APROPOS the letter, “What’s wrong with Pakistan?” (Sept 1), by Dr Samiullah Koreishi. The author has quoted the AIML’s four-point 1927 document which clearly demanded one-third seats in the central legislature.
Again in 1929, of the 14 points presented by the Quaid-i-Azam, point 4 says: “In the central Legislative, Muslim representation shall not be less than one-third.” Point 13 demands: “No cabinet, central or provincial, should be formed without there being proportion of at least one-third Muslim ministers”.
So, it is factually incorrect to say that “no claim for 33pc representation was ever made.”
When Babar Ayaz mentioned 15pc Muslim population, he was talking about UP and not the whole of India. However, after reading Mr Koreshi’s letter, I checked the figures and, according to the 1941 census which gives the last authentic figures, the total population of undivided India was 389 million and the Muslim population, as pointed out by Mr Koreishi, was 70 million (including Muslim majority provinces which later became a part of Pakistan) that makes it about 18pc and not 30pc.
So, I believe 33pc demand was perhaps made by AIML as a starting point for negotiation.
Noted journalist Zahid Hussain had also raised the question regarding opposition to Pakistan by Jamiat-i-Ulema-i-Hind and Maulana Maududi. So why does the author maintain that Islam was exploited to achieve an ‘end’, i.e. Pakistan? Babar Ayaz replied briefly.
But when I read it, the answer was on page 135, and I quote: “However, the fundamentalist dimension in Pakistan movement developed more strongly when the Sunni Ulema and pirs were mobilised to prove that the Muslim masses wanted a Muslim/Islamic state. While the central leadership at Deoband, led by Maulana Husayn Ahmed Madani, allied itself to Congress, some prominent dissidents from Deoband, such as Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi and Allama Shabbir Ahmad Usmani and their factions, rallied around the Muslim League. Also, the fact that central Deobandi leadership was allied with the Congress meant that the Muslim League was rendered attractive to … more influential rivals, the Barelvis…”
Even the Grand Mufti of Deoband, Mufti Muhammad Shafi, issued a fatwa in support of the Muslim League’s demand.