Establishment of Pakistan 1947 to 1948


Pakistan Studies 2059

Establishment of Pakistan 1947 to 1948

Establishment of Pakistan 1947 to 1948

Key Question 11: How successful was the establishment of an independent nation between 1947 and 1948?

Immediate Problems Faced by Pakistan


• The boundaries of Pakistan were carved in an urgency.

• It led to great human suffering, loss of money, property, and the lives of many.

• An independent homeland was established for Muslims but at great cost and there were some extreme immediate problems faced by the country in its initial year.

• Many problems arose because of the injustice of the Radcliffe award; Gurdaspur and Ferozepur were Muslim majority areas, yet they were awarded to India. This led to

- The refugee problem.

- Kashmir dispute.

- Indus water dispute.

Geographical Problems:

• Pakistan came into existence, but it was geographically divided into two wings.

• Both the wings were separated by 1000 miles, these thousand miles belonged to India.

• Both wings had only one thing that connected them; Islam.

• The East Pakistan comprised of Bengal and Sylhet that voted to join Pakistan in a referendum.

• West Pakistan comprises of West Punjab, NWFP, Sindh, and Balochistan.

• The many Princely States also joined Pakistan willingly including Bahawalpur, Swat, Dir, Chitral, Hunza, Gilgit, and Amb.

Economic Problems:

• Before partition, the money India had was equal to 4 thousand million rupees.

• In December 1947, with the agreement of both countries, it was decided that Pakistan will get 750 million rupees.

• However, Pakistan only got 200 million and the remaining 550 million were withheld on the plea.

• They feared that if all the funds were given to Pakistan, the country will initiate a war for Kashmir with this money.

• But Gandhi pressurized the Indian government and 500 million rupees were releases and 50 million rupees were retained to settle some unknown claim against the country. 

• Since divided India was bigger than Pakistan, it got its lion’s share in everything.

• The economic assets Pakistan received were as follows:

- 10% of Industrial enterprises.

- 6.5% of Industrial workers.

- 5% of electrical capacity.

- 10% of mineral deposits.

Social Problems:

• Pakistan comprised of five different regions (population groupings); Bengalis, Pakhtuns, Punjabis, Sindhis, and Balochs. 

• These groups of people had different, languages, cultures, traditions and lifestyles.

• In 1947, the Balochis and Bengalis became uncertain about becoming a part of Pakistan where the official language will be Urdu; a language that was unknown to them.

• Some historians also stated these five groupings as five different nations.

Princely States Accession:

• Before partition, there were around 560 princely states.

• Lord Mountbatten gave these states the right to join either Pakistan or India.

• Many states based on their location and religion accepted reality and made a straight away choice.

• However, there were four states Kashmir, Hyderabad, Jodhpur and Junagadh that wanted to become fully autonomous and didn't want to join either of the countries.


• It was the largest princely state and the richest.

• Its population comprise of around 86% of non-Muslims but the ruler, Nizam was a Muslim.

• He didn’t want to concede with India or Pakistan.

• Lord Mountbatten and the Indian Government pressurized Nizam to join India.

• Nizam also filed a complaint in the UN but even before the hearing, Indian troops entered Hyderabad and captured it.


• Junagadh was not situated anywhere within the Pakistani territory.

• It had 80% Hindu population under the rule of a Muslim ruler, Nawab. 

• Nawab wanted to concede with Pakistan but the Indian Government protested.

• Troops were sent and Junagadh was captured by India.


• Most of the population were Hindu there, but the ruler of Jodhpur was a Muslim.

• He wanted to concede with Pakistan, but Mountbatten forced him to join India.


• Kashmir had great strategic importance as its boundaries touch with Tibet, China, Russia, and Afghanistan.

• It had 78% Muslim population, but the ruler was a Hindu and did not want to join any country.

• Mountbatten asked him to drop this practice and come to a decision before 15 August 1947.

• He requested for more time to decide and asked to sign a standstill agreement. India refused to sign but Pakistan consented.

• The local people started pressurizing the ruler that they want to concede with Pakistan because of their religion.

• The people started a protest against his indecisiveness.

• The ruler of Kashmir got scared and asked his troops to open fire on the protestors.

• Hundreds of local people died.

• A local, Sardar Muhammad Ibrahim stand against his brutality and set up a government as Azad Kashmir.

• The government of Azad Kashmir began a war against the ruler.

• In October 1947 the Pakhtuns of NWFP wanted to avenge the deaths of their brothers and invaded Kashmir and reached its capital, Srinagar.

• The ruler sensed his defeat and ran to Jammu to hide and asked for help from the Indian government.

• India agreed to help on one condition, that Kashmir will become a part of India.

• India sent in Srinagar troops to launch a full-stack attack against the Pakhtuns.

• Pakistan was pressurized by General Gracey, who was Pakistan Army’s commander in chief to not intervene.

• India attacked the Pakhtuns with full force and forced them to move back to Pakistan.

• Pakistan with its troops did a full-scale war with Indian troops and took control over the Azad Kashmir.

• The Security Council asked for an immediate ceasefire and removal of both countries’ troops.

• United Nations took on the responsibility to resolve the Kashmir dispute by voting and the resolution of the ceasefire implemented in Kashmir in 1949.

• The ceasefire is active till now, but no voting has been done yet by the UN.

Division of Military and Government Assets:

• It had been decided that all the assets will be divided between the two countries in ratio, 17:5.

• Reflecting this predetermined ratio, the armed forces and military assets were divided as such that 36% given to Pakistan and 64% given to India.

• The soldiers were given the liberty to decide whichever country they wish to join.

• Predictably, Muslim soldiers came to Pakistan and non-Muslims chose India to serve with their lives.

• As a result, Pakistan's armed forces accumulated 150,000 men with 25,00 trained Muslim officers only.

• Muslim was short of four thousand officers and to close the gap, Jinnah hired 500 British Officers.

• All 16 artillery factories were in India's territory and they were reluctant to hand over any.

• Eventually, India agreed to hand over the cash dividend of 60 million rupees to Pakistan in place of the factories.

• The artillery that India handed over to Pakistan was either worn out or obsolete.

• India had officials and members of Congress with experience to take over the government but in Pakistan, the members of the constituent assembly had little to no experience, they were nothing more than landlords with money.

The Canal Water Dispute:

• The Redcliffe Award awarded Ferozepur to India, it cut through River Sutlej and Ravi making Pakistan the lower beneficiary and India the upper beneficiary.

• The west wing of Pakistan was fertile but dry and relied on an irrigation system that draws water from river Chenab, Jhelum, and Indus.

• The flow of water was controlled by a series of “Head Works” that was on the Indian side of Punjab. 

• Indian government promised not to intervene with the flow of water, but they went against their promise and stopped the water on 1 April 1948.

• This caused a huge loss to the economy of Pakistan because it mainly depended on agriculture.

• Initially, Pakistan paid a huge sum of money to buy water from India, late the government brought the case to the International Court of Justice.

• At first, India was reluctant to give water to Pakistan but on 1st May 1948, a temporary agreement was reached i.e. Pakistan can have the water through the irrigation system only if they try to find their alternative way of water supplies.

The Refugees Problem:

• It all started with the Redcliffe award’s announcement of the boundaries of Punjab and Bengal.

• The Sikhs community was enraged as they lost Guru Nanak’s birthplace.

• The Sikhs along with Hindus were organized, armed and prepared a massacre of Muslim refugees.

• The princely states with Muslims as a minority saw many attacks on Muslims with the support of the Indian troops.

• With partition a massive migration took place, about seventeen million people left their homes, businesses, and properties to protect their lives.

• About 7 million people migrated to West Pakistan from India and millions of Hindus migrated from Pakistan to India in fear.

• In 1947, Karachi alone received 2 million refugees.

• The trains and caravans of refugees were attacked, and many innocents died in the brutal cycle of revenge on both sides of the borders.

• Some refugees migrated willingly and brought with them their valuables, but others were not so lucky and were forced to leave India to save their lives.

• Pakistan was a new country, suffering from many economic crises, and it became extremely difficult to accommodate this many refugees.

• Despite the crises, Muhammad Ali Jinnah set up a Relief Fund for the refugees and the people of Pakistan came forward to donate as much as they can for the refugees.


Role of Quaid – e – Azam as Governor-General 1947 – 1948


• Muhammad Ali Jinnah became the Governor-General of Pakistan on 15th August 1947.

• He also took the role of Chief Executive to handle the new country.

• He was the president of the constituent assembly and did cabinet meetings.

• Although, Jinnah did not live long enough to help the country survive in its initial years yet his services as a Governor-General are nothing less than remarkable.

Formation of a Nation:

• Pakistan was carved in a way that it was geographically divided into two parts and there was nothing that Quaid-e-Azam could do in this matter.

• But he continued to emphasize and stressed people to consider themselves as Pakistani rather than Bengali, Punjabi, Sindhi, Pathan or Balochi.

• Jinnah called himself the “Protector of General Minorities”.

• He ensured the minorities of Pakistan that in this country no discrimination will be done on the basis of religion.

• He set up a Relief Fund to help rehabilitate the refugees.

• On 30th September 1947, he successfully acquired a member of UNO (United Nations Organization) that helped the country gained support & recognition both from other countries. 

Establishment of Government:

• There was no proper administrative equipment and machinery and Jinnah paid his attention to set it up.

• Karachi was declared the capital of the country and the Central Secretariat was set up there.

• Under the leadership of the father of the nation, the government officers willingly began their work with zeal and sentiment of sacrifices.

• Liaquat Ali Khan became the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

• Understanding the urgency and need for the constitution for the new country, Jinnah set up a constituent assembly.

• He created the Federal Court and completed the judicial structure of administration.

• To draft the civil services rules, the Civil Services were accredited.

Economy and Handling of Crisis:

• On 1st July 1948, Jinnah established the State Bank of Pakistan to give Pakistan monetary independence.

• In 1948, Jinnah proposed his Industrial Policy Statement that made the government's intention to set up industries in Pakistan quickly very eminent.

•  Jinnah handled the canal water dispute smartly by taking the case to the International Court of Justice. 

• Jinnah also persuaded the Indian government to hand over Pakistan's agreed share of financial assets.

Prioritizing National Security:

• India gave Pakistan poor quality artillery and Pakistan lacked 4000 trained Military officers. To counter that issue, he immediately hired 500 British Officers.

• Despite being outnumbered and using the worn-out weapons, the Pakistan army held its ground in the war against India in Kashmir.

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