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In the shadows of the more prominent figures like Fatima Jinnah, Begum Shahnawaz, Salma Tassaduque Hussain, Begum Liaqat Ali Khan and Fatima Sughra, there were countless women who dedicated their lives to the Pakistan movement. Theirs was a parallel story of courage and labour, a voice that invigorated the struggle but was unheard when the deafening roar of 'Pakistan Zindabad' rang out.

 Photo Courtesy: The Citizens Archive of Pakistan
Photo Courtesy: The Citizens Archive of Pakistan
 Photo Courtesy: The Citizens Archive of Pakistan
Photo Courtesy: The Citizens Archive of Pakistan

 Photo Courtesy: The Citizens Archive of Pakistan
Photo Courtesy: The Citizens Archive of Pakistan

 Photo Courtesy: Dawn archives
Photo Courtesy: Dawn archives


Produced by

Taimur Sikander

Shameen Khan

The images and interviews used in this feature were made possible from the material obtained from The Citizens Archive of Pakistan

Comments (46) Closed
Aug 14, 2014 04:16pm
Hats off to you ladies. What an inspiration.... respect for you..... Rather Immense Respect for you.
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iqbal malik
Aug 14, 2014 04:26pm
We love you all, my mothers.
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Aug 14, 2014 04:29pm
The Citizens Archive of Pakistan is an excellent initiative. In times of obfuscated history and the need to construct a nationhood reeling from crisis to crisis, these stories with their simpleness and fragility have a truly humbling effect.
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Dr Muhammad Akram
Aug 14, 2014 04:29pm
Speechless... My dear sisters these are your hero not some holly/bolly wood.
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Aug 14, 2014 04:40pm
Very inspiring... Especially on a day like this where Pakistan seems to be in chaos.
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Aug 14, 2014 05:01pm
Girls enamored by Jinnah.
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Aug 14, 2014 05:04pm
Wow , Hats off , got Goose bumps on my hand, very inspiring ....God Bless them all with good Health, From a Human living Next Door....... India.........
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Aug 14, 2014 05:12pm
All of them are irreplaceable assets of the sacred land and the pride of Muslim Ummah PAKISTAN ZINDABAD :)
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Aug 14, 2014 05:14pm
Thumbs up! Women of Pakistan were daring & liberal half a century ago. Such articles should be added in course books, as well, to change the mindset of community in general.
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Asif Ali Khan
Aug 14, 2014 05:23pm
Salute to these courageous patriotic women who took part in the creation of Pakistan and later in its establishment . I as a senior citizen remember all these ladies and many more whom present generation has forgotten today. If today's women as well as men leaders follow their selfless devotion in building Pakistan then I have some hope to see a country which we all wanted to see as citadel of Muslim World.
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Aug 14, 2014 05:57pm
There can be civilisation only when there is equality of men and women. When women are given equal chances and opportunities and treated equal to men there will be law and order. This means also abolition of polygamy. People should come into politics to serve people and not serve themselves.
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Aug 14, 2014 05:58pm
salute to courageous ladies! quite iconic
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shoukat sheikh
Aug 14, 2014 06:17pm
I agree with MK I am not sure if we have ladies such as these in out mix now a days
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Nizamuddin Ahmad Aali
Aug 14, 2014 06:23pm
I wonder why we the Pakistani have pushed women aside. They were equal partners in the Pakistan movement. I always wonder about a lady in full ( old fashion, black, fully covered from toe to head ) burqa in a picture with five prominent leader with picture Mr. Jinnah, taken in 1933 in Patna Bihar.
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Loyalist Pakistani
Aug 14, 2014 06:45pm
Well done girls. You are the ones who deserve Azadi greeting more than anyone else.
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Aug 14, 2014 07:01pm
Respekt to all worked for creating Pakistan. Our beloved Pakistan.
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Aug 14, 2014 07:06pm
Respect, Respect, and More Respect for all these wonderful souls!!
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Aug 14, 2014 07:15pm
These and many like them are the true & honest people made selfless efforts with steel like integrity to create a mother land for Muslims of undivided India. It paid off & today we are breathing in a highly secured & strong country called Pakistan. Inshallah it will get stronger & more powerful in future. What was Pakistan at the time of its creation, a deprived & biased division but Alhamdulilah today Pakistan is a highly responsible nuclear country.
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Aug 14, 2014 07:37pm
How shameful is the attitude of Extremists who want to keep girls uneducated by blowing up & by closing down schools for girls and preventing women from casting their votes in the elections.Part played by the women in the independence movement proves the importance of proper education for females.A nation cannot progress if half of its population is deprived of its rights and is stopped from playing its role in the day to day activities of a nation.
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Charles Veilleux
Aug 14, 2014 07:58pm
Good work ladies - you are much appreciated and respected!
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Jalaluddin S. Hussain
Aug 14, 2014 08:14pm
As a Pakistani first and Canadian after, I am proud of Pakistani women. They were side by side with men in the struggle for Pakistan.
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Aug 14, 2014 08:17pm
Finally , a good publication , a good narrative amidst this chaos in the streets. Thanks.
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Vishnu Mahant
Aug 14, 2014 08:36pm
Happy Independence Day Pakistan! May the people of Pakistan find peace and unison with your neighbors India, Iran and Afghanistan!
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Aug 14, 2014 08:38pm
I saw the enthusiasm of people in Hyderabad-Deccan for the creation of a Muslim state 'Pakistan' in 1947 when I was at the age of about 15 years. We had reposed full confidence in the leadership of the Qaid and had great expectations.
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Aug 14, 2014 08:50pm
Please also add the narrative of Begum Zeenat Fida Hassan, one of the founding members of APWA along with Begum Liaqat Ali Khan and one of the First women ministers, who championed the cause of female education, social justice and equality in Pakistan.
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Murtaza Ahmad
Aug 14, 2014 08:55pm
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Talat Haque
Aug 14, 2014 08:57pm
heroes !
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Kamil Sanaulla
Aug 14, 2014 09:01pm
@Riaz I agree with you one hundred percent. Equality and equitable rights of women are essential for the progress of any society especially a Muslim Society. Anybody who doubts this should read 'surat - un- Nissa' in the Holy Quran.
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Aug 14, 2014 09:09pm
Thank you for giving me a home. If we had such strong women now, surely, our nation would improve no end.
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Em Moosa
Aug 14, 2014 09:43pm
You are the mothers of Pakistan and Pakistanis. Nation salute you. The media should use their memoirs and invite them on tv channels with strong messages ,particularly, to the youth who are in huge number in the country. Our youth are our future. The present regime has brought the country to this edge. Only young leaders who should not have any political back ground but only willing to serve can change the face of the nation that we either in Pakistan or abroad can raise our heads with pride.
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Em Moosa
Aug 14, 2014 09:46pm
You see they had no ethnic differences. They borne in Lahore, Faisalabad, Lucknow, Madras, Calcutta etc. All worked for the creation of Pakistan under the leadership of Mr. Jinnah, Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan, Mr. Nishtar and so on. Where we are now?
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Aug 14, 2014 10:11pm
These are priceless archives. They need to be saved to remind he future generations of what it took to get this great nation and why it shall be valued more than life itself even when the politicians and governments are bent upon destroying the country's freedom. Pakistan Zindabad!
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Hamid Rahman
Aug 14, 2014 10:15pm
Imagine what these women conceived and achieved and look what a sorry mess we made of it afterwards. How can we face these brave ladies?
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Dr. Rahman
Aug 14, 2014 10:21pm
@Bareera : Very well said! These distinguished women must be part of text books that reads Pakistan's ideology.
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Aug 14, 2014 10:43pm
Thank you ladies for all your sacrifices. It is because of people like you that we are breathing the fresh air of freedom.
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Atif Kery
Aug 14, 2014 10:49pm
We need to turn our focus away from Hollywood, Bollywood and Lollywood so our kids and younger generations stop idolizing entertainment celebrities and instead idolize people like these, only then Pakistan can get back on road to respect and prosperity. I hope our educators put more of these in our schools and colleges curriculum. We all need to glamorize these people and their stories and turn them in to celebrities it might help in awakening sleeping souls. This generation who build Pakistan will soon be gone forever and gone with them will be their stories, sacrifices and witness accounts. Our nation should have archived these long time ago in the very beginning like any other great nation who cares about their past and future .
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javed qamer
Aug 14, 2014 11:12pm
Wow. And their stories have never been told. What remarkable ladies.
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Aug 14, 2014 11:52pm
This article just made a grown up guy cry . #MassiveRespect
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Aug 15, 2014 12:04am
Great valour shown by these ladies but was the outcome worth it?
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Aug 15, 2014 01:21am
Great job dawn! especially on a day like this ...we need more inspirational stories!
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Aug 15, 2014 01:40am
Out of words for thanks to our founding-mothers! Thank you Dawn for showing the real faces of "Azadi".
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Aug 15, 2014 04:46am
Thank you for everything you all did for this country. Our nation is proud of you all and will never forget you. Thank you again Ladies.
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Aug 15, 2014 04:53am
Whats sad is that these women actually believed in Pakistan... an independent state for the Muslims of South Asia... only if they had known how it was all going to turn out in the end.
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Aug 15, 2014 06:44am
Every nation have beautiful faces and souls- we salute all of those who supported the Quaid and today because of them, today we are a free nation.
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Aug 15, 2014 03:39pm
Respect! What happened to this independent spirit in Pakistani women ? Thank you Dawn for providing such a wonderful glimpse into the courage that went into the making of my country
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M. Emad
Aug 15, 2014 03:57pm
Where are the women from Bengal ?? Compare to Bengal contribution for 1947, others are insignificant.
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Aug 15, 2014 06:29pm
There is need of some research work on real heroes (men and women) of Pakistan History. As suggested earlier they should be part of text books in schools so our coming generation is inspired and contribute positively in build of future Pakistan.
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