23rd March (also known as Pakistan Day) is celebrated throughout Pakistan as a national holiday. But exactly what makes this day special?
1. Lahore Resolution at Minto Park, Lahore
March 23rd commemorates the historical event at Minto Park, Lahore. This park is now known as Greater Iqbal Park. On this day, during Àll-India Muslim League’s annual session, founding fathers of Pakistan gathered to pass a resolution we now know as Pakistan Resolution.
2. Adoption of First Constitution of Pakistan on Pakistan Day
Pakistan was originally the Dominion of Pakistan. During that time, Pakistan followed The Indian Act of 1935 as the legal framework. The Basic Principles Committee was tasked with drawing the outlines of Pakistan’s first constitution. This committee, after years of deliberation and modifications in the original draft finally presented the first constitution of Pakistan.
On 23rd March 1956, Pakistan adopted its first constitution. According to this constitution, Pakistan now became the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. This made Pakistan world’s first Islamic republic.
3. Who presented the Resolution on Pakistan Day?
Mr Abul Kashem Fazlul
He was a learned individual. His achievements include being 1st Prime Minister of Bengal (1937-1943), Advocate General of East Bengal (1947-1952), 3rd Chief Minister of East Bengal (1954), 5th Home Minister of Pakistan (1955-1956) and 2nd Governor of East Pakistan (1956-1958).
His most notable achievement was that it was he who presented Lahore Resolution at Minto Park, Lahore on 23rd March 1940 which we now know as Pakistan Day.
4. Full text of Lahore Resolution
Resolved at the Lahore Session of All-India Muslim League held on 22nd-24th
(1) While approving and endorsing the action taken by the Council and the Working Committee of the All Indian Muslim League as indicated in their resolutions dated the 27th of August, 17th and 18th of September and 22nd of October, 1939, and 3rd February 1940 on the constitutional issues, this Session of the All-Indian Muslim League emphatically reiterates that the scheme of federation embodied in the Government of India Act, 1935, is totally unsuited to, and unworkable in the peculiar conditions of this country and is altogether unacceptable to Muslim India.
(2) It further records its emphatic view that while the declaration dated the 18th of October, 1939 made by the Viceroy on behalf of His Majesty’s Government is reassuring in so far as it declares that the policy and plan on which the Government of India Act 1935, is based will be reconsidered in consultation with the various parties, interests and communities in India, Muslim India will not be satisfied unless the whole constitutional plan is reconsidered de novo and that no revised plan would be acceptable to the Muslims unless it is framed with their approval and consent.
(3) Resolved that it is the considered view of this Session of the All India Muslim League that no constitutional plan would be workable in this country or acceptable to Muslims unless it is designed on the following basic principle, namely that geographically contiguous units are demarcated into regions which should be so constituted, with such territorial readjustments as may be necessary, that the areas in which the Muslims are numerically in a majority as in the North-Western and Eastern Zones of India, should be grouped o constitute “Independent
States” in which the constituent units shall be autonomous and sovereign.
That adequate, effective and mandatory safeguards should be specifically provided in the constitution for minorities in these units and in these regions for the protection of their religious, cultural, economic, political, administrative and other rights and interests in consultation with them; and in other parts of India where the Mussalmans are in a minority, adequate, effective and mandatory safeguards shall be specially provided in the constitution for them and other minorities for the protection of their religious, cultural, economic, political, administrative and other rights and interests in consultation with them.
This Session further authorizes the Working Committee to frame a scheme of constitution in accordance with these basic principles, providing for the assumption finally by the respective regions of all powers such as
5. The Parades on Pakistan Day
The key attraction of Pakistan Day celebration is the parade. This celebratory ceremony is held in Islamabad. The President, Prime Minister, members of Cabinet, military chiefs and chairman joint chiefs attend this ceremony. It is very rare for foreign attendees to be invited to this event. Previously, General Rudini (Indonesia), Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe), Cassam Uteem (Mauritius) & Maithripala Sirisena (Sri Lanka) had been the dignitaries to attend this event. This year, Dr.Mahatir Muhammad (Malaysia) was invited to be the chief guest.
This ceremony is decorated with a full inter-services joint military parade to display the military capability of Pakistan. After the parade, President of Pakistan confers several national medals and awards to the awardees.