Jakarta (ANTARA) - March 23 is a significant date for Pakistan in two respects.

On March 23, 1940, the All-India Muslim League moved a resolution in its annual session in Lahore that demanded the establishment of a separate homeland for the Muslims of British India.

This substituted the Muslim League’s earlier demand for constitutional guarantees in a federal system for the protection and advancement of Muslim identity, rights, and interests.

On March 23, 1956, Pakistan’s first constitution, approved by the second Constituent Assembly, was implemented that declared Pakistan to be an Islamic Republic with a parliamentary system of government, incorporating all the basic features of a democratic political system.

If we return to the events that took place on March 23, it is not difficult to discern that the high ideals that inspired people in 1940 and 1956 have been lost to a great extent over time.

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We hear speeches and statements and read articles on or around this date expressing commitment to these ideals, but their substance and spirit is conspicuously absent in political and societal processes as well as in the day-to-day affairs of the people of Pakistan.

The Muslim leadership in British India did not start with the demand for a separate state.

Its primary objective was to secure Muslim sociocultural identity, rights, and interests. Initially, the Muslim elite thought that this objective could be achieved through separate electorates, constitutional safeguards and guarantees, and adequate representation of Muslims in governmental institutions, jobs, and elected bodies.

They also demanded the establishment of a federal system with provincial autonomy in the hope that the Muslim majority provinces will be able to govern them in accordance with their political and societal ideals and aspirations.

The Congress party adopted a dismissive attitude towards these Muslim demands.

The fear of being overwhelmed by an unsympathetic majority in the name of democracy led the Muslim League elite to review their support for a federal system in India, and they moved on to demand a separate state.

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However, as late as 1946, the Muslim League was willing to work with the Cabinet Mission Plan, which would have established a loose Indian federation.

This offer collapsed because the Congress party was not willing to accommodate the constitutional conditions laid down in the Cabinet Mission Plan because its leadership thought that these would strengthen the Muslim League’s demand for the establishment of Pakistan.

The Lahore resolution was born with the sole zeal of Muslims must rule Muslims and separated subcontinent population as Muslims and non-Muslims and the resolution loftily promised that non-Muslims living in the Muslim majority areas will be protected.

Pakistan was thus established to provide a secure cultural, political, and economic future to the common people within a democratic framework that was also inspired by the ideals of Islam.

Millions were displaced, thousands lost their lives, and hundreds were molested to get to this great nation, Pakistan. It was not a mistake or just a line on the world map, but a reality and is a reality forever.

This is the lesson for this generation to be learned at the earliest.

Every promise has a story. Years of sacrifices, troubles, and hard work gave an opportunity to start thinking about making a promise.

Whether you spoke a different language or had another cast, all Pakistanis are thinking about making a promise in the 40s when they got tired of losing everything for several years.

Whenever you raise your voice against injustice, there is a reaction from the Elites, who control your daily operations.

There was a severe backlash from the British Government and Congress for the resolution.

The British government never wanted to leave the Sub-continent if it was not for WWII that made their Kingdom crumble.

Congress and the Hindus wanted to rule the Sub-continent after removing the British government from the area.

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So, they can avenge all the "injustice" that Muslims did to Hindus during the Muslim Rule in the area.

This reaction was more than just a few statements from political leaders.

Riots spread in every street of the sub-continent. Millions of people lost their homes. Thousands of mothers did not see their children ever again, countless girls were safe in their houses, and infants would have wished they were not even born.

When you exert extreme pressure on a chunk of coal, it turns into a diamond.

The same phenomenon happened with Muslims of the sub-continent. Years of mugging, killings, molestation, and many crueler acts lead to making a promise.

The 1940 resolution declared what was known for many years. The two nations must be divided under sovereign states independent of making their decisions.

*Rana Shakeel is an officer of the Embassy of Pakistan

The views and opinions expressed on this page are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the ANTARA News Agency.

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