Pakistan Resolution Day: Reflection and Significance

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The 82nd anniversary of the Lahore Resolution brings countless reasons to celebrate a strong, resilient, and invincible nation. Pakistan Resolution Day is celebrated every year with much gratitude and pride to commemorate the struggle and sacrifices of Muslims who dedicated their lives to creating a separate homeland. Socio-culture and religious cleavages between the Muslims and the Hindus of the subcontinent got prominence under the Indian-National Congress-led government. The Pakistan movement started letter and spirit on March 23, 1940, leading up to the 14th of August 1947 when Pakistan finally came into being as an independent country. To commemorate Pakistan Day the article presents a reflection of history, the theoretical context of Two-Nations Theory, and the significance of Pakistan Resolution Day in the lives of Pakistanis.

As mentioned earlier, Pakistan Day or Yaum-e-Pakistan is celebrated in Pakistan to commemorate the Lahore Resolution passed, which was passed on March 23, 1940. On this day, Pakistan’s first constitution was also adopted during the transition of the Dominion of Pakistan to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, making Pakistan the world’s first Islamic republic. Thus, on March 23rd of every year, the nation celebrates the passing of the Lahore Resolution and the adoption of the first Constitution of Pakistan. The Lahore Resolution proposed the creation of a separate homeland for Muslims. The proposed document stated: “No constitutional plan would be workable or acceptable to the Muslims unless geographical contiguous units are demarcated into regions which should be so constituted with such territorial readjustments as may be necessary.”

The Lahore Session of the All-India Muslim League was held on 22nd-24th March 1940. The full text of the March 23 resolution was as follows:

While approving and endorsing the action taken by the Council and the Working Committee of the All Indian Muslim League as indicated in their resolutions dated August 27, 17th and 18th of September and October 22, 1939, and February 3, 1940, on the constitutional issues, this Session of the All-Indian Muslim League emphatically reiterates that the scheme of federation embodied in the Government of India Act, 1935, is totally unsuited to, and unworkable in the peculiar conditions of this country and is altogether unacceptable to Muslim India.

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 Muslims unless it is designed on the following basic principle, namely that geographically contiguous units are demarcated into regions which should be so 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 o constitute “The Independent States” in which the constituent units shall be autonomous and sovereign.

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

This Session further authorizes the Working Committee to frame a scheme of the constitution in accordance with these basic principles, providing for the assumption finally by the respective regions of all powers such as defense, external affairs, communications, customs, and such other matters as may be necessary.

The resolution laid the foundations for the creation of a separate homeland for Muslims on August 14, 1947. To commemorate Lahore Resolution day, a monument named ‘Minar-e-Pakistan’ was built in Iqbal Park, where the resolution was presented and passed.

The Two Nation Theory formally manifested that Hindus and Muslims were two separate identities coexisting on a single piece of land. It identified the cultural, social, and religious differences between two members of a single nation. It states, for this land to remain a place of Harmony, the division was indispensable. This theory was a prediction of what the future had to unfold in the form of the 1947 Indo-Pak Partition. Since the theory’s inception, several events and political movements have started explaining how Hindus and Muslims differ in terms of social status, education, political autonomy, culture, festivals, and ways of living. As a majority, Hindus had attained a dominant position in the socio-political structure of the sub-continent; besides, their better relations with the British also helped them earn better jobs, government appointments, and political representation. Gradually, these differences started to create a divide in society. Ultimately, they led to the creation of separate homelands for Muslims and Hindus (Pakistan and India, respectively).

Pakistan shares hostile relations and rivalries with India due to India’s offensive designs, multiple historical and political factors. It is ironic that despite having two nuclear powers in its vicinity, South Asia cannot project an optimistic image as both these countries (India and Pakistan) share an unfriendly relationship. Bilateral relations of both states have been stressed by various historical, strategic, geopolitical, and political issues aimed at India’s desire to achieve regional hegemony. The nuclear weapon capability by Pakistan in response to India’s nuclear tests is viewed as a key tool to ensure peace and stability as nuclear weapons have established strategic and deterrence stability. Consequently, Pakistan’s resolution Day’s celebrations and National Day Joint Services Parade reflects the forces’ discipline, unity, and pride: highlights nations’ resolve to stand firm against all the threats and challenges. The utility of Pakistan’s conventional and nuclear forces can be checked because, despite multiple escalations after overt nuclearization of South Asia, India has not dared to launch an attack on Pakistan and make false claims to project itself as a regional power. Regional security dynamics highlight the significance of institutional mechanisms to reduce arms race and de-escalate tension. Therefore, Nuclear Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) and the establishment of the Strategic Restraint Regime (SRR) are viable solutions to counter the growing challenges to peace and security.

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