Peshawar - The Muslims, who ruled on the subcontinent for about 800 years, were deprived of all civil, political, constitutional, and other rights after the failure of the Independence War of 1857.
Subjected to an unending ordeal of disparity, inequality, and discrimination, the Muslims of the Indo- Pak subcontinent were pushed to the wall by the colonial masters, who considered them rivals after snatching of power from Mughal emperors under the guise of East India Company.
The Muslims had faced intellectual, political, and, educational decay after the colonial rulers strengthened their grip on the subcontinent and tilted towards the socio-economic and educational empowerment of Hindus.
During that grim era, the Muslims were given new hope and direction by the renowned educationist, political thinker, and social reformer, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan who instilled a new vigour and dynamism among Muslims following the inspirational teachings of the great religious leader, Mojadad Alf Sani and Shah Waliullah.
“Sir Syed had brought about an intellectual revolution among Muslims through educational, political, and social reforms. The foundation of Pakistan laid by the great Sir Syed was carried forward by great leaders such as Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan, Abdur Rab Nishtar, Maulana Muhammad Ali Johar, Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan, Chaudhry Rehmat Ali, Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah, and others under the dynamic leadership of Quaid-e- Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah that led to the creation of Pakistan on August 14, 1947, on the world map,” said Younas Khan, Chairman, Pakistan Studies Department, Islamia College Peshawar while talking to APP.
He said Sir Syed on one side had nullified the malicious propaganda of colonial rulers, Hindus, and pessimist forces during an era of discrimination, oppression, and darkness, and had brought Muslims of British India out of ominous oppression on the other side.
Taking cognizance of the socioeconomic, political, and educational decay of oppressed Muslims, Sir Syed founded the All India Muhammadan Educational Conference (AIMEC) Aligarh in 1886, which carried forward his vision regarding modern education, socio- economic empowerment and political unity of Muslims to regain the past glory.
The network of educational institutions and political unity organised under AIMEC had enabled millions of Muslims to compete with other communities including Hindus and provided a launching pad for Muslims to initiate a peaceful political and democratic struggle for a separate homeland in the subcontinent where they could live with dignity.
“Sir Syed’s multi reforms had excelled Muslims in education, social, economic and political sciences, resultantly their voices were heard strongly by the British rulers,” he maintained.
Under the flag of All India Muslim League (AIML) founded on December 30, 1906, in Dhaka, the Muslims got united under the AIML flag by giving new impetus to the independence movement.
The independence movement witnessed further momentum after Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had spearheaded it after formally joining AIML in 1913 and outlining an independent state for Muslims majority provinces in North Western India by the great poet-philosopher Dr Allama Muhammad Iqbal during a historic Allahabad address in 1930.
Dr Allama Iqbal became the first politician to articulate the two-nation theory that Muslims were a distinct nation and deserved political independence from other regions and communities of united India.
“Pakistan Movement had passed through different phases and finally achieved its practical shape in 1933 during a high-level gathering in London where Chaudhary Rehmat Ali presented the name of Pakistan.”
Recalling Rehmat Ali’s famous saying ‘now or never or perish forever,’ Younas said the two former students, Aslam Khattak and Inayatullah Khan of Charsadda along with other Muslim leaders endorsed the name of Pakistan. “Pakistan’s name and Allahabad’s historic address had set a clear direction to the Muslims of the subcontinent to achieve Pakistan.”
The Muslims of united India under the leadership of Quaid-e- Azam were later gathered at Iqbal Park in Lahore on March 23, 1940, where they passed the historic Pakistan Resolution.
Following the adoption of the Pakistan Resolution, Quaid-e- Azam reorganised AIML on modern lines and made repeated visits to all Muslim-majority provinces including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) (earlier called NWFP) to mobilise masses for the creation of Pakistan.
“The legendary Quaid received a historic welcome when he visited KP and Islamia College Peshawar (ICP) in 1945 where a sea of people from KP and Merged Areas (erstwhile FATA) arrived to see a few glimpses of their beloved leader,” said Manzoorul Haq, former Ambassador of Pakistan while talking to APP.
Following strong commitment and dedicated peaceful political struggle by the Muslims under the leadership of Quaid-e-Azam, Pakistan came into being on August 14, 1947, on the world map within seven years after the adoption of the Pakistan Resolution on March 23, 1940.