Pakistan Day: A manifestation of Muslims’ struggle for a separate homeland in subcontinent

Pakistan Day: A manifestation of Muslims' struggle for a separate homeland in subcontinent

By Fakhar Alam

PESHAWAR, Mar 22 (APP):Following the Independence War of 1857, the Muslims of subcontinent were subjected to an unending ordeal of discrimination, inequality and disparity after the colonial rulers had strengthened their grip over the united India.

The Muslims, who ruled over the united India for over 800 years, had faced great mental agony, sense of deprivation and dejection after they were pushed to the wall in terms of intellectual, political, economic and education decay.

After failure of 1857 War of Independence, the Muslims of British India were given a new hope and direction by social reformer, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, who instilled a new vigor into Muslims after an inspired teachings of the renowned religious leaders, Mojadad Alf Sani and Shah Waliullah.

Brought about an intellectual revolution among Muslims through his educational, political and social reforms, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan had succeeded to nullify the malicious propaganda of the colonial rulers, hindus and pessimist forces during an era of ominous, cruelty and oppression.

He founded All India Muhammadan Educational Conference (AIMEC) at Aligarh in 1886, which carried forward his vision regarding modern education, socioeconomic empowerment and political unity of Muslims to regain their past glory. The network of educational institutions and political unity organized under AIMEC had enabled millions of Muslims to compete with other communities including Hindus and Sikhs by providing a launching pad for Muslims to initiate a peaceful political and democratic struggle for a separate homeland where they could live with dignity and freedom.

Sir Syed’s reforms had excelled Muslims in education, social, economic and political sciences, resultantly their voices have strongly been heard by the British rulers. The Muslims, under the flag of All India Muslim League (AIML) founded on December 30, 1906 at Dhaka, got united by giving new impetus to the independence movement. It witnessed further momentum after Quaid-i-Azam spearheaded independence movement after formally joining AIML in 1913 and outlining of an independent state for Muslims majority provinces in North West India by the great poet philosopher Dr. Allama Muhammad Iqbal during historic Allahabad address in 1930.

Thus, Dr. Allama Iqbal became the first statesman to articulate about the two nation-theories that Muslims were a separate and distinct nation besides deserving political independence from other regions and communities of the united India.

“Pakistan Movement passes through different phases and finally achieved its practical shape in 1933 during a high-level gathering in London where Chaudhry Rehmat Ali had presented the name of Pakistan,” said Professor Dr Muhammad Younas Khan, Chairman, Pakistan Studies Department, Islamia College Peshawar University (ICP) while talking to APP.

Recalling Chaudhry Rehmat Ali’s famous saying “Now or never or parish forever”, he said ICP’s two former students, Aslam Khattak and Inyatullah Khan of Charsadda along with others Muslims leaders had endorsed the name of Pakistan. “Pakistan’s name and Allahabad address had set a clear direction to the Muslims to achieve a separate homeland in the subcontinent,” he said.

The great Quaid united millions of Muslims at Iqbal Park, Lahore where they unanimously passed the historic Pakistan’s Resolution on March 23, 1940. Following adoption of the Pakistan Resolution, Quaid-i-Azam had reorganized AIML on modern lines and made repeated visits to all Muslims majority provinces including KP (earlier called NWFP) to mobilize masses for Pakistan.

“Pakistan Movement and ICP cannot be separated from each others,” he said, adding Mr Jinnah had visited this historic alma-mater in 1936, 1945 and 1948 as first Governor General of Pakistan to acknowledge the outstanding role of its students during Pakistan Movement.

“In 1945, the charismatic leader committed to a noble cause, had received a rousing welcome at Peshawar where people decorated houses, bungalows, bazars and vehicles with Pakistani and AIML flags raising with full slogans of Pakistan and Quaid-i-Azam Zindabad besides showering rose petals on him,” said Misal Khan (83) Information Officer (R) while talking to the news agency.

“The legendary Quaid had received a historic welcome when he visited Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and ICP where a large number of people arrived from KP and Merged Areas (erstwhile Fata) through buses, trucks, rails, bicycles and foots to see few glimpses of their beloved leader,’ recalled Khan.

“Mr Jinnah had also received a rousing welcome at ICP where students and Muslim Students Federation (MSF) presented him Rs 8,000 as fund for Pakistan Movement. They also assured him to present 8,000 committed educated workers when he came again to this great alma-mater,” said Dr Younas.

“As result, Muslim League secured over 50 seats in 1946 election in KP and after that historic victory nobody could stop independence movement from here” he said.

Finally after a long committed struggle, Pakistan came into being on world map on August 14, 1947 within seven years after adoption of Pakistan Resolution on March 23, 1940.

On April 12, 1948, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah as Governor General of Pakistan had visited ICP and said, “I am indeed very happy to be present here today and to have the privilege of addressing students of this great Darul Uloom, who are the future builders of Pakistan.”

“Remember your government is like your own garden. Your garden flourishes by the way you look after it and the efforts that you put towards its improvement. Similarly, your government can only flourish by your patriotic, honest and constructive efforts to improve it.”

He wished to construct a university near ICP that was fulfilled by the Government within a gap of one year by establishing University of Peshawar in 1949.

Dr Khurshid Ahmed, Professor of International Department, University of Peshawar said 23rd March was a significant day reminding us the heroic political struggle of Muslims of the sub-continent for a separate homeland where they could live with freedom, dignity and harmony according to their religious belief and social, linguistic and cultural values.

He said it was a day to pay rich tributes to our forefathers, who underwent great trial and tribulation during Pakistan Movement for the sake of our prosperous and secure future.

Dr Khurshid said holding of OIC meeting after alongside Pakistan Day signified Pakistan’s importance in the world especially in Muslim Ummah.

He said Pakistan has played a leading role in passing a consensus resolution against Islamophobia at UN and observance of 15th March as International Day to combat Islamophobia was major development.