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The Chronicle of Pakistan
Compiled by Khurram Ali Shafique
with special thanks to Aqeel Abbas Jafferi
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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

Visit Quaid-i-Azam Corner

Audio of Quaid's speech, August 15

"Peace within and peace without": 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. The new flag of Pakistan was flown to mark the "independence" of the nation (but not the "birth" of the state, which was to take place today). Jinnah, whose title Quaid-i-Azam is now official since Tuesday, graciously allowed the Union Jack to also keep flying till sunset. Radio went on announcing itself as "All India Radio" until late last night and then declared the birth of Pakistan at midnight.

In India, Prime Minister Nehru had started 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."

In Pakistan, Governor-General and his cabinet were swron in this morning, along with provincial governors. Later, Quaid-i-Azam hoisted the national flag and made 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."

Read text of Jinnah's Speech

Top to bottom: Liquat Ali Khan, I. I. Chundrigar, Malik Ghulam Mohammad, Sirdar Abdur Rab Nishtar

The government

Friday 15. His Majesty, George VI, is technically the constitutional monarch of both new dominions, India and Pakistan, which will be members of the Commonwealth of Nations according to the Indian Independence Bill passed by the British parliament.

Quaid-i-Azam has requested many competent British to stay: 3 out of the 4 governors are white - 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 is a Governor-General's province. Chiefs of the armed forces are also white: General Sir Frank Messervey (Royal Pakistan Army), Air Vice-Marshal Perry-Keane (Royal Pakistan Air Force), and Admiral Jefford (Royal Pakistan Navy). Financial advisor to Governor-General, Sir Archibald Rowland, is also 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 Chief Minister of East Bengal by the provincial assembly (Suhrawardy, previous Chief Minister, has gone to India on Gandhi's invitation to work for communal harmony). The Khan of Mamdot has been elected Chief Minister of West Punjab, the anti-Pakistan ministry of Dr. Khan Sahib has been allowed to stay in place in NWFP. Sind already had a Muslim League ministry, and Mohammad Ayub Khuhro remains the Chief Minister.

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.


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.

The next 20 years

When the poet-philosopher Allama Dr. Sir Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938) proposed the idea of Pakistan in 1930, he pointed out that the Muslim community of the sub-continent suffered from lack of leadership and lack of collective instinct. Leadership has been provided by Jinnah, aptly titled Quaid-i-Azam ("the Great Leader"), and the masses have achieved "a real collective ego" through which things can be seen differently.

Whether the educated elite and intelligentsia can "evolve... that spiritual democracy which is the ultimate aim of Islam" is yet to be seen.

Footage of August 11 session

Beyond secularism

Monday 11. Iqbal conceived Pakistan as a novel experiment on the Quranic invitation for creating a pluralistic state based on the Unity of God. Quaid-i-Azam seems to have remembered this as he declares while inaugurating the Constituent Assembly:

"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.

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.

Radcliffe Award: mayhem begins

Sunday 17. Muslims suspect foul play as 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.

Only in some Muslim circles, this had been suspected for the last few days. On Sunday, when a Muslim member of the Partition Committee, Chaudhri Muhammad Ali, sought an interview with Lord Ismay to convey a 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."

Rejecting Pakistan?

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

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."


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 100,000.

Songs remembered

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