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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Platinum Jubilee Celebration of K.M.C. Building, Karachi (1932-2007) 2006-13

The set of eight commemorative postage stamps portrays a few milestones in the annals of All India Muslim League (AIML) which are epitomized as below:
Commemorative Postage Stamp captioned: \'Quaid Joining Muslim League- 1913\'
One of the most historic and significant events, which was destined to emancipate the Muslims of South Asia from servitude and rid them of the dual bondage of British Raj and All India Congress hegemony, was the decision of Muhammad Ali Jinnah to join the AIML in 1913.
This momentous decision of Mr. Jinnah was the outcome of his deeply insightful thought process and acumen that he acquired at a very young age. After doing his Bar-at-Law from Lincon\'s Inn in 1895, he acted as Private Secretary to such great liberal and enlightened Indian leaders as Dada Bhai Naoroji, Member of the House of Lord & President All Indian Congress and Sir Surendranath Banerjee.
By 1912 the great visionary Jinnah had realized that the All Indian Congress, though professed to be a secular party upholding the interests of all the communities of India irrespective of religion, caste or creed was, in fact, non-serious to address the economic and political deprivation of the Muslim Community, and this attitude of the Congress, instead of bridging the gulf, was widening the distrust between the Hindu and the Muslim communities.
The rai-son detre of the establishment of AIML in Dhaka in 1906 was also based on this widespread discontentment and distrust and the growing realization on the part of Indian Muslims that although Congress professed to be a non-communal political party yet, in fact it was protecting the interests of Hindu majority. This necessitated the founding fathers of AIML demand for separate electorate from the very outset of its establishment. Mr. Jinnah, being entirely non-communal by conviction and a great proponent of tolerance, enlightenment and vision was averse to parochialism and religious bigotry. To him, fundamentalism and theocracy was outside the pale of political beliefs and practices. Being a Statesman, his decision to join the Muslim League was to bring about harmony between the Hindu and the Muslim communities. When Mr. Jinnah joined Muslim League on 10 October, 1913, he, therefore, continued to remain for a long time a prominent leader of the All India Congress and worked ceaselessly to bring about empathy, justice and fair play between the Hindus and the Muslims in grant of the political and constitutional rights. By 1916, Le. in just three years after his joining the Muslim League, he did succeed in bringing about unique rapprochement through his historic 14 Points which bestowed upon him the unprecedented recognition and title as \"AMBASSADOR OF HINDU MUSLIM UNITY\"
By 1926 Mr. Jinnah had become the sole spokesman of a hundred million Muslims of India. And finally in 1927 he was elected President of All India Muslim League - the Party that he led as Quaid-i-Azam (i.e. the Great Leader) till he breathed his last in 1948.
Commemorative Postage Stamp captioned: \"Quaid in Sherwani and Jinnah Cap - 1937\"
The year 1937 witnessed a unique and delightful, nevertheless, historic happening in the life of Quaid-i-Azam and that is when Quaid-i-Azam adorned Sherwani and Samoor Cap.
The incident is closely related to the twenty fifth session of the All India Muslim League which was held from 15 to 18 October, 1937, in Lucknow with Mr. Jinnah as its President and Amir Ahmed Khan known as \"Raja Saheb Mahmudabad\", as Chairman Reception Committee.
Before the beginning of the Session (on 15th October) all the top AIML leaders had gathered in one of the spacious chambers of the imposing saffron colored \'Qaiser Bagh\' - the residence of Raja Saheb Mahmudabad in Lucknow. Raja Saheb presented Quaid-i-Azam with a sherwani & tight pajamas, which he gladly wore on this occasion. He looked equally immaculate in this new attire. Looking adoringly at Quaid-i-Azam, Nawab Ismail Khan, one of his close associates and confidants, and the then front leader of the Indian Muslims, had a bright idea. Nawab Ismail Khan always wore a \'Samoor Cap\'. He had one on just then. He requested Quaid-i-Azam to wear it for once while addressing the big meeting, which was scheduled later in the evening. Other leaders also joined in the request. After much insistence the Quaid accepted Nawab Ismail\'s cap. For the first time in his life he had worn a cap of this kind. He spelled a pleasant surprise to the audience at the meeting when he addressed them elegantly attired in sherwani and (Samoor) cap. That day he was putting Nawab Ismail Khan\'s cap. Quaid liked it so much that he had his own cap ordered which instantly got his name as JINNAH CAP for all times to come. Little did the participants know that this attire of Quaid-i-Azam would also soon acquire a symbol of unity of the Muslim Ummah in its struggle for freedom. The whole Muslim Nation would now make it a necessary adjunct to wear and cherish it as a symbol of their national pride. After the creation of Pakistan Jinnah Cap became an official headwear and has acquired a distinction - carving a permanent niche in the world of fashion and design.
Commemorative Postage Stamp captioned: \"Quaid Addressing Lucknow Session - 1937\"
In January 1937 Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru declared that \'there were only two Parties in the Country, namely the Government and the Congress.\' Mr. Jinnah in a counter statement aptly reminded Pandit Nehru that there was a third party namely \'Indian Muslims.\' From then onwards there was no turning back from this historic utterance.
Mr. Jinnah became increasingly identified in the Muslim minds as a charismatic Leader, the identification of which answered their psychic need for endowing and sanctifying the sense of community with the sense of power. Increasingly did he become with the passage of time an embodiment of the Muslim National Consensus. And this explains why and how Muslims were soon to acknowledge Mr. Jinnah as their Quaid-i-Azam - even before the launching of Pakistan Resolution in March 1940.
Year 1937 will be remembered as on of the most eventful years in the history of All India Muslim League when clear lines of political direction and destiny of the Muslims of South Asia were about to be crystallized.
The twenty fifth Session of the All India Muslim League was held from 15 to 18 October, 1937 in Lucknow. Almost the entire year Mr. Jinnah ha d traveled across India by train in a triumphant manner. When he started for Lucknow at almost every station where his train stopped, he was given arousing ovation, and at Jhansi and Kanpur particularly huge crowds turned out to see him, indicating that the Muslims of these areas were whole heartedly in support of his programme. It was at this Session that Mr. Jinnah unfurled what he described as the Flag of Islam - Star and Crescent inscribed in a green background. This was the first occasion on which the Muslim League flag was unfurled at a League session. Resoluteness adopted included those for the \"establishment of full independence in the form of a new federation of free democratic states in which interest of the Musalmans and other minorities are adequately effectively safeguarded in the Constitution\", condemning the demolition of the Shahidganj Mosque at Lahore, and the attitude of the Congress in foisting the Bande Mataram as the national anthem; and disapproving the scheme of All-India Federation as embodied in the Government of India Act, 1935.
Commemorative Postage Stamp captioned: \"Quaid & Fatima Jinnah with Youth & Women Wing - 1938\" 1938 also saw establishment of Women & Youth Wing of All India Muslim League which functioned under the patronage of Madr-e-Millat Muhtarma Fatima Jinnah, Begum Ra’na Liaquat Ali Khan and other female stalwarts of the Muslim League. The establishment of \'Women National Guard\' and All Indian Muslim Students Federation (AIMSF), were the outcome of this wing of the Muslim League. It was one of the members of Women Wing of AIML who had hoisted flag of the Muslim League on Lahore Secretariat on the independence day i.e. 14th August, 1947. The establishment of All Pakistan Women\'s Association (known as \'APWA\') is also the product of Women Wing of Muslim League.
Commemorative Postage Stamp captioned:
\"Quaid-i-Azam Hoisting Muslim League Flag at Manto Park Lahore March 21, 1940\"
Although it was at the twenty fifth Session of All India Muslim League (AIML) held in October in Lucknow in 1937 that Quaid-i-Azam had unfurled the Muslim League Flag yet, it was at the 27th Session of AIML at Manto Park (now Allama Iqbal Park) Lahore that the Muslim League Flag became synonymous with the struggle for the establishment of Pakistan.
On 21st March, 1940 a tumultuous reception was accorded to Quaid-i-Azam, President AIML, who arrived in Lahore from Delhi by a special train bedecked with Muslim League flags, and buntings. He was received by Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan, Chief Minister Punjab & Chairman Reception Committee, and other prominent Muslims, including delegates from all over the country. Never before in the history of Lahore had Muslims shown such enthusiasm as they did that day.
Quaid-i-Azam drove to the residence of Sir Shah Nawaz Khan in a decorated cr. Quaid-i-Azam was accompanied by Miss Fatima Jinnah, Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan, Nawab Muhammad Ismail Khan, Sir Abdullah Haroon and a large number of delegates from all over India. Muhtarma Fatima Jinnah was accorded a separate reception by Women Wing of Muslim League that evening. The same afternoon \"Quaid-i-Azam performed the historic flag hoisting ceremony at the Muslim League pandal in the presence of a large gathering including a number of women representing the Women Wing of All India Muslim League.
22nd March saw holding of the meeting of the working Committee of the All India Muslim League.
Commemorative Postage Stamp captioned: \"Quaid Addressing Lahore Session 1940\"
23rd March, 1940 witnessed the culmination of the twenty seventh session of the IML at Manto Park (now Iqbal Park), Lahore with Quaid-i-Azam as president and Sir Shah Nawaz Khan as Chairman, Reception Committee. Over one hundred thousand people witnessed the passing of the historic \"Lahore Resolution\" popularly known as \"Pakistan Resolution \". Stirring scenes were witnessed during the session. In his presidential address Quaid-i-Azam declared his view on Muslim Nationalism, differences between Hindu and Muslim cultures in India along with its historical dimensions. The pivotal resolution adopted at the Session was, inter alia. \"That geographically contiguous units are demarcated into regions which should be so constituted, with such territorial readjustments as may be necessary, that the areas in which the Muslims are numerically in a majority, as in the North-Western and Eastern zones of India, should be grouped to constitute Independent States in which the constituent units shall be autonomous and sovereign\". Other resolution adopted included those appealing to the British Government to solve the Palestine problem; and empowering the AIML Working Committee to regulate the activities of the provincial Leagues.
Commemorative Postage Stamp captioned: \"Landslide Victory Elections 1945-1946\" All India Muslim League showed it tremendous political strength in 1945-1946 historical elections. Compared to the earlier elections held in 1937, the overwhelming success of AIML in provincial and central Legislative Assembly Elections in 1945-1946 was due to the unfaltering and unassailable leadership of Quaid-i-Azam who succeeded in galvanizing the Muslim League into most dynamic organization, and whose President - the great Quaid - came to symbolize the Muslim aspirations for a separate independent homeland. It will be pertinent to very briefly mention here the historic election that Quaid-i-Azam contested from Bombay.
On 27 November 1945 a record number of votes were cast in the election to the Central Legislative Assembly from Bombay City Urban (Mohammedan) Constituency. There Quaid-i-Azam swept the polls.
On 4 December, 1945 Quaid-i-Azam was officially declared elected to the Central Legislative Assembly from the Bombay City Urban (Mohammedan) Constituency. He secured 3602 votes as against his opponents. Hooseinbhoy A. Lalljee. who secured 127 votes and forfeited his deposit. Elaborating the landslide victory of the AIML Quaid-i-Azam told the special correspondent of API
on 10 December, 1945, \"we could settle the Indian problem in ten minutes if Mr. Gandhi would say: \'I agree that there should be Pakistan. I agree that one-forth of India, composed of six provinces Sindh, Balochistan, the Punjab, NWFP., Bengal and Assam, with their present boundaries should constitute Pakistan State.\"
Commemorative Postage Stamp captioned: \"Quaid Addressing First Constituent Assembly August 14, 1947\"
After a hard heroic struggle of the Muslim of South Asian Subcontinent, steered by Quaid-i-Azam, the British Parliament was forced to approve the Indian Independence Act 1947; and on 26th July, 1947 in consequence of this, the Governor General of India Lord Mountbatten, announced the setting up of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan. The names of the Members were also announced. On 4th August design of Pakistan flag was finally settled.
On 7th August 1947 Quaid-i-Azam, as Governor General designate of Pakistan, received tumultuous reception at Mauripur Airport, at Drig Road (now Shahra-e-Faisal), Karachi in the evening when he returned from Delhi to his birthplace (at Karachi) with the dream of Pakistan fully realized, Nawabzada Liaqat Ali Khan, first Prime Minister of Pakistan, was first to greet Quaid-i-Azam and Muhtarma Fatima Jinnah. Soon the Quaid was surrounded by surging crowd, chanting \'Quaid-i--Azam Zindabad\', \'Pakistan Paindabad.\' There was sea of emotions and tears that immersed Quaid and Madr-e-Millat. Quaid-i-Azam, no doubt, stood there as one of the greatest statesman of the world.
On 11th August Quaid-i-Azam was unanimously elected as the first President of the first Constituent Assembly of Pakistan. There in his historic speech he laid the guiding principles of the new state when, inter alia, he categorically said \"we are starting with the fundamental principal, that we are all citizens and equal citizens of Pakistan with no distinction of caste and community.
On 13th August Viceroy lord Mountabatten accompanied by Lady Mountbatten arrived. They were received at Mauripur Airport by Col. Bumie, Military Secretary to Quaid-i-Azam. On 14th August Quaid-i-Azam and Lord Mountbatten addressed the constituent Assembly.
Addressing that morning Lord Mountbatten stated that the birth of Pakistan was a great event in history and conveyed at the outset the greetings and the warmest wishes of His Majesty the king and his own. Quaid-i-Azam in his reply reciprocated the good wishes of His Majesty and Lord Mountbatten and affirmed, \"we are parting as friends and we shall ever remain friends\". He hoped that the great preaching of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) of equality of all the citizens in the eyes of law and in all spheres of life would continue to pervade in the dominion of Pakistan. He reiterated his assurances of equal and equitable treatment to the minorities of Pakistan.
Let all the citizens of Pakistan severely and collectively resolve to carry this pristine mission forward.
Courtesy Dr. Ghazanfar Mehdi.
On the Occasion of Centenary Celebrations of the Muslim League 1906-2006, Commemorative postage stamps of Rs. 4/- denomination each design issued by Pakistan Post on December 30, 2006.