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A Portpourri on Pakistan


Kalim Bahadur

DEAR MR. JINNAH: SELECTED CORRESPONDENCE AND SPEECHES OF LIAQUAT ALI KHAN, 1937-1947
Edited by Roger D. Long
Oxford University Press, Karachi, 2004, pp. xiv 328, Rs. 495.00


Edited by Dohra Ahmad , Iftikhar Ahmad and Zia Mian
Oxford University Press, Karachi, 2004, pp. 329, Rs. 450.00


By Maneesha Tikekar
Promilla & Co. in association with Bibliophile South Asia, New Delhi, 2004, pp. 360, Rs. 350.00

A TRAVEL COMPANION TO THE NORTHERN AREAS OF PAKISTAN
By Tahir Jahangir
Oxford University Press, Karachi, 2005, pp. viii 140, Rs. 295.00

VOLUME XXX NUMBER 5 May 2006

Liaquat Ali Khan, the first Prime Minister of Pakistan after indepen- dence and the secretary of the All India Muslim League during the crucial period of the Pakistan movement (1936-1946) is one of the less known figures of that country. Belonging to a rich feudal family, he was educated at Aligarh and Oxford. After Oxford he went to the Inner Temple and was called to the Bar. However, unlike Jinnah he did not practise law, entered politics and joined the Muslim League in 1923. He was an active member of the United Provinces Zamindar Association. It is said that his close association with Jinnah began when Liaquat Ali Khan visited U.K in 1933 and persuaded Jinnah, who had settled there, to return to India to lead the Muslim League. Jinnah took another year to finally decide to return to India in 1935. The selected letters included in this collection between Jinnah and Liaquat mainly belong to the period 1937-1946 which was crucial for India’s independence movement. It was also the time when after the so-called Pakistan Resolution was passed by the Muslim League in its Lahore session in March 1940 the party became a mass movement of the Muslims of the Muslim minority provinces. In contrast to this the League had suffered a devastating defeat in those provinces during the election in 1937. It was also the time when the communal divide began to widen.   Most of the letters included in this collection deal with routine matters where Liaquat as secretary of the League had to consult and seek the party president Jinnah’s directions on day to day matters of the organization. Most of them are related to such questions as of starting a daily paper, the Dawn, the appointment of its editor, the dates for holding the meetings of the Party executive, etc. The major political issues of this period were the Pakistan resolution, the dissidence of the Punjab Muslim League led by Sikander Hayat Khan, the participation of some Muslim League leaders in the National Defence Council, established by the Viceroy to help in the war effort, the revolt by the Bengal leader Maulvi Fazalul Haq, the Quit India Movement by the Congress and the formation of the Interim Government. It is surprising that there is no letter in this collection dealing with the Lahore session of League except one which refers to the film of the session.   It has ...


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