British Rule and Muslim League
The British ruled the Indian subcontinent for nearly 200 years-from 1756 to 1947. After the Indian Mutiny of 1857, the British government abolished the powers of the British East India Company, which had ruled the sub-continent on behalf of the British Crown, and took on direct powers of governance. Political reforms were initiated, allowing the formation of political parties. The Indian National Congress, representing the overwhelming majority of Hindus, was created in 1885. The Muslim League was formed in 1906 to represent and protect the position of the Muslim minority. When the British introduced constitutional reforms in 1909, the Muslims demanded and acquired separate electoral rolls. This guaranteed Muslims representation in the provincia l as well as national legislatures until the dawn of independence in 1947.The idea of a separate Muslim state in south Asia was raised in 1930 by the poet and philosopher Sir Muhammad Iqbal.
Quaid-e-Azam He suggested that the north-western provinces of British India and the native state of Jammu and Kashmir should be joined into such a state. The name "Pakistan", which came to be used to describe this grouping, is thought to have originated as a compound abbreviation made up of letters of the names of the provinces involved, as follows: Punjab, Afghania (North West Frontier Province), Kashmir, Indus-Sindh, and Balochistan. An alternative explanation says the name means "Land of the Pure". By the end of the 1930s, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, leader of the Muslim League and considered the founding father of Pakistan, had also decided that the only way to preserve Indian Muslims from Hindu domination was to establish a separate Muslim state.
Creation of Pakistan
In 1940 the Muslim League formally endorsed the partitioning of British India and the creation of Pakistan as a separate Muslim state. During pre-independence talks in 1946, therefore, the British government found that the stand of the Muslim League on separation and that of the Congress on the territorial unity of India were irreconcilable. The British then decided on partition and on August 15, 1947, transferred power dividedly to India and Pakistan. The latter, however, came into existence in two parts: West Pakistan, as Pakistan stands today, and East Pakistan, now known as Bangladesh. The two were separated by 1,600 km (1,000 mi) of Indian territory
Problems of Partition
The division of the subcontinent caused tremendous dislocations of populations. Some 6 million Hindus and Sikhs moved from Pakistan into India, and about 8 million Muslims migrated from India to Pakistan.
The demographic shift was accompanied by considerable inter-ethnic violence, including massacres, that reinforced bitterness between the two countries. This bitterness was further intensified by disputes over the accession of the former native states of India to either country. Nearly all of these 562 widely scattered polities had joined either India or Pakistan; the princes of Hyderabad, Junagadh, and Kashmir, however, had chosen to join neither country. On August 15, 1947, these three states became technically independent, but when the Muslim ruler of Junagadh, with its predominantly Hindu population, joined Pakistan a month later, India annexed his territory. Hyderabad's Muslim prince, ruling over a mostly Hindu population, tried to postpone any decision indefinitely, but in September 1948 India also settled that issue by pre-emptive annexation. The Hindu ruler of Jammu and Kashmir, whose subjects were 85 per cent Muslim, decided to join India. Pakistan, however,
questioned his right to do so, and a war broke out between India and Pakistan. Although the UN subsequently resolved that a plebiscite be held under UN auspices to determine the future of Kashmir, India continued to occupy about two thirds of the state and refused to hold a plebiscite. This deadlock, which still persists, has intensified suspicion and antagonism between the two countries.