AN amazing misrepresentation of the Pakistan Resolution of 1940 by a distinguished visiting speaker at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Karachi University, on Sept 4, has been reported in your paper (Metro South, Sept 5). Dr. S. Akbar Zaidi has been reported as declaring that “the Pakistan Resolution of 1940 called for the recognition of Muslims within Hindustan and not for a separate entity.”
The resolution, if I may quote relevant extract verbatim, called for the demarcation of “geographically contiguous areas into regions which will be so constituted, with such territorial adjustments as may be necessary, that the areas in which 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.”
Clarifying the ambiguity, the Quaid-i-Azam, when asked whether the resolution called for one or two states, said ‘one.’ The next day, the newspapers referred to it as the Pakistan Resolution (Stanley Wolpert, (Jinnah of Pakistan).
Apropos the speaker’s chief contention that the resolution did not call for a separate entity, what else is an independent state (or states) but an entity separate from other states? And there does not seem to be any basis for Dr. Akbar Zaidi’s vague assertion that the “recognition of Muslims within Hindustan” was the salient demand of the Pakistan Resolution!
According to the report, “a robust question and answer session followed the talk, in which teachers and students discussed issues relating to minorities, separate identities and the nature of history writing in Pakistan. If, as the report suggests, the basic misrepresentation of the Pakistan resolution by Dr Zaidi raised no questions on the part of the teachers, the faculty or the students, this presents a most disturbing indication about our academic preparation and national consciousness.
Published in Dawn, September 9th, 2015
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