Some Important Social, Economical, Political Problem Faced by the Government Immediately After Creation of Pakistan.

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In August 1947, Pakistan was faced with a number of problems, some immediate but others long term. The most important of these concerns was the role played by Islam. Was Pakistan to be a secular state serving as a homeland for Muslims of the subcontinent, or was it to be an Islamic state governed by the sharia, in which non-Muslims would be second-class citizens? The second question concerned the distribution of power between the center and the provincial governments, a question that eventually led to the dissolution of the country with the painful loss of the East Wing (East Bengal, later East Pakistan, now Bangladesh) in 1971, an issue that remained unresolved in the mid-1990s. The territory of Pakistan was divided into two parts at independence, separated by about 1,600 kilometers of Indian territory. The 1940 Lahore Resolution had called for independent "states" in the northwest and the northeast. This objective was changed, by a 1946 meeting of Muslim League legislators to a call for a single state (the acronym Pakistan had no letter for Bengal). Pakistan lacked the machinery, personnel, and equipment for a new government. Even its capital, Karachi, was a second choice--Lahore was rejected because it was too close to the Indian border. Pakistan's economy seemed enviable after severing ties with India, the major market for its commodities. And much of Punjab's electricity was imported from Indian power stations. Above all other concerns were the violence and the refugee problem: Muslims were fleeing India; Hindus and Sikhs were fleeing Pakistan. Jinnah's plea to regard religion as a personal matter, not a state matter, was ignored. No one was prepared for the communal rioting and the mass movements of population that followed the June 3, 1947, London announcement of imminent independence and partition. The most conservative estimates of the casualties were 250,000 dead and 12 million to 24 million refugees. The actual boundaries of the two new states were not even known until August 17, when they were announced by a commission headed by a British judge. The boundaries-- unacceptable to both India and Pakistan--have remained. West Pakistan lost Hindus and Sikhs. These communities had managed much of the commercial activity of West Pakistan. The Sikhs were especially prominent in agricultural colonies. They were replaced largely by Muslims from India, mostly Urdu speakers from the United Provinces. Although some people, especially Muslims from eastern Punjab (in India), settled in western Punjab (in Pakistan), many headed for Karachi and other cities in Sindh, where they took the jobs vacated by departing Hindus. In 1951 close to half of the population of Pakistan's major cities were immigrants (muhajirs--refugees from India and their descendants). The aspirations for Pakistan that had been so important to Muslims in Muslim-minority provinces and the goals for the new state these urban refugees had fled to were not always compatible with those of the traditional rural people already inhabiting Pakistan, whose support for the concept of Pakistan came much later. Pakistani society was polarized from its inception. The land and people west of the Indus River continued to pose problems. The most immediate problem was the continued presence of a Congress government in the North-West Frontier Province, a government effective at the grassroots level and popular despite the loss of the plebiscite. Led by Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and his Khudai-i-Khitmagar (Servants of God, a Congress faction), this group was often referred to as the Red Shirts after its members' attire. Ghaffar Khan asked his followers not to participate in the July 1947 plebiscite. Pakistan also had to establish its legitimacy against a possible challenge from Afghanistan. Irredentist claims from Kabul were based on the ethnic unity of tribes straddling the border; the emotional appeal of "Pakhtunistan," homeland of the Pakhtuns, was undeniable. However,...
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