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Pakistan Declaration

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Pakistan Declaration

Pakistan Declaration
A pamphlet named as Now or Never.
Author Rehmat Ali
Original title Now or Never; Are We to Live or Perish Forever?
Country England
Language English
Publication date
28 January 1933

Pakistan Declaration (titled Now or Never; Are We to Live or Perish Forever?) was a pamphlet written and published by Choudhary Rahmat Ali,[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8] on 28 January 1933, in which the word Pakstan (without the letter "i") was used for the first time and was presented in the Round Table conferences in 1933.[9]

Covering letter

The declaration was circulated with a covering letter signed by Rahmat Ali alone, dated 28 January 1933, and addressed from 3 Humberstone Road. It read as follows:[10]

3, Humberstone Road,
Cambridge, England.
28 January 1933

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am enclosing herewith an appeal on behalf of the thirty million Muslims of PAKISTAN, who live in the five Northern Units of India—Punjab, North-West Frontier (Afghan) Province, Kashmir, Sind, and Baluchistan. It embodies their demand for the recognition of their national status, as distinct from the other inhabitants of India, by the grant to Pakistan of a separate Federal Constitution on religious, social and historical grounds.

I shall be pleased if you will kindly acquaint me with your valuable opinion on the proposed solution of the great Hindu-Muslim problem. I trust that, vitally interested as you are in a just and permanent solution of that complex problem, the objects outlined in the appeal wiIl meet with your fullest approval and active support.

Yours truly, Rahmat Ali (Choudhary). (Founder, Pakistan National Movement)

Now or Never; Are We to Live or Perish Forever?

The pamphlet started with this famous sentence:[11]

"At this solemn hour in the history of India, when British and Indian statesmen are laying the foundations of a Federal Constitution for that land, we address this appeal to you, in the name of our common heritage, on behalf of our thirty million Muslim brethren who live in PAKSTAN—by which we mean the five Northern units of India, Viz: Punjab, North-West Frontier Province (Afghan Province), Kashmir, Sind and Baluchistan."

The pamphlet asked that "the five Northern units of India"—Punjab, North-West Frontier Province (Afghan Province), Kashmir, Sindh and Baluchistan (or Pakstan)[12] become a state independent of the proposed Indian Federation.

Professor K.K.Aziz writes[13] that "Rahmat Ali alone drafted this declaration.[14] The word Pakstan was used for the first time in this pamphlet. To make it "representative", he looked for people who would sign it along with him. This difficult search among the firm grip of 'Indianism' on the young intellectual at English universities took him more than a month to find three young men in London who offered to support and sign it."[15]

After the publication of the pamphlet, the Hindu Press vehemently criticized it, and the word 'Pakstan' used in it.[16] Thus this word became a heated topic of debate. With the addition of an "i" to improve the pronunciation, the name of Pakistan grew in popularity and led to the commencement of the Pakistan Movement, and consequently the creation of Pakistan as an independent state in 1947.[17]

The author

The author of this famous pamphlet was Chaudhary Rahmat Ali (16 November 1897 – 3 February 1951), a Muslim nationalist from Punjab, who was one of the earliest proponents of the creation of the state of Pakistan. He is credited with creating the name "Pakistan" for a separate Muslim homeland from British India. He propagated the Scheme of Pakistan with a missionary zeal since its inception in 1933.[18] He also later founded Pakistan National Movement[19] to propagate his ideas. Being as a political thinker and an idealist, wanted more than for accepting a smaller Pakistan in 1947[20] and save every Indian Muslim from the so-called "Hindu domination".[21]

After the creation of Pakistan he returned to Pakistan in April 1948, planning to stay in the country, but he was ordered by the then Prime Minister Liaqat Ali Khan to leave the country. His belongings were confiscated, and he left empty-handed for England in October 1948.[22]

He died on 3 February 1951 and was buried on 20 February at Newmarket Road Cemetery, Cambridge, UK. As there was no one to take responsibility for his burial, Emmanuel College's Master, who had been Rahmat Ali's Tutor, himself arranged the burial in Cambridge on 20 February 1951.[23]


  1. ^ Pakistan, the enigma of political development, by Lawrence Ziring, p. 67
  2. ^ Iqbal, an illustrated biography Khurram Ali Shafique, p.131
  3. ^ India-Pakistan in war & peace, Jyotindra Nath Dixit p.10
  4. ^ The Great Divide: Muslim Separatism and Partition By S.C. Bhatt, p.70
  5. ^ Historiography of India's Partition: An Analysis of Imperialist Writings By Viśva Mohana Pāndeya p.15
  6. ^ Governments and politics of South Asia J. C. Johari, p.208
  7. ^ Creating New States: Theory and Practice of Secession By Aleksandar Pavković, Peter Radan p.103
  8. ^ A history of Pakistan: past and present Muḥammad ʻAbdulʻaziz, p. 162
  9. ^ Rahmat Ali: A Biography, by K.K. AZIZ, Vanguard ,Lahore, 1987. P.89
  10. ^ Rahmat Ali: A Biography, by K.K. AZIZ, Vanguard ,Lahore, 1987. P.89
  11. ^ "Now or Never; Are We to Live or Perish Forever?"
  12. ^ Daily TimesTHE HISTORY MAN: Cambridge Remembers Rahmat Ali – Ihsan Aslam –
  13. ^ Rahmat Ali: A Biography, by K.K. AZIZ, Vanguard, Lahore, 1987. P.85
  14. ^ "Now or Never; Are We to Live or Perish Forever?"
  15. ^ Chaudhry Rahmat Ali, Pakistan
  16. ^ Khursheed Kamal Aziz. Rahmat Ali: a biography.1987, p.92
  17. ^ Khursheed Kamal Aziz. Rahmat Ali: a biography.1987, p472-487
  18. ^ Khursheed Kamal Aziz. Rahmat Ali: a biography.1987 p.472-487
  19. ^ Khursheed Kamal Aziz. Rahmat Ali: a biography.1987 p.109
  20. ^ Khursheed Kamal Aziz. Rahmat Ali: a biography.1987 p.319-338
  21. ^ Khursheed Kamal Aziz. Rahmat Ali: a biography.1987, p.330
  22. ^ Khursheed Kamal Aziz. Rahmat Ali: a biography.1987,P.303, 316
  23. ^ Khursheed Kamal Aziz. Rahmat Ali: a biography.1987,P.340-345

External links

  • "Now or Never; Are We to Live or Perish Forever?"
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