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Political Play
Zulfiqar Shah
Pakistan: All roads lead to the 1940 Lahore Resolution or the collapse 20 February, 2019
All movements, demands, political discourse and human rights activism is nothing but the demand for implementing the Lahore Resolution of 1940, which Pakistan claims to be the basic agreement between and among the provincial chapters of the All India Muslim League. Pakistan celebrates every year Lahore Resolution of 1940 as Republic Day. The resolution was passed between March 21 to 24, in Lahore, Punjab.

The 1940 Lahore Resolution reads: 

Resolved that it is the considered view of this Session of the All-India Muslim League that no constitutional plan would be workable in this country or acceptable to the Muslims unless it is designed on the following basic principles, viz., that geographically contiguous units' are demarcated into regions which should be constituted, with such territorial readjustments as may be necessary that the areas in which the Muslims are numerically in a majority as in the North Western and Eastern Zones of India should be grouped to constitute "independent States" in which the constituent units should be autonomous and sovereign.

That adequate, effective and mandatory safeguards should be specifically provided in the constitution for minorities in these units in the regions for the protection of their religious, cultural, economic, political, administrative and other rights and interests in consultations with them and in other parts of India where the Mussalmans are in a majority.  

Here are some glimpses of political movements in Pakistan:

(A) Movement for the separate countryhood of Sindh and Balochistan or secessionism is based on their argument that the Pakistan (federal government) in last over seventy years has not implemented the 1940 Resolution that mentions that Pakistan provinces will be "independent States [letter 'S' is capital in the resolution] in which the constituent units [provinces]should be autonomous and sovereign."

(B) Although Balochistan was freed by Britain in 1947 as separate country before partition of British India, the Crown-Prince (Nawabzada) of Kohlu Princedom of Balochistan and member Balochistan Assembly His Excellency Balach Khan Mari waged armed struggle for over five years for the provincial autonomy of Balochistan in accordance with Lahore Resolution 1940; however when he saw Balochistan will not be given provincial autonomy he demanded separate and independent Balochistan. Pakistan authorities signed truce with once warring Tahreek-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM) in Malakand Division of Khyber Pakhtunkhuwa Province but it termed Balach Marri a traitor. 

(C) Jeay Sindh Qomi Mahaz (JSQM) leader Bashir Qureshi while seeing that after seven decades Lahore Resolution 1940 has not been implemented in Pakistan, he gave calls for Sindh Freedom March, and on March 23, 2012 amid hundreds of thousands protesters bid-farewell to the Lahore Resolution of March 23, 1940.   

(D) Those Baloch, Sindhi, Pashtun, Siraiki nationalists who demand provincial autonomy are basically demanding the implementation of Lahore Resolution of 1940. Besides, political parties like Mutahida Qomi Movement (MQM), Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) Communist Parties and left-wing political groups also demand the implementation of Lahore Resolution of 1940.

(E) Jamiat-e-Ulmai Islam (JUI-F) one of the two leading religious political parties also demands the implementation of 1940 Resolution. Meanwhile, Jamait-e-Islami Pakistan (JI) has changed in last two decades, and they hoisted a Flag of Ajark at Tower of Pakistan (Minar-e-Pakistan) in Lahore, which was built with reference Lahore Resolution of 1940. Ajrak is a piece of linen that dates back to Indus civilization Sindh and Moen-Jo-Daro.

(F) Pakistan People's Party (PPP) without mentioning the name of 1940 Resolution passed eighteenth constitutional amendment last decade that inched forward Pakistan to the 1940 Resolution. Pakistan Muslim League ? Nawaz (PML-N) and MQM also supported it. PML-N had also similar commitment with the duke-in-waiting of Khuzdar in Balochistan SardarzadaAkhtar Mengal who demands the provincial autonomy of Balochistan. Besides, Khyber Pakhtnkhuwa based Awami National Party (ANP) formed by Khan Abdul Wali Khan and Rsool Bux Palejo, and today led by Asfandyar Wali grandson of Khan Abdul Ghafar Khan ? the Bacha Khan as well as the Aftab Sherpau's party also demand for the provincial autonomy. Same aspire the Pakistan Peoples Party ? Shaheed Bhuto (PPP-SB) and Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

(G) Only various brands of Taliban and Islamic State aka Hizbul Ahrar does not demand implementation of Lahore Resolution of 1940.    

(H) Lahore Resolution of 1940 also guarantees the protection of minorities along with the development of their economies, cultures and traditions. It mentions, "That adequate, effective and mandatory safeguards should be specifically provided in the constitution for minorities in these units in the regions for the protection of their religious, cultural, economic, political, administrative and other rights and interests in consultations with them?" No doubt, the victimization of Hindu in Sindh and Balochistan as well as their exodus from Pakistan is against the Lahore Resolution of 1940. Similarly, the assassination and other forms of victimization of Christians, Shia Muslims and Ahmedia Muslims in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhuwa, Quetta and Karachi is violation of this resolution on the basis of which Pakistan is claimed to be founded.

(I) British India was a zone of Great Britain Empire, in which all the countries invaded by Britain were grouped as provinces, they were having their separate constitutions, flags, Prime Ministers and sovereignty. In Pakistan, neither Lahore Resolution of 1940, which ensured that the provinces will be: ? "independent States" in which the constituent units [provinces]should be autonomous and sovereign. After creation of Pakistan on August 14, 1947, provinces were not named "states". Although the provinces were having their constitutions until President General Ayub Khaan's coup d'e?tat; after Ayub Khan's dictatorship, provinces, provincial constitutions, provincial legislative assemblies and their languages were banned. Contrary to 1940 resolution, a unitary political system was imposed on Pakistan, which invisibly still continues. 

(J) Sindh area of Machko was annexed with Punjab in 1970s against the Lahore Resolution of Pakistan. Punjab Police as well as Pakistan Rangers ? Punjab unofficially usually carries policing in Sindh. 

On the other hand, Sindh Legislative Assembly on March 3, 1943 passed a resolution tabled by G. M. Syyed. The resolution reads:

"This House recommends to Government to convey to Her Majesty's [the Queen] Government through His Excellency the Viceroy, the sentiments and wishes of the Muslims of this Province that whereas Muslims of India are a separate nation possessing religion, philosophy, social customs, literature, traditions, political and economic theories of their own, quite different from those of the Hindus, they are justly entitled to the right, as a single, separate nation, to have independent national states of their own, carved out in the zones where they are in majority in the sub-continent of India. 

Wherefore they emphatically declare that no constitution shall be acceptable to them that will place the Muslims under a Central Government dominated by another nation, as in order to be able to play their part freely on their own distinct lines in the order of things to come, it is necessary for them to have independent National States of their own and hence any attempt to subject the Muslims of India under one Central Government is bound to result in Civil War with grave unhappy consequences."        

In the resolution, Sindh Legislative Assembly said that if Muslims of India want to term themselves separate nation, they are "just entitled" for that. Sindh Assembly also declared Sindh along with other Muslim majority provinces of British India having "National States" of their ownIf this does not happen, the resolution mildly warns Queen of Great Britain of the "result in Civil War with grave unhappy consequences." Sindh Legislative Assembly used word Province for Sindh with letter capital letter 'P' and word States beginning with capital letter 'S'. It was 1943, when Sindh took part in Second World War in alliance with Axis Powers for freedom of Sindh from British and was defeated.  

In Pakistan, its founder a Sindhi hailing from Bhuj Gujarat in India, Mohammad Ali Jinnah was assassinated in 1948 according her sister Fatima Jinnah (please refer to Fatima Jinnah book on his brother M.A. Jinnah). The first Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawab Liaqat Ali Khan was also assassinated immediately after. This was following by the assassination of Fatima Jinnah. Some years later Sindhi Prime Minister of Pakistan Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was also murdered. This was followed by the assassination of his sons Shahnanwaz Bhutto and Murteza Bhuto. Mir Murteza Bhutto was leader of PPP and later on PPP-SB, no case of killing was registered against him and his party members until his death. Later on, another Sindhi Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto was assassinated. The last slain Sindhi stalwart leader was JSQM leader Bashir Qureshi. 

In Pakistan, either all roads lead to the Lahore Resolution which these days is known as Pakistan Resolution of 1940 or dismantling of Pakistan. Amazingly, those either demand the implementation of Pakistan Resolution of 1940 or have become separatist because it has not been implemented in Pakistan, sarcastically speaking, usually are termed by the security authorities there as demagogues of Pakistan and charged in the reason cases. Let the truth prevail!     

Shah is a Sindh-Balochistan activist, writer and analyst. Twitter: @shahzulf

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
About The Author
Zulfiqar Shah is a stateless activist, analyst, and researcher. Although he is a refugee, and living a life in exile, he is a born Sindhi and South Asian. Currently he lives in India.
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