By The Citizens Archive of Pakistan
The Citizens Archive of Pakistan
The Partition of India was the division of British India in 1947 into two independent dominions, India and Pakistan. These are the citizens' untold stories of Pakistan's Independence; the joys and price of freedom.
Admiral Rafiuddin Qadri (b. Rajkot, British India - 1934). In 2010, Admiral Qadri shared his memories about the 1947 partition of South Asia with the Citizens Archive of Pakistan’s Oral History Project. He vividly recalled Quaid-e-Azam’s powerful 1946 address at Ahmedabad University and the profound impact it left upon the audience of unruly boys, including him.
Muhammad Ali Jinnah, (born Mahomedali Jinnahbhai; 25 December 1876 – 11 September 1948) was a lawyer, politician, and the founder of Pakistan. Jinnah was trained as a barrister at Lincoln's Inn in London. He served as the leader of the All India Muslim League from 1913 until Pakistan's independence on 14 August 1947, and then as Pakistan's first Governor-General until his death. He is revered in Pakistan as Quaid-i-Azam (Great Leader) and Baba-i-Qaum (Father of the Nation).
While talking to the Citizens Archive of Pakistan’s Oral History Project team in 2008, Zohra Fazal (b. Bombay, British India – 1925) spoke about the atmosphere at the time of independence and the impact it had on communal relations.
Pakistan emerged in 1947 from a British India, which was partitioned into two Dominions, India and Pakistan. On 14 August 1947, Pakistan achieved independence one day prior to Indian independence. India was partitioned, and an East and West Pakistan were created from Muslim majority areas. The basis of Pakistan was found in the ‘two nation theory’, where it was suggested that the Muslims and Hindus in undivided India made up two ‘nations’ and hence, required separate homelands.
Amin Naz (b. Kashmir, British India -1935) migrated to Pakistan soon after the Partition. He reminisced in his 2010 interview about his moving experience of setting foot on Pakistani soil for the first time.
One of the greatest migrations in human history began in August 1947 when millions of Muslims made their way to East and West Pakistan, and millions of Hindus and Sikhs headed in the opposite direction. Nearly seven million refugees are estimated to have arrived in Pakistan in the years following the Partition. Many hundreds of thousands never made it at all; at the most-conservative estimate, 200,000 individuals lost their lives in the massacres accompanying migration.
Agha Salman Baqir is a renowned Urdu writer, poet and critic from Pakistan. Mr. Baqir shared his father Agha Mohammad Baqir’s role in the historic announcement made by All-India Radio, Lahore, at midnight on the 14 of August 1947, declaring the “Dawn of Independence.”
The Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation was originally known as the Pakistan Broadcasting Service at the time of its inception on 14 August 1947. It had the honour of publicly announcing Pakistan's independence from Britain on 13 August 1947 at 11:59 pm. Mustafa Ali Hamdani made the announcement from Lahore in Urdu and English, while Abdullah Jan Maghmoom made the announcement from Peshawar in Pashto. At independence in 1947, Pakistan possessed three radio stations at Lahore (1937), Dhaka (established in 1939), and Peshawar (1936). A major program of expansion saw new stations opened at Karachi and Rawalpindi in 1948, and a new broadcasting house at Karachi in 1950. This was followed by new stations at Hyderabad (1951), Quetta (1956), a second station at Rawalpindi (1960) and a Receiving Centre at Peshawar (1960). In 1970, training facilities were opened in Islamabad and a station opened at Multan.
Born in 1928, New Delhi, Saeeda Siddiqui migrated to Pakistan via train amidst the chaos and fear of the bloodiest mass exodus in modern human history. She evocatively described the insatiable hunger she felt and the experience of eating her first meal after days of perilous travel without food.
During the late 1920s and early 1930s, there was a large black coloured airship hangar at the site of Karachi Airport, constructed for the British HMA R101, at the time, the largest aircraft ever built. Only three hangars were ever built in the world to dock and hangar Britain's fleet of passenger airships. However, the R101 never arrived in Karachi (then part of the British Raj) as it crashed and exploded just 8 hours into its maiden flight over Beauvais France, killing all but 6 of its 54 passengers and crew. This hangar was so huge that aircraft often used it as a visual marker while attempting VFR landings at Karachi. Over the years, the hangar became known as the landmark of Karachi, until it was demolished by order of then-President Ayub Khan in the 1960s.
Dr. Attiya Inayatullah (b. Sialkot, British India – 1939) migrated to Pakistan from Delhi in 1947. She was happy to share her memories of the warm welcome that awaited her and other migrants arriving in Bahawalpur, Pakistan, in 1947.
Rail transport in Pakistan began in 1855 during the British Raj, when several railway companies began to lay track and started to operate in present-day Pakistan. The system was originally a patchwork of local rail lines operated by small private companies, including the Scinde, Punjab and Delhi Railways and the Indus Steam Flotilla. In 1870, the four companies were amalgamated as the Scinde, Punjab & Delhi Railway. Several other rail lines were built shortly thereafter, including the Sind–Sagar and Trans–Baluchistan Railways and the Sind–Pishin, Indus Valley, Punjab Northern and Kandahar State Railways. These six companies and the Scinde, Punjab & Delhi Railway merged to form the North Western State Railway in 1880. In 1947, following Pakistan's independence, the North Western Railway became Pakistan Western Railway and the rail system was reorganized.
Amanullah Khan is a former lawyer and Judge born in 1935 in Kota, Rajasthan. In an interview in 2015, Mr. Khan described of the long and arduous journey from Karachi to Hyderabad following his 1948 arrival in Pakistan at the port of Karachi.
The Port of Karachi is one of South Asia's largest and busiest deep-water seaports, handling about 60% of Pakistan’s cargo (25 million tons per annum) located in Karachi, Pakistan. It is located between the Karachi towns of Kiamari and Saddar, close to the main business district and several industrial areas. The geographic position of the port places it in close proximity to major shipping routes such as the Strait of Hormuz. The administration of the port is carried out by the Karachi Port Trust, which was established in the nineteenth century. The modern port started its operations in 1854 during the British Raj, when a mole was constructed to connect the city to the harbor. At the time of independence in 1947, the Port capacity was about 1.5 million tons of dry cargo and 1.0 million tons of products per annum.
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The Citizens Archive of Pakistan (CAP) is a non-profit organisation dedicated to cultural and historic preservation, operating in Karachi and Lahore. We seek to educate the community, foster an awareness of our nation’s history and instil pride in Pakistani citizens about their heritage.
Copyright © 2018 by Citizens Archive of Pakistan (CAP).
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All the images shown here were donated to CAP by F.E.Chaudhry, Misbah Alam, Mohammad Latif and Zohra Fazal. All music used in the audio bytes is royalty free, under Creative Commons licensing, available at: www.bensound.com, www.incompetech.com, and www.purple-planet.com.