Founder of Pakistan’s Historic Speech – To the first of Constitutional Assembly (11th Aug 1947)
Presidential Address to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on 11th August, 1947
Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I cordially thank you with the utmost sincerity, for the honor you have conferred upon me -the greatest honor that is possible for this Sovereign Assembly to confer-by electing me as your first President. I also thank those leaders who have spoken in appreciation of my services and their personal references to me. I sincerely hope that with your support and your cooperation we shall make this Constituent Assembly an example to the world. The Constituent Assembly has got two main functions to perform. The first is the very onerous and responsible task of framing our future Constitution of Pakistan and the second of functioning as a full and complete Sovereign body as the Federal Legislature of Pakistan. We have to do the best we can in adopting a provincial constitution for the Federal Legislature of Pakistan. You know really that not only we ourselves are wondering but, I think, the whole world is wondering at this unprecedented cyclone revolution which has brought about the plan of creating and establishing two independent Sovereign Dominions in this sub-continent. As it is, it has been unprecedented; there is no parallel in the history of the world. This mighty sub-continent with all kinds of inhabitants has been brought under a plan which is titanic, unknown, and unparalleled. And what is very important with regard to it is that we have achieved it peacefully and by means of an evolution of the greatest possible character.
NEW SOCIAL CONTRACT ON 1940 LAHORE RESOLUTION BASIS
(March 29, 2010) -The resolutions of National Conference’ on ‘A New Social Contract On The Basis Of 1940 Resolution-The Only Way To Save Pakistan organised by Save Sindh Movement. Leading political leaders, intellectuals and thinkers addressed the conference.
Rasool Bux Palijo, Syed Jalal Mehmood Shah, Mir Hasil Bazenjo, MNA Marvi Memon, Abrar Kazi, Shah Muhammad Shah, Zamir Ghumro, Ali Hasan Chandio, BNP leader Jhanzaib Khan of BNP, Yousuf Masti Khan, Ayub Shar, Zulfiqar Halepoto and others addresses the conference.
Conference was attended by a large number of political leaders and workers, civil society leaders, writers, intellectuals, lawyers and concerned citizens.
A NEW SOCIAL CONTRACT ON THE BASIS OF 1940 LAHORE RESOLUTION-THE ONLY VIABLE WAY TO SAVE PAKISTAN
The All India Muslim League vide its Resolution dated 23rd March 1940 (Lahore Resolution), promised an arrangement whereby the states/units will be sovereign and autonomous. The 1940 Resolution had clearly envisaged Pakistan as “a federation comprising autonomous units which shall be completely sovereign.”
The World Sindhi Institute fully endorses the demands registered at a recent conference of political and civil society representives seeking a new constitution for Pakistan and a new socio-economic and political contract for Sindh and other minority provinces, that took place in Hyderabad Sindh , on August 14th 2009(see below).
Citing the dysmal failure of the current constitution and the historic existence of the covenant of 1940 ( Lahore Resolution ) which already establishes a framework and template for geunine federalism , the consultative body, unanimously agreed that the 1940 Resolution is the only acceptable denominator to base a bew constitution on.
WSI also endorses veteran politician Saieen Rasool Baksh Palijo’s demand to stop the large scale pilferage of Sindh Waters that continues with impunity and that that has destroyed and continues to destroy the livelihood and health of Sindh’s citizens.
Humaira Rahman, General Seretary, World Sindhi Institute
HYDERABAD: Validity of 1973 Constitution has come to an end due to continuous undemocratic interventions, extra-constitutional amendments and its inherent flaws. The current constitution could not resolve the intra-state political and economic conflicts, Sindh political and civil society activists said here on Wednesday while initiating an effective discussion to design what they said a comprehensive list of demands acceptable to all. The 1973 Constitution should work for an interim period leading to a new constitution based on 1940 resolution through a new elected constituent assembly. That constitution would work as a new social contract among the federating units of Pakistan , they said.
TWO months ago an advertisement appeared in leading national dailies in which the ministry of provincial coordination, government of Sindh, solicited civil society to submit proposals and recommendations to the government regarding provincial autonomy. The content of the advertisement gives an impression that provincial autonomy is an important issue and the centre is seriously seeking suggestions from provinces to resolve the autonomy issue. The formation of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) and the National Finance Commission to work out for fair distribution of resources are the arguments given by the government about the seriousness of the regime to decentralise powers of the centre. However, during its 15 months in power the government has only demonstrated overcentralisation of power in the presidency.
The ideas of provincial autonomy and decentralisation have become obsolete. Therefore, they are absolutely irrelevant for today’s Sindh.
Recall, the autonomy was talk of the Sindhi leaders before Partition and it was promised in the Pakistan Resolution in 1940. The decentralisation was promised in the 1973 Constitution by devolving the Concurrent List after 10 years.
The demand for provincial autonomy on the basis of 1940 resolution is gaining support of many in Pakistan. I salute the Chief Minister of Balochistan, SaeeN Nawab Aslam Raisani for his statement and action plan discussed below in the DAWN report. I hope that other PPP leaders from all provinces will also show similar courage and demand that the centre should only be responsible for foreign affairs, defense, currency and communications and the rest of the powers should be transferred to the provinces.
by Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia, USA
The Pakistani community of Washington DC is holding a meeting on Sunday 3, 2009 to pass a resolution (see draft resolution below) demanding action against Taliban and restoration of constitutional law in all regions of Pakistan. The resolution also urges the US government to reconsider its current policy of drone attacks that has resulted in loss of many innocent lives. I urge all Pakistani Sindhis to initiate similar meetings in their cities and towns and pass similar resolutions. I am also urging the authors of the proposed resolution to include a paragraphs to urge safeguarding the political, economic, and cultural rights of people of all provinces of Pakistan is a vital component of the fundamental constitution of Pakistan enshrined in the 1940 Resolution and the Government of Pakistan and political parties of Pakistan to come together to immediately stop military action in Balochistan, amend constitution to restore complete provincial autonomy, and abolish the concurrent list. condemning the military action in Balochistan and demand full provincial autonomy according to the 1940 Lahore Resolution.
It is hoped that the ensuring solidarity of all Pakistanis will encourage Government to fight for the rule in FATA , Swat, and other areas of countries, where Taliban are flouting Pakistani laws.
Treat the demands of Balochistan, Sindh & other small provinces with utmost seriousness
by Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia, USA
The writer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Baluch people have been struggling for their rights since Balochistan became a part of Pakistan, when the country was created after the partition of British India in 1947. Unfortunately, instead of establishing Pakistan’s constitution and setup on the lines 1940 Pakistan resolution that contained the commitments of sovereign and autonomous provinces, the civilian and military dictators, and bureaucracy have created a highly centralized system that is dominated and controlled by the largest province of Pakistan (Punjab). The people of three small provinces (Balochistan, Sindh, and NWFP) have been demanding provincial autonomy and adherence to the commitments that were in the 1940 resolution for decades. About 18 months ago, a group of Baloch men and women led by Akbar Bugti were bombarded by the security forces in which scores including Nawab Akbar Bugti were killed. Since then, the Baluch struggle has taken a more vigorous turn as they have given their hope that Punjab will ever accept significant provincial autonomy and are now demanding outright separation from Pakistan. In my remarks at the Washington DC-based Baloch organizations rally in front of the Pakistan Embassy on Friday, April 17, 2009, I urged the current government of Pakistan and its establishment (that actually runs Pakistan) to treat the demands of Balochistan and other small provinces with utmost seriousness as the delays in addressing the issues of autonomy and sovereignty of provinces is only hardening the attitude of the grieved people. I, further said there is an urgent need that the Pakistan’s National Assembly immediately pass overdue amendments in Pakistan’s constitution abolishing concurrent list, which enables the federal government and the federal establishment exercise complete control on almost every aspect of the country including revenue collection and how that revenue is spent and distributed to the provinces. Any further delay in addressing the issue of provincial autonomy would further complicate the already entangled affairs of Pakistan.
It is the birth right of Sindhis to demand adherence to the 1940 resolution
Today is the birthday of Shaikh Ayaz, one of the greatest Sindhi poet of 20th century. He was born in Shikarpur on March 2, 1923. Shaikh Ayaz revolutionized many aspects of Sindhi poetry and his 46 collections of poetry, short stories, essays, diaries and the translation into Urdu of Shah jo Risalo continue to inspire not only literary circles but also common men and women of Sindh.
Today is also the day when Pakistan celebrates 1940 resolution, whose fundamental tenants continue to be ignored by the Pakistani establishment. It is sad that the promise of autonomous and sovereign provinces continue to be simply a deception. An article about this failed promise circulated on some Sindhi newspapers and Internet lists caught my eye this morning. The article is written by Ms. Shazia Nizamani, who was inspired by the struggle of the local “sons of soil” in Malaysia. I am reproducing a part of that article as some of you may have not received it (with apologies to those who are already recipients). A synopsis of the main message of Ms. Nizamani’s article is as follows:
It is the birth right of Sindhis to demand adherence to the 1940 resolution. It was only because of the promises made in that resolution that Sindhis joined Pakistan. Although Sindhis sometimes face criticism for demanding autonomy of their province on the basis of 1940 resolution, they should be clear and confident about this demand. Sindhis should get this fact accepted that they have the rights over their homeland, its resources, its political decisions, jobs, language, and cities.
Ownership of Oil and Gas Resources of Sindh by Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia, USA I support any and all initiatives and actions that empower provinces and eliminate the menace of over-centralization in Pakistan. The current constitution gives too much power to one province to control the other three smaller provinces. In addition to what is being proposed, it will be great if the Pakistani constitution is amended to make the Pakistani Senate a truly empowered institution in the same way as the US Senate. This would entail equal representation to four provinces and elimination of special representation from Islamabad and FATA areas. The Pakistani Senate should be empowered to initiate monetary bills that it cannot currently do.