also appointed a Hindu as the first law minister of Pakistan and the first national anthem of Pakistan was written by a Hindu poet, Jagganath Azad, on Jinnah’s behest which was later replaced by the current version written by a Muslim poet Abu-Al-Asar Hafeez Jullandhuri.”
But in fact there was nothing like that, as Quaid attempted to maintain peace and protection of minorities’ rights, it was necessary to give appropriate participation to them in national affairs. Secondly how could he deny the rights of minorities in his own state, which he had got just because of the unjust and improper attitude of the leaders of United India? “Rights of minorities” was the base on which Jinnah has made Pakistan.
4- Maintainance of National Harmony:
Born Agha Khani Ismaili Shia Muslim, Jinnah was once asked whether he was a shia or a sunni and he said if Prophet Muhammad was a shia, then he (Jinnah) was a shia and if the Prophet was a sunni then he was a sunni, but as the Prophet was neither of the two and was but a Muslim then so is he.
On October 24, 1947 on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha Quaid’s message to the nation was, “My message to you all is of hope, courage and confidence. Let us mobilize all our resources in a systematic and organized way and tackle the grave issues that confront us with grim determination and discipline worthy of a great nation.”
Quaid believed on unity of Muslims so that it was his strategy to keep all the groups of Muslims united so that they may get stronger. So he applied the same for his own state.
5- Establishment of Military:
At the time of the Division of Indian Assets, the Joint Defence Council was abolished and the Supreme Commander incharge of dividing the assets was expelled. Mountbatten had not interest in Pakistan getting its share, so whatever Pakistan received was nothing but scrap and out of order machines, broken weapons rust eaten artillery unserviceable aircrafts and a limited number of army. Quaid decided to proceed with the limited resources. He was of the opinion that the success totally depends on one’s hard work and strength of mind and character. Here he opted to motivate the limited number of armed forces instead of increasing their number.
Addressing to Civil, Naval, Military and Air Force Officers of Pakistan Government, Karachi on October 11, 1947 Quaid said, “We should have a State in which we could live and breathe as free men and which we could develop according to our own lights and culture and where principles of Islamic social justice could find free play.”
On February 21, 1948 he motivated the officers and men of the 5th Heavy Ack Ack and 6th Light Ack Ack Regiments in Malir, Karachi in following words;
“You have to stand guard over the development and maintenance of Islamic democracy, Islamic social justice and the equality of manhood in your own native soil. With faith, discipline and selfless devotion to duty, there is nothing worthwhile that you cannot achieve.”
6- Economic Policy:
At the time of partition Pakistan had to receive a sum of Rs.750 million as its share of hard money in the banks of India. At first India didn’t show any inclination to transfer this money to Pakistan; but later saner elements prevailed and it gave Rs.200 million to Pakistan; while Rs.500 million were to be transferred to Pakistan later on which didn’t come to happen till now. Again Quaid strategy was to work with limited resources. Fulfilling the national requirements was given the priority on exports, but great emphasize was on developing good trade terms with other countries of the world. To develop the economy there was a crucial need of currency and in this regard need of a central bank was must. So to meet the economic requisites State Bank of Pakistan was developed. Quaid inaugurated the bank and addressing the inaugural ceremony he said, “We must work our destiny in our own way and present to the world an economic system based on true Islamic concept of equality of manhood and social justice. We will thereby be fulfilling our mission as Muslims and giving to humanity the message of peace which alone can save it and secure the welfare, happiness and prosperity of mankind”
7- Foreign Policy:
Initial foreign policy of Pakistan was of nonalignment, with no formal commitment to either the United States or the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), the two major adversaries in the Cold War. It was because; Pakistan was a new born state with limited resources. The basic emphasize was on economic development, resettlement of refugees and setting a peaceful atmosphere. In fact Jinnah didn’t emphasize much on foreign policy.
8- Kashmir Issue:
When the Indian Army entered the Himalayan princely state of Kashmir in October 1947 in response to an invasion of Pakistani tribesmen and soldiers, Jinnah responded by increasing military aid for the invaders while strongly criticizing the Hindu Maharaja of Kashmir’s accession to India despite a majority of his subjects being Muslim. Afterwards India took the issue to the UN Security council where by it was decide that the future of Kashmiri’s will be determined according to their own choice, which is a dream till yet. But in fact act of sending the Pakistani Army in Kashmir at that time was thwarted by British commanders.
9- Educational affairs:
Quid didn’t take any big step for educational affairs at that time. (Curriculum and Syllabus) but informally, he did much. He ordered to establish a learning and educational environment for the children in refugees camps. Quaid had a great love for students, for him they were the future of Pakistan. He wanted students’ participation in national affairs but advised them to finish their studies first. On October 30, 1947 Speech at a Mammoth Rally at the University Stadium, Lahore he said,” That freedom can never be attained by a nation without suffering and sacrifice has been amply borne out by the recent tragic happenings in this subcontinent. We are in the midst of unparalleled difficulties and untold sufferings; we have been through dark days of apprehension and anguish; but I can say with confidence that with courage and self-reliance and by the Grace of God we shall emerge triumphant.”
After partition Quaid lived for only one year and twenty eight days in his Pakistan. During this period he was in ill health. According to some historians Quaid’s disease (tuberculosis) was diagnosed in 1944, but he kept it secret just because he didn’t want any delay in the partition. He worked day and night and made untired efforts for the establishment of a separate Muslim state. And after partition he was not in the position to work further hard but he was supported by a hard core of love of his people that he didn’t rest for a short while. And in spite of his inability to work due to his illness, he kept his hand in formulating strategies to achieve the projected goals. His strategies were going good but he lost the combat of life on September 11 1948. Many of his strategies couldn’t get into action but the first year of Pakistan went according to the projections.
[1-A Aziz ,discovery of Pakistan pg 357,358]
[2 Ch. Muhammad Ali, Emergence of Pakistan pg 258]
Gul Shehzad Sarwar, Pakistan Studies.
Filed under: Pakistan |