Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s political career is spread over four phases. First, when he remained a member of Indian National Congress (INC) from 1897 to 1913. The second phase was during 1913-1934 in which he tried his best to bring the INC leaders towards a political patch-up, like the Lucknow Pact of 1916, but in the long run, despite his best efforts, it didn’t materialize. The third phase is spread over the years of 1935 to 1947, leading to the establishment of Pakistan. The fourth and the final phase is when he functioned as the first Governor-General of Pakistan during 1947-1948. One thing common in all these phases was that he had his strong belief that unless a consensus or agreement or a settlement amongst all the major political parties is not sorted out, there can be no course for the freedom of the country.
In the first phase, he started his dialogue with the Congress leaders after joining the All India Muslim League (AIML) in 1913. He had his belief that unless the Muslim League and the Congress, being the two largest political parties of British India, come to a settlement and agree on what terms should we get freedom, the British will not grant them freedom. After a lot of dialogues and painstaking negotiations between the Muslim League and Congress leaders, he made these two political parties to come to a settlement which is known as the Lucknow Pact of 1916. This was accomplished by the efforts of Quaid-i-Azam at Lucknow in December 1916 when the two political parties arranged their separate meetings at the same city of Lucknow. But fortunately or unfortunately, M. K. Gandhi was against this agreement for which the later announced his disassociation in December 1920, when the Congress went for Non-Cooperation on the guidance of Gandhi. On this issue, Jinnah left unifying INC and AIML and wholly devoted himself for the Muslim League politics.
In the second phase also, Jinnah enjoyed strong political position in Indian politics. It was on this basis that he was appointed member of the Indian Reforms Committee in 1925 and then in 1926 as member of the Indian Sandhurst Committee. The Congress leaders were secretly planning to involve Jinnah in some sort of dodging arrangement on behalf of the minorities and the Muslims, particularly in the name of All Parties Committee, but Jinnah could not be entangled. In this connection, a number of All Parties Conferences ware arranged by Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru during February-May 1928, in which Jinnah was also invited to participate. Jinnah tried his best to convince the Hindu leaders, particularly belonging to the Mahasabha, but he failed.1 As a surprise to the Muslims, the All Parties Committee, popularly known as the Nehru Committee, announced in August 1928 that the minorities generally and Muslims particularly were denied the right of separate electorates in any future constitution of the country. There were other decisions against the Muslim interests as well. The Congress in the name of All Parties Committee did it deliberately at a time when the Muslims were divided amongst themselves. Even the AIML had been divided into two sections–Jinnah League and Shafi League since 1927. Despite all this, the Nehru Report invited strong criticism from all groups of Muslims. It was again Quaid-i-Azam whose farsightedness united the Muslims belonging to different groups. Apart from two groups of the Muslim League, an All Parties Muslim Conference was held in December 1928 in Delhi, presided over by Sir Aga Khan III. Jinnah made strenuous efforts to unite all these Muslim political groups. And it was by consensus amongst all these Muslim political groups that Jinnah formulated his Fourteen Points Formula in March 1929. Jinnah termed this Formula as the final formula for settlement with the Congress leaders, otherwise, he indicated that Muslims reserve the right to choose a separate course of action. On this basis, a separate way for the Muslim League was adopted by the announcement of Allama Mohammad Iqbal’s Allahabad Session address in December 1930, by which Iqbal raised the demand of the separate state for the Muslims comprising Muslim majority provinces of British India, at least of the North-Western India.
In a rebuttal to Quaid-i-Azam’s Fourteen Points, the Congress decided to start Non-Cooperation Movement against the British Government in December 1929.2 The purpose of this movement was to put pressure on the British Government so that they should accept the Nehru Report and hand over power to them by ignoring the Muslims, the largest minority of British India. For this, the British were not ready. The British Government crushed the movement with an iron fist3.
In order to sort out an agreement amongst all the political parties of British India, the British Government arranged three Round Table Conferences (RTC) in London during 1930-1932. Jinnah was invited in the first two conferences. Allama Iqbal participated in the last two Conferences. Hectic debates were held in which Quaid-i-Azam fully participated and presented the Muslim case before the delegates coming from all parts of India. Congress was also invited, but they boycotted. However, on convincing from Lord Irvin, the British Viceroy of India, Gandhi attended the second conference, but he was adamant not to grant rights to the Muslims and other minorities. Thus, the Conference ended without any consensus. However, on urgings by Jinnah, Iqbal and other leaders, the British Government announced the Communal Award in 1932 and issued the White Paper in 1933 by which the Muslims and the other minorities were assured by the British Government that in the next reforms, their rights will be protected. Thus, under the Act of 1935, the rights of Muslims and minorities were also protected. Jinnah, who had decided to remain in England during 1930-1934 for the preservation of Muslim rights in the next reforms, decided to come back to India in December 1934 and reached Bombay on January 4, 1935.4
During the RTC debates as mentioned above, the role and contribution of Quaid-i-Azam was marvelous. He participated in these marathon debates in various committees, some of which were either presided over or attended by Sir Aga Khan III. As mentioned by Sir Aga Khan III, Jinnah calmly heard the views of his opponents. When his opponent had finished his presentation, Jinnah replied with arguments and logic with high force of facts and clarity but without hampering the personality of his opponent or without annoying him/her. The other aspect of his personality was that his style of pleading the rights of the Muslims was such that majority of the Muslim members stood with him. Thus, with logic, arguments, facts and honesty, he pleaded the cause of the Muslims in the best interest of his nation. Actually, Sir Aga Khan had witnessed Jinnah’s unique style of arguments in a number of meetings of different committees. In this connection, one such stance was witnessed by him when there was debate between Jinnah and Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru in the Federal Structure Sub-Committee on the issue of granting powers to the Lower House of the Parliament, as compared to the Upper House on Money Bills. The way Jinnah argued puzzled Sir Tej Bahadur,5 Sir Aga Khan expected that in future, Jinnah will not be absent from the meetings. Sir Aga Khan wrote another letter to Jinnah in which he fully appreciated the Quaid’s efforts in this connection.6
Quaid Prepares Ground for Pakistan
In February 1930, Jinnah was able to unite both factions of All India Muslim League–Jinnah League and Shafi League–into one united All India Muslim League on the basis of his Fourteen Points Formula as already mentioned7. This also meant that there was also parting of ways between and AIML and the INC. Though the Quaid maintained his stance of dialogues with his opponents, but in the secret of his heart, he was convinced to make way for the road to Pakistan. As Jinnah was already aware of Iqbal’s ideas of the Muslim State which later became Pakistan, he decided in the council meeting of the AIML held in Delhi on July 13, 1930 that in the coming session of the AIML to be held in December 1930, Sir Allama Mohammad Iqbal will preside and deliver his Presidential Address.8 As planned, Allama Mohammad Iqbal, the poet-philosopher of Islam, floated the idea of Pakistan or Muslim state in the Indo-Pak Subcontinent in December 1930, along with the rationale and philosophy behind it9, but no resolution was passed by the AIML. This was done deliberately as planned by the Quaid so that the opponents may not feel harassed by the idea of a Muslim State; however, the timing was suitable because at the same time in London, RTCs were being held. It was after the lapse of ten years that the Quaid planned to demand for the Muslim state of Pakistan in March 1940, in the form of resolution of the AIML. Now the goal was set with full determination and a great struggle started in the name of Pakistan Movement which culminated on August 14, 1947 in the establishment of Pakistan.
For this, the Quaid had to undergo a lot of debates and dialogues with his opponent parties and even the British Viceroys and statesmen during 1937-1947. Quaid gradually came to the idea of Pakistan in March 1940. First indication of this was demonstrated in October 1937 Lucknow Session of the AIML. In his Presidential Address when he called upon all “the Musalmans of India in every province, in every district, in every tehsil, in every town, I say: your foremost duty is to formulate a constructive program of work for the people’s welfare, and to devise ways and means for the social, economic and political uplift of the Musalmans”.10 He also desired them to “equip yourselves as trained and disciplined soldiers. Create the feeling of an esprit de corps and of comradeship amongst yourselves.” It was in this way that Jinnah thought that the “eighty million of Musalmans in India have nothing to fear”, because by organizing themselves “they will have their destiny in their hands, and as a well-knit, solid, organized, united force” they could “face any danger”. If the Muslims of British India resort to such a course of action, success would be their fortune.11
The Quaid’s Presidential Address and show of Muslim strength at the Lucknow Session disturbed the Congress leaders, especially Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, and Subhas Chandra Bose. They decided to engage Jinnah in correspondence. In this connection, Jinnah-Gandhi Talks, Jinnah-Nehru Talks, and Jinnah-Bose talks followed. These leaders failed to sidetrack Quaid from his goal of Muslim destiny of Pakistan.12
Dialogues with Lord Linlithgow and Congress Leaders on World War II Issue and the Muslims
The next critical discussions were held after the start of World War II during September-December 1939. All these parleys were arranged by the British Viceroy of India, Lord Linlithgow. Immediately after the start of the World War, Lord Linlithgow saw Gandhi, Nehru, Jinnah and other leaders and had separate meetings with them. On November 6, 1939, Linlithgow finally announced that Congress leaders were not supporting the British Government in war efforts, but Jinnah agreed on the British promise that after the end of war, the transfer of power in India will not take place without taking the Muslims into confidence. This was a promise which he gave to Jinnah. It was a great victory for Jinnah.13 Actually in his letter to Lord Linlithgow on November 5, 1939, Jinnah had made it clear that:
(1) As soon as circumstances may permit or immediately after the war, the entire problem of India’s future constitution, apart from the Government of India Act, 1935, shall be examined and reconsidered de novo.
(2) That no declaration shall, either in principle or otherwise, be made or any constitution be enacted by His Majesty’s Government or the Parliament without the approval and the consent of the two major communities of India, viz., the Musalmans and the Hindus.
(3) That His Majesty’s Government should try and meet all reasonable national demands of the Arabs in Palestine.
(4) That the Indian troops will not be used outside India against any Muslim power or country.14
This disturbed the Congress leaders who called upon the Provincial Congress Ministries to resign as a protest against the British Government. This Congress move was aimed at putting pressure on the British Government, but Quaid countered this pressure by celebrating December 22, 1939 as the Day of Deliverance in which the Muslims and other minorities of British India fully participated.15 Thus, the Congress’ move was foiled.
Determined Demand for Pakistan
Finally, a decision was taken by the AIML on March 23, 1940 by adopting a firm resolution on behalf of the Party that they were committed to create Pakistan consisting of six provinces of Sindh, Balochistan, Punjab, NWFP (now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Bengal and Assam. This demand perplexed the British Government as well as the Congress and Mahasabha Hindu leaders, but Jinnah and the Muslim leaders were determined to face this opposition. The Congress and Mahasabha leaders tried to put pressure on the British Government to ignore the Muslim League, but they ultimately failed.
Dialogues with Cripps and Congress Leaders
On the failure of Congress and constitutional deadlock, the British Government resorted to another step and that was to send Sir Stafford Cripps, leader of the House of Commons, friend of the Prime Minister as well as of the Congress leaders to discuss the matter with the Quaid and other Indian leaders. But Jinnah was so tactful in his dialogues with Cripps during March-April 1942 that the Cripps Mission failed to pursue Jinnah in any sort of agreement. Jinnah stood fast and committed for his demand for Pakistan, a demand which was not accepted by the Cripps Mission.16
Dialogues with Gandhi on Pakistan, 1944
The next step to trap Jinnah was in September 1944 in the form of Gandhi-Jinnah Talks 1944, which also could not sidetrack him from the path of Pakistan. During September 9-28, 1944 more than a dozen meetings were held between Gandhi and Jinnah at the Bombay residence of Jinnah, each meeting ranging between one to more than three years, followed by letters in the nature of points of clarification or recording of what had been discussed between the two great leaders. Finally, the talks broke down as Gandhi was not ready to accept the principle of Pakistan from the core of his heart and to agree to the transfer of power to the Muslim League as far as the Pakistan areas were concerned, before the departure of the British. Gandhi’s simple ploy was that Jinnah should agree to the transfer of power to the Congress. It was only after the departure of the British from India that Muslim League could claim Pakistan from the Congress. Jinnah had his strong reservations on this plea of Gandhi keeping in view the track record of Gandhi of breaking his promises on a number of previous times with Jinnah. Thus, the talks broke down.17
Dialogues with Lord Wavell and Other Leaders at Simla, 1945
Then Lord Wavell, the Viceroy and the Congress leaders tried to involve Jinnah in the Simla Conference in June-July 1945, in which also they miserably failed because of sound arguments of Jinnah in favor of Pakistan. Jinnah built such a pressure on the British Government and the Congress leaders that they failed to impose any decision on Jinnah. As planned, the Simla Conference of Indian leaders started on June 25, 1945 at the Viceregal Lodge attended by twenty-two leaders.18 Political leaders belonging to different parties, who participated in this conference were: M. A. Jinnah, M. K. Gandhi, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Dr. P. N. Banerjee, Bhulabhai Desai, Sir Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah, Hussain Imam, Dr. Khan Sahib, B. G. Kher, Khizar Hyat Khan Tiwana, Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan, G. S. Motilal, Khawaja Nazimuddin, Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant, Maharaja of Parlakimedi, C. Rajagopalachari, Sir Henry Richardson, Sir Saiyid Muhammad Sadullah, Shiva Raj, Pandit R. S. Shukla, Sri Krishna Sinah, and Master Tara Singh. While Gandhi remained in Manor Villa in Simla where he was staying, all the others attended and participated in the Conference.19 Lord Wavell presided, and Sir Ivon Jenkins, PS to Viceroy, and Rao Bahadur V. P. Menon acted as the Secretaries of the Conference.20
The Quaid Demands Elections
In a meeting of the Muslim League Working Committee held in Simla on July 15, 1945, it was demanded that fresh general elections, both at the Centre and in the provinces should be held at the earliest possible.21 On July 16, Jinnah explained his sentiments as well as his program for the future: “I am leaving Simla within a few days and I do not wish to announce the exact date of my departure. I have already received telegrams and telephonic requests from the people on the way wishing to give me receptions. I am very grateful to them, but my health does not permit me to go through this ordeal, especially when I have gone through very strenuous work during the last three weeks, which has been a very great strain on me. In these circumstances, while I am very thankful for the support, encouragement, regard and affection in which Musalmans hold me; request them not to arrange receptions and demonstrations en route. I take this opportunity of thanking the thousands who have sent me their telegrams and letters of encouragement and support. I advise them to concentrate all their might and main in organizing our people and getting ready to face the elections which are bound to come sooner than many people think. Every province and every district must be thoroughly and systematically organized and the results of the elections would be the acid test and verdict given at the polling booths will be the main criterion by which the solidarity and unity of the Musalmans will be judged both in India and abroad all over the world.”22
Quaid’s Victory in the Elections of 1945-1946
It was in this background that it was finally decided by the British Government and the Congress leaders to hold elections and defeat the Muslim League in these elections by organizing all the anti-Muslim League Muslim elements. The elections for the Central Assembly were held in November 1945 in which all the 30 Muslim seats were won by the Muslim League candidates. The provincial elections were held during January-March 1946 in which 90 percent of the Muslim seats were won by the Muslim League candidates. The rule of the game would have been that Pakistan would have been created as demanded by the Muslim League and Quaid-i-Azam, but the British Government and the Congress leaders connived with each other and invited Cabinet Mission to discuss with the Quaid and the Congress leaders the issue of transfer of power. However, the real purpose was to avoid the scheme of Pakistan. Certain writers tried to project wrongly that the Quaid had perhaps agreed to transfer of power by sacrificing the Pakistan scheme. This is not true. When Jinnah did not agree, British Government in connivance with the Hindu leaders led by Jawaharlal Nehru tried to befool Jinnah by ignoring them to join the Interim Government in August 1946. Jinnah put pressure on the Government by celebrating August 16, 1946 as Direct Action Day. Forced by the circumstances, Jinnah was invited to send his five Ministers to join the Interim Government in October 1946. The Congress and the British Government thought that by joining the government, the Quaid would forget the idea of Pakistan, but Jinnah remained determined. In December 1946, when he was invited to London along with Nehru, he forced the British Government to create separate Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, because the Muslim League members would not join the Indian Constituent Assembly. Along with it, Jinnah had been organizing the Muslim League National Guards to put pressure on the Government as well as the Hindu leaders that if they do not agree to the scheme of Pakistan, Muslims will fight for their goal of Pakistan. Forced by these circumstances, the British Prime Minister, Clement Attlee declared on February 20, 1948 that the British would transfer power within one year. This paved the way for the ouster of Lord Wavell on the Congress’ pressure. The Congress leaders in connivance with the British Government in London arranged to make Lord Mountbatten the new Viceroy in March 1947.
Marathon Dialogues with Lord Mountbatten and Other Indian Leaders Leading to the Acceptance of Pakistan Demand, March-June 1947
Lord Mountbatten joined on March 22, 1947 as the last Viceroy and Governor-General of British India. Immediately after joining, his firsdt effort was to give British India freedom by keeping it united, but when he failed to do so, he went for partitioning the subcontinent. For this purpose, he met more than 35 British Indian leaders and persons of different thought during March-April 1947, in order to prepare himself for the purpose of meeting Jinnah and tackle him as the main exponent of partition. A number of governmental institutions and politicians including M. K. Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru were asked to advise the Viceroy so that the latter could well equip himself before meeting Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Despite his preparedness, the Viceroy was knocked down by Jinnah when the latter met him on April 5-6, 1947. By April 21, 1947, Jinnah forced the Viceroy to work for Pakistan. Thus, all his schemes to keep British India united were dashed to the ground. Thereafter, he started preparing himself for tackling the partition issue, though in a different manner. Extensive meetings for this purpose were held in the Viceroy’s House during April-May culminating in 3rd June Plan, by which modalities were finalized by settlement or compromise to partition British India into Pakistan and Hindustan. A summary of these parleys has been provided in Alan Campbell-Johnson’s book, Mission with Mountbatten23.
In the light of the Congress and Muslim League proposals, second draft for the partition was prepared by Mountbatten who flew to London on May 19, 1947 to get consent of the Home Government. Before this, on Mountbatten’s instructions, Ismay flew to London in early May 1947 to brief the Cabinet on his plan.24 On May 5, Ismay briefed the British Cabinet on the state of high tense situation between the Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus which compelled the Viceroy to decide the issue of transfer of power earlier than June 1948.25 Mountbatten returned to Delhi on May 31, 1947 with a final plan.26 This plan was shown to the leaders of both parties and Sikh leaders and finally on June 3, Nehru, Jinnah, and Sardar Baldev Singh had their meeting with Mountbatten who announced the British Government’s approval of this Plan, which is also known as the Mountbatten Plan. It was followed by Radio India broadcast from Delhi on the same day by these leaders in which they showed their acceptance of the Mountbatten Plan.27
The Mountbatten Plan was announced on June 3, 1947 by the British Prime Minister, Clement Attlee in the House of Commons published at the same time in British India.28 By this Plan, India was to be divided into two parts, one representing the Hindustan Constituent Assembly and the other the Pakistan Constituent Assembly. Bengal and Punjab were each to be divided into two parts–one representing Muslim majority districts and the other Hindu or non-Muslim majority districts shown in the appendix to this Plan.29 For this purpose, the members of each of these two Provincial Legislative Assemblies were to meet in two parts and to decide whether the province should be partitioned or not.30 The areas opting out of the Indian Union would join the Pakistan Constituent Assembly. However, for the purpose of demarcation of boundary between the two states, in terms of this decision, the Boundary Commission would be appointed to decide about the boundary dividing the Muslim majority and non-Muslim majority areas of the provinces of Bengal and Punjab.
Quaid’s Key Role in the Settlement of Partition Issues
After the conclusion of the Partition Plan as envisaged under the Mountbatten’s June3, 1947 Plan, the two dominions–Pakistan and Hindustan–were to be established by August 15, 1947. What the Indian National Congress wanted was that Lord Mountbatten should function as the common Governor-General of both Hindustan and Pakistan for the initial period of at least one year during which they could develop a plea that as the new state of Pakistan is not functional as an independent country, Mountbatten could order reunion of both dominions. The AIML and its leadership came to know of this secret plan of the Congress and they floated Quaid’s name as the first Governor-General of Pakistan, a decision which was most astonishing and disliked by both the British and Congress circles. This view was later substantiated after the emergence of Pakistan, of which a reference was made by Quaid-i-Azam himself as Governor-General of Pakistan in his communication to Clement Attlee, the British Prime Minister in October 1947. However, things were settled and Quaid came to be recognized as the designated Governor-General of Pakistan in the second week of July 1947, which bounded the British government of India to seek his advice on all the issues of the partition and assets going to Pakistan or India or which were of common interest. Thus, Quaid’s involvement became of utmost importance for making decisions relating to partition. On most of the matters, the Quaid’s advice was sought and even followed. Had the Quaid’s position as the designated Governor-General of Pakistan not been recognized, all the partition matters would have been decided arbitrarily by the British and the Congress without consulting Jinnah or the Muslim League.
The most important matters in which the Quaid’s involvement played a key role were holding referendum in the NWFP in July 1947, settlement of the issue of Pakistani flag with Lord Mountbatten, making Karachi the capital of Pakistan, formation of Pakistan Constituent Assembly before the creation of Pakistan and holding its session on August 10-14, 1947, division of assets between Indian and Pakistan Armed Forces, diffusing certain attempts of Gandhi and Nehru to sidetrack the establishment of Pakistan, making Balochistan join Pakistan, tackling the issue of Pashtunistan and other matters. Despite the vigilance of the Quaid, there were certain issues on which he was ignored like the granting of three Muslim majority Tehsils of District Gurdaspur to India through the Redcliff Award, announced one day after the creation of Pakistan. Largely, Jinnah was successful in making the new state of Pakistan to put it on a workable position.31
Establishment of Pakistan, August 14, 1947
The other important step was the ceremony of the transfer of power to Pakistan’s first Constituent Assembly which had already started functioning. This ceremony was held on August 14, 1947. A day before Lord and Lady Mountbatten reached Karachi to preside over this ceremony, in the evening of August 13, Mountbatten presided over the last meeting of the Provisional Pakistan Cabinet at the Government House in which all the ministers were present. On August 14, the ceremony was held duly attended by Lord and Lady Mountbatten, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Fatima Jinnah, Liaquat Ali Khan, and other members of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan. Amidst unprecedented scenes of splendor and color in this festive capital city of the new dominion, the Viceroy Lord Louis Mountbatten addressed the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan. With numerous jeweled war decorations and orders glittering under the flashlights, Lord Mountbatten, who was in his Admiral’s uniform, delivered his historic speech which lasted for 15 minutes in a dignified and measured tone to a full house with galleries packed with high personages, diplomats, world pressmen and prominent citizens.
Quaid-i-Azam, President of the Constituent Assembly, led the Viceroy on his arrival to the throne placed along with his Presidential Chair. His Excellency, Sir Claude Auchinleck, Commander-in-Chief of British India, honorable Pamela Mountbatten and Begum Liaquat Ali Khan occupied the back row in the distinguished gallery, while Lady Mountbatten and Miss Fatima Jinnah sat together in the front row near the Viceregal Throne. When the Viceroy and Quaid-i-Azam entered the hall, all rose to their feet. Speaking on this occasion, Mountbatten said: “The birth of Pakistan is an event in history.” He also paid tribute to the leaders of the Pakistan Movement in these words: “I wish to pay tribute to the great men, your leaders, who helped to arrive at a peaceful solution for the transfer of power.” Paying tributes to the Quaid, he said: “Here I would like to express my tribute to Mr. Jinnah. Our close personal contact, and the mutual trust and understanding that have grown out of it, are, I feel, the best of omens for future good relations. He has my sincere good wishes as your new Governor-General.” The Viceroy in his address also quoted the example of Mughal Emperor Jalaluddin Akbar, particularly his tolerance and goodwill shown to the non-Muslims in India. The Viceroy was loudly cheered when he resumed his seat at the conclusion of his address.
Standing erect and dignified, the Quaid dressed in a silk long close coat replied in a measured voice, extempore with some notes in his hand. He said: “Your Excellency, I thank His Majesty the King on behalf of the Pakistan Constituent Assembly and myself for his gracious message. I know great responsibility lies ahead and I naturally reciprocate his sentiments and we greatly appreciate his assurance of sympathy and support and I hope that you will please communicate to His Majesty our assurance of goodwill and friendship for the British nation and him as the Crown of the British Government.” Replying to Mountbatten as to his reference to the tolerance of Akbar, the Quaid emphasized that tolerance and goodwill shown to the non-Muslims was not of recent origin, but it dates back thirteen centuries ago when our Holy Prophet (PBUH) not only by words but by deeds treated the Jews and Christians with utmost tolerance and regard and respect for their faith and beliefs even after they were conquered.
Since the dawn of the day on August 14, Karachi was in high flee. Perennial streams of people lined the streets leading to the Constituent Assembly buildings to watch the historic drive-in-state of their Excellencies Lord and Lady Mountbatten and Quaid-i-Azam and Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah. Police pickets regulated the traffic and the crowds which stood gazing in spite of unusually warm weather. The premises of the Assembly were a veritable sea of humanity, predominantly Muslim. The Viceroy and Quaid-i-Azam arrived from the Government House at 9.00 AM at the Assembly premises and inspected a guard of honor provided by the contingent of Pakistan Army, in which the barest-caped men of the Second Airborne Division were prominent.
Pakistan emerged on the world map as the largest Muslim state in the world. Another feature of this freedom was that for the Muslims living in Pakistan, the freedom was not a new phenomenon, but return of their age-old freedom as Muslim rule in the subcontinent. The Quaid at another place had said that for the Muslims, this freedom was not a new thing because the Muslims had been ruling the subcontinent for centuries. In the shape of Pakistan, the old historic rule has come back though in shorter areas than before.32
The writer is Ex-Director, National Institute of Historical and Cultural Research, and Professor at Quaid-i-Azam Chair (NIPS), Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad.
E-mail: [email protected]
1. Riaz Ahmad, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah: Second Phase of His Freedom Struggle 1824-1934, Quaid-i-Azam Chair (NIPS), Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, 1994, pp. 101-103.
2. Times of India (Bombay), 31 December 1929.
3. Riaz Ahmad, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah: Second Phase of His Freedom Struggle 1824-1934, pp. 128-129; and Mary Louise Becker, The All India Muslim League 1906-1947, Karachi, Oxford University Press, 2013, p. 137.
4. For details of RTC, see Riaz Ahmad, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah: Second Phase of His Freedom Struggle 1824-1934, pp. 124-158.
5. For instance, see Riaz Ahmad, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah… 1924-1934, pp. 138-144.
6. Aga Khan to Jinnah, 21 March 1931, in ibid., pp, 20-21.
7. Times of India, 3 March 1930.
8. Riaz Ahmad, All India Muslim League and the Creation of Pakistan–A Chronology 1906-1947, Islamabad. NIHCR, Quaid-i-Azam University, 2006, p. 38.
9. Riaz Ahmad, Quaid-i-Azamn Mohammad Ali Jinnah… 1924-1934, pp. 114-115.
10. Times of India, 16 October 1937.
12. For details of this correspondence, see Riaz Ahmad, Pakistan Movement: New Dimensions 1935-1948, Islamabad, Alvi Publishers, 2017, pp. 95-112, and Mary Louise Becker, All India Muslim League 1906-1947, Karachi, Oxford University Press, 2013, pp.177-180.
13. Statement by HH the Viceroy, 9 November 1939 on his Discussion with Gandhi, Jinnah, Dr. Ranjendra Prasad along with Viceroy’s Correspondence with them, in Linlithgow Papers, MSS.EUR.F.125/29, British Library, IORL, London.
14. Jinnah to Linlithgow, 5 November 1939, in Linlithgow Papers, MSS.EUR.F.125/29, British Library, IORL, London.
15. Riaz Ahmad, Pakistan Movement: New Dimensions 1935-1948, Islamabad, Alvi Publishers, 2017, pp. 120-125.
16. Star of India, 6 April 1942.
17. Times of India, 28 September 1944.
18. His Excellency the Viceroy’s Conference with Political Leaders at Simla in June/July 1945, in ibid.
21. Indian Annual Register, July-December 1945, Vol. II, p. 5.
22. Times of India, 17 July 1945.
23. A. C. Johnson, Mission with Mountbatten, London, Robert Hale, 1972 (first published in 1951).
24. Wolpert, Shameful Flight, p. 144.
26. Times of India, 31 May 1947.
27. Transfer of Power 1942-47, Vol. XI, London, 1982, pp. 89-101. Also see Mountbatten Papers, Eur. MSS. F. 200/112, British Library (OIOC) Collection, and London.
28. Transfer of Power 1942-47, Vol. XI, pp. 89-94.
29. Ibid, p. 94.
30. Ibid, p.90.
31. Riaz Ahmad, Pakistan Movement: New Dimensions 1935-1948, pp. 344-396.
32. Times of India, 14-15 August 1947 and Star of India, 14-15 August 1947.
Read 632 times