Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah: Governor-General (Episode 14)

Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah: Governor-General (Episode 14)

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Along with Liaquat and Abdur Rab Nishtar, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah represented Pakistan’s interests in the Division Council to appropriately divide public assets between India and Pakistan. Pakistan was supposed to receive one-sixth of the pre-independence government’s assets, carefully divided by agreement, even specifying how many sheets of paper each side would receive. The new Indian state, however, was slow to deliver, hoping for the collapse of the nascent Pakistani government, and reunion. Few members of the Indian Civil Service and the Indian Police Service had chosen Pakistan, resulting in staff shortages. Crop growers found their markets on the other side of an international border. There were shortages of machinery, not all of which was made in Pakistan. In addition to the massive refugee problem, the new government sought to save abandoned crops, establish security in a chaotic situation, and provide basic services.

The most contentious of the disputes was, and continues to be, that over the princely state of Kashmir. It had a Muslim-majority population and a Hindu maharaja, Sir Hari Singh, who stalled his decision on which nation to join. With the population in revolt in October 1947, aided by Pakistani irregulars, the maharaja acceded to India; Indian troops were airlifted in. Jinnah objected to this action and ordered that Pakistani troops move into Kashmir. The Pakistani Army was still commanded by British officers, and the commanding officer, General Sir Douglas Gracey, refused the order, stating that he would not move into what he considered the territory of another nation without approval from higher authority, which was not forthcoming. Jinnah withdrew the order. This did not stop the violence there, which has broken into the war between India and Pakistan from time to time.

In January 1948, the Indian government finally agreed to pay Pakistan its share of British India’s assets. They were impelled by Gandhi, who threatened a fast until death. Only days later, on January 30, Gandhi was assassinated by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu nationalist, who believed that Gandhi was pro-Muslim. Jinnah made a brief statement of condolence, calling Gandhi “one of the greatest men produced by the Hindu community”.

In a radio talk addressed to the people of USA broadcast in February 1948, Jinnah said: The Constitution of Pakistan is yet to be framed by the Pakistan Constituent Assembly, I do not know what the ultimate shape of the constitution is going to be, but I am sure that it will be of a democratic type, embodying the essential principles of Islam. Today these are as applicable in actual life as these were 1300 years ago. Islam and its idealism have taught us democracy. It has taught equality of man, justice and fair play to everybody. We are the inheritors of these glorious traditions and are fully alive to our responsibilities and obligations as farmers of the future constitution of Pakistan.

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Qaiser Rizwan Abbasi

The author is the student of bachelors in business administration. He has a keen passion for politics and current affairs and he loves to share his ideas, opinion, and understanding.

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