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The Congress followed the failed Cripps mission by demanding, in August 1942, that the British immediately “Quit India”, proclaiming a mass campaign of satyagraha until they did. The British promptly arrested most major leaders of the Congress and imprisoned them for the remainder of the war. Gandhi, however, was placed under house arrest in one of the Aga Khan’s palaces prior to his release for health reasons in 1944. With the Congress leaders absent from the political scene, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah warned against the threat of Hindu domination and maintained his Pakistan demand without going into great detail about what that would entail. Jinnah also worked to increase the League’s political control at the provincial level. He helped to found the newspaper Dawn in the early 1940s in Delhi; it helped to spread the League’s message and eventually became the major English-language newspaper of Pakistan.
In September 1944, Jinnah and Gandhi, who had by then been released from his palatial prison, met formally at the Muslim leader’s home on Malabar Hill in Bombay. Two weeks of talks followed between them, which resulted in no agreement. Jinnah insisted on Pakistan being conceded prior to the British departure and to come into being immediate, while Gandhi proposed that plebiscites on partition occur sometimes after a united India gained its independence. In early 1945, Liaquat and the Congress leader Bhulabhai Desai met with Jinnah’s approval and agreed that after the war, the Congress and the League should form an interim government and that the members of the Executive Council of the Viceroy should be nominated by the Congress and the League in equal numbers. When the Congress leadership was released from prison in June 1945, they repudiated the agreement and censured Desai for acting without proper authority.