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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Pakistan Resolution Golden Jubilee 1940-1990 March 23, 1990

It was Sir Syed Ahmad Khan (1817.1898) who realized the plight of Muslims of India and embarked on his mission to revive and rehabilitate them. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan was an advocate of Hindu-Muslim Unity but the Urdu-Hindi controversy (1861) disillusioned him. The event divided Hindus and Muslims permanently. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan came to the conclusion that the Muslims of India could not live together with Hindus. He was convinced that it would be wrong to expect any justice or fair-play from the Hindu majority. This realization led the Muslims to demand (1905) that In all local and provincial elections, Muslims must be separately elected by purely Muslim electorate. The Muslim demand for a separate electorate was a clear indication that there were two nations in India. The Pakistan Resolution (1940) was the culmination of this realization.
In December 1930, Allama Muhammad lqbal, poet-philosopher of Islam, stated in his presidential address \"The principle of European democracy cannot be applied to India without recognizing the fact of communal groups. The Muslim demand for the creation of a Muslim India within India is, therefore, perfectly justified. I would like to see the Punjab, North West Frontier Province, Sind and Baluchistan amalgamated into a separate state. Self-government within the British Empire, or without the British Empire, the formation of a consolidated North West Indian Muslim State appears to me the final destiny of the Muslims, at least of North-West India.\"
In 1933, Chaudhry Rehmat Ali, an Indian student at Cambridge, alongwith his three associates, issued a declaration entitled \"Now or Never\" It said that in the five north-western provinces of India (Punjab, NWFP, Kashmir, Sindh and Baluchistan) Muslims were in majority and their religion and culture were very different from those of the other peoples In India. He coined the name of \"Pakistan\".
Round Table Conferences were held in London to sort out the Communal problems (1930-32) but were not successful. In 1935 the British Parliament passed the Government of India Act 1935. All India Muslim League decided to take part in the elections which were to be held in January, 1937. The results of the elections, showed that while the Congress was in a position to form ministries on its own in all the six Hindu majority provinces, the Muslim League did not do well in any of the Muslim majority provinces. However, the victory of the Congress at the polls did not disturb the tranquility of the Muslims.
The week position of the Muslim League in the provincial assemblies, however, suggested to Nehru that the time was most appropriate to liquidate the only party which could legitimately claim a share in the various provinces. Congress, therefore, refused to form coalition ministries. The Hindu dominated body was bent on Muslim absorption. Western style majority rule could only mean the smaller community being swallowed by the larger, as Sir Syed Ahmad Khan had long ago pointed out.
The Congress Ministries continued their policies and programmes without any regard to Muslim feelings. A very large number of Muslims complained about the injustices that were being done to them. In March 1938, the Council of the Muslim League appointed an eight-member committee under the Chairmanship of Raja Syed Mohammad Mehdi of Pirpur \"to collect all information, make all necessary inquiries, and take such steps as may be considered proper\". The report of this Committee (generally called the Pirpur Report) gave a massive detail of Muslim grievances against Congress government.
The re-thinking of the Muslim League about the political system in India began in October 1938, when the Sind Provincial Muslim League Conference was held at Karachi. At this Conference, which was attended by some top Muslim League Leaders, including Quaid-e-Azam, the Sind Muslim League put forward a resolution in which it declared;
\"The Conference considers it absolutely essential in the interest of an abiding peace of the vast Indian continent and in the interests of unhampered cultural development, the economic and social betterment and political self-determination of the two Nations, known as Hindus and Muslims. the India may be divided into two Federations, namely, the Federation of Muslim States and the Federation of non- Muslim States,\"
Two Aligarh Muslim University Professors, Syed Zafar-ul Hasan and Afzal Husain Qadri, came out with their own scheme which was published under the. title \"Problem of Indian Muslims and its solution\". They divided India into three sovereign Federations. In 1939, the Congress decided upon non cooperation and ordered its Ministries in the provinces to resign. Quaid-e-Azam was understandably pleased with the Congress decision about its Ministries and appealed to Muslims to observe 22nd December, 1939 as the \"Day of Deliverance\" to show their gratitude that, at last, the Congress rule, which was so unjust to them in several ways, had come to an end. On 8th February, 1940, Quaid-e-Azam had a meeting with Linlithgow and told him that the Muslim League, at its forthcoming session at Lahore, was going to demand the partition of the country. The proceedings of the Lahore session logically followed. In his Presidential Address on 22 March Quaid-e-Azam stated \"Islam and Hinduism are not religions in the strict sense of the word, but are, in fact, different and distinct social orders, and it is a dream that the Hindus and Muslims can ever evolve a common nationality, and this misconception of one Indian nation has gone far beyond the limits and is the cause of most of our troubles and will lead India to destruction if we fail to revise our notions in time. The Hindus and Muslims belong to two different religious philosophies, social customs, literatures. They neither inter-marry nor interdine together and, indeed they belong to two different civilizations which are based mainly on conflicting ideas and conceptions. Their aspects on life and of life are different. it is quite clear that Hindus and Musalmans derive their inspiration from different sources of history. They have different epics, different heroes and different episodes. Very often the hero of one is a foe of the other and, likewise, their victories and defeats overlap. To yoke together two such nations under a single state, one as a numerical minority and the other as a majority, must lead to growing discontent and final destruction, of any fabric that may be so built up for the governance of such a state\".
The solution of the constitutional problem which the Muslim League offered, came in the form of a resolution moved on 23rd March, 1940 by the Bengal Chief Minister, A.K. Fazlul Haq which was seconded by Choudhary Khaliquzzaman in the 27th Session of All India Muslim League held at Lahore in Minto Park now known as Iqbal Park.
The Resolution, Interalia, stated, \"Resolved that it is the considered view of this session of the All India Muslim League that no constitutional plan would be workable in this country or acceptable to the Muslims unless it is designed on the following basic principles, viz., that geographically contiguous units are demarcated into regions which should be so constituted with such territorial readjustments as may be necessary, that the area 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\"
That adequate, effective and mandatory safeguards should be specifically provided in the constitution for minorities in these units and in the regions for the protection of their religious, cultural, economic, political, administrative and other rights and interests in consultation with them\".
In 1942, Congress leaders started the Quit India Movement which, if successful, would have left the Muslims completely at the mercy of the Hindus. Quaid-e-Azam, therefore, advised the Muslims to keep aloof from this Movement and asked Britain to first divide India & then quit. As was inevitable, the Muslims became more suspicious of the Congress intentions and as a corollary, they began to support more and more, the demand of the Muslim League for a separate state. It was on the basis of this mass Muslim support for the demand for Pakistan, that Congress leaders ultimately agreed to the partitioning of India. Thus the Pakistan Resolution, passed fifty years ago on 23rd March, 1940, paved the way for the creation of an independent Muslim state in 1947.
Contributed by: The Department of Archives, Government of Pakistan, Islamabad) To celebrate Pakistan Resolution Golden Jubilee, Pakistan Post Office is issuing a set of three commemorative postage stamps, each of Re.1/- value, in a horizontal se-tenant formation, and one souvenir sheet of Rs. 7/- value, on March 23, 1990.Description of the stamps is as follows:-
The three (Se-tenant) stamps symbolically depict, in line drawings in an artistic manner, the saga of one of the most formative phases of the Pakistan Movement (1930-1947).
In the first stamp, Allama Mohammad Iqbal is shown addressing the famous Allahabad Session of the All India Muslim League; while Liaquat Ali Khan is depicted taking oath as the Secretary General of the League from its President, the Quaid-e-Azam (1936),who is shown seated. In the second stamp Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar, a fearless freedom fighter, is shown addressing a Muslim rally; while the Quaid-e-Azam is depicted addressing the mammoth gathering on the eve of the passing of the Pakistan Resolution at Lahore on March 23, 1940. The historic role of the Muslim women in the struggle for Pakistan forms part of the third stamp which most artistically portrays the courageous and historic act of hoisting the Pakistan Movement flag on the Punjab Secretariat Building at Lahore by the fearless Muslim women freedom fighters (1946); while the Quaid-e-Azam is shown taking oath as the first Governor General of the newly established state of Pakistan on August 14, 1947. The souvenir sheet contains extract of the Pakistan Resolution in Urdu & English, alongwith the symbolic depiction of the flag of Pakistan and the Minar-e-Qarardad-e-Pakistan.