There are three versions of Pakistan Resolution. While we celebrate the Lahore Resolution year after year, ironically we have implemented the revisited at Delhi. While the former clearly called for a loose federation or maybe even a confederation, the latter recommended a unitary centralised state. The second resolution at Madras also called for “Independent States as Muslim Free National Homelands in which the constituent units shall be autonomous and sovereign”. Are these our strategic blunders? Why can’t we hear the smaller provinces cry out for true autonomy?
Additionally, all three resolutions called for adequate, effective and mandatory safeguards to be specifically provided in the constitution for the minorities both in Pakistan and India. This seemingly has not happened. We must critically compare these concepts with those provided in other documents like the Objectives Resolution and the constitution.
Are these anomalies responsible for all our woes? We need to remember the universal principle that, the errors made at the grand strategic or strategic levels shall cause disasters at the operational and tactical levels. Only those tenets from the resolutions have been carried in this write-up that have security implications for Pakistan today.
Basic principles That geographically contiguous units are demarcated into regions:
•Which should be so constituted, with such territorial readjustments as may be necessary,
•Loose Federation or a Confederation? 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 to constitute "Independent States" in which the constituent units shall be autonomous and sovereign
Minority Safeguards That adequate, effective and mandatory safeguards should be specifically provided in the constitution:
•For minorities in these units and in the 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 specifically 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.
Constitutional Principles This session further authorizes the Working Committee to
•Frame a scheme of constitution in accordance with these basic principles,
•Providing for the assumption finally by the respective regions, of all powers such as defence, external affairs, communications, customs, and such other matters as may be necessary
MADRAS: 12th April 1941
Basic Principles “Resolve that the following amendment be made in the aims and objects of the All-India Muslim League and for Section 2 (a) of the Constitution and Rules of the All India Muslim League the following be substituted:-
•The establishment of completely Independent Statesformed by demarcating geographically contiguous units into regions
•Which shall be so constituted, with such territorial readjustments as maybe necessary,
•That the areas in which the Mussalmans are numerically in a majority,
•Unitary not Federal State? As in the North Western and Eastern zones of India, shall be grouped together to constitute Independent Statesas Muslim Free National Homelands in which the constituent units shall be autonomous and sovereign
Minority Safeguards that adequate, effective and mandatory safeguard shall be specifically provided in the constitution:
•For minorities in the above mentioned units and regions
•For the protection of their religious, cultural , economic, political, administrative and other rights and interests in consultation with them;
Muslim Minority Areas That in other parts of India where the Mussalmans are in a minority, adequate, effective, and mandatory safeguards shall be specifically 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
Raison D’etre (reason to be a nation) whereas in this vast subcontinent of India:
•A hundred million Muslims are the adherents of a faith which regulates every department of their life (educational, social, economic and political), whose code is not confined merely to spiritual doctrines and tenets or rituals and ceremonies and,
•Which stands in sharp contrast to the exclusive nature of Hindu Dharma and Philosophy which has fostered and maintained for thousands of years a rigid Caste System resulting in the degradation of 60 million human beings to the position of untouchables, creation of unnatural barriers between man and super-imposition of social and economic inequalities on a large body of the people of this country,
•And which threatens to reduce Muslims, Christians and other minorities to the status of irredeemable helots, socially and economically
•Whereas, the Hindu Caste System is a direct negation of nationalism, equality, democracy and all the noble ideals that Islam stands for
Two Distinct Nations Whereas, different historical backgrounds, traditions cultures, social and economic orders of the Hindus and Muslim
•Have made impossible the evolution of a single Indian nation inspired by common aspirations and ideals,
•And whereas after centuries they still remain two distinct major nations;
Unitary not a Federal State? Whereas the Muslim are convinced that with a view to save Muslim India from the domination of the Hindus and
•In order to afford them full scope to develop themselves according to their genius,
•It is necessary to constitute a sovereign independent statecomprising Bengal and Assam in the North-East zone and the Punjab, N.W.F.P. Sind and Balochistan in the North-West zone;
Minority Safeguards That the minorities in Pakistan and Hindustan be provided with safeguard on the lines of the All-India Muslim League Resolution passed on the 23rd March, 1940, at Lahore;
We request the readers to debate, comment and derive the guidelines for the values of:
National Purpose (Equality of all people, institutions, provinces, Liberty or Freedom and Fraternity or Brotherhood); Personal values (Integrity, Service before Self and Excellence in Whatever We Do); National Values (Pluralism, Federalism, Constitutionalism, Internationalism; Equal Rights of Minorities; Joint Electorates etc)? Additionally does it give us the basis for our Common National Identity and the basis for evolving our National Interests?
Note: The emphasis and topics of various tenets are added by the scribe. We request the readers to publish their comments/critique in all newspapers and magazines for a wider debate. Let us make Pakistan more secure!
The writer has been CI at NDC and a visiting faculty for “Statecraft and National Security” at the National Security Workshop and the Administrative Staff College. E-mail: mak366 @ hotmail.com.