History of India’s Neighbours-7
Pakistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia which is neighboring India. Pakistan has the world’s second largest Muslim population, after Indonesia. Pakistan is also home to Mehrgarh which is considered as the earliest settlement in Indian subcontinent. It is also home to Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa-two of the most prominent sites of Indus Valley Civilization.
- India and Pakistan gained independence under the Indian Independence Act 1947 which said that “the fifteenth day of August, nineteen hundred and forty-seven, two independent dominions shall be set up in India, to be known respectively as India and Pakistan.”
- While India declared itself as a republic meanwhile Pakistan remained a monarchy till 1956 with the governor-general of Pakistan acting as the representative of the Crown. The founding father of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah remained as the governor-general from independence till his death in 1948.
- Pakistan waged a war against India in 1947 for the possession of Kashmir, which has since remained a contentious issue.
- On 23 February 1948, the Government of Pakistan ordained Urdu as the sole national language, sowing the seeds for Bengali nationalism. The result of which was 1971 war for Bangladesh Liberation.
- The Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on March 12, 1949 adopted an Objectives Resolution which proclaimed that the future constitution of Pakistan would not be modelled entirely on a European pattern, but on the ideology and democratic faith of Islam.
- After nine years, Pakistan was successful in framing a constitution which the Constituent Assembly adopted it on 29 February 1956 which declared Pakistan as an Islamic Republic and ending the Monarchy.
- On October 7 the first President of Pakistan Iskander Mirza abrogated the Constitution of Pakistan and declared martial law, but himself was deposed by Gen. Ayub Khan, the Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army. He then combined the offices of president and prime minister, becoming both the head of state and government.
- The Martial Law was withdrawn and a referendum was conducted in 1960 to change the system of government into a presidential form from parliamentary. A Constitutional Commission was set-up under the Supreme Court to implement the work on a Constitution. The commission in 1961 gave its recommendations. The new Constitution respected Islam, but did not declare Islam as the state religion and was viewed as a liberal constitution.
1965 Indo Pakistani War
- The Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 or the Second Kashmir War began with Pakistan’s Operation Gibraltar, which was designed to infiltrate forces into Jammu and Kashmir to precipitate an insurgency against Indian rule. This war witnessed the largest engagement of armored vehicles and the largest tank battle since World War II.
- The war caused extensive losses to both the countries in both material and manpower. The war ended after a ceasefire was declared through UNSC Resolution 211. Diplomatic intervention by the Soviet Union and the United States is said to have played a major role in the ceasefire, and the subsequent issuance of the Tashkent Declaration.
- Despite the declaration of a ceasefire, India was perceived as the victor by most neutral observers due to its success in halting the Pakistan-backed insurgency in Kashmir. However, in Pakistan the reality was distorted by its intelligence agencies who declared 6 September as Defence Day, in commemoration of the successful defence of Lahore against the Indian army.
- When the news of the Tashkent Declaration arrived, it shocked the people of Pakistan who were under the misconception of an invincible Pakistan. When the myth of invincible army and martial race was broken it resulted in demonstrations and riots erupting at various places throughout Pakistan.
The 1968 Movement
- The revolt took place from early November 1968, to the end of March 1969, involving around 10 to 15 million people. It began with the National Students Federation who were associated with the Maoists faction of the Communist Party of West Pakistan. The movement spread across the country when in November, a group of students were aggressively met by customs officials.
- By early 1969, the movement was joined by peasant committees and organisations in the country’s rural areas. On the 25th of March, Ayub Khan resigned as President of Pakistan and announced he was turning over the government of the nation to Army Chief of Staff Gen. Yahya Khan.
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