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Foreword & Acknowledgment
Synopsis of Subjects on Pakistan

Economic Survey
Statistical Survey
The Constitution
The Government
Political Parties
The Legal System
The Press
Trade and Industry
Learned Societies
Research Institutes
Universities & Colleges


Political Parties, 1956

The following survey appeared in The British Commonwealth 1956 published by Europa Publications Limited, London (1956).

See the Synopsis of Subjects on the left for other items on Pakistan from this source.

Political Parties

In the June, 1955 elections to the Constituent Assembly, no single political party secured an absolute majority and in August, 1955 the Muslim League formed a coalition Government with the support of the United Front. The result of the elections was as follows:

Political Party Seats
Muslim League
United Front
Awami Muslim League
Independents (including 2 non-Muslims)
Pakistan National Congress
Scheduled Castes Federation
Noon Group
United Progressive Parliamentary Party
Azad Pakistan Party
Communist Party

Muslim League:

Originally founded in 1906 as the All-India Muslim League, it became the Muslim League in 1947 on the formation of Pakistan; as the All-India Muslim League it tried at first to work out a compromise with the Congress Party, whereby the rights of Muslim minorities would be safeguarded in an independent India, but these attempts were unsuccessful; in 1930 the idea of a separate Muslim state was first put forward by Dr. Mohammed Iqbal, and was adopted as a political goal by the League in 1940. The goal was achieved on August 14th, 1947 under the leadership of Quaid-i-Azam Mahomed Ali Jinnah, founder and first president of the Muslim League. The objects of the Muslim League include the safeguarding of the integrity and sovereignty of Pakistan and of the religious, cultural, social, economic and political interests of Muslims in Pakistan, and the promotion of friendly relations between Muslims and other communities. President and Leader Miss Fatima Jinnah (succeeded Chaudhri Mohamad Ali, the Prime Minister, November, 1955).

United Front:

From 1954 in East Pakistan, where a group of parties united to form a common front in opposition to the Muslim League in the provincial elections of March, 1954, which the United Front won. The chief parties constituting the front were:

Awami Muslim League (see below), which seceded in August, 1955;

Kraishak Sramik (Peasants and Workers Party) led by A. K. Fazlul Huq the moving spirit behind the United Front);

Nizam-i-Islam Party, led by Maulana Athar Ali;

Khalafat-i-Rabbani Party, which aims at the establishment of an Islamic constitution and an alliance between all Islamic countries; Leader Abul Hashim;

Ganatantri Dal, which has been charged with Communist sympathies, led by Mahmud Ali (See footnote).

The policy of the United Front includes the establishment of Bengali as a state language, the abolition of the zamindari system of landholding, the decentralization of government and the release of political prisoners; the Front holds 121 seats in the East Pakistan and 16 seats in the Constituent Assembly; Leader A. K. Fazlul Huq.

Awami Muslim League:

From 1949 in East Pakistan by Maulana A. H. Bhashini [sic. Bhashani); urges that Bengali should be one of the state languages and that East Pakistan should have full internal autonomy; the party joined the United Front in 1954 but seceded in 1955 (though some dissident Awami Leaguers continued to support the Front under A. Salam Khan) and went into opposition in both the provincial and central Assemblies. Leaders Maulana Abdul Hamid Bhashani and H. S. Suhrawardy; Gen. Sec. Majibur [sic. Mujibur] Rahman.

Pakistan National Congress: (Hindu)

[It] was originally part of the main India party; most of its influential leaders in Pakistan migrated to India following partition; holds 4 of the 9 non-Muslim seats (among East Pakistan members) in the Constituent Assembly. Hindu Congress members have given some support to the United Front in the Province and in the Centre. Leader Basant Kumar Das.

Footnote: The arrest of Mahmud Ali under the Public Safety Act was reported in November 1955.

Source: The British Commonwealth 1956
With a Foreword by the Earl of Swinton P.C., G.B.E., C.H., M.C. Europa Publications Limited, London (1956)

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