Pakistan celebrates a national holiday on 23rd March 2019 with traditional zeal and enthusiasm. This is the day on which Lahore Resolution, better known as Pakistan resolution became a milestone for a separate homeland for Muslims of British India with Punjab, NWFP, Sind and Baluchistan, in the northwest and Bengal & Assam in the northeast of subcontinent. This was the day when Muslims of subcontinent became supremely conscious of their distinct identity/nationhood and prepared themselves to risk any and everything. Then quite a few of semi-autonomous princely states were willing to join the new homeland.
Lahore Resolution was written by Sir Muhammad Zafar Ullah Khan, presented by AK Fazal ul Haq (Chief Minister of undivided Bengal) and adopted by All India Muslim League in their 27th Annual session held on 22nd to 24th of March 1940 in Minto Park Lahore later renamed Iqbal Park. It was the first formal document demanded the creation of a separate political and territorial entity for Muslims of the subcontinent.
Lahore resolution has not been published in any major newspaper of Pakistan till date. However, the same is engraved on Minar-e-Pakistan, a monument 60 meters tall in the shape of a minaret, built at the site, Iqbal Park where the resolution was passed.
If we look into the background of the demand for a separate homeland, Quaid e Azam while addressing to the students explained:-
“The Muslims of India realized, with the introduction of political reforms in India that they would be a permanent minority in the democratic system created by the British. They will not be able to protect their fundamental rights. Muslims were only one fourth in the majority, as compared to Hindu Community”.
In the journey from demanding a ‘separate electorate’ to ‘separate state’; first Muslims demanded separate electorate, which was provided by British Government in the Indian Council Act 1909, but not accepted by Indian Congress. Therefore, the Muslims had to search for a better and long-term solution for the sake of their political, Social & religious rights.
Iqbal, a great philosopher & Poet, made it clear in Allahabad address that Islam has its own social and economic system and in order to implement it, we need a political entity. Iqbal persuaded Jinnah through his letters that the only solution available for the problems faced by Sub Continent Muslims was an independent state in which they can spend their lives according to the teachings of Quran and Sunnah.
Muhammad Ali Jinnah waited for massive support from a vast majority of Muslim in India. His call to celebrate the “Day of Deliverance and thanksgiving as a mark of relief that the Congress regime had ceased to function.” on December 22nd, 1939 achieved an overwhelming response. It was actually a vote of confidence, given by the Muslim Community & by then they had started considering him their Qaid e Azam.
Now great Quaid, with the clarity of mind, called 27th Annual Session of All India Muslim League on 22nd to 24th of March, 1940. Sir Shah Nawaz Khan was nominated as head of reception Committee & Mian Bashir as Secretary. The venue was Minto Park near Badshahi Mosque & Lahore Fort. The inaugural session was to be started around 3 O’clock in the afternoon of 22nd.
And with a rough estimate, One Hundred Thousand (100,000) attended the public meeting. The golden words in his address were,
“Hindus and the Muslims belong to two different religious philosophies, social customs and literature. They neither inter-marry nor inter-dine together, and, indeed, they belong to two different civilizations that are based mainly on conflicting ideas and conceptions. Their concepts on life and of life are different. It is quite clear that Hindus and Muslims 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 government of such a state.”
An interesting fact is that the Resolution didn’t use the name ‘Pakistan’ and the official name of the resolution was ‘Lahore Resolution’. It was Hindu media including their major dailies, Tribune & Bande Mataram, who ironically named the resolution as ‘Pakistan Resolution’, which was appreciated by the Muslim masses & the resolution was named as ‘Pakistan Resolution’.
Preparations for Pakistan Day, 2019 are complete. Breathtaking parade by Pakistan Army is being held in Islamabad at Shakar Parian parade ground. Flight timings headed to and departing Islamabad have been revised to allow Pakistan Air Force jets to rehearse for the Pakistan Day parade. Last year, Saudi Special Force’s contingents, Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) China, Turkish Jannisary Military band, Mehteran & South African National Defence Force’s participation was special features of the parade.
This year Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Muhammad is the Chief Guest at the annual Pakistan Day parade on March 23, 2019. Other guests of honour include Azerbaijan defence minister, Bahrain Army Chief and several military contingents from China, Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan, Sri Lanka and Turkey participate in the parade.
Pakistan armed forces will display nuclear-capable weapons, drones, tanks, jets and other weapons systems in the parade. Pakistan Air Force, Sherdil team will leave a trail of coloured smoke in the sky.
Pakistan is yet to develop an Islamic economic and political model and realize its promised dream of establishing a welfare state. However, we should all celebrate this day, with full devotion and loyalty. Every Pakistani needs to join hands and promise his self to work for the betterment of his/her homeland.
We are seeing conditions of various oppressed communities in many parts of the world and can clearly imagine that living a life in a country, free of oppression and ill-treatment is a gift of God and a great work of leadership. Thank you, Quaid-e- Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Thank you for giving us a homeland, Pakistan.
Read More: 14 August: Recalling the Making of Pakistan