From History to Modern-Day Pakistan: A Journey of Sacrifices, Struggle & Hope
Quratulain Rashid Mughal
Pakistan became an independent and sovereign state 74 years ago in the name of Islam as British sub-continent was emancipated from the British Raj and was able to establish its own identity. Pakistan’s Independence Day coincided with the most important night for all Muslims, the 27th of Ramzan, according to the Islamic calendar.
Pak means pure, and Stan means land. The name “Pakistan” was proposed by Chaudhry Rehmat Ali who was one of the noteworthy leaders of independence movement. Because both Muslims and Hindus on the subcontinent had different religious identities, cultural origins, ethnicity, and philosophy, they were obligated to have their own demarcated land where they could enjoy freedom of religion, speech, expression and the way of life. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan’s two-nation theory also validated the idea of a separate homeland for the muslims of sub-continent.
The struggle for Pakistan was hard, and people’s sacrifices were critical. Quaid-e-Azam along with several other muslim leaders worked tirelessly to create a separate nation. The All-India Muslim League, led by Muhammad Ali Jinnah, ignited the Pakistan movement with the support of numerous prominent leaders. After Allama Iqbal’s explicit call, Jinnah understood that Hindus were never faithful to Muslims, and thus the struggle for Pakistan began. Jinnah was the most vociferous supporter of Hindu-Muslim unity initially, serving in Congress, and later in All India Muslim League, but he soon understood that the Congress was never working on the behest of subcontinental Muslims.
From 1857 to 1947, there were a vast number uprisings, riots, acts, rallies, conferences, and deputations, but the Lahore resolution was the most important to Pakistan movement. The election of 1937 followed the Pakistan resolution of 1940, also known as the Lahore resolution. In this election, Congress became an elected power across several key provinces.
World War II broke out soon after this election, and as the majority of British servicemen were Sikhs and members of the All-India Muslim League. Viceroy Lord Linlithgow declared support for the British army without consulting the Indian people because the British needed more men to fight the battle. The congress was outraged, and it resigned as the representatives of the provinces.
When Congress resigned in December 1939, Quaid declared it as the Day of Deliverance. After witnessing the Muslim community’s faith in him on the day of deliverance, he was assured of their continued support throughout the freedom movement, and the Lahore resolution was passed on March 23, 1940, at the All-India Muslim League’s 27th annual convention. The resolution was a significant moment for Muslims of the subcontinent.
According to the Lahore resolution, Muslim-majority zones should be established as separate states. Following the Lahore resolution, the 1946 elections were critical to Pakistan’s independence. Provincial elections were held in British India in January 1946 to elect individuals from the administrative committees of British Indian regions. The All-India Muslim League finished second with 425 seats. It took over control of all Muslim electoral districts in the central assembly, as well as the majority of Muslim constituencies in provincial legislatures. The election paved the stage for Pakistan’s independence.
The British left India in August 1947, after nearly 300 years of rule. Pakistan and India were created as independent and sovereign states just on subcontinent. India would remain secular, with a Hindu majority, whilst Pakistan would be mainly Muslim. As a result, one of the most massive migrations in human history took place.
Around 15 million Muslims were displaced and began to migrate to East and West Pakistan. Approximately 7 to 10 million Hindus and Sikhs fled in the other direction. During this migration, there was bloodshed everywhere and Muslims suffered a lot. Almost 2 million people died during this migration, and approximately 75,000 women were raped or abducted. Inside the trains that arrived in Pakistan, there were dead bodies of Muslims. Muslims were killed because of their faith and religious identity.
All of this was the animosity faced by muslims during their allocation, but in terms of economics. Despite the fact that more than 20% of the subcontinent’s population had relocated to Pakistan, Pakistan received less than 7% of the subcontinent’s industrial zones at the time of division. Given the general scenario, Pakistan had few to no industries under its control, and those that did come under their authority were primarily small-scale and modest industrial operations. The newfound state lacked an ordnance factory and a national bank.
Pakistan’s economy has gone a long way since 1947. Between 1950 and 1955, the country saw numerous high points in a variety of indices. Although the country began with a small number of industrial units, production is now highly regulated. People of Pakistan worked tirelessly at the time to build the newly established state. Despite limited resources, the leadership of the country dedicated their efforts during initial years to facilitate the industrial advancement.
We can now see that Pakistan is an agricultural-based economy, with agriculture accounting for a significant portion of the GDP. Pakistan now has world-class weapon manufacturers, steel mills, plastics, and automobile industries. Pakistan also has one of the world’s best textile industries. The country also produces fertilizers, chemicals, sugar, and cement.
New technological advancements are continually being drawn to the country as technology advances. Tariff protection and tax breaks accelerated industrialization. By evaluating all aspects of our state, it can be said with absolute certainty that by working hard, we can strengthen Pakistan’s economy. Pakistan, for example, is self-sufficient for most agricultural production. It has been a leading and successful manufacturer of cotton – based textiles, as well as a wide range of manufactured items for domestic and global markets. We can raise our exports while decreasing our imports, which will help us improve the country’s trade.
A joint venture such as CPEC is said to have the potential to improve Pakistan’s economic status and provide beneficial influxes into the nation’s economy. Our deep ports, as well as the railway and road routes, will be used. The relationship between the two countries can act as a beacon for economic growth. More joint efforts can also help to establish the country’s economy.
Pakistan has the most scenic tourist destinations around the country with highest mountains like K2 in the north to Gwadar port in the South. Recently, Prime Minister Imran Khan underlined the importance of tourism in rebuilding the country’s economy.
Concluding the argument, it can be said that after countless sacrifices by our ancestors, it is the responsibility of every individual to work for the peace, stability and economic prosperity of Pakistan.