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Monday, August 31, 2009

Anniversary of Independence (August 14, 1982)

Pakistan, it has been observed, is the first attempt in modern times to create a country on the basis of common religious beliefs. It is the result of a long strife of the Muslims of the sub-continent for the establishment of a separate homeland where they could lead their lives in accordance with the tenets of Islam and perpetuate their identity and ideology as a distinct nation. Doubts were expressed, both in India and abroad, as to the Muslim claim to separate nationhood to which Quaid-i-Azam replied in the following words:—
“We maintain that Muslims and Hindus are two major nations by any definition or test as a nation. We are a nation of a hundred million, and what is more, we are a nation with our own distinctive culture and civilization, language and literature, art and architecture, names and nomenclature, sense of values and proportion, legal laws and moral codes, customs and calendar, history and traditions, aptitude and ambitions; in short, we have our own distinctive outlook on life and of life. By all the canons of International Law we are a nation”.
The culmination of the idea of Muslims being a separate nation found expression in the famous Lahore Resolution of March 23, 1940 adopted at the Lahore Session of the Muslim League. From 1940 to 1947 every effort was made at various levels to keep India united but all these attempts failed to make the Quaid give up the idea of Pakistan. The election of 1946 gave the League a resounding electoral victory which silenced or swept away those ‘Muslim groups which still hoped to reach a compromise with the Hindus and made the Congress and the British to concede partition and independence. Failing to bring about a consensus of opinion between the League and the Congress, Mr. Attlee, the British Prime Minister declared in Feb. 1947 that His Majesty’s Government lntended to take necessary steps to effect the transference of power to responsible Indian hands not later than June 1948. Lord Mountbatten who had been appointed the Viceroy and Governor General, however, declared in his plan of June 3, 1947 that independence would be granted on 14th August, 1947, that is, within 75 days. This haste to grant independence did not affect India much but Pakistan had to start from scratch in order to establish a new capital, a new government and a new secretariat at Karachi without proper housing accommodation for the new government, without proper equipment and without adequate financial resources.
Besides this on account of the communal riots Pakistan was confronted with the problem of accommodating huge number of refugees which constituted nearly 1/10th of the total population. It may be added that nearly 65 lac Muslims migrated from India and 55 lac Hindus and Sikhs left Pakistan. On the establishment of Pakistan the Quaid-i-Azam declared in his Presidential Address to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan as follows:—
“You are free: you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed; that has nothing to do with the fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one State”.
On 14th August, 1982, the nation is observing 35th anniversary of independence in an atmosphere of enthusiasm for the enforcement of Shariat Laws in the country. The present Government under the President and Chief Martial Law Administrator, General Muhammad Ziaul-Haq have already introduced Zakaat, Usher and interest-free banking system in the country. The establishment of “the Federal Shariat Court” and “The Council of Islamic Ideology” are concrete steps towards Islamisation of the laws. It has been observed that for the first time in the history of the country progress has been made to achieve the purpose for which the country came into being. Let us endeavor to achieve the objective laid down by the Quaid in his broadcast to the nation on 30th October, 1947.
“Now is the time, chance and opportunity for every Mussalman 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\"
To commemorate this auspicious occasion Pakistan Post Office is issuing a set of two stamps of 85 paisa and 40 paisa denominations on 14th August1982.