Categories: News

Millions of People Celebrate Pakistan Independence Day

On midnight of August 14, 1947, almost 200 years of British colonialism came to an end as the Indian Independence Act 1947 was implemented. Yet on the day of the 14th, Pakistan celebrated with immense joy as the then-new country managed to gain liberation after many tough years. 

As a result, the Mountbatten Plan divided Pakistan and India and left Pakistan with two parts: West Pakistan, known as Pakistan today, and East Pakistan, known as Bangladesh, after it gained independence in 1971.

Every year, Pakistan celebrates this day of freedom in Islamabad with many other celebrations taking place around the world. This year marks the 76th Independence Day for the country and usually consists of the national flag being hoisted and the national anthem being sung followed by speeches by the Prime Minister. 

How and Why Did Pakistan Gain Independence?

Originally, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh were all part of one large territory which was named the Indian subcontinent. With Muslims and Hindus constantly at war with one another, scholars of Islam were repeatedly looking for solutions that would ease tensions and safeguard many from persecution. 

Much effort was exerted into this endeavour with some Muslims uniting to establish the All-India Muslim League. The league consisted of over 30 scholars who explicitly voiced that there ought to be a Muslim state separate from India. 

Whilst many Muslims made a huge difference in this narrative, it was not until one man came along that things changed massively. A barrister and politician, Muhammad Ali Jinnah was a man who had visions of a free Muslim state in India. Taking over as leader of the All-India Muslim League in 1913, Muhammad Ali Jinnah contributed towards the creation of a sovereign identity for Muslims in Pakistan. 

The very idea of a partition created havoc with the intensified conflict between Muslims and Hindus. It wasn’t until August 14, 1947, that Pakistan gained freedom from the rest of India after a hard-fought win. Addressing the people of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah said, 

“You are free; you are free to go to your temples. You are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion, caste or creed — that has nothing to do with the business of the state.”

A year later, he passed away after which Pakistan went from being a dominion to becoming the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in the March of 1956. 

Anwar-ul-Haq Appointed Interim PM of Pakistan

Whilst elections will be taking place, there is now speculation that this will not happen until 2024. Until then, Anwar-ul-Haq has been chosen as Pakistan’s newly named caretaker PM. 

On Saturday 5th August, former primer minister, Imran Khan was arrested and sentenced to three years in prison. This means that the Pakistani senator Anaar-ul-Haq Kakar – who previously served as the spokesperson of the Government of Balochistan – will be leading the country until the next election. Whilst the new appointment is great news for the new leader, it will be a challenging few months/year as the country is already experiencing political turmoil and many economic issues. 

Juber Ahmed

Juber Ahmed is our Digital Editor and travel enthusiast with a keen interest in Islamic history and heritage. He travels with his wife to various places around the world and writes about his experiences.   Juber's favourite Quote... "The World Is a Book and Those Who Do Not Travel Read Only One Page" [Saint Augustine]

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