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Monday, August 31, 2009

36th Anniversary of Independence (August 14, 1983)


The creation of Pakistan as an Islamic State was the culmination of an historical movement that won for us an independent and sovereign country. Pakistan is linked with the Muslim demand for freedom and the right of political self-determination. The sense of being a religious community, an historical entity, a distinct cultural body, made the Muslims to demand Pakistan.
The struggle for independence started soon after the war of Independence (1857) and was led by Syed Ahmad Khan who served as a guiding force for the politically weak Muslims of India. Syed Ahmad Khan is given the principal credit for reviving the Muslims of British India. He equated education with power and sensed Muslims could only defend themselves if they had the same capabilities as the Hindus. He was indeed a key figure in the promotion of an Islamic State in South Asia.
The developments which made the Muslims conscious of their rights, agitated the minds of Hindus. They opposed granting of any separate rights to Muslim. In the meantime, the British Government made an announcement about the proposed political reforms. The Muslim leaders sent a deputation known as “Simla - Deputation” for safeguarding their rights which demanded separate electorate for the Muslims and urged to recognize their separate identity. For the purpose “Muslim League” took birth as apolitical party in 1906.
The inspiration for modern Muslim nationalism in South Asia can be traced to the writings and poetry of Muhammad lqbal. In 1930 the sub-continent’s most illustrious poet-philosopher was invited to preside over an open session of the All-India Muslim League which was holding its Annual Convention in Allahabad. Iqbal used the occasion to make a dramatic statement which, most scholars of the period agree, represented the first clear call for the establishment of an independent Muslim State within South Asia.
Chaudhry Rehmat Ali is credited with giving a name to the area that Iqbal had identified as a possible self-governing Muslim territory. The term Pakistan was an acronym derived from the names of the Provinces falling within this region. In Urdu it is also translated as ‘land of the pure’.
After September, 1939, events moved fast and the intransigence of the Congress increased. There was no alternative for the Muslim but to demand partition of the country which was articulated in the famous “Lahore Resolution” of 23rd March, 1940. It asserted that the creation of Pakistan was inevitable. Since then the 23rd of March 1940 is celebrated as a “National Day”. It was all due to the dynamic leadership of the Quaid-e-Azam that the dream of 1940, for creation of Pakistan, became a reality in 1947.
On this historic event Quaid-i-Azam expressed that:—
“Undoubtedly the differences between the Hindus and Muslims are. not of religion in the strict sense of the word but also of law and culture, that they may be said indeed, to represent two entirely distinct and separate civilizations”.
After a long and hard struggle by the Muslims, British Parliament passed the Indian Independence Act of 1947. Thus Pakistan came into existence after a long drawn out struggle in which millions of Muslim men, women, young and old all played their part. Mr. Attlee, the British Prime Minister declared in February, 1947 that they intended to take necessary steps to effect the transference of power to responsible hands not later than June, 1948. Lord Mountbatten who had been appointed as viceroy, declared in his plan of 3rd June, 1947, that Independence would be granted on 14th of August, 1947. Pakistan had to start from a scratch in order to establish a new Capital, a new Govt., and a new Secretariat at Karachi. Besides, on account of the communal riots Pakistan was confronted with the problem of accommodating millions of refugees.
And now as Pakistanis it should be our endeavour to achieve the objectives laid down by the Quaid in his broadcast to the nation on 30th October, 1947:— “Now is the time, chance and opportunity for every Musalman to make his or her fullest and best contribution and make the greatest sacrifice and work ceaselessly in the service of our nation and make Pakistan one of the greatest nations of the world.
On 14th August, 1983 the nation is observing 36th Anniversary of Independence under the President General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, who has already introduced and enforced the Shariat laws, Zakaat, Usher, Interest-free banking system, Federal Shariat Courts, Council of Islamic Ideology, and other measures.
Now the people have achieved the aim for which the country came into being which was also expressed by the Quaid-i-Azam in the following words:—
“Pakistan not only means freedom and Independence, but the Muslim Ideology which has to be preserved which has come to us as a precious gift and treasure and which we hope others will share with us.”
To commemorate this auspicious occasion Pakistan Post Office is Issuing a set of 2 stamps of 60P & Rs. 4/- denominations on 14th of August, 1983.