Quaid-i-Azam’s Functioning as Pakistan’s First Governor-General, 1947-1948
Dr. Riaz Ahmad
Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the Father of Pakistani Nation, functioned as Pakistan’s first Governor-General from 14 August 1947 up to his death on 11 September 1948. Though this is a short period of little over an year but keeping in view the problems which the nascent state faced or the situation developed after his death specially after the death of his lieutenant Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan on 16 October 1951, the Quaid’s period of Governor-Generalship is considered a landmark in Pakistan’s history. Immediately following Pakistan’s birth on 14 August 1947, the country had to face a number of problems either created genuinely or on the instigation of India but they were all crucial to existence of the state. Thought it is difficult to asses all these problems but the core issues are to be discussed and the way the Quaid took vital decision on them. These issues are the Jammu and Kashmir, Pakhtunistan; accession of princely states to Pakistan, influx of Refugees into Pakistan from India; administration of the new state; financial resources of the new state; division of assets between India and Pakistan; division of armed forces between the two states, setting up new trends for Pakistan’s foreign policy including opening of foreign mission in various countries; framing of a new constitution for the State and setting up of the provided governments according to the Muslim League policy especially in NWFP.
Before these issues are discussed, we should also take a notice of the difficult circumstances, especially after the 3 June 1947 Plan, under which various issues like the division of administrative departments of the federal government; formation of the Pakistan’s Constituent Assembly, appointment of provincial governors, and division of assets were to be settled by Quaid-i-Azam with Lord Mountbatten.
After 3 June 1947 Jawaharlal Nehru and other Congress leaders pressurized Lord Mountbatten to convince Quaid-i-Azam to accept Mountbatten as the common Governor-General of India and Pakistan, a matter which created doubts in the mind of Jinnah about the sincerity of Mountbatten and Congress leadership that they did not accept the reality of Pakistan from the core of their heart. This strengthened the Muslim popular belief that within months of the creation of Pakistan they intended to undo Pakistan through Mountbatten. The Quaid sensed the forthcoming danger and brought the matter to the All India Muslim League (AIML) Council that nominated the Quaid as Pakistan’s first Governor-General. Mountbatten was verbally informed on 2 July by Liaquat Ali Khan about the decision. But when Mountbatten insisted, Liaquat Ali Khan, Honorary Secretary of AIML, wrote on 5 July to Mountbatten indicating Quaid-i-Azam as Pakistan’s first Governor-General. This was a shock not only to Mountbatten but to the entire Congress leadership. When Mountbatten in his meeting insisted Jinnah to change the decision, the Quaid was determined; rather he suggested that Mountbatten should become super-Governor-General of both India and Pakistan, an idea which was not acceptable to Mountbatten and the Congress leadership. When the Indian Independence Act was passed in July 1947 it was announced by the British Government that Jinnah would be the first Governor-General of Pakistan. Thus he functioned as designated Governor-General. Afterwards all the matters relating to partition concerning Pakistan were discussed with and decided in consultation with Jinnah. Therefore, Mountbatten was compelled to get Jinnah’s approval on all matters relating to Pakistan. If Jinnah would not have been Governor-General designate all the decisions regarding partition regarding partition of Pakistan areas would have been done by Mountbatten and Nehru, ignoring Jinnah’s opinion. The Quaid, the Governor-General-designate functioned from 10 July to 14 August 1947, the period in which crucial decisions were taken by Jinnah in the national and state interests of Pakistan. But, as a matter of fact, Jinnah functioned as such w.e.f. 4 June 1947.
The British Prime Minister Mr. Attlee announced in the House of Commons on 10 July 1947 that Jinnah had been recommended to be the Governor-General of Pakistan, and Mountbatten the Governor-General of India, a matter to be approved by the King shortly.On 13 July addressing the first press conference in New Delhi after being designated as Pakistan’s first Governor-General the Quaid “assured the minorities in Pakistan that their religion, faith, life, property and culture would be fully protected.”He also “repudiated the suggestion that Pakistan would be a theocratic State”.He also assured India that Pakistan would have “friendly and cordial relations with India.”In order to prepare for transfer of power in Pakistan, the Quaid reached Karachi on 7 August amid tumultuous reception.”On his arrival the Governor-General-designate was also presented guard of honour.
As a matter of fact Jinnah could not be ignored by Mountbatten Even earlier. In his meeting with the Viceroy on 5 July 1947 Jinnah made it clear that he intends to hold meeting of Pakistan Constituent Assembly “towards the end of July or early August 1947 in Karachi, a matter to which Mountbatten agreed”.Afterwards the list of members of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan (CAP) was prepared by the Viceroy’s office with the approval of Jinnah which the Viceroy announced in the press conference on 27 July 1947.In this list Khan Abdul Ghafar Khan and Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad were also made members of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan from NWFP to which Jinnah had no objection but immediately after publication of his name in the press Azad resigned from the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan.But when Mountbatten wanted to nominate someone else in his place, Jinnah opposed the move by conveying that the vacancies created by Azad’s resignation should be filled in only by the rules to be framed by the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan.
In order to chalk out the administrative consequences of the partition a meeting was held on 5 June 1947 presided over by Lord Mountbatten and attended by Jinnah, Jawaharlal Nehru, Liaquat Ali Khan, and Valabhbhai Patel in which various legal aspects of the partition were discussed. Jinnah said that there were “many things to do.” Therefore he wanted “to understand which was the first” because “they could not all be done at once.”He suggested that first of all there should be Partition Tribunal which “should be the supreme and final authority and it should not be responsible to the present Interim Government” which was working only as a caretaker government.As no final decision could be reached the meeting was again held on 7 June presided over by the Viceroy in which what Jinnah said is reported as follows:
Mr. Jinnah said that he could not agree that this had been handled correctly in the Executive Council. It was first necessary to get a clear concept. Under the Plan contained in His Majesty’s Government Statement, it was the Crown and His Majesty’s Govt. who proposed to transfer power to the successor authorities. With regard to the method, and the machinery which was to be set up for the transfer of power, there should be an independent body. The Interim Government was working under the present Constitution. It was for the Crown and His Majesty’s Government to set up such machinery as would go to carry out the division of all assets and liabilities which were vested by the Government of India Act 1935, so far as it had come into operation. For this partial transfer under the Act, the Government had been giving certain powers for certain purposes. The Government could only carry on within these limitations. After the announcement of the Plan it would undertake no new policy or legislation. If there was a crisis it would be for His Excellency as Governor-General in collaboration with his Executive, to take such steps as were considered necessary; but, barring that exception, no planning or policy, administrative or legislative, could be undertaken because it was clear that it was a question of only two or three months. The Interim Government must not assume a status of power which they did not possess. The Interim Government must realise its own position first. Therefore, the Crown and His Majesty’s Government should, with no delay, tackle the business of partition. He could not see how the interim Government came into this at all.
Jinnah’s proposition was opposed by Mountbatten, Nehru and Patel, but Jinnah finally convinced all of them about his justified stand. Consequently it was agreed that a Partition Council should be set up consisting of two of the top ranking leaders of the Congress and two of the Muslim League and His Excellency the Viceroy as Chairman of the Council. A Committee and Arbitral Tribunall shall assist the Partition Council. The present Cabinet Secretariat in New Delhi would function as Secretariat of the Partition Council.
Jinnah was very keen to settle all issues of partition and even appointments of Governors, sending diplomatic representatives abroad for which he wrote to Mountbatten on 9 June. But his letter of 11 June Jinnah further emphasised this matter of appointment.
From the AIML, Jinnah and Liaquat were nominated and from Congress, Sardar Vallahbhai Patel and Dr. Rajendra Prasad were nominated members of the Partition Council.As Jinnah was very keen to partition the Armed Forces, a meeting of the Partition Council was held in Viceroy’s office on 27 June in which detailed discussion was held. A lengthy draft was prepared for establishment of Army Headquarter of Pakistan in Rawalpindi and Army Headquarter of India in New Delhi. But Commander-in-Chief of India was to function as Supreme Commander until such time that process of partition was completed. In his meeting with the Viceroy on 23 June Jinnah had alreadymade it clear that it was his wish to “have a Pakistan Army ready to by August 15th and that there must be an operational Commander-in-Chief in Paksitan by that date who would take orders from the Pakistan Government.”The Viceroy agreed with him, but added that for administrative matters both armies should continue to be under Field Marshal Sir Claude Aunchinleck. On this Quaid explained that “the Muslims no longer had faith in Field Marshal Auchinleck and they would much prefer to see someone else in his place”.The Viceroy disagreed.
About the formation of the flag of the Dominion of Pakistan detailed discussions were held between Jinnah and Mountbatten on 12 July.Jinnah insisted that Muslim League flag would be the flag of Pakistan, but Mountbatten wanted an amendment in the shape that small union Jack should be shown in the upper canton of the Muslim League flag. The Quaid, in his interview with Mountbatten on 12 July, explained that this “would be repugnant to the religious feelings of the Muslims to have a flag with Christian cross alongside the crescent.” Again on 15 July there was a meeting in the Viceroy House for settling the issue of flag, but Jinnah’s opinion was accepted.Mountbatten felt concerned about the way Jinnah was taking decisions regarding matter relating to Pakistan. In his personal report to the Security of state on 18 July 1947 Mountbatten even complained to the British Government that “Jinnah now issues his own court circular” every day.
Ceremonial arrangements for Mountbatten’s visit to Karachi on 13-14 August were prepared by the Viceroys’ staff on 15 and 18 July in consultation with the Quaid.
On 11 August 1947 in the meeting of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan the Quaid, the Governor-General-designate of Pakistan was elected President of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan. In his welcome address, following his election, Jinnah made it clear that “justice and fair play would be the guiding principles of new State”.He also declared that “we are starting with the fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of Pakistan with no distinction of caste or community”.The Quaid also made it clear that the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan would be discharging two functions: i) first to frame new constitution of the new state, and ii) to act as a legislative body. On a motion by Liaquat Ali Khan the national flag of the federation of Pakistan, with three-fourth green with crescent and the start inset and the quarter near the mast was of white colour, was adopted.In another resolution moved by Liaquat it was adopted by the constituent Assembly of Pakistan on 12 August that from thenceforward M.A. Jinnah would be addressed in all official acts, documents and correspondence as Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.
Transfer of Power to Pakistan took place at the ceremonial meeting at the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan in Karachi on 14 August 1947 addressed by both Lord Mounbatten the last Viceroy of British India and Quaid-i-Azam. Addressing the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, Mountbatten said that “the birth of Pakistan was a great event in history and conveyed the greetings and warmest wishes of His Majesty the King and on his own behalf.”Replying in a good gesture the Quaid said that “we are parting as friends and we shall ever remain friends.”Mounbatten also declared that the Quaid had “his good wishes as your new Governor-General.”
Upon a direction from Quaid-i-Azam, the Governor-General, the Frontier Ministry headed by Dr. Khan Sahib was dismissed by an order of the NWFP Governor Sir George Conningam on 22 August 1947.The action was considered necessary because of the Referendum in the NWFP in July 1947 by which the overwhelming majority of the NWFP had voted for Pakistan. The Muslim League had launched agitation against this Congress government but was suspended on the orders from the Quaid. However, following the birth of Pakistan when Dr. Khan Sahib’s Ministry refused to salute Pakistan flag it became necessary to dismiss it in the interest of Pakistan. Khan Abdul Qayyum Khan, the opposition leader belonging to Muslim League, was invited to form new provincial Ministry.Thus the provincial affairs of NWFP were set toward the right direction.
After the Radcliff Award was announced, there was great agitation in the minds of the Muslim League workers of the Punjab. Speaking in this connection on Radio Pakistan, Lahore station on 31 August 1947, the Quaid maintained that the Award “may be wrong, unjust and perverse, and it may be not a judicial but political award, but we agreed to abide by it and it is binding upon us”.Thus the agitation subsided under the Quaid’s guidance for peace and order in the Punjab which helped a lot in preparing the Punjab Government to look after the thousands of Refugees coming from the Indian Punjab.These refugees were mostly settled on various cities of the Punjab.
The atrocities committed against the Muslims of the East Punjab were not tolerable by the Afridis of the Khyber Agency. Nawabzada Khalif Khan Malik on behalf of the Afridis of Khyber Agency telegraphed to the Quaid for retaliation.The Quaid in his reply, called upon him that “retaliation is most unwise”The Quaid also disclosed that he had received many telegrams from Frontier tribesmen and his advice was restraint in accordance with the dictates of the Islamic teachings.Thought the Quaid was pained by the increasing grief and orgies of violence in East Punjab which had taken indescribable tragedies on hundreds of thousands of Muslims, still he called upon the Muslims to temper their sentiments with reason and arguments.
The Quaid was deeply interested to get full membership of the United Nation for Pakistan. For this purpose Muslim League Representative M.O.A Baig was sent to Lake Success in U.S.A. on 13 August he conveyed to the U.N. Secretary-General Mr. Trygve Lie, the Pakistan’s designated Governor-General’s wish to get UN membership.On this basis the UNO Security in September Session of the General Assembly of the U.N. to admit the new British Commonwealth member Pakistan.
Pakistan’s interest was also watched at other world forums. A Muslim League delegation headed by Abdur Rahman Siddiqi was sent to Cairo under orders from the Quaid to attend the Inter-Parliamentary World Congress on Palestine to be held in the third week of August 1947.
Quaid-i-Azam M.A. Jinnah was formerly sworn as Governor-General of Pakistan on 15 August 1947 by Sir Abdur Rashid, Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court. Immediately afterwards on the same day seven members of Pakistan Cabinet headed by Liaquat Ali Khan took oath. These Ministers were Liaquat Ali Khan, I.I. Chundrigar, Ghulam Mohammad, Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar, Jogandra Nath Mandal, Fazlur Rahman, and Ghazanfar Ali Khan.Afterwards, the Provincial Administration was also set up. Governors and Chief Ministers were also installed.
The Governor of India Act 1935 was adapted as the provincial constitution by a notification in the Gazette of Pakistan on 3 September 1947.This was to be so until a new constitution was framed by the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan. But while doing so some fundamental changes were also made in this Act which were:
- Reference to the British Crown will be discarded;
- Appointment of the Governors and high court judges will be made by the Governor-General;
- Our allegiance will be not to the Crown but to the Pakistan Constitution.
- Governor-General was empowered to see that any provincial ministry does not abuse its powers.
- Federal Legislature was to elect its Speakers and Deputy Speaker;
- Salaries of the Governor-General and Governors were decreased;
- Governor-General was authorised to promulgate ordinances in case of emergencies.
For participation in the field of sports at world level Pakistan was also interested under instructions from the Quaid. For this purpose All-Pakistan Olympic Association with Ahmed E.H. Jaffer, as its President, was formed in last days of August 1947.In early September 1947 when Jaffer was proceeding on his business mission to U.K. he was instructed to get Pakistan Olympic Association affiliated with World Olympic Association and to invite World Olympic meet next year in January 1948 in Karachi of which Quaid-i-Azam was to be the Chief-Guest being Chief Patron of the All-Pakistan Olympic Association.
The armed forces were built on new lines. Air Vice-Marshal A.L.A. Pessy-Keene was appointed in early September 1947 to command the Air Forces of Pakistan.
On 1 January 1948 Indian complained to President of the U.N. Security Council against Pakistan of sending Pakistani nationals and tribesmen for operation in Jammu and Kashmir. This complaint was lodged by P.P. Pillai, India’s permanent Representative to the U.N. for the purpose of asking UN to take a quick action.Pakistan pleaded with U.N. Commission to consult with Azad Kashmir Government for solution of Kashmir issue in which the Pakistan Government was ready to assist. This was said on 6 September 1948 in reply to U.N. Commission’s Resolution of 13 August 1948.
Apart from the Kashmir issue, the issue of accession of 10 states within the boundaries of Pakistan was causing tension especially the Khan of Kalat. They needed to be convinced about the details of joining. These states were: Chitral, Amb, Swat, Dir, Makran, Kharan, Lasbella, Kalat, Khairpur, and Bahawalpur. Largest of these states was Bahawalpur. The Quaid played very important role in convincing the Rulers of these states to accede to Pakistan. These states acceded to Pakisan between 3 October 1947 and 31 March 1948.Thus this issue of great importance was settled during the life-time of Quaid-i-Azam.
In terms of currency of Pakistan basic steps were taken by the Government of Pakistan under orders from the Quaid. The Indian hard currency continued both in India and Pakistan upto 20 March 1948. It was on 21 March 1948 that Pakistan issued new coins of its own with the inscription “Government of Pakistan” both in English and Urdu.The old common notes were still to continue until 30 March. From 1 April 1948 Pakistan Government started printing its own notes. But still Pakistan could not establish its own State Bank. It was on 1 July 1948 that the State Bank of Pakistan was established in Karachi. The opening ceremony was presided over by the Quaid. On this occasion the Quaid said:
I need hardly dilate on the important role that the State Bank will have to play in regulating the economic life of our country. The monetary policy of the bank will have a direct bearing on our trade and commerce, both inside Pakistan as well as with the outside world and it is only to be desired that your policy should encourage maximum production and a free flow of trade. The monetary policy pursued during the war years contributed, in no small measures, to our present day economic problems. The abnormal rise in the cost of living has hit the poorer sections of society including those with fixed incomes very hard indeed and is responsible to a great extent for the prevailing unrest in the country.
There developed serious differences in the affairs of West Punjab and Sind Cabinets which were to be looked into by the Quaid personally on 23 April 1948.
Business activity was also encouraged by the Quaid in Pakistan. For this purpose he met various businessmen and Chambers of Commerce. In his address to 88th Annual General meeting of Karachi Chamber of Commerce on 27 April 1948 the Quaid assured them for facilities for private enterprise.
Miniroties were fully assured of equal rights with other citizens of Pakistan on various occasions. On 14 June replying to an address of welcome in Quetta by the Parsi Anjuman of Baluchistan the Quaid said that “everyone irrespective of caste, colour, creed or race shall be fully protected with regard to life, property and honour”.
In early 1948 controversy arose between the Federal Government and the Sind government regarding administration of Karachi, as the capital of Pakistan, to be either under central of provincial control. For resolution of this problem a deputation appointed by the Sind Assembly Muslim League Party met the Quaid in Ziarat on 23 June 1948 in which the deputation sought guidance from the Quaid. The Quaid expressed that central and provincial governments should resolve this issue amicably, but suggested that areas of central government and of the provincial administration should be clearly demarcated. Keeping in view Pakistan’s week condition the Quaid said that we should not be in a hurry to take any action as there are many other issues demanding our urgent attention. However, the issue should be settled within three years.
In foreign policy also the Quaid guided Pakistan and helped establishment of friendly relations with various countries of the world. In his interview to Dr. Eric Steiff, special correspondent of the Neue Zurcher Zeitung of Zurich, Switzerland, on 11 March 1948, the Quaid, when asked about relations with India, said that peaceful settlement of problems and disputes with India was possible only if “the Indian Government will shed the superiority complex and will deal with Pakistan on an equal footing and will fully appreciate the realities.”
The basic principle on which Quaid-i-Azam wanted Pakistan to build up its relations with the foreign countries was to pursue the goal of peace, both within and outside the country. This could not be done, he believed, unless we create a spirit of goodwill. That could he done only if we were sympathetic towards all the human beings and work for the solution of problems of any nation suffering in any part of the world. These were the Islamic principles on which Quaid-i-Azam desired the Government of Pakistan to act.
Having these broad principles in mind, it was a matter of priorities and need of the people of Pakistan that they wanted to establish good Relations with their neighbouring countries, especially the Muslim block, the world powers and other humanities living anywhere in the world. Sardar Najibullah Khan, special representative of the King of Afghanistan presented his credentials to Quaid-i-Azam on 3 December 1947. In reply to his speech, the Quaid expressed:
The Government and the people of Pakistan entertain nothing but feelings of warmest friendship towards the Muslim Kingdom of Afghanistan which is our closest neighbour and with whom for many centuries and for many generations the people of Pakistan have had countless religious, cultural and social ties. It is doubtless known to Your Excellency that the people of Pakistan have always admire the spirit of independence of the Afghan nation and its great strength of character.
I desire that the relationship between these two sister Nations may be of the greatest and the most lasting friendship, and I hope that the two Governments will soon be able to settle and adjust, in a spirit of goodwill for the benefit of both, all those matters which require our immediate attention, and I do trust that the coming negotiations, that may take place, will secure and strengthen all the more the goodwill and friendship between our two countries which already exist.
The visit of special representative of the Afghanistan King was followed by the appointment of an Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan. The Ambassador of Afghanistan presented his credentials to Quaid-i-Azam on 8 May 1948. On this occasion the Quaid said:
It gives me very great pleasure indeed to welcome you today as the first Ambassador from Afghanistan. The Government and people of Pakisan greatly appreciate the action of His Majesty the King of Afghanistan in sending to us an ambassador from the Royal family of Afghanistan. We hope and trust that with a Representative of Your Royal Highness’s distinction and experience the age-old links which bind our two peoples will be further strengthened, thus paving the way for a bright and happy future for both our countries.
Your Royal Highness has rightly referred to the natural bonds of friendship and affection which bind the people of our two countries. It could hardly be otherwise as these bonds are based on ties of faith and culture and common ideals. With such powerful bonds already in our favour we cannot, I feel, fail to bring the people of our two countries closer towards each other and closer than they were before the birth of Pakistan.
…We are indeed glad that we have amongst us today a distinguished representative of our closest neighbour and Pakistan, I am sure, very much appreciates the message of good wishes Your Excellency has brought to us.
Your Royal Highness can rest assured that in striving to cement the bonds of friendship that already exist between our two peoples and my Government will give you all possible help and co-operation. Coming as you do as a representative of the great Muslim nation, you are most welcome to us and we hope and trust that you will be able to discharge your duties successfully in the light of your good wishes and sentiments for Pakistan.
On 21 January 1948 the Burmese [now Myanmar] Ambassador to Pakistan presented his credentials to Quaid-i-Azam. It was considered in the interest of Pakistan to develop peaceful relations with Burma. In this speech the Quaid said:
I have no doubt that as in the past, in future also, the many bonds that exist between the Union of Burma and Pakistan will be strengthened to the mutual advantage of both countries. I hope that these two lands are both ancient in history but both on the road to a new and high destiny will strive with energy to establish a lasting era of progress and peace.
The Quaid considered it in the very interest of Pakistan and Ceylon [now Sri Lanka] to establish cordial and good relatiosn between the two peoples and both the Governments. On the attainment of dominion status by Ceylon the Quaid sent his message of goodwill on 4 February 1948 in which he said:
The attainment of dominion status by Ceylon in the wake of India and Pakistan is a matter for great satisfaction and rejoicing to us, and on behalf of the people of Pakistan and myself, I extend to you our sincerest congratulations on this happy and historical occasion. We in Pakistan will watch your progress with the most friendly and sympathetic interest as some of the problems confronting your island are similar to ours. We have both suffered from exploitation at the hands of a foreign power and now that a new era has been ushered, we shall have to strive every nerve to improve the lot of common man, so sadly neglected heretofore. The problem confronting us is by no means small or easy but we must tackle it boldly if we are to prove ourselves worthy of our newly won freedom and sovereign Government of the people.
Ceylon is rich in material resources and talent and I have no doubt that under the guidance of her great leaders she will make rapid strides on the road to good government and prosperity and will play her rightful part in promoting goodwill and friendship throughout the world.
Pakistan has the warmest goodwill towards Ceylon, and I am sanguine that the good feeling which exist between our two people will be further strengthened as the years roll by and our common interests, and mutual and reciprocal handling of them, will bring us into still closer friendship. Once again, I wish all prosperity and a glorious future to Ceylon.
In the, broadcast talk to the people of Australia recorded no 19 February 1948, Quaid-i-Azam introduced to Australians the land and the people of Pakistan in this way.
In the setting up of our new State, I would expect a special understanding of our problems by the people of Australia. After all, it is not so long ago that your forebearers were breaking new ground, organising the administration, scheming to develop the riches of the earth, safeguarding the future of your children, and, most important, achieving their sense of identity as Australians, which you have inherited. We are in much the same stage. Doubtless, we shall make mistakes – just, perhaps, as you have made. But just as you have succeeded, so too, we shall succeed.
In his broadcast talk to the people of the United States of America recorded in February 1948, the Quaid-i-Azam spoke on the subject of foreign policy in a comprehensive manner.
Our foreign policy is one of friendliness and goodwill towards all the nations of the world. We do not cherish aggressive designs against any country or nation. We believe in the principle of honesty and fair-play in national and international dealings and are prepared to make our utmost contribution to the promotion of peace and prosperity among the nations of the world. Pakistan will never be found lacking in extending its material and moral support to the oppressed and suppressed peoples of the world and in upholding the principles of the United Nation Charter.
During the last five months of its existence, Pakistan has had to face terrible trials and tribulations and to suffer tragedies which are almost without parallel in the history of mankind. We have, however, withstood these calamities with courage and fortitude. Through our perseverance, labour and sacrifice we will make Pakistan into a great and powerful nation. Pakistan has come to stay and no power on earth can destroy it.
The first Ambassador of the United states of America presented his credentials to Quaid-i-Azam on 26 February 1948. With specific reference to the U.S.A., the Quaid said:
Though Pakistan is a new State, for well over a century now there have been many connections of trade and commerce between the people of Pakistan and the people of the United States. These relationships were strengthened and made more direct and intimate during two world wars and more particularly and more recently during the second world war when our two people stood shoulder to shoulder in defence of Democracy. The historic fight for self-government by our people and its achievement by them, the constituent teaching and practice of democracy in your country and for generations acted as a beacon light and had in no small measure served to give inspiration to nations who, like us, were striving for independence and freedom from the shackles of foreign rule.
I cordially share your pleasure at the evidence of friendship and sympathy shown by your country in opening diplomatic relations with Pakistan from the very first day of its establishment as a new State. I would like to add that this friendship has been delightedly and consistently furthered by your very able and esteemed colleague Mr. Charles Lewis the Charge-d-Affairs who represented your country here pending Your Excellency’s arrival.
Quaid-i-Azam was very happy to receive the first Ambassador of the Republic of France to Pakistan on 21 January 1948. During his speech on his occasion, the Quaid said:
It has given me great pleasure to welcome you today in your capacity as the first Ambassador of the Republic of France to Pakistan. With your appointment the relationship between our two countries assumes a closer and more intimate from and I hope and trust that this will presage the most cordial and friendly co-operation between our two countries.
…As your Excellency has yourself observed the traditions (and may I add the culture) of Pakistan, as the youngest of the free Muslim countries of the world, has been inherited from a long past – a past which, in view of the manifold contacts of France with the Muslim world over several centuries, is well-known and familiar to the Government and the people of France. Indeed in view of this long contact of France with the Muslim World, the people of France and Pakistan are not strangers to one another. I hope and trust that with this background of intimate contact between our two peoples and in particular with Your Excellency’s knowledge of our brother Muslim countries, your appointment will inaugurate a new era which I hope will lead to closer friendship between France and Pakistan. I assure Your Excellency that we in Pakistan will give you our support and cooperation which you may require in promoting relationship of goodwill and friendship between our two countries and I trust that in the result, Pakistan and France will unitedly play their part in re-establishing peace and prosperity in the present distracted world.
Quaid-i-Azam was, however, very spirited while expressing his sentiments on the occasion of presentation of credentials by the first Turkish Ambassador to Pakistan on 4 March 1948. In his address the Quaid said:
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you today as the First Turkish Ambassador to Pakistan. But my pleasure is enhanced as there is a unique significance about today’s ceremony to the people of Pakistan for historical reasons. Your Excellency has yourself observed that many spiritual and sentimental ties born and grown in the course a of a long history bind of people of Turkey to the people of Pakistan. Not only this but also by a turn of the world situation during the past 50 years or more, Turkey has been in our thoughts constantly and has drawn our admiration for the valour of your people and the way in which your statesmen and leaders have struggled and fought almost single handed by in the midst of Europe for your freedom and sovereignty which have been happily maintained.
The exploits of your leaders in many a historic field of battle; the progress of your Revolution; the rise and career of the great Ataturk, his revitalization of your nation by his great statesmanship, courage and foresight – all these stirring Events are well-known to the people of Pakistan. In fact, right from the very birth of political consciousness amongst the Muslims of this great sub-continent, the fortunes of your country were observed by us with deep sympathy and interest. I can, therefore, assure our Excellency that the Muslims of Pakistan entertain sentiments of affection and esteem for you country, and now Turkey and Pakistan both as free, sovereign and independent countries, can strengthen their more and more for the good of both.
We hope that with Your Excellency’s assistance and cooperation we may be able to build up closer political and cultural ties with your State, and thus contribute our share to the attainment of peace and prosperity throughout the world.
Finally, I extend a most cordial welcome to Your Excellency as the first Ambassador of Turkey to Pakistan – a welcome charged with the deepest affection of historical and cultural ties and traditions of the past.
This was not only with Turkey, but with the entire Arab world, Iran and other countries of the Muslim world that peaceful and friendly relations were required to be strengthened by the Quaid-i-Azam. This was felt necessary because of age-old, religious and cultural ties with the Muslim world, not because of any confrontation with any of the world powers or any state. With the neighbouring countries without any consideration of religion such as Sri Lanka, India, China, Russia he equally was interested to have most close relations. With the other countries of the world and also with the world powers he was interested in developing good and friendly relations. This was because he equally shared the content of the charter of the United Nations in which peace and harmony required building up harmonious relations amongst the states of the world. He was equally interested in the promotion of harmony and peace amongst the world states in whichever corner of the world they may be. Whether they may be rich or poor, he wanted close, friendly and equal relations amongst them. This could be done if the states follow a judicious policy in the interest of world humanity.
Relations with India
Pakistan emerged in 1947 as a homeland of the Muslim Nation of the South Asian subcontinent, a nation which was denied the right of respectable existence by the Hindu majority under the British Raj. This emergence took place through division of the subcontinent under unprecedented circumstances. The Congress leaders were initially opposed to this division but they had to concede under pressure from the united political demand of the Muslims, skillfully guided by Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Although they agreed to the establishment of Pakistan, yet they had a hope that the partition would soon be undone.
With this start, the Congress leaders could never accept the existence of Pakistan from the core of their hearts. This legacy continued even after Independence; rather, the Indian leaders were bent upon creating hurdles in the way of proper functioning of the new state.The best example of this is the Indian intervention in East Pakistan in 1971, which led to the establishment of Bangladesh.
The Quaid-i-Azam had all these considerations in his mind. The experience of more than 50 years after independence has proved the worth of his ideas both for Pakistan and India. It is still required for the foreign policy planners to understand the content of the Quaid’s saying and to frame their policies accordingly. His views in this respect are scattered, no doubt, in his various speeches and expressions, but when gathered together they form an interesting study by itself.
Whatever he said, it seems, it is true in the historical background through which both the countries have passed. He was also aware of minority problems, like those of Sikhs and Parsis, and the existence of various sects and creeds within the fold of both India and Pakistan. It was with full awareness of these considerations that the Quaid was interested in building a better future for the peoples of India and Pakistan.
Accordingly, for India he was ready to concede the right to develop the socio-political set-up in the light of its ancient Hindu traditions, if they – desired to do so. This was actually a manifestation of his broad-minded spirit. But in Pakistan, he was against the imposition of Muslim laws over the Hindu section of Pakistani population. The same he required from the Indian Pakistani population. The same he required from the Indian Government, that they should not coerce the Indian Muslims to accept Hindu laws. Similarly, he desired from the Hindu leaders that if the Pakistani Government resorted to establish social, economic and political order in Pakistan in the light of Islam and its traditions, the Indian leaders should not have any objection to it. Both the countries may set up different political systems in their own territory but should respect each other’s system. This was desired by the Quaid in line with the fundamental spirit of internationalism through which the twentieth century nations were passing. According to it, each nation is coming closer and closer to other by means of modern technology and fast communication channels. The Quaid, as a true statesmen, visualized this future direction in human affairs. In line with this thinking, it was of utmost importance that peoples of India and Pakistan should come to develop cordial relations based on the concept of mutal respect and co-existence. He suggested certain measures to be taken by both sides to attain this ideal.
As a matter of primary consideration, The Quaid demanded that India should recognize the reality of Pakistan’s existence. This was not a new thing In his view, the Muslim in South Asia always had “a place in India”. Explaining this he said on 19 February 1948.
We have had a place in India for many centuries. At one time it was supreme place. This was when the edict of the Mughals ran from shore to shore. We look back on that period merely from historical point of view. Now we have got a comparatively small place – comparatively small although four times the size of England. It is ours and we are content with it.
Historically, the Muslim conquered the subcontinent from the side of north-western frontiers of South Asia, presently comprising Pakistan. In order to belie any fears on which some Indian circles may not capitalize, the Quaid was careful enough to remove such doubts. Speaking in the same breath, he said:
We have no aggressive designs upon our neighbours. We wish to live in peace and friendship, and to work out our destiny quietly in our own way and make our rightful contribution in the affairs of the world.
He also desired that India should have no objection if Pakistan adopts Islam in its social, political and economic matters. In relation to economic system, for instance, the Quaid said on 1 July 1948:
The western world, in spite of the advantages of mechanization and industrial efficiency, is today in a worse mess that was ever before in history. The adoption of Western economic theory and practice will not help in achieving our goal of creating a happy and contented people. We must work our destiny in our own way and present to the world an economic system based on true Islamic concept of equality of manhood and social justice. We will thereby be fulfilling our mission as Muslims and giving to humanity the message of peace which alone can save it and secure the welfare, happiness and prosperity and mankind.
This was expressed by the Quaid at a time when Pakistan established its own Central Bank called State Bank of Pakistan by separating its monetary arrangements from the Reserve Bank of India. This separation was necessitated because of two reasons. Firstly, Reserve Bank of India refused to carry out its obligation of handling Pakistan’s financial affairs. Secondly, Pakistan wanted to evolve her own economy in the light of Islamic commandments. The Quaid explained this in the international context too in which Pakistan promised to establish an economic order which would ensure equal economic opportunities to all human beings irrespective of considerations of creed, caste and religion.
India was required to have no objection to this approach of Pakistan. It should also do nothing to hamper Pakistan’s progress For this reason, he suggested to both sides: “The past must be buried and let us start afresh as two independent sovereign states of Hindustan and Pakistan.”Expressing his tolerance and regard for the Hindus, he said: “I wish Hindustan prosperity and peace.”
Pakistan had emerged against the background of tussle between the Hindus and the Muslims. After its creation there was strong probability of the continuity of the same rivalry between them as two countries. He desired that the Muslims of Hindustan should try to live in India by developing close nad harmonious relations with the Hindus and other non-Muslim communities. “My advice to my Muslim brethren in India is”, said the Quaid, “to give unflinching loyalty to the State in which they happen to be.”He also wanted reciprocal response from “the Government of India” which was required to be careful enough to “see that their fair name is not sullied by ill-advised action on the part of these who are bent upon the eviction or extermination of Muslims of India by brutal and inhuman methods”. If there was any policy in regard to population exchange between the two countries the Quaid was ready to make a fair deal and settle the issue in a honourable way. Explaining this view, he said:
If the ultimate solution of the minority problems is to be mass exchange of population, let it be taken up at the Government plane; it should not be left to sorted out the blood thirsty elements.
As the Indian Muslims had supported that cause of Pakistan, the Indian Government ‘victimised and oppressed’ them. The Quaid called upon the Indian Government not to penalize them “for their help and sympathy for the establishment of Pakistan.”
The same attitude of cordiality towards the Hindu and other non-Muslim population in Pakistan was expected by him from the Government of Pakistan, which he himself was heading. In this policy he sought cooperation from both the Muslims and the Hinds of Pakistan. In a message, he called upon both communities to forget their past of mutual rivalry and try to build good relations with each other as he said:
On can quite understand the feeling that exists between the two communities wherever one community is in majority and the other is in minority. But the question is whether it is possible or practicable to act otherwise than what has been done. A division had to take place. On both sides, in Hindustan and Pakistan, there are sections of people who may not agree with it, who may not like it, but in my judgement there was no other solution and I am sure future history will record its verdict in favour of it. And what is more it will be proved by actual experience as we go on that was the only solution of India’s constitutional problem. Any idea of a United India could never have worked and in my judgement it would have led us to terrific disaster. May be that view is correct; may be it is not; that remains to be seen. All the same, in this division it was impossible to avoid the question of minorities being in one Dominion or their other. Now that was unavoidable There is no other solution. Now what shall we do? Now, if we want to make this great State of Pakistan happy and prosperous we should wholly and solely concentrate on the well-being of the people, and especially of the masses and the poor. If you will work in cooperation, forgetting the past, burying the hatchet, you are bound to succeed. If you change your past and work together in a spirit that everyone of you, no matter to what community he belongs, no matter what relations he had with you in the past, no matter what is his colour caste, or creed, is first, second and last a citizen of this State with equal rights, privileges and obligations there will be no end to the progress you will make.
Like a fair leader and true statesman, the Quaid desired the Pakistanis to work for the right ideals. As long as Jawaharlal Nehru remained Prime Minister of India, no sincere endeavour was made to change the Indian attitude towards Pakistan, despite the latter’s proclamations of cordiality. In the first Constituent Assembly, as far as Pakistan was concerned, there were as many as fifteen non-Muslim members in a house of sixty-nine.J.N. Mandal even functioned as Minister of Minorities in the first Pakistani Cabinet.
The Quaid desired establishment of Pakistan’s relations with Indian on equal basis. This was perfectly in conformity with the spirit of international norms as manifested by the United Nations Charter. He desired India to ‘shed’ its ‘superiority complex’ and come to “deal with Pakistan on equal footing.” This was possible only if India was ready to develop a positive attitude towards Pakistan by which it could “appreciate the realities” of the creation of Pakistan.This was desired by the Quaid so as to make both countries jointly play a significant role in world politics. Explaining it further, he said:
Personally I have no doubt in my mind that our own paramount interests demand that the dominion of Pakistan and the dominion of India should coordinate for the purpose of playing their part in international affairs and the developments that may take place and also it is of vital importance to Pakistan and India as independent sovereign states to collaborate in a friendly way jointly to defend their frontiers both on land and sea against any aggression.
But the Quaid realized that attainment of this ideal level of cooperation between the two countries was difficult because this depends entirely on whether Pakistan and India can resolve their own differences, but if we canput our house in order internally, then we may be able to play a very great part externally in all international affairs.
What has happened since 1947 between the two states was rather a reverse of what the Quaid visualized. There are some quarters in Pakistan who blame India for not helping normalization. There are some writers who believe that Pakistan has done nothing to win India’s confidence. Both points of view can be substantiated. But as a Pakistani, one must be inclined to support the opinions of the Pakistani quarter. Both sides should understand the message of the Quaid and try to cultivate cordiality between themselves. To those who think that if Pakistan establishes close and friendly relations with India it will go against the conditions of the ideology of Pakistan, one may say that there is no reason for us to go against our own Ideology if we desire to live in peace and harmony as good neighbours.
To those on the Indian side who think that if India normalizes its relations with Pakistan, it will amount to the acceptance of two nation theory which will endanger India’s existence in the face of a sizeable Muslim minority still living in India, one may advise reasonableness. What matter is that if India formally accepts Pakistan as a living reality from the core of its heart it will help in releasing tensions between the Muslims and the Hindus in the larger context of South Asian subcontinent. That is what was desired by the Quaid, who was keenly interested in strengthening human relations between the peoples of both countries.
Thus Quaid-i-Azam guides Pakistan, both in terms of framing powers in various fields Though Quaid live for a short period, but it was his guidance that made Pakistan as a living state, despite its weakness. It strengthened Pakistan in all of its spheres.
Reference: Pakistan Journal of History & Culture (Quaid-i-Azam Number)
Vol. XXII, No. 2, July - Dec, 2001
Publisher: National Institute of Historical and Cultural Research (Centre of Excellence) Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad-Pakistan
Notes and Reference:
- Times of India, 11 July 1947.
- Times of India, 14 July 1947.
- Times of India, 8 August 1947.
- Times of India, 9 August 1947.
- Setting up of the Pakistan Constituent Assembly, R/3/1/168, British Library (OIOC), London.
- Mountbattern Papers, F 200/106, British Library (OIDC), London
- Mountbatten Papers, F. 200/222, British Library (OIOC), London.
- Mountbatten Papers, F. 200/194, British Library (OIOC), London.
- Mountbatten Papers, F. 200/161, British Library (OIOC), London.
- Viceroy’s Personal Reports, L/PO/6/123 (ii) British Library (OIOC), Kings Cross, London.
- Times of India, 12 August 1947.
- Times of India, 12-13 August 1947.
- Times of India, 13 August 1947.
- Times of India, 15 August 1947.
- Times of India, 23August 1947.
- Times of India, 1 September 1947.
- Times of India, 15 September 1947.
- Star of India, 25 August 1947.
- Star of India, 14 August 1947.
- Star of India, 19 August 1947.
- Star of India, 25 August 1947.
- Star of India, 19 August 1947.
- Star of India, 5 September 1947.
- Star of India, 5 September 1947.
- Star of India, 10 September 1947.
- Star of India, 3 January 1948.
- Star of India,7 September 1948.
- Instrument of Accession and Schedules of the States Acceding to Pakistan 1949, The Census of Pakistan, 1951.
- Files of Quaid-i-Azam as Governor-General of Pakistan, Quaid-i-Azam Papers, National Archives of Pakistan.
- Star of India, (Calcutta), 23 March 1948.
- Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah – Speeches as Governor-General of Pakistan (1947- 1948), (Karachi: Ferozsons Ltd., 1948). P. 153.
- Star of India, 24 April 1948.
- Star of India, 28 April 1948.
- Star of India, 15 June 1948.
- Star of India, 25 June 1948.
- Star of India, 12 March 1948.
- Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah – Speeches as Governor-General of Pakistan 1947- 1948, pp. 38-39.
- Ibid., pp. 142-43.
- Ibid., p. 42.
- Ibid., p. 50.
- Ibid., p. 59.
- Ibid., pp. 65-66.
- Ibid., p. 67.
- Ibid., pp. 108-109.
- Ibid., pp. 69-70.
- V.P. Menon, The Transfer of Power in India, (Bombay, Sangam Books, 1957), p. 384; S.M. Burke, Pakistan’s Foreign Policy: An Historical Analysis, (Kaachi: Pakistan Herald Press, 1973), p. 8-10.
- Riaz Ahmad, Constitutional and Political Developments in Pakistan, 1951-4, (Rawalpindi: Pak American Commercial Ltd., 1981), pp. 3-5.
- G.W. Chaudhury, The Last Days of United Pakistan, (London: C. Hurst and Co., 1974), pp. 187-188.
- The Quaid’s broadcast talk to the people of Australia recorded on 19 February 1948, in Quaid- i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah-Speeches as Governor-General of Pakistan 1947-48, pp. 58- 59.
- Ibid., p. 59.
- Quaid’s speech on the occasion of opening ceremony of the State Bank of Pakistan, 1 July 19, 18, Ibid., pp. 153-54.
- The Quaid’s press statement in New Delhi on the eve of his departure of Karachi, 7 August 1947 in M. Rafique Azad (ed.). Selected Speeches and Statements of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah (1911-34 and 1947-48), (Lahore: Research Society of Pakistan, 1976), p. 428.
- Ibid., p. 428.
- Quaid’s address to Civil, Naval, Military and Air-Force Officers of the Pakistan Government at Karachi, 11 October, 1947, in Speeches and Writing of r. Jinnah, Vol. II, collected and edited by Jamil-ud-Din Ahmad, (Lahore: Sh Mohammad Ashraf, 1964), p. 420.
- Ibid., p. 25.
- The Quaid’s Eid-ul-Azha Message to the Nation, 24 October 1947, Ibid., p. 27.
- The Quaid’s presidential address to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, 11 August 1947, Ibid., p. 8.
- Riaz Ahmad, p. 10.
- Ibid., p. 16.
- The Quaid’s interview to a foreign correspondent on India-Pakistan relations, 11 March 1948, Afzal, p. 459.
- Ibid., pp. 458-59.
- Ibid., p. 459.