The concept of modern state system emerged after Thirty Years of War, from 1618 to 1648, in which the Protestants fought with the Catholics on religious basis to end the monopoly of Church. Eventually, the ‘Treaty of Westphalia’ was signed to form a system of government that shared various commonalities of interests, and the most common of them were legal and political.

Interchangeable use of words such as the nation and the state, at times, beguile the intellect of masses. The better difference would be that the nation is a social term, unlike state which is a political concept. Nation usually refers to a political nation-state but mostly multiple nations live within a state.

History is illusory if understood from a narrow approach, as it cannot be limited to a specific period, rather through the contextualization of recurring events that have no exact start, if searched beyond the documented records dating back to 5000 years. So, when it comes to the Indian sub-continent, the evolution of religion, culture, and social values throughout the history should be kept in mind.

The colonizing merchants from Britain had an adverse impact on sub-continent that led to the war of 1857 between the natives and the East India Company. After the EIC managed to crush the locals, Queen Victoria by virtue of a formal decree made the Indian sub-continent a colony of Great Britain.

From Indian Councils Act 1861 to Indian Independence Act 1947, there were six constitutional documents passed by the British Parliament to govern the colonized sub-continent and the last one to end its rule. The political participation expanded gradually as the Muslims got separate electorate in 1909 Act, and maintained it, being the largest minority till 1947. The limited franchise also kept expanding with the increase in the number of representatives, and the power also gradually accumulated in the hands of the people of sub-continent from the British crown, for which the Congress and Muslim League in the initial phases struggled collectively due to some similar political interests.

The Indian National Congress was founded by Allan Octavian Hume, India-based British retired civil servant, for political participation of the people of sub-continent to administrate with the British, but it soon came to be perceived as championing the demands of Hindus over Muslims. The events led to the creation of All India Muslim League (AIML) in 1906, and the bitter experience of 1937-1939 Congress government gave way to 23rd March Resolution by AIML for the independent state of Pakistan.

Muslims of sub-continent did not wish to have an independent state, until they considered the Hindus to have similar interests. Also, the ninety years of British political set-up had influenced the socio-political culture of sub-continent to a great extent, and unconsciously dawned upon the realization on the people to struggle for political independence, but on divergent paths due to the bifurcating manifestoes of Congress and Muslim League.

Muslim League from 1905 to 1940 did not insisted for an independent form of government, but the detachment of Congress from the concerns of Muslim suffrage, led it towards the formulation of ‘Lahore Resolution’, that later was named as Pakistan Resolution. The winning of majority seats by the AIML in Muslim majority areas was also considered as a signal for the ultimate demand for independent state, and worked as a political plebiscite.

It was not the separation of sub-continent, as India was not a state itself at that time but the sub-continent was a British colony. India and Pakistan both got political independence from their colonial masters and won their own legal sovereignty. The political division between Muslims and Hindus in the sub-continent can be very simply quantified in the mass migration of almost fifteen million people that migrated between the newly formed states of Pakistan and India.

The contemporary Hindu nationalism that considers Muslims of India to be a scheduled minority, even though India is ostensibly flouted as a secular state – a political rhetoric which the Indian leaders’ have used quite often – is what convinced the Muslim League leadership in advance to struggle for an independent state, with no suppressing authority or discriminatory attitude.

State system is a reality today, that is though it is not natural rather it has been socially constructed through a vital evolutionary stage of human collective living in political and economic systems.

The buffer zone created by the British government between the Indian sub-continent and Afghanistan to halt the advance of Czar’s Russia, and the British administrated Muslim majority areas, once ruled by Muslim Mughal dynasty, along with various independent princely states, got united to form an independent Pakistan; not exactly a sociologically defined nation, but a political entity which adhered to live within a system of similar laws of nation, and thus a modern state of Pakistan came into being.

The conspiracy theories are so biased to prove that independence of Pakistan was the separation of sub-continent that these cannot rationally differentiate between a nation and a nation-state. Pakistan was neither bagged nor any state emerges on pre-planned myths, rather it is an outcome of societal emotions and their struggle, which is more rational and empirical.

Pakistan was achieved for the Muslim community of sub-continent and has been thus independent to practice its own laws for the liberty of its citizens. Indeed, no state is without problems in its first phase, rather its responsible citizens lead it towards a better and developed peak.

We inherited a system of Britain but did not actually maintain our pace with the modern states to do more and more. Of course, things have positively changed, yet it is not enough, Pakistan currently faces numerous political, economic and social issues that its institutions can put on a catalytic path of development under the leadership of socially responsible citizens. What has been, is the history of what our forefathers did, and what will happen in the future depends upon us, the people for whom Pakistan made its position on the world map.


About Author

Saddam Shah is studying Defence and Strategic Studies at the Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad. He takes interests in studying about the insurgencies, terrorism, and politics of the South Asian region. On twitter, he can be reached through the handle @Saddam_Shah98

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