Published On: Wed, Aug 10th, 2016

How Pakistan celebrates independence day: 1947 to 2016



pakistan-453612_640Emancipation is a great blessing of God and the people who enjoy this blessing are the luckiest ones on the globe. Pakistanis celebrate Independence Day with patriotic zest and zeal on 14 august each year. Pakistan’s Independence Day, which is annually held on August 14, celebrates the country’s independence from the British rule on that date in 1947. This day is an occasion to promote patriotism and national unity.


With the lapse of time the ways of celebrating independence has been changed and people adopted diverse styles to show their love for the country.

The day begins with gatherings and prayers in mosques all across Pakistan in which people pray for the betterment and success of their country. Early in the morning a 21 cannon salute is given to all those who contributed and lost their lives for attaining Independence. Flag hoisting ceremonies are held in capital Islamabad and all capital cities of other provinces. Mega events are organized all across the country, in which the people of Pakistan sing their national anthem and famous classical and pop singers sing various patriotic songs. Famous governmental and private buildings are decorated with lights and the day is concluded by spectacular firework in Major cities of Pakistan.

Here is the history how Pakistan has been celebrating the independence since 1947 to 2016.


1947 to 49

It was the celebration day when Pakistan emerged on the map of the world on 15 august 1947, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah in his first broadcast to the nation stated;

“August 15 is the birthday of the independent and sovereign state of Pakistan. It marks the fulfillment of the destiny of the Muslim nation which made great sacrifices in the past few years to have its homeland.”

New Pakistan Flag being Raised in London in 1947


Quaid Azam with Mountbattena at Karachi, August 14, 1947

Quaid Azam with Mountbattena at Karachi, August 14, 1947


Jinnah took oath as the first Governor-General of Pakistan, although the Last British Viceroy Lord Mountbatten had transferred power a day earlier, the Indian Independence Act 1947 recognized 15 August as the birthday of Pakistan, and it was on this day that the nation celebrated its “birthday” (although the “Independence Day” came to be marked as 14th in the subsequent years).



On the same day Pakistan army celebrated independence and established Royal Pakistan Air Force’s HQ at Peshawar

On the same day Pakistan army celebrated independence and established Royal Pakistan Air Force’s HQ at Peshawar. 15 August was the day when Pakistan’s first gazette was printed.  The society celebrated independence by forming first cabinet under the leadership of Liaquat Ali Khan who appointed first PM. All the people were happy because they gained freedom from British rule and acquired a country where they would spend their lives according to Islamic principles, therefore 22 August 1947, Friday was declared as half day.

Pakistan Post released four commemorative stamps in July 1948

Pakistan Post released four commemorative stamps in July 1948

Pakistan Post released four commemorative stamps in July 1948 for the country’s first independence anniversary. In which three of the four stamps depicted places from Pakistan while the fourth stamp depicted a motif. The stamps were inscribed “15th August 1947″ because of the prevailing confusion of actual date of independence.


However after 1947, in the subsequent years, 14 August was adopted as the independence day. The night of 14–15 August 1947 coincided with 27 Ramadan 1366 of the Islamic calendar, which Muslims regard as a sacred night.


Pakistani celebrate 14 August in 1950

It was the third birthday of Pakistan and people were happy, although Quaid e Azam has been passed away. To celebrate freedom a little green drink was launched it was the first bottle of Pakistan’s ‘national soft drink,’ Pakola. The drink was launched by Mehran Bottlers on August 14, 1950. Shape of the bottle has gone through many changes, but the color and taste of the drink remains the same: Foggy green and bitter-sweet.


Hafeez Jullundhri

Hafeez Jullundhri photo in 1952

Pakistan was going through many changes and wanted a national identity song.  Its music was composed by Ahmad G. Chagla in 1949, preceding the lyrics, which were written by Hafeez Jullundhri in 1952 and in 1954 nation celebrated independence with the national anthem which was sung by Hafeez Jalandhari on 13 august on Radio Pakistan.

Almost 9 years were passed away, the literary personalities decided to tribute the martyrs and the people who sacrificed their homes and beloved ones for Pakistan and compelled society to remember these people in freedom fête. Train To Pakistan was the historical novel by Khushwant Singh which was published in 1956. It recounts the Partition of India in August 1947. Despite of portraying the Partition in terms of merely the political events surrounding it, Singh digs into a deep local focus, giving a human dimension which brings to the event a sense of reality, horror, and believably.

Pakistani CNIC thumb

Pakistani CNIC thumb

“Toba Tek Singh” was another short story which was written by Saadat Hasan Manto and published in 1955. It pursues inmates in a Lahore asylum, some of whom are to be transferred to India pursuing the independence of Pakistan in 1947. The story is a “powerful satire” on the association between India and Pakistan. A film based on a play adaptation was made in 2005 by Afia Nathaniel.

historical novel named Khak aur Khoon

historical novel named Khak aur Khoon

Nasim Hijazi wrote a historical novel named Khak aur Khoon that described the sacrifices of Muslims of South Asia during the time of independence in 1947.

The novel portrayed the history when Muslims of different regions were trying to get to Pakistan; numerous groups of Hindus would to attack them during their journeys to snatch their money and the jewelry of the women. The Hindus robbed everybody they found in the way. Khak Aur Khoon not only described how many sacrifices the Muslims made to get their new homeland, but it also describes the true face of Hindu fanaticism at the time. On June 3, 1947, Lord Mountbatten announced that district of Gurdaspur was going to be aligned with Pakistan. Muslims, after listening to this, guarded the homes and properties of their Non-Muslim neighbors from the riots, but Radcliff gifted this district to India to enable Kashmir to join India. Even the king of Kashmir, Hari Singh wanted it to be mixed with India.

A national song was also released in 1957 in which the society praised Muhammad Ali Jinnah and thanked to him for the gift as Pakistan. “Aye Quaid e Azam Tera Ehsaan Hai Ehsaan” sung by Munawar Sultana and penned by Fayyaz Hashmi.


 Pakistan celebrates independence 1960s

Eminent Urdu literary person Mumtaz Mufti wrote a book Alipur Ka Ailee in 1961 which was his autobiography describing the first phase of his life. Initially, this book was considered to be a novel but later it was revealed to be the story of his own life.

It was the era of dictatorship although independence celebrations were rejoiced on the same way as in the past. Further national sons were released to evoke patriotism. “Yeh Watan Tumhara Hai” was released in 1962 and sung by Pakistan’s eminent singer Mehdi Hassan.

Pakistan celeberate independance day in 1960

Pakistan celeberate independance day in 1960

When the half decade was passed away, in 1965 an Indo-Pakistani War was provoked this was a culmination of skirmishes that took place between April 1965 and September 1965 between Pakistan and India. The Independence Day was celebrated during the war and a lot of national songs were released to encourage Pakistan army and people.  In the subsequent years Pakistani society celebrated the independence with the same enthusiasm.


It was the new era with many new political changes and turmoil. Pakistan lost her east wing on 16 December 1971 and people were upset and sad on the loss of the one half.

After one year of the making of Bangladesh, in1973 a national song “Hum Zinda Qaum Hain” was released to overcome the chaos and to develop a new wave of patriotism and nationalism in people. The song was sung by various artistes (reproduced in 1982 by Alamgir).

Pakistan Televison celebrated independence in 1973 by releasing “Sohni Dharti Allah Rakhhay Qadam Qadam Abaad Tujhe” which was sung by Habib WALI Mohammad, Shahnaz Begum, and Mehdi Hssan, penned by Jamiluddin Aali, music by Sohail Rana.

In the subsequent year, 1974, the famous national song “Jeevay Jeevay Pakistan” was released for rejoicing independence which was sung by Shahnaz Begum, penned by Jamiluddin Aali, music by Sohail Rana.

A new nonfiction book Freedom at Midnight was launched by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre in 1975

A new nonfiction book Freedom at Midnight was launched by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre in 1975

A new nonfiction book Freedom at Midnight was launched by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre in 1975. It described events around Indian independence and partition in 1947-48, beginning with the appointment of Lord Mountbatten of Burma as the last viceroy of British India, and ending with the death and funeral of Mahatma Gandhi.


atom-1294393_1280This decade was the mix of dictatorship and democracy. New generation was emerging. Artists were used to provide the new ways to the society for celebrating the freedom. Artists and poets were showing the new paths to the people through their songs and poems for the development of Pakistan like ‘Tera Pakistan Hai’’ by Amjad Hussain in 1982, “Khayal Rakhna” by Aalamgir  which was featuring Benjamin Sisters in 1982. Another song was released to show the unity in the country “Is Parcham Ke Saye Talay Hum Eik Hain” by Alamgir in 1982, “Maaon Ki Dua” by Alamgir in 1982.

Another song was released against the dictatorship “Hum Dekhain Gay” by Iqbal Bano (Sang in Lahore, against General Zia’s military regime, written by famous poet Faiz) in 1985.

“Eei Dharti Panj Daryavan Di” by Alam Lohar in 1985 and “Main Bhi Pakistan Hoon” by Muhammad Ali Shehki (which was reproduced by Awaz in 1995, album Jadu Ka Chiraagh) in 1986 was dipicting the unity in the country.

The most popular song “Dil Dil Pakistan” by Vital Signs was released in 1987 which was sung by everyone in the month of august in the later years to celebrate independence.


This era was the era of new generation who were only known the stories of the independence which they have heard from their grand fathers and grand mother. They were the young with much enthusiasm and patriotism. They were used to celebrate Independence Day in their schools. They were dressed up like little soldiers ready to sacrifice for the country.

pakistan independance day in the school 1

They were used to celebrate Independence Day in their schools.

Kids were used to sing national songs like “Chand Roshan, Chamakta Sitara Rahe” and “Watan Ki Mitti Gawah Rehna” by Nayyara Noor (written by eminent Faiz Ahmed Faiz) in 1992.

5 rupee note with bahauddin zakriaya tomb

In 1997, Pakistan celebrated its 50th anniversary of independence. To celebrate it The State Bank of Pakistan issued a special banknote of rupee 5 depicting the tomb of Baha-Ud-din Zakariya on 13 August 1997, commemorating the 50th Independence Day. On the front of the note, a star burst is encircled by Fifty Years Anniversary of Freedom in Urdu and ‘1947–1997′ in numerals.

Many songs were released to refer the new generation and youngsters like “Aye Jawan” by Awaz in 1997, “Azadi” by Junoon in 1997, “Maula” by Vital Signs in 1997, “Mera Paigham Pakistan” by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan in 1999 And “Qasam Us Waqt Ki” by Junaid Jamshed in 1999. These all songs were the depicting messages for youngsters.

The movie Jinnah was released in 1998 which was an epic biographical film which pursues the life of the founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah. It was directed by Jamil Dehlavi and peened by Akbar S. Ahmed and Jamil Dehlavi. The movie was released in 1998 in the United Kingdom and Pakistan.

In 1997, the 1997 Wills Golden Jubilee Tournament was held at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore to mark the golden jubilee. During the final of the tournament, Pakistan Cricket Board honored all the living test cricket captains of Pakistan by parading them in horse-drawn carriages and presenting them with gold medals.


2000 to 2010

Now the new century was started and Pakistanis made new promises with the country. People had forgotten many things about the independence. New songs with love for country were released like “Dosti” by Jawad Ahmad in 2002, “Dil Na Lagay” by Faakhir in 2002, “Hai Koi Hum Jaisa” by Strings in 2003, “Dil Se” by Haroon in 2003, “Sab Se Pehlay Pakistan” by Ahmed Jahanzeb in 2004, to revive the emotions of Pakistanis.


People had forgotten the sacrifices which numerous people made for the country. To recall those Pakistani media made a drama, Dastaan which was based on the novel Bano, by Razia Butt. It was based on the partition of India and the resulting independence of Pakistan and took place between 1947 and 1956. The drama depicted the story of Bano, a girl from a close-knit Muslim family living in Ludhiana (located in undivided Punjab) in the pre-1947 era. The story pursued Bano and Hassan, as they face the trials and tribulations caused by the 1947 independence.

On 14 August 2004, Pakistan displayed the largest flag of the time with the dimensions of 340 by 510 feet (100 m × 160 m).

On 14 August 2004, Pakistan displayed the largest flag of the time with the dimensions of 340 by 510 feet (100 m × 160 m).


On 14 August 2004, Pakistan displayed the largest flag of the time with the dimensions of 340 by 510 feet (100 m × 160 m).

2011 to 2016

Since 2011, the Google Pakistan homepage has featured special doodles designed with Pakistani symbols to mark Pakistan’s Independence Day. Such symbols have included the star and crescent, national monuments and colors, artistic representations, geographic landscapes and other national symbols.




“Mein Tou Dekhoonga” was released by Strings in 2011 and it was a criticism of the politicians.

Now the national songs have been limited. We just hear one or two national songs in the whole year which release in august. Youngsters have forgotten how to celebrate independence and new generation is totally unaware.

In 2015, Facebook allowed its users in Pakistan to post a status with a mood setting of “celebrating Independence Day”, with a Pakistani flag icon on the status.


Rahe Haq Ke Shaheedo has been released by Coke Studio in august 2016 for the celebration of independence.


Now the patriotism is not as stronger as it was in the past. People remember independence just in the month of august. They just took to social media and post their emotions and love for the country and change their display pictures with Pakistani flag or with the pictures of the leaders who struggled for the country. Most of the Pakistanis don’t even know the prominent leaders of the Pakistan movement except Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinaah and Allama Iqbal.

Celebrations on average


the pakistan independance day celeberate on wahga border

the pakistan independance day celeberate on wahga border

The Independence Day is one of the six public holidays observed in Pakistan and is celebrated all across the country. To prepare and finalize the plans for Independence Day celebrations, meetings are held in the provincial capitals by local government which are attended by government officials, diplomats, and politicians. As the month of August begins, special stalls and shops are set up across the country for the sale of national flags, buntings, banners and posters, pictures of national heroes, and other celebratory items. Vehicles, private buildings, homes, and streets are decorated with the national flag and buntings. Various organizations, educational institution, and government departments organize seminars, sports competitions, and social and cultural activities leading up to the Independence Day. In Karachi, drives are initiated to clean and prepare the Mazar-e-Quaid (Jinnah Mausoleum) for the celebration.



The day begins with special prayers for integrity, solidarity, and development of Pakistan in mosques and religious places across the country. The official festivities take place in Islamabad and commence with the raising of the national flag on the Parliament House and the Presidency followed by a 31-gun salute in the capital and a 21-gun salute in provincial capitals. The President and Prime Minister of Pakistan address the nation in live telecasts. Government officials and other political leaders deliver speeches during various rallies and events highlighting Pakistani achievements, goals set for the future, and praise the sacrifices and efforts of national heroes. National flags are displayed on Shahrah-e-Faisal, Shahara-e-Quaideen, and Mazar-e-Quaid Road leading up to the Jinnah’s mausoleum in Karachi. Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore, where Pakistan Resolution was passed in 1940, is fully illuminated on the eve of the Independence Day to signify its importance in the creation of Pakistan.

minar pakistan

minar pakistan

Citizens attending independence day parades and other events are usually dressed in Pakistan’s official colors, green and white. Various government buildings including the Parliament House, Supreme Court, and President House are decorated and illuminated with lights and bright colors. Streets and houses are decorated with candles, oil lamps and pennants, national flag as well as firework shows occur as a part of celebration. Along with flag hoisting, the national anthem is sung at various government places, schools, residences, and monuments on the day. Homage is paid to the people who lost their lives in migration and riots during the independence of Pakistan in 1947, martyrs of Pakistan Army and recipients of Nishan-e-Haider, political figures, and famous artists and scientists.

A change of guard takes place at national monuments. In the cities around the country, the flag hoisting ceremony is carried out by the nazim (mayor) belonging to the respective constituency and at various private organisations the ceremony is conducted by a senior officer of that organization. The Pakistani Diaspora also celebrates Independence Day in various countries throughout the world, especially in countries which have large Pakistani communities.

Security measures in the country are intensified as the Independence Day approaches, especially in major cities and in troubled areas. The security is set up after various representatives of intelligence and investigation agencies meet. High alert is declared in sensitive areas such as the country’s capital, to restrict security threats. Despite this, there have been instances where attacks have occurred on Independence Day by insurgents who boycott the celebrations as a part of their protest. On 13 August 2010, the country witnessed floods causing deaths of 1,600 people and affecting 14 million lives. On the account of the calamity, the president made an announcement that there would not be any official celebration of the Independence Day that year.

Prominent leaders of Pakistan movement

leaders of pakistan moment


Muhammad Ali Jinnah


Bore on 25 December 1876. He was a lawyer, politician, and the founder of Pakistan.

Bore on 25 December 1876. He was a lawyer, politician, and the founder of Pakistan.

Bore on 25 December 1876. He was a lawyer, politician, and the founder of Pakistan. Jinnah served as leader of the All-India Muslim League from 1913 until Pakistan’s creation on 14 August 1947, and then as Pakistan’s first Governor-General until his death. He is revered in Pakistan as Quaid-i-Azam and Baba-i-Qaum Father of the Nation. His birthday is observed as a national holiday.

Born in Karachi and trained as a barrister at Lincoln’s Inn in London, Jinnah rose to prominence in the Indian National Congress in the first two decades of the 20th century. In these early years of his political career, Jinnah advocated Hindu–Muslim unity, helping to shape the 1916 Lucknow Pact between the Congress and the All-India Muslim League, in which Jinnah had also become prominent. Jinnah became a key leader in the All India Home Rule League, and proposed a fourteen-point constitutional reform plan to safeguard the political rights of Muslims. In 1920, however, Jinnah resigned from the Congress when it agreed to follow a campaign of satyagraha, or non-violent resistance, advocated by Mohandas Gandhi.

By 1940, Jinnah had come to believe that Indian Muslims should have their own state. In that year, the Muslim League, led by Jinnah, passed the Lahore Resolution, demanding a separate nation. During the Second World War, the League gained strength while leaders of the Congress were imprisoned, and in the elections held shortly after the war, it won most of the seats reserved for Muslims. Ultimately, the Congress and the Muslim League could not reach a power-sharing formula for a united India, leading all parties to agree to separate independence of a predominantly Hindu India, and for a Muslim-majority state, to be called Pakistan.

As the first Governor-General of Pakistan, Jinnah worked to establish the new nation’s government and policies, and to aid the millions of Muslim migrants who had emigrated from the new nation of India to Pakistan after independence, personally supervising the establishment of refugee camps. Jinnah died at age 71 in September 1948, just over a year after Pakistan gained independence from the United Kingdom. He left a deep and respected legacy in Pakistan. According to his biographer, Stanley Wolpert, he remains Pakistan’s greatest leader.




quiad azam dead

He died on 11 September 1948.

Allama Iqbal

allama iqbal

Sir Muhammad Iqbal, widely known as Allama Iqbal, was a poet, philosopher, and politician, as well as an academic, barrister and scholar in British India who is widely regarded as having inspired the Pakistan Movement

Lady Abdullah Haroon


lady abdullah haroon

lady abdullah haroon

In 1938, she was nominated to the Women’s Central Subcommittee of the All India Muslim League and was also elected President of the Sindh Provincial Women’s Subcommittee. Actually, this organization owes its existence to Lady Haroon, who through her untiring efforts was able to bring the Muslim women under the banner of the Muslim League. She also made commendable contributions during the 1946 elections for the Muslim League.

Raja of Mahmudabad


Quaid-e-Azam with Raja Sahib of MahmudabadRaja Sahib provided monetary support to the leading newspaper ‘The Dawn’, which was the exclusive spokesman of League’s ideology. He also gave financial assistance to Chaudhry Khaliq-uz-Zaman’s daily ‘Tanveer-e-Lucknow’, ‘Humdum’ and Abdul Rauf Abbasi’s ‘Haq’ so as to project and popularize the League manifesto and party program among the Muslim masses. The vision of Raja Sahib about Pakistan was an Islamic welfare state to be established on the philosophy and teachings of Islam. But he was disheartened when he found that a few corrupt political leaders, landlords and bureaucrats put Pakistan on a wrong track in order to seek their personnel interests.

Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan


Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan was one among those who played the very active role in the Punjab politics in the most turbulent period of its history. He belonged to the Khattars family of big landlords in the locality of Attock (formerly known as Campbellpur) District. The family had strong contacts with British authorities due to its influence in the local politics.

Sikandar Hayat recognized the interest of the Muslim community as a whole and infused new life into Muslim League when he joined it after he came to compromise with the Quaid-i-Azam in 1937. He also advised other Unionist members to follow him to offset “the tide of Congress totalitarianism”. Thereafter Sikandar Hayat fully supported the Quaid-i-Azam up to the last moment. On March 11, 1941 when the Quaid wanted the Muslim members of National Defence Council to resign, he not only faithfully carried out the League mandate but also persuaded A.K. Fazl-ul-Haq to do the same. Thus the Punjab Ministry, though not the Muslim League Government, created no problem for the League during his prime ministership.

Nawab Bahadur Yar Jang


Nawab Sahib was a gifted orator. Although the sub-continent produced many other excellent orators but he enjoyed an illustrious and distinguished place among them on account of his exceptional mastery over the art of communication. The exceptional qualities of his oratory earned him the title of “Bahadur Yar Jang” and he was simply remarkable when he made an excellent speech on the life of Hazrat Mohammad (SAW) from the Nizam of Hyderabad.

Sir Abdullah Haroon


In Pakistan Movement, where politicians, political workers, Ulama and people from other walks of life played the dynamic role, some prominent businessmen also took part in the Pakistan Movement. Among those was Sir Abdullah Haroon, a renowned business entrepreneur who was born in 1872 in Karachi.

He started his political career as a member of National Congress in 1917. He was closely associated with the Khilafat Movement as President of the Sind Provincial Khilafat Committee for five years (1919-1924). Later he was elected as the President of the All India Central Khilafat Committee in 1928. In 1923 he got seat in the Bombay Legislative Council and in 1926 in the Indian Legislative Assembly, which he retained for sixteen years until his death in 1942. He was prominent among many Muslim leaders in the All India Muslim Conference, which was set up to counter the Nehru Report in 1929. In 1930 he was elected President of all-India Tanzim Conference in Allahabad, and in 1931 of all India Post and RMS Union. He also presided all India Memon Conference in 1935 and then all India Seerat Conference Allahabad in1942. The most important service he performed was to organize the First Sind Provincial Muslim League Conference at Karachi in 1938. A year later he was elected as President of the Sind Provincial Muslim League and Chairman of All India Muslim League Foreign Subcommittee. He played a prominent role in the separation of Sind from Bombay being the Secretary of Financial Inquiry Committee (1930-35), member of Sind Administrative Committee (1933) and Sind Delimitation Committee (1935). He also chaired the second Sind Azad Conference (1934), which was established to counter the Hindu propaganda against the separation of Sind from Bombay.

Begum Tasadduque Hussain

Tasadduque Hussain

Real name Salma Mahmuda, daughter of Mian Fazal Ilahi Bedil, was born in August 1908 at Gujranwala. Brought up and educated in a scholarly atmosphere, Begum Tasadduque began to understand the value of art and literature early in life. In 1922, she was married to Dr. Tasadduque Hussain, Bar-at-Law. She continued her studies even after her marriage and completed her graduation from the University of Punjab. With the formation of the Punjab Provincial Women’s Subcommittee, she became its most active member and in 1940 she was elected as one of its Secretaries. She helped in opening up primary schools and industrial homes for girls at Lahore.

In 1941, she was nominated to the Council of the All-India Muslim League. In April 1943, she was taken on by the Central Subcommittee of the All India Muslim League. She played a leading part in the Bengal Relief Fund Committee. In 1944, she was nominated as a member of the working committee of the Punjab Provincial Muslim League.

Sardar Aurangzeb Khan


Sardar Aurangzeb Khan was also one of those leaders who seconded the resolution that was passed on 23 March 1940. He was elected to the NWFP provincial assembly in 1937. He was a gifted orator and as Provincial Muslim League leader, he played a prominent role in the reorganization of Muslim League in NWFP that was at first launched in 1912 by Ghazi Ali Abbas Bukhari but did not take firm roots among the people. However, due to his tireless struggle, the League turned to be the popular political party in the Pushtoon majority province. In 1939, while Dr. Khan Sahib resigned from his ministry along with other Congress Governments, for some time thee was no popular government in the province. However on 25 May 1943, Sardar Aurangzeb Khan was able to form a ministry, with Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar as his Finance Minister. He campaigned door-to-door to convey message of the League and worked hard during NWFP referendum. In the post partition period he served as a Pakistani Ambassador to Burma from 1949 to 1953.

A. K. Fazl-ul-Haq


Popularly known as Sher-i-Bengal, A. K. Fazl-ul-Haq was a leader who, for more than half a century, was at the forefront of all political activities pertaining to the Pakistan Movement. He made valuable contributions towards the political, social and educational uplift of the Muslims of the Sub-continent.

Begum Shaista Ikramullah

shaista ikram

Begum Shaista Ikramullah, the first female representative of the first Constituent Assembly of Pakistan (1947), Pakistan’s former Ambassador to Morocco, mother-in-law of Jordan’s Crown Prince, and niece of the great leader Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy.

Begum Shaista Ikramullah was one of the few Muslim women to have taken an active part in the Pakistan Movement. She was totally committed to the creation, and the building of Pakistan. The first legislature of Pakistan in 1947 had two women representatives, Begum Jehan Ara Shah Nawaz and Begum Shaista Ikramullah. Together with Begum Shah Nawaz, she made untiring efforts to get the “Islamic Personal Law of Shariah” approved. Her male counterparts in the legislature had certain reservations towards this law, which recognized women’s right to inherit property in accordance with the Islamic Law. The law also guaranteed all citizens; male and female alike, equal pay for equal work, equality of status and equal opportunities. After protests by women both inside and outside the legislature, the bill was finally approved in 1948, and became effective in 1951 when Pakistan adopted its first constitution. She continued to play an active role in Pakistani politics in the critical years preceding the Martial Law.

Lady Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah


Real name Sughra Begum, Lady Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah was born in 1904 in a feudal family of Shikarpur. Lady Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah aimed her life towards helping her husband in his social and political activities. She began her political life in 1938 as a worker of the All India Muslim League. The same year she was taken on by the Women’s Central Subcommittee. It was due to her efforts that various branches of the Provincial Subcommittee were formed in different districts of Sindh such as Hyderabad, Nawabshah and Dadu. In December 1943, on the occasion of the annual session of the All India Muslim League held at Karachi, she was elected President of the Women’s Reception Committee.

Malik Khizr Hayat Khan Tiwana


In the first half of the 20th century Punjab politics was dominated by the cross-communal Unionist Party with Malik Khizr Hayat Khan Tiwana being the last leader of the Unionists, which played a dominant role in limiting the influence of Muslim League in Punjab from 1942 to 1947. Khizr Tiwana had his own vision within a decentralized Federal India but Muslim League did not allow him to realize his dreams of United Punjab.

Maulana Hasrat Mohani


In 1904 from Aligarh, he started his celebrated journal Urdu-i-Mu`alla that was the best literary-cum-political weekly to which celebrated writers of the country used to contribute. When an article, British Policy in Egypt, published in it was regarded illegal and seditious, the Maulana was asked by the Indian Government to disclose the name of the author. But he declined to do so and preferred to undergo himself one year’s rigorous imprisonment in addition to fine of Rs. 500. He was the first person to raise his voice for freedom of the press when even the Congress leaders used to pass resolutions in support of British rule in India.

Maulana Hasrat’s Urdu-i-Mu`alla was shifted from Aligarh to Cawnpore where he had migrated and settled down for the rest of his life. He was an excellent poet and served the cause of poetry through his journal. He popularized `Ghalib’ by publishing an authentic but cheap key of Ghalib’s Urdu Diwan. He wrote on the principles of criticism and the art of poetry in his “Nuqat-i-Sukhan” and showed the correct attitude to budding poets and writers by his enlightened criticism of literature. He also brought out the forgotten poets out of their oblivion, by publishing their works in this journal. He created a good taste for poetry among the people by publishing the selected works of Urdu poets. In this respect, he may be termed the prototype of Baba-i-Urdu Maulvi Abdul Haq.

Pir of Manki Sharif


Syed Mohammad Aminul Hassnat, broadly known as Pir of Manki Sharif, is among those luminaries who made great contribution towards successful journey of Pakistan Movement. He rose on the political arena of NWFP when Red Shirts were overbearing the Pushtoon majority province as the British and Congress both considered Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan the guru of the provincial politics. Apart from all the adverse conditions in his native province Pir of Manki Sharif got a political constituency, which he so effectively used to counter the anti-Pakistan elements in his province through his saintly character and inspirational guidance.

Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah

sheik muhammad abdullah

His personal failure, inspite of his good academic record and intellectual strengths, compelled Sheikh Abdullah to do something for the Muslim youth of Jammu and Kashmir. He, along with some friends, established Fateh Kadal Reading Room, a meeting place where young likeminded men could gather to discuss their problems without running foul of the Mharaja’s ordinance against public assemblies. His activities and his orthodox Hanifite approach brought him close to Mirwaiz Muhammad Yousaf. The combination of the religious prestige of Mirwaiz and the charismatic personality of Sheikh Abdullah provided a good hope to the otherwise deprived Muslim community of Jammu and Kashmir.

Begum Shah Nawaz


With the emergence of the All India Muslim Women’s Conference, Begum Shah Nawaz devoted all her efforts towards its cause. She was successful in moving the organization to pass a resolution against polygamy in its session held in Lahore in 1918. She was also associated with the education and orphanage committees of the Anjuman Himayat-i-Islam, Lahore. She was an active member of the All India Muslim Women’s Conference and remained president of its provincial branch for seven years. She was vice-president of the Central Committee of the All India Muslim Women’s Conference.

Liaquat Ali Khan


independence day 1

Liaquat Ali started his parliamentary career from the U. P. Legislative Assembly in 1926 as an independent candidate. Later he formed his own party, The Democratic Party, within the Legislative Assembly and was elected as its leader. He remained the member of the U. P. Legislative Council till 1940 when he was elected to the Central Legislative Assembly.

liaqat ali khan

In his parliamentary career, Liaquat Ali Khan established his reputation as an eloquent, principled and honest spokesman who never compromised on his principles even in the face of severe odds. He used his influence and good offices for the liquidation of communal tension and bitterness. He took the active part in legislative affairs. He was one of the members of the Muslim League delegation that attended the National Convention held at Calcutta to discuss the Nehru Report in December 1928.

After independence, Quaid-i-Azam and Muslim League appointed Liaquat to be the head of the Pakistan Government. Being the first Prime Minister of the country, He had to deal with a number of difficulties facing Pakistan in its early days. Liaquat Ali Khan helped Quaid-i-Azam in solving the riot and refugee problem and setting up an effective administrative system for the country. After the death of Quaid-i-Azam, Liaquat tried to fill the vacuum created by the departure of the Father of the Nation. Under his premiership, Pakistan took its first steps in the field of constitution making, as well as foreign policy. He presented the Objectives Resolution in the Legislative Assembly. The house passed this on March 12, 1949. Under his leadership a team also drafted the first report of the Basic Principle Committee. His efforts in signing the Liaquat-Nehru pact pertaining to the minority issue in 1950 reduced tensions between India and Pakistan. In May 1951, he visited the United States and set the course of Pakistan’s foreign policy towards closer ties with the West.

He was assasinated on 16 october 1951 in rawalpindi.

Chaudhry Ghulam Abbas

ch gulam abbas

When the state of Jammu and Kashmir was under the atrocities of Dogra Raj and the Muslims majority was being subjugated, Chaudhry Ghulam Abbas rose to the occasion with great valor and devotion and dedicated his life for the liberation of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Begum Viqar-un-Nisa


During the Civil Disobedience Movement in Punjab, Begum Noon was one of the leading women leaders responsible for successfully organizing the processions and demonstrations against the Khizar Ministry backed by the British, and courted arrest on three occasions.

Begum Raana Liaquat Ali Khan


After the reorganization of Muslim League, Begum Ra’ana devoted herself to the task of creating political consciousness amongst the Muslim women. Her struggle for emancipation continued till the independence of Muslims of India in 1947.

The wife of the first Prime Minister of Pakistan, Begum Ra’ana took the lead in starting the women’s voluntary service in 1948. Women were encouraged to take up responsibilities in administering first aid, organizing food distribution, dealing with health problems, epidemics and clothing, and above all, in providing moral and emotional support. Ra’ana Liaquat Ali also took the initiative of introducing defense training for women. This step was not well received. On her own initiative, she formed the Pakistan Women’s National Guard (P. W. N. G.) and the Pakistan Women Naval Reserve (P. W. N. R.) in 1949. Begum Ra’ana was the Chief Controller of both, with the rank of a Brigadier. Viewed in the perspective of the partition massacres, where helpless women had been brutally treated, the idea was not entirely unrealistic. The P. W. N. G. and P. W. N. R. could not survive for long and were disbanded soon after Ra’ana Liaquat Ali went abroad as Pakistan’s Ambassador.

About the Author

Sidra Muntaha

- Sidra Tul Muntaha is a journalist (MA-Mass Communication and M.Phil in Mass Communication) based in Lahore. She is working as an editor at fashion, style and entertainment in the section of the Kooza. She writes fashion and entertainment articles for The Kooza News.