1940 -1947

1941 - Civil Disobedience Movement

The twenty eighth Annual Session of the All India Muslim League was held at Madras and a resolution was adopted on the Civil Disobedience Movement started by Congress. This movement was aimed at forcing the British Government to accept the Congress demands regarding the future constitution of India. Congress wanted that power should be transferred to them so that the Muslim nation should become mere subjects of Hindu Raj.

1942 - Cripps Mission

Soon after the Lahore Resolution was passed in March 1940, there came a reassuring statement from the Viceroy, Lord Linlithgow, on 8 August 1940, which dearly stated that British Government could not contemplate the transfer of their present responsibilities for peace and welfare of India to any system of government whose authority is directly denied by large and powerful elements in India's national life.
British Government recognized the genuineness in demand for Pakistan, indirectly in the proposals for the transfer of power after the Second World War which Sir Stafford Cripps brought to India in 1942. Both Congress and All India Muslim League rejected these proposals for different reasons. The principles of secession of Muslim India as a separate dominion was however, conceded in these proposals. After this failure, a prominent Congress leader, C. Rajgopalacharia, suggested a formula for a separate Muslim state in the working committee of the Indian National Congress, which was rejected at the time, but later on, in 1944, formed the basis of the Jinnah-Gandhi talks.

1942 - Quit India Movement

The Indian National Congress decided to start "Quit India Movement" and demanded that British should immediately withdraw from India. Mr. Gandhi advised his people to "do or die" to achieve their aim. This movement was termed an "open rebellion" against British Government in India. As a result of the Movement 940 people were killed within a period of four months and state property worth rupees one crore and thirty five lakhs was destroyed. In response to the Congress demand of Quit India, the League demanded "Divide and Quit." The League remained aloof from the Movement since it was aimed as much against Muslims as it was against British.

1945 - Simla Conference

The Viceroy called a conference at Simla, since known as the First Simla Conference, where the formation of an Executive Council was discussed. The Congress claimed that it represented all the communities in India and as such it could nominate Muslims as members of the new Council. All India Muslim League did not accept the claim of Congress and stated that only All India Muslim League had the right to nominate Muslim members in the Executive Council.

All India Muslim League was pledged to the formation of a separate homeland for Indian Muslims, whereas Wavell Plan envisaged a united India. When question of representation of various religious groups on the Executive Council came under discussion, a deadlock occurred. All India Muslim League claimed that no other political party had the right to nominate Muslim members for the Executive Council.

Congress was opposed to this claim. The Unionist Party in Punjab was also pressing for representation on the Executive Council. Lord Wavell requested the two parties to send him a list giving the names of the members of their parties who could be included in the proposed Executive Council. Congress immediately submitted a list of its members which also included names of two Muslims. All India Muslim League did not submit the list and insisted that Muslim members of the proposed Executive Council should be chosen from the All-India Muslim League. On 14 July, 1945, Viceroy Lord Wavell announced that the Simla Conference had failed and that the efforts to bring Hindus and Muslims together have proved fruitless.

1946 - Cabinet Mission

The Cabinet Mission Plan, proposed by Cripps, represented Britain's last, desperate attempt to transfer the power it retained over India to a single union. The mission put forward a three-tier federal form of government in which central government would be limited to power over defence, foreign relations, currency and communication; significant over powers would be delegated to the provinces. The plan also prescribed the zones that would be created: north-west Bengal and Assam would be joined to form a zone with a slight Muslim majority; in north-west, Punjab, Sindh, N.W.F.P., and Balochistan would be joined for a clear Muslim majority; and the remainder of the country would be third zone, with a clear Hindu majority. The approximation of boundaries of a new Pakistan was clear from the delineation of the zones. The mission also suggested the right of veto on legislation by communities that saw their interests adversely affected. Finally, the mission proposed that an interim government be established immediately and that new elections be held.

The Plan of June 3, 1947

This was a plan for the partition of India prepared by Lord Louis Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India, in consultation with British Government. It was based on a fundamental principle that transfer of power should take place according to the wishes of the people. It provided for ascertaining the wishes of the people with regard to the framing of their constitution by:
(a) The existing Constituent Assembly OR
(b) A new and separate Constituent Assembly consisting of the representatives of those areas which decide not to participate in the existing Constituent Assembly. Members of the provincial legislatures of Bengal and Punjab were to decide on issue of partition and as soon as the decision involving partition had been taken, separate Boundary Commissions would be set up which would demarcate the boundaries of two parts of the provinces. In North West Frontier Province referendum was to be held to ascertain the wishes of the people and in Sindh Indian members of the Legislative Assembly were to take their own decision. In his broadcast statement Quaid-e-Azam said that the plan did not meet, in some respects, our point of view. He, however, expressed his satisfaction on some of the matters dealt within the Plan. But it is for us now to consider whether the Plan should be accepted by us as a compromise or a settlement.

July 18, 1947, Indian Independence Act; a bill providing independence was introduced in the House of Commons on July 4, 1947 and was passed on July 15, 1947. On July 16, 1947, it was passed by the House of Lords and received the Royal assent on July 18, 1947. It provided that "from the fifteenth day of August, nineteen hundred and forty seven, two independent dominions shall be set up in India, to be known respectively as India and Pakistan". The Act provided that for each new dominion there would be a Governor General. The Act also provided that as long as the Constituent Assembly does not prepare a constitution of its own, the new dominions will be governed by the Government of India Act, 1935.

First Constituent Assembly of Pakistan

Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah arrived in Karachi on August 7, 1947 and addressed the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on August 11, 1947 as its first Governor General. He said that the Assembly had two main functions to perform. The first was to frame the future constitution of Pakistan and second was to act as a Federal Legislature of Pakistan.

Radcliffe Award

The Boundary Commission appointed under the Indian Independence Act 1947, submitted its report commonly known as the Radcliffe Award. The Punjab Boundary Commission was constituted on June 30, 1947, as under:
  • Lord Cyril Radcliffe (Chairman)
  • Justice DM Mohammad
  • Justice Mohammad Munir
  • Justice Mehr Chand Mahajan; and
  • Justice Teja Singh
It worked from July 21, 1947 to July 30, 1947, and produced the Award in which the Muslim majority areas of Gurdaspur, Batala, Ferozepur, Zira and Jullundhar were given to India. Quaid-e-Azam said that it was an unjust, incomprehensible and even perverse Award. He further said that as he had agreed to abide by it, it was binding on us.

Transfer of Power

The transfer of power ceremony took place at Karachi. Lord Mountbatten and Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah addressed the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan. On 15 August, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah sworn in as the first Governor Genera! of Pakistan. Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan was appointed as the first Prime Minister of Pakistan.