The 23rd day of March marked the passing of the historic resolution in Lahore which paved the way for the creation of separate Muslim state in the South Asia. On this day in 1940, the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent reached the most significant milestone on their long and checkered path to independence. The Lahore Resolution was essentially the embodiment of a prediction made by the Allama Iqbal, the ideologue of Pakistan, a decade ago about the ‘final destiny’ of the Indian Muslims. Through this resolution, the Muslims of this region cherished a dream. And this dream was realised within 7 years when Pakistan finally appeared on the globe map as a sovereign independent state, thanks to the visionary and inspiring leadership of Quaid-e-Azam, and unwavering support rendered by the numerous unsung heroes of the freedom movement.

The Lahore resolution marked a paradigm shift in the Muslim politics in British India. It just gave rise to a sort of political metamorphosis characterised by a significant transformation from the Muslim nationalism to Muslim separatism. Before this event, the political struggle of Indian Muslims was primarily revolving around the typical sub-nationalism which usually aims at preserving the political, religious and economic interests of a minority group within a particular territory. So the Muslim leaders also keenly endeavoured to secure separate electorate, adequate share in the government jobs, weightage (excess representation in the federal and provincial legislatures and ministries compared to their numerical strength), and the religious freedom for the Muslims in the British Indian Empire. But after the formal adoption of Lahore Resolution by All-India Muslim League, the establishment of a separate Muslim homeland became the ultimate demand as well as goal of Indian Muslims.

Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was an ardent advocate of harmonious Hindu-Muslim relations. He was the architect of 1916 Lucknow Pact whereby the Muslim League and the Congress agreed to join hands with each other for the political rights of Indian people. However, with the passage of time, the ‘ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity’ became the most vocal protagonist of the ‘two-nation theory’ in India. He had clearly realized that Muslim minority population could hardly flourished in a Hindu-dominated state. The ‘tyranny of the majority’ was bound to prevail in the democratic India. The claim to a separate Muslim state had primarily relied on the premise that the Muslim of India were a nation and, therefore, they are entitled to have independent state in accordance with the universal doctrine of self-determination.

The underlying assumption of ‘two-nation theory’ had been validated even before the creation of Pakistan. Inter alia, the unaccommodating attitude of the Congress leaders towards the Muslim community, the ill-treatment of Muslims during the Congress ministries (1937-38), the 1946 Great Calcutta Killings, and finally the dubious policy adopted by congress leaders to deny Muslims their due rights on the eve of partition of British India, collectively established the authenticity, validity and relevance of this theory. Interestingly, the Muslim League prepared the coffin of ‘united India’ by passing the Lahore Resolution in 1940, but the Congress itself put the last nail in this coffin by instantly rejecting the Cabinet Mission Plan in 1946. The recent revival of Hindutva in India also significantly reinforces the two-nation theory. We can just observe the hostility of Incumbent Modi-led BJP regime towards the Muslims living on both side of the Radcliffe Line.

Sadly, having gotten independence after rendering great sacrifices, now there is hot debate in Pakistan over whether our founding fathers intended to make Pakistan a liberal or a theological state. Ironically, both the so-called liberal and religious segments of the pre-partition Muslim society in India were predominately unionists who opposed the partition of British India on communal basis owing to their ideological compulsions. Therefore, instead of being entangled in the similar debates, now we should focus on the welfare and uplift of the ordinary people, which is also the raison d’etre of Pakistan. There should be a serious endeavour to make Pakistan an Islamic welfare state where every Pakistani could flourish irrespective of his/her cast, creed or colour.

By the grace of Allah Almighty, today Pakistan is a well-established and irrefutable reality in the world. Pakistan exists as a full-fledged sovereign state. It is the only Muslim nuclear and military power in the world. It is bestowed with every blessing of the nature. Pakistan is situated at the cross-roads of the North-South and East-West corridors in the Asia. It essentially acts as a land bridge between the Central Asia and the South Asia, the Eastern Asia and the Western Asia. Therefore, its position is central to the connectivity and economic integration of the Asia. The CPEC project reflects just one aspect of Pakistan’s geographical location. Indeed Pakistan can greatly benefit from its unique geographical location. Owing to its tremendous economic potential, Pakistan is part of so-called Next Elven. It is the six largest country in the world. And above all things, it has independence.

At present, as a nation state, Pakistan is facing a number of challenges which are disadvantageously hampering its forward thrust. These challenges range from terrorism and extremism to illiteracy, injustice, backwardness, and poverty etc. Certainly, we will have to overcome these challenges to achieve the goals idealised by our founding fathers. For this purpose, we will have to exhibit similar enthusiasm, resolve, passion and devotion as did the pioneers and workers of Pakistan movement.

Once our founding fathers idealised to win a better future. So they evolved an idealism to rescue their succeeding generations from the voracious jaws of deprivation, exploitation and eternal subjugation. Some 70 years ago, this idealism motivated and helped them break the yoke of more than a century-old dual slavery. Now we need similar resolve and idealism to realise the benefits of this hard-earned freedom. Indeed, today is the best day for us to renew some resolves as a nation. A resolve to survive as well as thrive forward against the odds. A resolve to defeat those forces that are trying to keep us in the perpetual state of fear and darkness. A resolve to preserve our independence at all costs. And a resolve to preserve the ideology of Pakistan by all means. The best way to preserve the ideology of Pakistan is to preserve Pakistan which is essentially the territorial expression of two-nation theory, and the ultimate subject-matter of this ideology.