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The Chronicle of Pakistan
Compiled by Khurram Ali Shafique
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7. Jinnah arrives at Mauripur Airport from New Delhi.

9. Muslim member of Partition Committee, Chaudhri Muhammad Ali comes to Karachi on a one-day visit for Jinnah's approval on Patel's proposal for debt settlement. Liaquat Ali Khan asks Ali to convey to Lord Ismay in Delhi that Jinnah has received disturbing reports about the likely decision on the Punjab boundary.

12. Constituent Assembly of Pakistan resolves that Muhammad Ali Jinnah should be addressed as Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Governor-General of Pakistan" in all official documentation from August 15, 1947.

12. Radcliffe signs his reports for the Punab and Bengal, forming the Award. Ferozepur, Zira, Gurdaspur and many other areas of Muslim majority in East Punjab form parts of India, as does the city of Calcutta. Report is withheld until after the Independence.

13. Radcliffe signs his reports for Sylhet.

14. Lord Mountbatten delivers the King's message to the people of Pakistan, who are to achieve independence at midnight tonight. The date corresponds with Ramzan 26, 1366 Hijrah. The day is Thursday.

14. Attacks on trains by Sikhs in East Punjab forces the Government of Pakistan to postpone the transfer of records from New Delhi to Karachi until the situation comes to normal.

15. Amritsar. In the afternoon, a Sikh mob paraded a number of Muslim women naked through the streets of Amritsar, raped them and then hacked some of them to pieces with kirpans and burned the others alive.

16. Liaquat Ali Khan, in Delhi to discuss the grim situation in Punjab, and Chaudhri Muhammad Ali are handed Radcliffe's reports by Mountbatten in the afternoon.

18. Pakistan celebrates its first Eid-ul-Fitr. While regretting the fate befallen on those "brethren and sisters" who fell victim to communal violence, Jinnah also wishes in his official statement "a very happy Eid to all Muslims wherever they may be in throughout the World - the Eid will usher in, I hope, a new era of prosperity and will mark the onward march of renaissance of Islamic culture and ideals."

19/21. Communal riots in Quetta

21. Transfer of personnel and records from New Delhi to Karachi is now completely stalled indefinitely after disturbances occurred on the B.B. & C.I. line running through Marwar to Hyderabad. In all, 11500 passengers have been transferred to Karachi, the new capital, from New Delhi.

24. Jinnah calls upon the people of Pakistan not to retaliate unlwafully to the violence in East Punjab: "Pakistan should be kept absolutely free from disorder."

25. Jinnah is presented Civic Address by the Karachi Corporation. In his reply he mentions that "Karachi has the distinction of being the only town of importance where, during these times of communal disturbances, people have kept their heads cool and lived amicably, and I hope we shall continue to do so."

28/29. A meeting of the Joint Defense Council, attended by Jinnah and Mountbatten. It is decided that the Punjab Boundary Force should be disbanded from September 1, and both sides should assume responsibility for law and order in its own territory. Pakistan sets up the military Evacuee Organization in Lahore. India is expected to set up a similar organization. It is also decided that each Dominion should appoint a custodian of evacuee property and both custodians should work in close liaisons.

1947: August

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"August 15 is the birthday of Pakistan": Quaid's message to the nation

Friday 15. This is the most important day in the history of Pakistan: today it is born! Yesterday, the last British viceroy Lord Mountbatten read the King's message to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan and left for New Delhi. Jinnah (who is officially called Quaid-i-Azam since Tuseday), refused to accept the suggestion of some psychophants that since the Viceroy had left the Pakistani soil, Pakistan should haul down the Union Jack before sunset. That, according to Mr. Jinnah, would be unorderly. Hence, the Radio went on announcing itself as "All India Radio" until late night yesterday, and only declared the birth of Pakistan at midnight. The official celebrations were put up till this morning, unlike in India. There, the PM Nehru made his inaugural speech a little before midnight: "Long ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge... At the storke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will wake to life and freedom." The "stroke of the midnight hour" was selected by the Indian Government because 15 August has been declared inauspicious by the astrologers, hence the Congress wanted India to be born at least before the sunrise.

Mr. Jinnah, since he does not give way to astrological predictions, made a point not to start official celebrations until after a proper breakfast this morning. Then he and his cabinet were swron in, along with the provincial governors. Later, he hoisted the national flag, and made a broadcast to the nation: "August 15 is the birthday of the independent and sovereign state of Pakistan. It marks the fulfilment of the destiny of the Muslim nation which made great sacrifices in the past few years to have its homeland." He also declared: "Our object should be peace within and peace without... We stand by the United Nations Charter and will gladly make our full contribution to the peace and prosperity of the world."

Read Complete text of Jinnah's Speech


Top to bottom: Liquat Ali Khan, I. I. Chundrigar, Malik Ghulam Mohammad

The government

Friday 15. His Majesty, George VI, is technically the constitutional monarch of both the new dominions, India and Pakistan, which will be equal members of the Commonwealth of Nations. The Indian Independence Bill, which created the two dominions, empowers the Constituent Assemblies of the dominions to make all legislation, including a decision to leave the Commonwealth or declare republics. Mr. Jinnah, working more out of pragmatism than sentiments, has requested many competent Britishers to stay: 3 out of the 4 governors are white. They are: Sir Frederick Bourne (Governor, East Bengal), Sir Francis Mudie (Governor, West Punjab), and Sir George Cunningham (Governor, N.W.F.P.). Sir Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah (Governor, Sindh) is the only native governor, while Baluchistan does not have a governor as it is a Governor-General's province. All chiefs of the armed forces are white too: General Sir Frank Messervey (Royal Pakistan Army), Air Vice-Marshal Perry-Keane (Royal Pakistan Air Force), and Admiral Jefford (Royal Pakistan Navy). The financial advisor to the Governor-General, Sir Archibald Rowland, is also a British.

The first cabinet of Pakistan, sworn in today, includes: Liaquat Ali Khan (Prime Minister, also in charge of two ministries: Foreign Affairs & Commonwealth Relations, and Defense); I. I. Chundrigar (Commerce, Industries, and Works); Ghulam Mohammad (Finance); Abdur Rab Nishtar (Communications); Ghazanfar Ali Khan (Food, Agriculture, and Health); Jogendra Nath Mandal (Law and Labour); Fazlur Rahman (Interior, Information, and Education).

Read text of Indian Independence Act


Khawaja Nazimuddin

The chief ministers

Khawaja Nazimuddin has been elected the Chief Minister of East Bengal by the provincial assembly (Suhrawardy, who was the Chief Minister, has gone to India on Gandhi's invitation to work for communal harmony). The Khan of Mamdot has been elected the Chief Minister of West Punjab, while the NWFP still has the ministry of Dr. Khan Sahib in place. Sind already had a Muslim League ministry, and Mohammad Ayub Khuhro remains the Chief Minister.


A question of accession

Friday 15. The nawab of Bahawalpur has assumed the title Jalalatul Mulk Ala Hazrat Amir of Bahawalpur. Although he has agreed to send his representative to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, it is rumoured that he and his chief minister Mushtaq Ahmed Gurmani are inclined towards stalling the issue of accession to Pakistan. Bahawalpur happens to be the largest of the ten Muslim majority states that are continguous to Pakistan. The others are: Khairpur, Kalat, Las Bela, Kharan, Mekran, and the four frontier states of Dir, Swat, Amb, and Chitral. On the other hand, all (except two) of the 500 odd Hindu majority states as well as the Muslim majority state Kapurthala have acceded to India.


Ambivalence

As they celebrate the newly-won freedom of their land, some Pakistanis voice mixed feelings, basically due to the bloodshed caused by the communal riots but perhaps also because in the absence of some radical measures taken to liberate the common people, the future appears destined to carry over certain shades of the colonial past. The young Faiz Ahmad Faiz, perhaps the most promising Pakistani progressive poet, represents their feelings.

Jinnah announces spiritual freedom for Pakistan

Monday 11. Addressing the Constituent Assembly 4 days before the birth of Pakistan, Mr. Jinnah has declared: "You may belong to any religion or caste or creed - that has nothing to do with the business of the State... Now, I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in course of time, Hindus will cease to be Hindus, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State."

Read complete text: Address to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, 11 August 1947.


Cry treason!

Sunday 10. A Muslim member of the Partition Committee, Chaudhri Muhammad Ali, has found disturbing evidence about tampering of the decision about the East Punjab boundary. Today, when he arrived to seek an interview with Lord Ismay to convey him the message from Jinnah, he was told that Ismay was closeted with Sir Cyril Radcliffe, Chairman Boundary Commission. When Chaudhri saw him at last, Ismay professed complete ignorance of any knowledge of the proposed Punjab boundary, while at the same time Chaudhri discovered a pencil line on the map in Ismay's room very smiliar to the boundary that had been reported to Jinnah. "Ismay turned pale," says Chaudhri Muhammad Ali, "and asked in confusion who had been fooling with his map."


Radcliffe Awards announced

Sunday 17. Muslims suspect foul play as the Radcliff Award gives away strategically important Muslim regions to India without any apparent justification. Unprecedented massacres start in Eastern Punjab, and more are likely to follow in other areas.


What cost freedom?

Many have lost their homes, witnessed brutal slaughters of their dear ones and ravishing of their nearest women. Just some of them are lucky enough to have still made it to Pakistan from the areas torn with communal riots - mostly East Punjab, but generally the whole of the sub-continent.

Who is to blame? Some mention the last viceroy, Lord Mountbatten, whose role is becoming somewhat more shady as more of his plans about the division of Punjab and Bengal are materializing. Speaking to 2 Indian journalists in New Delhi on the 27th, he admitted that he was aware of the Sikh plans for ethnic cleansing of the East Punjab long before the partition. He had tried to argue with them, he says, but they were adamant, and the situation is now "out of anybody's control."

Will the refugees ever be able to rehabilitate, in whatever manner? This is one of the biggest questions facing the newborn state.


Dismissed!

22. Governor Cunningham in NWFP has dismissed the Chief Minister Dr. Khan Sahib and his cabinet as they refused to salute the Pakistan flag. Abdul Qayyum Khan is likely to be the next Chief Minister.


Emergency declared

27. The Governor-General has declared a state of emergency under Section 102 of the adapted Government of India Act, 1935: "Whereas the economic life of Pakistan is threatened by circumstances arising out of the mass movement of population from and into Pakistan, a State of Emergency is hereby declared."


Refugees

28. According to a decision of the Central Government of Pakistan, Sindh must absorb 200,000 of the refugees waiting in the West Punjab's camps. Other provinces must join in: NWFP, 100,000; Bahawalpur, Khairpur, and the Baluchistan Agency 100,000; and West Punjab a 100,000 more.


Radio Stations

The radio stations of the newly born state are located at Peshawar, Lahore, Dacca but none in the federal capital Karachi. Out of these, Peshawar station boasts a broadcasting transmitter assembled and donated by the inventor Marconi himself.


Economy

Pakistan does not have a single ordinance factory and the remark can almost be stretched to include major installations of every sort. Although Pakistan has inherited 20 per cent of the subcontinent's population, her share in industry is less than 7 per cent, consisting mostly of small-scale and minor industrial units: the 34 factories do not total up to a daily employment of more than 26, 400 persons. The East wing produces 70 per cent of the world's jute, but there is not a single jute mill and the West Bengal (now in India) is almost the sole buyer. In the West wing, only 16000 of the total 1500000 cotton bales produced can be processed domestically. The new state does not have its own bank and depends on the reserve bank of India.


Songs remembered
 

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