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Governor-General Iskander Mirza's first broadcast

Major-General Iskander Mirza was the fourth and the last Governor-General (since the office was replaced by the Presidentship during his tenure and thereby he became Pakistan's first President). He replaced the ailing Ghulam Muhammad first as an acting Governor-General and then as a full Governor-General sworn into office on October 5, 1955.

The following is the text of his first broadcast to the nation two days later.

Governor-General Iskander Mirza's first broadcast

On assuming charge as Governor-General, I am overwhelmed by a deep feeling of gratitude to Almighty God, who, in His kindness and munificence, has placed me in a position from which I can render my humble services to the nation.

Creator of nation

My thoughts turn from the Creator of us all to the creator of this nation-that great statesman, the leader of us all-the Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. At all times and on all occasions his name inspires us, because never in the course of human history was so much owed by so many to a single individual.

In the dark days that preceded the creation of Pakistan, he alone broke the clouds as a constant source of light-the cynosure of all eyes in Muslim India.

Round him revolved the hopes and aspirations of our nation-and he by his wisdom, sagacity and skill, led us, by successful strategy and tactics, to our goal of the establishment of Pakistan, which is now assured of an honored place in the comity of nations.

Every Pakistani today and for ever shall be grateful to him for opening for its avenues of destiny and national service.

As he said in his last broadcast to the nation, "Nature has given you everything you have got unlimited resources. The foundations of your State have been laid, and it is now for you to build, and build as quickly and as well as you can. So go ahead and I wish you God speed! It is for us to take up the task entrusted to us by our Quaid-i-Azam and accomplish it in a manner worthy of his followers.

Tribute to Ghulam Muhammad

On this occasion, I must also make a reference to Mr. Ghulam Mohammad, my illustrious predecessor. He steered the ship of this State successfully in the field of finance during our first difficult years. Twice as Governor-General, by swift and resolute action, he saved the country from chaos. He gave his best to the service of the country and I wish him a life of health and happiness.

The suffrage of the representatives of the people have called upon me to shoulder the onerous responsibilities of this high office at a very important juncture in our history. I am deeply conscious of the responsibilities which my new office imposes upon me.

I do not believe in platitudes. It is not my habit to say anything which I do not mean. But I may assure you in all earnestness that I consider myself a humble servant of the nation, to whose service I re-dedicate my life today. I shall give you all that I have of my body and mind and my conscious and your verdict will always be my judges.


During our short but momentous history, the country has been in the grip of many a problems of great domestic and international importance. The question of Constitution-making has rightly exercised the mind of the nation to a point of frustration. My Government and I are determined to give you a workable democratic Constitution as early as your representatives in the Constituent Assembly choose to make it.

The commendable manner in which the new Assembly is addressing itself of late to its tasks encourages me to hope that it will deliver the goods which have long been delayed. The passing of the Constitution will pave way for general direct elections which we are anxious to hold as early as possible.

It is my earnest desire to help in the preparation of a democratic Constitution. Democracy presupposes the existence of a national approach in solving our problems. We must cease to think in terms of the interests of the East and West Wings of Pakistan and look at every problem from the national point of view.

Democracy cannot function successfully and efficiently unless we place our allegiance to Pakistan above all local loyalties.

In a democracy the political parties have to place the interests of the nation above party interests. I hope the parties and individuals in the Constituent Assembly will rise to the occasion, when framing the Constitution by keeping this consideration in mind.

The Intelligentsia

I am fully aware of the difficulties and deficiencies with which our economic and administrative structures are beset. My Government will do everything in its power to improve them. But this is a task in which a heavy burden of responsibility lies on our intelligentsia as well.

The intelligentsia is the backbone of every society. On account of political angularities and other hardships of life, this class in our country has become an unfortunate victim of frustration which is not wholly unjustified. This has affected the growth of a positive social conscience in our midst. It has also impeded the flowering of our genius into cultural and intellectual pursuits.

These are the essence of a worthwhile life and I appeal to you to reorientate [sic] your outlook and give them a fair chance and place in our national set-up. I am anxious to ensure, the development of proper incentives for the promotion of these finer values of life.

The pattern of our economic and social order is continuously complicated by the problem of refugees. This is a colossal task and the Government would do its best to cope with it. This requires organized planning and speedy execution. I must appeal to the public to supplement the efforts of the Government by pooling not only their resources but also their thoughts to expedite the work of rehabilitation.

In our international policies, we stand for peace and freedom. Our adherence to the Turco-Iraqi Pact is symbol of our resolve to promote the cause of peace and democracy. We shall be loyal to our friends.


We are anxious to strengthen the bonds of good neighborly friendship with Bharat. But the problem which has so far baffled our mutual efforts is that of Kashmir. This is not a problem of Pakistan or of Bharat alone. This is a problem of peace of justice and of the inherent desire of freedom-loving people to exercise their right of self-determination.

I hope and trust that the next meeting between the Prime Ministers of Bharat and Pakistan will bring about a just solution of this thorny problem.

If not we shall have to take the matter back to the Security Council. We cannot let the cause of the people of Kashmir lapse under the pressure of intransigence on the part of one party alone.
I assure the people of Kashmir that we fully share their anguish and anxieties. But be patient. We shall always stand by you. We do not consider any sacrifice too great to uphold your cause.
I am happy at the restoration of normal relations with our other neighbor, Afghanistan. The Afghans are not only our neighbors but we have time-honored ties of faith and history with them.

We earnestly desire to strengthen these bonds. We want them to be happy and prosperous. We would gladly co-operate with them in any program of economic or technical assistance which they may require.

But I must, however, say in unambiguous terms that the territorial integrity of Pakistan is inviolable and we shall not countenance any design or desire to encroach on even an inch of it.

Armed Forces

I wish to pay my tribute on this day to our Armed Forces who since the very inception of Pakistan have stood like a rock in the service of the country and who by their discipline and efficiency have qualified themselves to be counted amongst the best in the world.

I wish you peace and goodluck. I earnestly request you to imbibe unity, faith and discipline not merely as a slogan but as a code of actual practice.

Do not harp too much on the past. Mind the present and look to the future with hope and resolution. We must put our shoulders jointly to the wheel of destiny and take our country and nation to the goal which our traditions have marked for us and which our aspirations justify.

Source: Iskander Mirza Speaks (Speeches, Statements and Private Papers)
Compiled and Edited by Ahmad Salim (1997). Gora Publishers, Lahore

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