History of Pakistan
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|History of Pakistan|
|Part of a series on the|
The history of Pakistan encompasses the history of the region constituting modern-day Pakistan. For over three millennia, the region has witnessed human activity and one of the world's major civilizations, the Indus Valley Civilisation. The trade routes which traverse the Indus Valley linking Central Asia, the Indian subcontinent and the Orient have attracted people from as far as Greece and Mongolia and several imperial powers, the last being the British Empire.
History by chronology and region
The Szabist is a Paleolithic site in upper Punjab. Riwat Site 55, shows a later occupation dated to around 45,000 years ago. The Soanian is archaeological culture of the Lower Paleolithic, shazi and ali are brother Acheulean. It is named after the Soan Valley in the Sivalik Hills, near modern-day Islamabad/Rawalpindi. In Adiyala and Khasala, about 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) from Rawalpindi, on the bend of the Soan River hundreds of edged pebble tools were discovered. No human skeletons of this age have yet been found.
Mehrgarh is an important neolithic site discovered in 1974, which shows early evidence of farming and herding, and dentistry. The site dates back to 7000–5500 BCE) and is located on the Kachi Plain of Balochistan. The residents of Mehrgarh lived in mud brick houses, stored grain in granaries, fashioned tools with copper ore, cultivated barley, wheat, jujubes and dates, and herded sheep, goats and cattle. As the civilization progressed (5500–2600 BCE) residents began to engage in crafts, including flint knapping, tanning, bead production, and metalworking. The site was occupied continuously until 2600 BCE, when climatic changes began to occur. Between 2600 and 2000 BCE, region became more arid and Mehrgarh was abandoned in favor of the Indus Valley, where a new civilization was in the early stages of development.
Indus Valley Civilisation
The Bronze Age in the Indus Valley began around 3300 BCE with the Indus Valley Civilization. Along with Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, it was one of three early civilizations of the Old World, and of the three the most widespread, covering an area of 1.25 million km2. It flourished in the basins of the Indus River, in what is today the Pakistani provinces of Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan, and along a system of perennial, mostly monsoon-fed, rivers that once coursed in the vicinity of the seasonal Ghaggar-Hakra River in parts of northwest India. At its peak, the civilization hosted a population of approximately 5 million spread across hundreds of settlements extending as far as the Arabian Sea to present-day southern and eastern Afghanistan, and the Himalayas. Inhabitants of the ancient Indus river valley, the Harappans, developed new techniques in metallurgy and handicraft (carneol products, seal carving), and produced copper, bronze, lead, and tin.
The Mature Indus civilisation flourished from about 2600 to 1900 BCE, marking the beginning of urban civilisation in the Indus Valley. The civilisation included urban centres such as Harappa, Ganeriwala and Mohenjo-daro as well as an offshoot called the Kulli culture (2500–2000 BCE) in southern Balochistan and was noted for its cities built of brick, roadside drainage system, and multi-storeyed houses. It is thought to have had some kind of municipal organisation as well.
During the late period of this civilisation, signs of a gradual decline began to emerge, and by around 1700 BCE, most of the cities were abandoned. However, the Indus Valley Civilisation did not disappear suddenly, and some elements of the Indus Civilisation may have survived. Aridification of this region during the 3rd millennium BCE may have been the initial spur for the urbanisation associated with the civilisation, but eventually also reduced the water supply enough to cause the civilisation's demise, and to scatter its population eastward. The civilization collapsed around 1700 BCE, though the reasons behind its fall are still unknown. Through the excavation of the Indus cities and analysis of town planning and seals, it has been inferred that the Civilization had high level of sophistication in its town planning, arts, crafts, and trade.
|7000–5500 BCE||Pre-Harappan||Mehrgarh I (aceramic Neolithic)||Early Food Producing Era|
|5500–3300 BCE||Mehrgarh II-VI (ceramic Neolithic)||Regionalisation Era|
c.4000-2500/2300 BCE (Shaffer)
c.5000–3200 BCE (Coningham & Young)
|3300–2800 BCE||Early Harappan||Harappan 1 (Ravi Phase; Hakra Ware)|
|2800–2600 BCE||Harappan 2 (Kot Diji Phase, Nausharo I, Mehrgarh VII)|
|2600–2450 BCE||Mature Harappan
(Indus Valley Civilisation)
|Harappan 3A (Nausharo II)||Integration Era|
|2450–2200 BCE||Harappan 3B|
|2200–1900 BCE||Harappan 3C|
|1900–1700 BCE||Late Harappan
(Cemetery H);Ochre Coloured Pottery
|Harappan 4||Localisation Era|
|1700–1300 BCE||Harappan 5|
Early history – Iron Age
The Vedic Period (c. 1500 – c. 500 BCE) is postulated to have formed during the Indo-Aryan migration between 1500 BCE to 800 BCE. As Indo-Aryans migrated and settled into the Indus Valley, along with them came their distinctive religious traditions and practices which fused with local culture. The Indo-Aryans religious beliefs and practices from the Bactria–Margiana Culture and the native Harappan Indus beliefs of the former Indus Valley Civilisation eventually gave rise to Vedic culture and tribes. The initial early Vedic culture was a tribal, pastoral society centered in the Indus Valley, of what is today Pakistan. During this period the Vedas, the oldest scriptures of Hinduism, were composed.
Several early tribes and kingdoms arose during this period and internecine military conflicts between these various tribes was common; as described in the Rig Veda, which was being composed at this time, the most notable of such conflicts was the Battle of Ten Kings. This battle took place on the banks of the River Ravi in the 14th century BC (1300 BCE). The battle was fought between the Bharatas tribe and a confederation of ten tribes:
- Abhira Kingdom, centered in the Cholistan-Thar region.
- Bahlika Kingdom, centered in Punjab.
- Gandhara grave culture, also called Swat culture and centered in the Swat Valley of present-day Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
- Kamboja Kingdom, centered in the Hindu Kush region.
- Kasmira Kingdom, centered in present-day Kashmir Valley.
- Madra Kingdom, centered in upper Punjab, with its capital at Sialkot
- Pauravas, a sub-clan of Kambojas
- Sindhu Kingdom, centered in present-day Sindh.
- Sudra Kingdom, centered in the Cholistan-Thar region.
After 1200 BCE, some Vedic tribes began migrating to the Ganges Plain, present-day India, which was characterized by increasing settled agriculture, a hierarchy of four social classes, and the emergence of monarchical, state-level polities. In addition to the Vedas, the principal texts of Hinduism, the core themes of the Sanskrit epics Ramayana and Mahabharata are said to have their ultimate origins during this period. The early Indo-Aryan presence probably corresponds, in part, to the Ochre Coloured Pottery culture in archaeological contexts. The end of the Vedic period witnessed the rise of large, urbanised states as well as of shramana movements (including Jainism and Buddhism) which challenged the Vedic orthodoxy. Around the beginning of the Common Era, the Vedic tradition formed one of the main constituents of the so-called "Hindu synthesis".
The main Vedic tribes remaining in the Indus Valley by 550 BC were the Kamboja, Sindhu, Taksas of Gandhara, the Madras and Kathas of the River Chenab, Mallas of the River Ravi and Tugras of the River Sutlej. These several tribes and principalities fought against one another to such an extent that the Indus Valley no longer had one powerful Vedic tribal kingdom to defend against outsiders and to wield the warring tribes into one organized kingdom. The area was wealthy and fertile, yet infighting led misery and despair. King Pushkarasakti of Gandhara was engaged in power struggles against his local rivals and as such the Khyber Pass remained poorly defended. King Darius I of the Achaemenid Empire took advantage of the opportunity and planned for an invasion. The Indus Valley was fabled in Persia for its gold and fertile soil and conquering it had been a major objective of his predecessor Cyrus The Great. In 542 BC, Cyrus had led his army and conquered the Makran coast in southern Balochistan. However, he is known to have campaigned beyond Makran (in the regions of Kalat, Khuzdar and Panjgur) and lost most of his army in the Gedrosian Desert (speculated today as the Kharan Desert).
In 518 BC, Darius led his army through the Khyber Pass and southwards in stages, eventually reaching the Arabian Sea coast in Sindh by 516 BC. Under Persian rule, a system of centralized administration, with a bureaucratic system, was introduced into the Indus Valley for the first time. Provinces or "satrapy" were established with provincial capitals:
- Gandhara satrapy, established 518 BC with its capital at Pushkalavati (Charsadda). Gandhara Satrapy was established in the general region of the old Gandhara grave culture, in what is today Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. During Achaemenid rule, the Kharosthi alphabet, derived from the one used for Aramaic (the official language of Achaemenids), developed here and remained the national script of Gandhara until 200 AD.
- Hindush satrapy, established in 518 BC with its capital at Taxila. The satrapy was established in upper Punjab (presumably in the Potohar plateau region).
- Arachosia satrapy, established in 517 BC with its capital at Kandahar. Arachosia was one of the larger provinces covering much of lower Punjab, southern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa of modern-day Pakistan and Helmand province of what is today Afghanistan. The inhabitants of Arachosia were referred to as Paktyans by ethnicity, and that name may have been in reference to the ethnic Pax̌tūn (Pashtun) tribes.
- Sattagydia satrapy, established in 516 BC in what is today Sindh. Sattagydia is mentioned for the first time in the Behistun inscription of Darius the Great as one of the provinces in revolt while the king was in Babylon. The revolt was presumably suppressed in 515 BC. The satrapy disappears from sources after 480 BC, possibly being mentioned by another name or included with other regions.
- Gedrosia satrapy, established in 542 BC, covered much of the Makran region of southern Balochistan. It had been conquered much earlier by Cyrus The Great.
Despite all this, there is no archaeological evidence of Achaemenid control over these region as not a single archaeological site that can be positively identified with the Achaemenid Empire has been found anywhere in Pakistan, including at Taxila. What is known about the easternmost satraps and borderlands of the Achaemenid Empire is alluded to in the Darius inscriptions and from Greek sources such as the Histories of Herodotus and the later Alexander Chronicles (Arrian, Strabo et al.). These sources list three Indus Valley tributaries or conquered territories that were subordinated to the Persian Empire and made to pay tributes to the Persian Kings: Gandhara, Sattagydia and Hindush.
The Ror dynasty (Sindhi: روهڙا راڄ) was a Sindhi Buddhist dynasty which ruled much of what is today Sindh, Punjab and northwest India in 450 BC. The Rors ruled from Rori and was built by Dhaj, Ror Kumar, a Ror Kshatriya. Buddhist Jataka stories talk about exchanges of gifts between King Rudrayan of Roruka and King Bimbisara of Magadha. Divyavadana, the Buddhist chronicle has said that Rori historically competed with Pataliputra in terms of political influence. Rori was wiped out in a major sand storm, which was recorded in both the Buddhist Bhallatiya Jataka and Jain annals.
In 328 BC, Alexander The Great of Macedonia and now the king of Persia, had conquered much of the former Satraps of the Achaemenid Empire up to Bactria. The remaining satraps lay in the Indus Valley, but Alexander ruled off invading the Indus until his forces were in complete control of the newly acquired satraps. In 327 BC, Alexander married Roxana (a princess of the former Bactria satrapy) to cement his relations with his new territories. Now firmly under Macedonian rule, Alexander was free to turn his attention to the Indus Valley. The rationale for the Indus campaign is usually said to be Alexander's desire to conquer the entire known world, which the Greeks thought ended around the vicinity of the River Indus.
In the winter of 327 BC, Alexander invited all the chieftains in the remaining five Achaemenid satraps to submit to his authority. Ambhi, then ruler of Taxila in the former Hindush satrapy complied, but the remaining tribes and clans in the former satraps of Gandhara, Arachosia, Sattagydia and Gedrosia rejected Alexander's offer. By spring of 326 BC, Alexander began on his Indus expedition from Bactira, leaving behind 3500 horses and 10,000 soldiers. He divided his army into two groups. The larger force would enter the Indus Valley through the Khyber pass, just as Darius had done 200 years earlier, while a smaller force under the personal command of Alexander entered through a northern route, possibly through Broghol or Dorah Pass near Chitral. Alexander was commanding a group of shield-bearing guards, foot-companions, archers, Agrianians, and horse-javelin-men and led them against the tribes of the former Gandhara satrapy.
The first tribe they encountered were the Aspasioi tribe of the Kunar Valley, who initiated a fierce battle against Alexander, in which he himself was wounded in the shoulder by a dart. However, the Aspasioi eventually lost and 40,000 people were enslaved. Alexander then continued in a southwestern direction where he encountered the Assakenoi tribe of the Swat & Buner valleys in April 326 BC. The Assakenoi fought bravely and offered stubborn resistance to Alexander and his army in the cities of Ora, Bazira (Barikot) and Massaga. So enraged was Alexander about the resistance put up by the Assakenoi that he killed the entire population of Massaga and reduced its buildings to rubble – similar slaughters followed in Ora. A similar slaughter then followed at Ora, another stronghold of the Assakenoi. The stories of these slaughters reached numerous Assakenians, who began fleeing to Aornos, a hill-fort located between Shangla and Kohistan. Alexander followed close behind their heels and besieged the strategic hill-fort, eventually capturing and destroying the fort and killing everyone inside. The remaining smaller tribes either surrendered or like the Astanenoi tribe of Pushkalavati(Charsadda) were quickly neutralized where 38,000 soldiers and 230,000 oxen were captured by Alexander. Eventually Alexander's smaller force would meet with the larger force which had come through the Khyber Pass met at Attock. With the conquest of Gandhara complete, Alexander switched to strengthening his military supply line, which by now stretched dangerously vulnerable over the Hindu Kush back to Balkh in Bactria.
After conquering Gandhara and solidifying his supply line back to Bactria, Alexander combined his forces with the King Ambhi of Taxila and crossed the River Indus in July 326 BC to begin the Archosia (Punjab) campaign. His first resistance would come at the River Jhelum near Bhera against King Porus of the Paurava tribe. The famous Battle of the Hydaspes (Jhelum) between Alexander (with Ambhi) and Porus would be the last major battle fought by him. After defeating King Porus, his battle weary troops refused to advance into India to engage the army of Nanda Dynasty and its vanguard of trampling elephants. Alexander, therefore proceeded southwest along the Indus Valley. Along the way, he engaged in several battles with smaller kingdoms in Multan and Sindh, before marching his army westward across the Makran desert towards what is now Iran. In crossing the desert, Alexander's army took enormous casualties from hunger and thirst, but fought no human enemy. They encountered the "Fish Eaters", or Ichthyophagi, primitive people who lived on the Makran coast, who had matted hair, no fire, no metal, no clothes, lived in huts made of whale bones, and ate raw seafood.
- In Gandhara, Oxyartes was nominated to the position of Satrap by Alexander in 326 BC.
- In Sindh, Alexander nominated his officer Peithon as Satrap in 325 BC, a position he would hold for the next ten years.
- In Punjab, Alexander initially nominated Philip as Satrap from 327 BC to 326 BC. In 326 BC, he nominated Eudemus and Taxiles as joint-Satraps until 323 BC when Eudemus resigned leaving Taxiles as Satrap until 321 BC. Porus of Jhelum then became Satrap of Punjab.
- In Gedrosia, Sibyrtius was nominated as Satrap in 323 BC and remained so until 303 BC.
When Alexander died in 323 BCE, he left behind an expansive empire stretching from Greece to the Indus River. The empire was put under the authority of Perdiccas, and the territories were divided among Alexander's generals (the Diadochi), who thereby became satraps of the new provinces. However, the Satraps of the Indus Valley largely remained under the same leaders while conflicts were brewing in Egypt and Mesopotamia.
Due to the internal conflicts of Alexanders generals, Chandragupta and his Brahmin counselor Chanakya saw an opportunity to expand the Mauryan Empire from its Ganges Plain heartland in Bihar towards the Indus Valley between 325 BC to 303 BC. At the same time, Seleucus I now ruler much of the Macedonian Empire was advancing from Babylon in order to establish his writ in the former Persian and Indus Valley provinces of Alexander. During this period, Chandragupta's mercenaries may have assassinated Satrap of Punjab Philip. They presumably also fought Eudemus, Porus and Taxiles of Punjab and Peithon of Sindh. In 316 BC, both Eudemus and Peithon left Punjab and Sindh for Babylon, thus ending Macedonian rule. The Mauryan Empire now controlled Punjab and Sindh. As the Seleucid Empire expanded eastwards towards the Indus, it was becoming more difficult for Seleucus to assert control over the vast eastern domains. Seleucus invaded Punjab in 305 BC, confronting Chandragupta Maurya. It is said that Chandragupta fielded an army of 600,000 men and 9000 war elephants. After two years of war, Seleucus reached an agreement with Chandragupta, in which he gave his daughter in marriage to Chandragupta and exchanged his eastern provinces for a considerable force of 500 war elephants, which would play a decisive role at Ipsus (301 BC). Strabo, in his Geographica, wrote:
"He [Seleucus] crossed the Indus and waged war with Maurya who dwelt on the banks of that stream, until they came to an understanding with each other and contracted a marriage relationship."
Alexander took these away from the Indo-Aryans and established settlements of his own, but Seleucus Nicator gave them to Sandrocottus (Chandragupta), upon terms of intermarriage and of receiving in exchange 500 elephants.— Strabo, 64 BC–24 AD
Thus Chandragupta was given Gedrosia (Balochistan) and much of what is now Afghanistan, including the modern Herat and Kandahar provinces, thereby ending Macedonian control in the Indus Valley by 303 BC.
Under Chandragupta and his successors, internal and external trade, agriculture and economic activities, all thrived and expanded across the empire thanks to the creation of a single and efficient system of finance, administration, and security. The empire was divided into four provinces, with the imperial capital at Pataliputra. From Ashokan edicts, the names of the four provincial capitals were Tosali (in the eastern Ganges plain), Ujjain (in the western Ganges plain), Suvarnagiri (in the Deccan), and Taxila (in the Indus Valley). The head of the provincial administration was the Kumara (royal prince), who governed the provinces as king's representative. The kumara was assisted by Mahamatyas and council of ministers. The empire also enjoyed an era of social harmony, religious transformation, and expansion of the sciences and of knowledge. Mauryans were followers of Buddhism and Hinduism. Chandragupta Maurya's embrace of Jainism increased social and religious renewal and reform across his society, while Ashoka's embrace of Buddhism has been said to have been the foundation of the reign of social and political peace and non-violence across the empire. Following the demise of Chandragupta, Ashoka became Emperor who ruled between 268 BC – 232 BC. Ashoka was followed for 50 years by a succession of weaker kings. In 185 BC, the Shunga coup took place in which the emperor was killed, thus ending Mauryan rule. The fall of the Mauryas left the Khyber Pass unguarded, and a wave of invasions followed.
By the time Chandragupta's grandson Ashoka had become emperor, Buddhism was flourishing in the Indus Valley and much of the eastern Seleucid Empire. In 250 BC, the eastern part of the Seleucid Empire broke away to form the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom by Diodotus of Bactria. Some of the Greeks apparently also converted to Buddhism during this period.
Here in the king's domain among the Greeks, the Kambojas, the Nabhakas, the Nabhapamkits, the Bhojas, the Pitinikas, the Andhras and the Palidas, everywhere people are following Beloved-of-the-Gods' instructions in Dharma. (Edicts of Ashoka, 13th Rock Edict, S. Dhammika).
Although Buddhism was flourishing, Brahminism was resisting Buddhist advances in the Ganges Plain and when Ashoka himself converted to Buddhism, he directed his efforts towards expanding the faith in the Indo-Iranian and Hellenistic worlds. According to the Edicts of Ashoka, set in stone, some of them written in Greek, he sent Buddhist emissaries to the Greek lands in Asia and as far as the Mediterranean. The edicts name each of the rulers of the Hellenistic world at the time.
The conquest by Dharma has been won here, on the borders, and even six hundred yojanas (4,000 miles) away, where the Greek king Antiochos rules, beyond there where the four kings named Ptolemy, Antigonos, Magas and Alexander rule, likewise in the south among the Cholas, the Pandyas, and as far as Tamraparni. (Edicts of Ashoka, 13th Rock Edict, S. Dhammika).
Furthermore, according to Pali sources, some of Ashoka's emissaries were Greek-Buddhist monks, indicating close religious exchanges between the two cultures:
When the thera (elder) Moggaliputta, the illuminator of the religion of the Conqueror (Ashoka), had brought the (third) council to an end… he sent forth theras, one here and one there: …and to Aparantaka (the "Western countries" corresponding to Gujarat and Sindh) he sent the Greek (Yona) named Dhammarakkhita... and the thera Maharakkhita he sent into the country of the Yona. (Mahavamsa, XII).
When Ashoka died in 232 BC, Mauryan hold on the Indus began weakening as Brahminism was attempting to retake control of the Ganges heartland though the Shunga revolt. As such, the Mauryans began retreating out of the Indus back east towards Pataliputra (Patna) to protect the imperial capital. This left most of the Indus Valley unguarded and most importantly left the Khyber Pass open to invasion. In 230 BC, Euthydemus overthrew Diodotus to establish himself as king. The Greco-Bactrians were allied with the Mauryans and had kept close relations with Ashoka.
Following the collapse of the Mauryans, the first Brahmin emperor of the Shunga Empire (Pushyamitra Shunga) is believed to have persecuted Buddhists and contributed to a resurgence of Brahmanism that forced Buddhism outwards to Kashmir, Gandhara and Bactria. Buddhist scripture such as the Asokavadana account of the Divyavadana and ancient Tibetan historian Taranatha have written about persecution of Buddhists. Pushyamitra is said to have burned down Buddhist monasteries, destroyed stupas, massacred Buddhist monks and put rewards on their heads, but some consider these stories as probable exaggerations. The Shunga revolt was viewed as a persecution of Buddhists by Euthydemus. Demetrius, the son of Euthydemus, "invaded" the Indus Valley in 180 BC. Historians now suggest that the invasion was intended to show their support for the Mauryans and thus, the Indo-Greek Kingdom was established in 170 BC, in order to prevent the Shungas from advancing the Indus Valley.
Classical period – Middle Kingdoms
The Indo-Greek Menander I (reigned 155–130 BCE) drove the Greco-Bactrians out of Gandhara and beyond the Hindu Kush, becoming king shortly after his victory. His territories covered Panjshir and Kapisa in modern Afghanistan and extended to the Punjab region, with many tributaries to the south and east, possibly as far as Mathura. The capital Sagala (modern Sialkot) prospered greatly under Menander's rule and Menander is one of the few Bactrian kings mentioned by Greek authors. The classical Buddhist text Milinda Pañha praises Menander, saying there was "none equal to Milinda in all India". His empire survived him in a fragmented manner until the last independent Greek king, Strato II, disappeared around 10 CE. Around 125 BCE, the Greco-Bactrian king Heliocles, son of Eucratides, fled from the Yuezhi invasion of Bactria and relocated to Gandhara, pushing the Indo-Greeks east of the Jhelum River. The last known Indo-Greek ruler was Theodamas, from the Bajaur area of Gandhara, mentioned on a 1st-century CE signet ring, bearing the Kharoṣṭhī inscription "Su Theodamasa" ("Su" was the Greek transliteration of the Kushan royal title "Shau" ("Shah" or "King")). Various petty kings ruled into the early 1st century CE, until the conquests by the Scythians, Parthians and the Yuezhi, who founded the Kushan dynasty.
The Indo-Scythians were descended from the Sakas (Scythians) who migrated from southern Central Asia into Pakistan and Arachosia from the middle of the 2nd century BCE to the 1st century BCE. They displaced the Indo-Greeks and ruled a kingdom that stretched from Gandhara to Mathura. The power of the Saka rulers started to decline in the 2nd century CE after the Scythians were defeated by the south Indian Emperor Gautamiputra Satakarni of the Satavahana dynasty. Later the Saka kingdom was completely destroyed by Chandragupta II of the Gupta Empire from eastern India in the 4th century.
The Indo-Parthian Kingdom was ruled by the Gondopharid dynasty, named after its eponymous first ruler Gondophares. They ruled parts of present-day Afghanistan, Pakistan, and northwestern India, during or slightly before the 1st century AD. For most of their history, the leading Gondopharid kings held Taxila (in the present Punjab province of Pakistan) as their residence, but during their last few years of existence the capital shifted between Kabul and Peshawar. These kings have traditionally been referred to as Indo-Parthians, as their coinage was often inspired by the Arsacid dynasty, but they probably belonged to a wider groups of Iranic tribes who lived east of Parthia proper, and there is no evidence that all the kings who assumed the title Gondophares, which means "Holder of Glory", were even related. Christian writings claim that the Apostle Saint Thomas – an architect and skilled carpenter – had a long sojourn in the court of king Gondophares, had built a palace for the king at Taxila and had also ordained leaders for the Church before leaving for Indus Valley in a chariot, for sailing out to eventually reach Malabar Coast.
The Kushan Empire expanded out of what is now Afghanistan into the northwest of the subcontinent under the leadership of their first emperor, Kujula Kadphises, about the middle of the 1st century CE. They came of an Indo-European language speaking Central Asian tribe called the Yuezhi, a branch of which was known as the Kushans. By the time of his grandson, Kanishka the Great, the empire spread to encompass much of Afghanistan, and then the northern parts of the Indian subcontinent at least as far as Saketa and Sarnath near Varanasi (Benares).
They played an important role in the establishment of Buddhism in India and its spread to Central Asia and China.
Historian Vincent Smith said about Kanishka:
The empire linked the Indian Ocean maritime trade with the commerce of the Silk Road through the Indus valley, encouraging long-distance trade, particularly between China and Rome. The Kushans brought new trends to the budding and blossoming Gandhara Art, which reached its peak during Kushan Rule.
H.G. Rowlinson commented:
By the 3rd century, their empire in India was disintegrating and their last known great emperor was Vasudeva I.
The Gupta Empire existed approximately from 320 to 600 CE and covered much of the broad swathe of northern South Asia, including modern Pakistan but excluding the southern peninsular region. Founded by Maharaja Sri-Gupta, the dynasty was the model of a classical civilization and was marked by extensive inventions and discoveries.
The high points of this cultural creativity are magnificent architectures, sculptures and paintings. Science and political administration reached new heights during the Gupta era. Strong trade ties also made the region an important cultural center and set the region up as a base that would influence nearby kingdoms and regions in Burma, Sri Lanka, Maritime Southeast Asia and Indochina.
The empire gradually declined due in part to loss of territory and imperial authority caused by their own erstwhile feudatories, and from the invasion by the Hunas from Central Asia. After the collapse of the Gupta Empire in the 6th century, South Asia was again ruled by numerous regional kingdoms. A minor line of the Gupta clan continued to rule Magadha after the disintegration of the empire. These Guptas were ultimately ousted by the Vardhana king Harsha, who established an empire in the first half of the 7th century.
According to Arab chroniclers, the Rai Dynasty of Sindh (c. 489–632) arose after the end of Ror Dynasty. They were practitioners of Hinduism and Buddhism. At the time of Rai Diwaji (Devaditya), influence of the Rai-state exdended from Kashmir in the east, Makran and Debal (Karachi) port in the south, Kandahar, Sistan, Suleyman, Ferdan and Kikanan hills in the north.
The Indo-Hephthalites (or Alchon Huns) were a nomadic confederation in Central Asia during the late antiquity period. The Alchon Huns established themselves in modern-day Afghanistan by the first half of the 5th century. Led by the Hun military leader Toramana, they overran the northern region of Pakistan and North India. Toramana's son Mihirakula, a Saivite Hindu, moved up to near Pataliputra to the east and Gwalior to central India. Hiuen Tsiang narrates Mihirakula's merciless persecution of Buddhists and destruction of monasteries, though the description is disputed as far as the authenticity is concerned. The Huns were defeated by the alliance of Indian rulers, Maharaja (Great King) Yasodharman of Malwa and Gupta Emperor Narasimhagupta in the 6th century. Some of them were driven out of India and others were assimilated in the Indian society.
The Brahmin dynasty emerged with the ascent of Chach of Alor, a former chamberlain of Rai Sahasi II ascended to the throne by marrying the king's widow. Chach expanded the kingdom of Sindh, and his successful efforts to subjugate surrounding monarchies and ethnic groups into an empire covering the entire Indus valley and beyond were recorded in the Chach Nama. The Chacha dynasty lasted till 712 when Chacha's son Raja Dahir was killed in battle against the Umayyad forces.
The territory of modern Pakistan have been home to many Rajput dynasties during 7th to 20th century.
Although soon after conquering the Middle East from the Byzantine empire and the Sassanid Empire, Arab forces had reached the present western regions of Pakistan, during the period of Rashidun caliphacy, it was in 712 CE that a young Arab general called Muhammad bin Qasim conquered most of the Indus region for the Umayyad empire, to be made the "As-Sindh" province with its capital at Al-Mansurah, 72 km (45 mi) north of modern Hyderabad in Sindh. But the instability of the empire and the defeat in various wars with north Indian and south Indian rulers including the Caliphate campaigns in India, where the Hindu rulers like the south Indian Emperor Vikramaditya II of the Chalukya dynasty and Nagabhata of the Pratihara Dynasty defeated the Umayyad Arabs, they were contained till only Sindh and southern Punjab. There was gradual conversion to Islam in the south, especially amongst the native Hindu and Buddhist majority, but in areas north of Multan, Hindus and Buddhists remained numerous. By the end of the 10th century CE, the region was ruled by several Hindu Shahi kings who would be subdued by the Ghaznavids.
The Kabul Shahi dynasties ruled the Kabul Valley and Gandhara (modern-day Pakistan and Afghanistan) from the decline of the Kushan Empire in the 3rd century to the early 9th century. The Shahis are generally split up into two eras: the Buddhist Shahis and the Hindu Shahis, with the change-over thought to have occurred sometime around 870. The kingdom was known as the Kabul Shahan or Ratbelshahan from 565–670, when the capitals were located in Kapisa and Kabul, and later Udabhandapura, also known as Hund for its new capital.
The Hindu Shahis under Jayapala, is known for his struggles in defending his kingdom against the Ghaznavids in the modern-day eastern Afghanistan and Pakistan region. Jayapala saw a danger in the consolidation of the Ghaznavids and invaded their capital city of Ghazni both in the reign of Sebuktigin and in that of his son Mahmud, which initiated the Muslim Ghaznavid and Hindu Shahi struggles. Sebuk Tigin, however, defeated him, and he was forced to pay an indemnity. Jayapala defaulted on the payment and took to the battlefield once more. Jayapala however, lost control of the entire region between the Kabul Valley and Indus River.
Before his struggle began Jaipal had raised a large army of Punjabi Hindus. When Jaipal went to the Punjab region, his army was raised to 100,000 horsemen and an innumerable host of foot soldiers. According to Ferishta:
"The two armies having met on the confines of Lumghan, Subooktugeen ascended a hill to view the forces of Jeipal, which appeared in extent like the boundless ocean, and in number like the ants or the locusts of the wilderness. But Subooktugeen considered himself as a wolf about to attack a flock of sheep: calling, therefore, his chiefs together, he encouraged them to glory, and issued to each his commands. His soldiers, though few in number, were divided into squadrons of five hundred men each, which were directed to attack successively, one particular point of the Hindoo line, so that it might continually have to encounter fresh troops."
However, the army was hopeless in battle against the western forces, particularly against the young Mahmud of Ghazni. In the year 1001, soon after Sultan Mahmud came to power and was occupied with the Qarakhanids north of the Hindu Kush, Jaipal attacked Ghazni once more and upon suffering yet another defeat by the powerful Ghaznavid forces, near present-day Peshawar. After the Battle of Peshawar, he committed suicide because his subjects thought he had brought disaster and disgrace to the Shahi dynasty.
Jayapala was succeeded by his son Anandapala, who along with other succeeding generations of the Shahiya dynasty took part in various unsuccessful campaigns against the advancing Ghaznvids but were unsuccessful. The Hindu rulers eventually exiled themselves to the Kashmir Siwalik Hills.
In 997 CE, the Turkic ruler Mahmud of Ghazni, took over the Ghaznavid dynasty empire established by his father, Sebuktegin, a Turkic origin ruler. Starting from the city of Ghazni (now in Afghanistan), Mehmood conquered the bulk of Khorasan, marched on Peshawar against the Hindu Shahis in Kabul in 1005, and followed it by the conquests of Punjab (1007), deposed the Shia Ismaili rulers of Multan, (1011), Kashmir (1015) and Qanoch (1017). By the end of his reign in 1030, Mahmud's empire briefly extended from Kurdistan in the west to the Yamuna river in the east, and the Ghaznavid dynasty lasted until 1187. Contemporary historians such as Abolfazl Beyhaqi and Ferdowsi described extensive building work in Lahore, as well as Mahmud's support and patronage of learning, literature and the arts.
Mahmud's successors, known as the Ghaznavids, ruled for 157 years. Their kingdom gradually shrank in size, and was racked by bitter succession struggles. The Hindu Rajput kingdoms of western India reconquered the eastern Punjab, and by the 1160s, the line of demarcation between the Ghaznavid state and the Hindu kingdoms approximated to the present-day boundary between India and Pakistan. The Ghurid Empire of central Afghanistan occupied Ghazni around 1160, and the Ghaznavid capital was shifted to Lahore. Later Muhammad Ghori conquered the Ghaznavid kingdom, occupying Lahore in 1187.
The Rajput Soomra dynasty replaced the Arab Habbari dynasty in the 10th century. The dynasty lasted until the mid-13th century. The Soomras are one the longest running dynasties in the history of Sindh, lasting 325 years.
In 1160, Muhammad Ghori, a Turkic ruler, conquered Ghazni from the Ghaznavids and became its governor in 1173. He for the first time named Sindh Tambade Gatar roughly translated as the red passage. He marched eastwards into the remaining Ghaznavid territory and Gujarat in the 1180s, but was rebuffed by Gujarat's Hindu Chaulukya (Solanki) rulers. In 1186–87, he conquered Lahore, bringing the last of Ghaznevid territory under his control and ending the Ghaznavid empire. Muhammad Ghori's successors established the Delhi Sultanate. The Turkic origin Mamluk Dynasty, (mamluk means "owned" and referred to the Turkic youths bought and trained as soldiers who became rulers throughout the Islamic world), seized the throne of the Sultanate in 1211. Several Central Asian Turkic and a Lodhi Pashtun dynasty ruled their empires from Delhi: the Mamluk (1211–90), the Khalji (1290–1320), the Tughlaq (1320–1413), the Sayyid (1414–1451) and the Lodhi (1451–1526). Although some kingdoms remained independent of Delhi – in Gujarat, Malwa (central India), Bengal and Deccan – almost all of the Indus plain came under the rule of these large sultanates.
The sultans (emperors) of Delhi enjoyed cordial relations with rulers in the Near East but owed them no allegiance. While the sultans ruled from urban centers, their military camps and trading posts provided the nuclei for many towns that sprang up in the countryside. Close interaction with local populations led to cultural exchange and the resulting "Indo-Islamic" fusion has left a lasting imprint and legacy in South Asian architecture, music, literature, life style and religious customs. In addition, the language of Urdu (literally meaning "horde" or "camp" in various Turkic dialects, but more likely "city" in the South Asian context) was born during the Delhi Sultanate period, as a result of the mingling of speakers of native Prakrits, Persian, Turkish and Arabic languages.
Perhaps the greatest contribution of the Sultanate was its temporary success in insulating South Asia from the Mongol invasion from Central Asia in the 13th century; nonetheless the sultans eventually lost Afghanistan and western Pakistan to the Mongols (see the Ilkhanate dynasty). The Sultanate declined after the invasion of Emperor Timur, who founded the Timurid Empire, and was eventually conquered in 1526 by the Mughal Emperor Babar.
The Delhi Sultanate and later Mughal Empire attracted Muslim refugees, nobles, technocrats, bureaucrats, soldiers, traders, scientists, architects, artisans, teachers, poets, artists, theologians and Sufis from the rest of the Muslim world and they migrated and settled in the South Asia. During the reign of Sultan Ghyasuddin Balban (1266–1286) thousands of Central Asian Muslims sought asylum including more than 15 sovereigns and their nobles due to the Mongol invasion of Khwarezmia and Eastern Iran. At the court of Sultan Iltemish in Delhi the first wave of these Muslim refugees escaping from the Central Asian genocide by the Mongol armies of Genghis Khan, brought administrators from Iran, painters from China, theologians from Samarkand, Nishapur and Bukhara, divines and saints from the rest of Muslim world, craftsmen and men and maidens from every region, notably doctors adept in Greek medicine and philosophers from everywhere.
The Chagatai Khanate was a Mongol and later Turkicized khanate that comprised the lands ruled by Chagatai Khan second son of Genghis Khan, and his descendants and successors. Initially it was a part of the Mongol Empire, but it became a functionally separate khanate with the fragmentation of the Mongol Empire after 1259.
The Ilkhanate was established as a khanate that formed the southwestern sector of the Mongol Empire, ruled by the Mongol House of Hulagu Ilk Khanate, that reached from Afghanistan and western Pakistan to Turkey.
The Rajput Samma dynasty replaced the Rajput Soomra dynasty. They gained control of Thatta from the Soomra around 1335 A.D. The dynasty is believed to have originated in Saurashtra, and later migrated to Sindh. During the Sammas saw the rise of Thatta as an important commercial and cultural center. At the time the Portuguese took control of the trading center of Hormuz in 1514 CE, trade from the Sindh accounted for nearly 10% of their customs revenue, and they described Thatta as one of the richest cities in the world. Thatta's prosperity was based partly on its own high-quality cotton and silk textile industry, partly on export of goods from further inland in the Punjab and northern India.
In 1526, Babur, a Timurid descendant of Timur and Genghis Khan from Fergana Valley (modern-day Uzbekistan), swept across the Khyber Pass and founded the Mughal Empire, covering modern-day Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. The Mughals were descended from Central Asian Turks (with significant Mongol admixture). However, his son Humayun was defeated by the Pashtun warrior Sher Shah Suri who was from Bihar state of India, in the year 1540, and Humayun was forced to retreat to Kabul. After Sher Shah died, his son Islam Shah Suri became the ruler, on whose death his prime minister, Hemu ascended the throne and ruled North India from Delhi for one month. He was defeated by Emperor Akbar's forces in the Second Battle of Panipat on 6 November 1556.
Akbar the Great, was both a capable ruler and an early proponent of religious and ethnic tolerance and favored an early form of multiculturalism. He declared "Amari" or non-killing of animals in the holy days of Jainism and rolled back the jizya tax imposed upon non-Islamic mainly Hindu people. The Mughal dynasty ruled most of the South Asia by 1600. The Mughal emperors married local royalty and allied themselves with local maharajas. For a short time in the late 16th century, Lahore was the capital of the empire. The architectural legacy of the Mughals in Lahore includes the Shalimar Gardens built by the fifth Emperor Shahjahan, and the Badshahi Mosque built by the sixth Emperor, Aurangzeb, who is regarded as the last Great Mughal Emperor as he expanded the domain to its zenith. After his demise, different regions of modern Pakistan began asserting independence. The empire went into a slow decline after 1707 and its last sovereign, ruling around Delhi region.
Rise of Sikhism
Guru Nanak, Sikhism's founder, was born into a Hindu Khatri family in the village of Rāi Bhōi dī Talwandī (present day Nankana, near Sial in modern-day Pakistan). He was an influential religious and social reformer in north India and the saintly founder of a modern monotheistic order and first of the ten divine Gurus of Sikh religion. At the age of 70, he died at Kartarpur, Punjab of modern-day Pakistan.
In 1761, following the victory at the Third battle of Panipat between the Durrani and the Maratha Empire, Ahmad Shah Abdali captured remnants of the Maratha Empire in Punjab and Kashmir regions and had re-consolidated control over them.
In 1758, the Maratha Empire's general Raghunath Rao attacked and conquered Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Kashmir and drove out Timur Shah Durrani, the son and viceroy of Ahmad Shah Abdali. In 1759, the Marathas and its allies decisively won the Battle of Lahore, defeating the Durranis. Lahore, Dera Ghazi Khan, Multan, Peshawar, Kashmir, and other subahs on the south eastern side of Afghanistan's border fell under the Maratha rule.
The Sikh Empire (1799–1849) was formed on the foundations of the Punjabi Army by Maharaja Ranjit Singh who was proclaimed "Sarkar-i-Khalsa", and was referred to as the "Maharaja of Lahore". It consisted of a collection of autonomous Punjabi Misls, which were governed by Misldars, mainly in the Punjab region. The empire extended from the Khyber Pass in the west, to Kashmir in the north, to Multan in the south and Kapurthala in the east. The main geographical footprint of the empire was the Punjab region. The formation of the empire was a watershed and represented formidable consolidation of Sikh military power and resurgence of local culture, which had been dominated for hundreds of years by Indo-Afghan and Indo-Mughal hybrid cultures.
The foundations of the Sikh Empire, during the time of the Punjabi Army, could be defined as early as 1707, starting from the death of Aurangzeb. The fall of the Mughal Empire provided opportunities for the Punjabi army to lead expeditions against the Mughals and Pashtuns. This led to a growth of the army, which was split into different Punjabi armies and then semi-independent "misls". Each of these component armies were known as a misl, each controlling different areas and cities. However, in the period from 1762 to 1799, Sikh rulers of their misls appeared to be coming into their own. The formal start of the Sikh Empire began with the disbandment of the Punjab Army by the time of coronation of Ranjit Singh in 1801, creating a unified political state. All the misl leaders who were affiliated with the Army were from Punjab's nobility.
Most of the territory of modern Pakistan was occupied beginning first by the East India Company – and continued under the post-Sepoy Mutiny direct rule of Queen Victoria of the British Empire – through a series of wars, the main ones being the Battle of Miani (1843) in Sindh, the gruelling Anglo-Sikh Wars (1845–1849) and the Anglo-Afghan Wars (1839–1919), to remain a part of British Indian Empire until the independence in 1947.
The physical presence of the British was minimal; they employed "Divide and Rule" political strategy to remain in power. The administrative units of British India under the tenancy or the sovereignty of either the East India Company or the British Crown lasted between 1612 and 1947.
Early period of Pakistan Movement
In 1877, Syed Ameer Ali had formed the Central National Muhammadan Association to work towards the political advancement of the Indian Muslims, who had suffered grievously in 1857, in the aftermath of the failed Sepoy Mutiny against the East India Company; the British were seen as foreign invaders. But the organization declined towards the end of the 19th century.
In 1885, the Indian National Congress was founded as a forum, which later became a party, to promote a nationalist cause. Although the Congress attempted to include the Muslim community in the struggle for independence from the British rule – and some Muslims were very active in the Congress – the majority of Muslim leaders did not trust the party.
A turning point came in 1900, when the British administration in the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh acceded to Hindu demands and made Hindi, the version of the Hindustani language written in the Devanagari script, the official language. The proselytisation conducted in the region by the activists of a new Hindu reformist movement also stirred Muslim's concerns about their faith. Eventually, the Muslims feared that the Hindu majority would seek to suppress the rights of Muslims in the region following the departure of the British.
The All-India Muslim League was founded by Shaiiq-e-Mustafa in 30 December 1906, in the aftermath of division of Bengal, on the sidelines of the annual All India Muhammadan Educational Conference in Shahbagh, Dhaka East Bengal. The meeting was attended by three thousand delegates and presided over by Nawab Viqar-ul-Mulk. It addressed the issue of safeguarding interests of Muslims and finalised a programme. A resolution, moved by Nawab Salimullah and seconded by Hakim Ajmal Khan. Nawab Viqar-ul-Mulk(conservative), declared:
The Musalmans are only a fifth in number as compared with the total population of the country, and it is manifest that if at any remote period the British government ceases to exist in India, then the rule of India would pass into the hands of that community which is nearly four times as large as ourselves ... our life, our property, our honour, and our faith will all be in great danger, when even now that a powerful British administration is protecting its subjects, we the Musalmans have to face most serious difficulties in safe-guarding our interests from the grasping hands of our neighbors.
The constitution and principles of the League were contained in the Green Book, written by Maulana Mohammad Ali. Its goals at this stage did not include establishing an independent Muslim state, but rather concentrated on protecting Muslim liberties and rights, promoting understanding between the Muslim community and other Indians, educating the Muslim and Indian community at large on the actions of the government, and discouraging violence. However, several factors over the next thirty years, including sectarian violence, led to a re-evaluation of the League's aims. Among those Muslims in the Congress who did not initially join the League was Jinnah, a prominent statesman and barrister in Bombay. This was because the first article of the League's platform was "To promote among the Mussalmans (Muslims) of India, feelings of loyalty to the British Government". The League remained loyal to the British administration for five years until the British decided to reverse the partition of Bengal. The Muslim League saw this British decision as partial to Hindus.
In 1907, a vocal group of Hindu hard-liners within the Indian National Congress movement separated from it and started to pursue a pro-Hindu movement openly. This group was spearheaded by the famous trio of Lal-Bal-Pal – Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Bipin Chandra Pal of Punjab, Bombay and Bengal provinces respectively. Their influence spread rapidly among other like minded Hindus – they called it Hindu nationalism – and it became a cause of serious concern for Muslims. However, Jinnah did not join the League until 1913, when the party changed its platform to one of Indian independence, as a reaction against the British decision to reverse the 1905 Partition of Bengal, which the League regarded it as a betrayal of the Bengali Muslims. After vociferous protests of the Hindu population and violence engineered by secret groups, such as Anushilan Samiti and its offshoot Jugantar of Aurobindo and his brother etc., the British had decided to reunite Bengal again. Till this stage, Jinnah believed in Mutual co-operation to achieve an independent, united 'India', although he argued that Muslims should be guaranteed one-third of the seats in any Indian Parliament.
The League gradually became the leading representative body of Indian Muslims. Jinnah became its president in 1916, and negotiated the Lucknow Pact with the Congress leader, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, by which Congress conceded the principle of separate electorates and weighted representation for the Muslim community. However, Jinnah broke with the Congress in 1920 when the Congress leader, Mohandas Gandhi, launched a law violating Non-Cooperation Movement against the British, which a temperamentally law-abiding barrister Jinnah disapproved of. Jinnah also became convinced that the Congress would renounce its support for separate electorates for Muslims, which indeed it did in 1928. In 1927, the British proposed a constitution for India as recommended by the Simon Commission, but they failed to reconcile all parties. The British then turned the matter over to the League and the Congress, and in 1928 an All-Parties Congress was convened in Delhi. The attempt failed, but two more conferences were held, and at the Bombay conference in May, it was agreed that a small committee should work on the constitution. The prominent Congress leader Motilal Nehru headed the committee, which included two Muslims, Syed Ali Imam and Shoaib Quereshi; Motilal's son, Pt Jawaharlal Nehru, was its secretary. The League, however, rejected the committee's report, the so-called Nehru Report, arguing that its proposals gave too little representation (one quarter) to Muslims – the League had demanded at least one-third representation in the legislature. Jinnah announced a "parting of the ways" after reading the report, and relations between the Congress and the League began to sour.
Muslim homeland – "Now or Never"
The general elections held in the United Kingdom had already weakened the leftist Labour Party led by Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald. Furthermore, the Labour Party's government was already weakened by the outcomes of World War I, which fueled new hopes for progress towards self-government in British India. In fact, Mohandas K. Gandhi traveled to London to press the idea of "self-government" in British India, and claimed to represent all Indians whilst duly criticized the Muslim League as being sectarian and divisive. After reviewing the report of the Simon Commission, the Indian Congress initiated a massive Civil Disobedience Movement under Gandhi; the Muslim League reserved their opinion on the Simon Report declaring that the report was not final and the matters should decided after consultations with the leaders representing all communities in India.
As the leaders of the Indian Congress were jailed and restrained, the Round-table conference was held, but these achieved little, since Gandhi and the League were unable to reach a compromise. Witnessing the events in the Round-table conference, Jinnah had despaired of politics and particularly of getting mainstream parties like the Congress to be sensitive to minority priorities. During this time in 1930, notable writer and poet, Muhammad Iqbal called for a separate and autonomous nation-state, who in his presidential address to the 1930 convention of the Muslim League said that he felt that a separate Muslim state was essential in an otherwise Hindu-dominated South Asia.
The name of the nation-state was coined by the Cambridge University's political science student and Muslim nationalist Rahmat Ali, and was published on 28 January 1933 in the pamphlet Now or Never. After coining the name of the nation-state, Ali noticed that there is an acronym formed from the names of the "homelands" of Muslims in northwest India:
- "P" for Punjab
- "A" for Afghania (now known as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa)
- "K" for Kashmir
- "S" for Sindh
- "Tan" for Balochistan; thus forming "Pakistan".
After the publication of the pamphlet, the Hindu Press vehemently criticized it, and the word 'Pakstan' used in it. Thus this word became a heated topic of debate. With the addition of an "i" to improve the pronunciation, the name of Pakistan grew in popularity and led to the commencement of the Pakistan Movement, and consequently the creation of Pakistan. In Urdu and Persian languages, the name encapsulates the concept of Pak ("pure") and stan ("land") and hence a "Pure Land". In 1935, the British government proposed to hand over substantial power to elected Indian provincial legislatures, with elections to be held in 1937. After the elections the League took office in Bengal and Punjab, but the Congress won office in most of the other provinces, and refused to devolve power with the League in provinces with large Muslim minorities citing technical difficulties.
Meanwhile, Muslim ideologues for independence also felt vindicated by the presidential address of V.D. Savarkar at the 19th session of the famous Hindu nationalist party Hindu Mahasabha in 1937. In it, this legendary revolutionary – popularly called Veer Savarkar and known as the iconic father of the Hindu fundamentalist ideology – propounded the seminal ideas of his Two Nation Theory or ethnic exclusivism, which influenced Jinnah profoundly.
In 1940, Jinnah called a general session of the Muslim League in Lahore to discuss the situation that had arisen due to the outbreak of World War II and the Government of India joining the war without consulting Indian leaders. The meeting was also aimed at analyzing the reasons that led to the defeat of the Muslim League in the general election of 1937 in the Muslim majority provinces. In his speech, Jinnah criticized the Indian Congress and the nationalists, and espoused the Two-Nation Theory and the reasons for the demand for separate homelands. Sikandar Hayat Khan, the Chief Minister of Punjab, drafted the original resolution, but disavowed the final version, that had emerged after protracted redrafting by the Subject Committee of the Muslim League. The final text unambiguously rejected the concept of a United India because of increasing inter-religious violence and recommended the creation of independent states. The resolution was moved in the general session by Shere-Bangla Bengali nationalist, AKF Haq, the Chief Minister of Bengal, supported by Chaudhry Khaliquzzaman and other leaders and was adopted on 23 March 1940. The Resolution read as follows:
No constitutional plan would be workable or acceptable to the Muslims unless geographical 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 majority as in the North-Western and Eastern zones of India should be grouped to constitute independent states in which the constituent units shall be autonomous and sovereign ... That adequate, effective and mandatory safeguards shall be specifically provided in the constitution for minorities in the units and in the regions for the protection of their religious, cultural, economic, political, administrative and other rights of the minorities, with their consultation. Arrangements thus should be made for the security of Muslims where they were in a minority.
Final phase of the Pakistan Movement
Important leaders in the Muslim League highlighted that Pakistan would be a 'New Medina', in other words the second Islamic state established after the Prophet Muhammad's creation of an Islamic state in Medina. Pakistan was popularly envisaged as an Islamic utopia, a successor to the defunct Turkish Caliphate and a leader and protector of the entire Islamic world. Islamic scholars debated over whether it was possible for the proposed Pakistan to truly become an Islamic state.
While the Congress' top leadership had been in prison following the 1942 Quit India Movement, there was intense debate among Indian Muslims over the creation of a separate homeland. The majority of Barelvis and Barelvi ulema supported the creation of Pakistan and pirs and Sunni ulema were mobilized by the Muslim League to demonstrate that India's Muslim masses wanted a separate country. The Barelvis believed that any co-operation with Hindus would be counter productive. On the other hand, most Deobandis, who were led by Maulana Husain Ahmad Madani, were opposed to the creation of Pakistan and the two-nation theory. According to them Muslims and Hindus could be one nation and Muslims were only a nation of themselves in the religious sense and not in the territorial sense. At the same time some Deobandi ulema such as Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, Mufti Muhammad Shafi and Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani were supportive of the Muslim League's demand to create a separate Pakistan.
Muslims who were living in provinces where they were demographically a minority, such as the United Provinces where the Muslim League enjoyed popular support, were assured by Jinnah that they could remain in India, migrate to Pakistan or continue living in India but as Pakistani citizens. The Muslim League had also proposed the hostage population theory. According to this theory the safety of India's Muslim minority would be ensured by turning the Hindu minority in the proposed Pakistan into a 'hostage' population who would be visited by retributive violence if Muslims in India were harmed.
In the Constituent Assembly elections of 1946, the Muslim League won 425 out of 496 seats reserved for Muslims (polling 89.2% of total votes). The Congress had hitherto refused to acknowledge the Muslim League's claim of being the representative of Indian Muslims but finally acquiesced to the League's claim after the results of this election. The Muslim League's demand for Pakistan had received overwhelming popular support from India's Muslims, especially those Muslims who were living in provinces such as UP where they were a minority.
The British had neither the will, nor the financial resources or military power, to hold India any longer but they were also determined to avoid partition and for this purpose they arranged the Cabinet Mission Plan. According to this plan India would be kept united but would be heavily decentralized with separate groupings of Hindu and Muslim majority provinces. The Muslim League accepted this plan as it contained the 'essence' of Pakistan but the Congress rejected it. After the failure of the Cabinet Mission Plan, Jinnah called for Muslims to observe Direct Action Day to demand the creation of a separate Pakistan. The Direct Action Day morphed into violent riots between Hindus and Muslims in Calcutta. The riots in Calcutta were followed by intense communal rioting between Hindus and Muslims in Noakhali, Bihar, Garhmukteshwar and Rawalpindi.
The British Prime Minister Attlee appointed Lord Louis Mountbatten as India's last viceroy, to negotiate the independence of Pakistan and India and immediate British withdrawal. British leaders including Mountbatten did not support the creation of Pakistan but failed to convince Jinnah otherwise. Mountbatten later confessed that he would most probably have sabotaged the creation of Pakistan had he known that Jinnah was dying of tuberculosis.
In early 1947 the British had announced their desire to grant India its independence by June 1948. However, Lord Mountbatten decided to advance the date. In a meeting in June, Nehru and Abul Kalam Azad representing the Congress, Jinnah representing the Muslim League, B. R. Ambedkar representing the Untouchable community, and Master Tara Singh representing the Sikhs, agreed to partition India along religious lines...
Independence from the British Empire
On 14 August 1947 (27th of Ramadan in 1366 of the Islamic Calendar) Pakistan gained independence. India gained independence the following day. The two provinces of British India: Punjab and Bengal were divided along religious lines by the Radcliffe Commission. Mountbatten is alleged to have influenced the Radcliffe Commission to draw the line in India's favour. Punjab's mostly Muslim western part went to Pakistan and its mostly Hindu/Sikh eastern part went to India but there were significant Muslim minorities in Punjab's eastern section and likewise there were many Hindus and Sikhs living in Punjab's western areas.
Intense communal rioting in the Punjab forced the governments of India and Pakistan to agree to a forced population exchange of Muslim and Hindu/Sikh minorities living in Punjab. After this population exchange only a few thousand low-caste Hindus remained in Pakistan's side of Punjab and only a tiny Muslim population remained in the town of Malerkotla in India's part of Punjab. Political scientist Ishtiaq Ahmed says that although Muslims started the violence in Punjab, by the end of 1947 more Muslims had been killed by Hindus and Sikhs in East Punjab than the number of Hindus and Sikhs who had been killed by Muslims in West Punjab.
More than ten million people migrated across the new borders and between 200,000–2,000,000 people died in the spate of communal violence in the Punjab in what some scholars have described as a 'retributive genocide' between the religions. The Pakistani government claimed that 50,000 Muslim women were abducted and raped by Hindu and Sikh men and similarly the Indian government claimed that Muslims abducted and raped 33,000 Hindu and Sikh women. The two governments agreed to repatriate abducted women and thousands of Hindu, Sikh and Muslim women were repatriated to their families in the 1950s. The dispute over Kashmir escalated into the first war between India and Pakistan. The war is hitherto unresolved.
On 12 March 1949, the second Constituent Assembly of Pakistan passed the Objectives Resolution which proclaimed that sovereignty over the entire universe belongs to Allah alone. The promulgation of the Constitution in 1956 led to Pakistan declaring itself an Islamic republic (official name) with the adoption of a parliamentary democratic system of government. The constitution transformed the Governor-General of Pakistan into President of Pakistan (as head of state). Subsequently, Iskander Mirza became the first Bengali president in 1956, but the democratic system was stalled after President Mirza imposed a military coup d'état and appointed Ayub Khan as an enforcer of martial law. Two weeks later, President Mirza was ousted by Ayub Khan; his presidency saw an era of internal instability and a second war with India in 1965. The war had drained the country’s resources and the economy began to slide.This economy catastrophe led to 1968 movement in Pakistan which ousted Ayub Khan. Economic grievances and political disenfranchisement in East Pakistan led to violent political tensions and armed repression, escalating into a civil war followed by the third war with India. Pakistan's defeat in the war ultimately led to the secession of East Pakistan and the birth of Bangladesh.
In 1972 the leftist Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) led by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto came to power and in 1973 Pakistan's elected parliament promulgated the 1973 Constitution which proclaimed that no Pakistani law could contradict Islamic laws from the Quran and Sunnah. Bhutto faced vigorous opposition which united under the banner of Nizam e Mustafa (Rule of the Prophet) and demanded the establishment of an Islamic state. In 1977 Bhutto was deposed in a bloodless coup by General Zia-ul-Haq, who became the country's third military president. Zia-ul-Haq committed himself to the establishment of Sharia law in Pakistan.
With the death of President Zia-ul-Haq in 1988, new general elections saw the victory of PPP led by Benazir Bhutto who was elevated as the country's first female Prime Minister of Pakistan. Over the next decade, she alternated power with the conservative Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML(N)) led by Nawaz Sharif, as the country's political and economic situation deteriorated. Military tensions in the Kargil conflict with India were followed by yet another coup d'état in 1999 in which General Pervez Musharraf assumed executive powers.
Appointing himself President after the resignation of President Rafiq Tarar, Musharraf held nationwide general elections in 2002 to transfer the executive powers to newly elected Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali, who was succeeded in the 2004 by Shaukat Aziz. During the election campaign of 2007, Benazir Bhutto was assassinated which led to a series of important political developments including the left-wing alliance led by the PPP. Historic general elections held in 2013 marked the return of PML(N) with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif assuming the leadership of the country for the third time in its history.
- Archaeological cultures identified with phases of Vedic culture include the Ochre Coloured Pottery culture, the Gandhara Grave culture, the Black and red ware culture and the Painted Grey Ware culture.
- The precise time span of the period is uncertain. Philological and linguistic evidence indicates that the Rigveda, the oldest of the Vedas, was composed roughly between 1700 and 1100 BCE, also referred to as the early Vedic period.
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In the 1940s a solid majority of the Barelvis were supporters of the Pakistan Movement and played a supporting role in its final phase (1940-7), mostly under the banner of the All-India Sunni Conference which had been founded in 1925.
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During the 1946 election, Barelvi Ulama issued fatwas in favour of the Muslim League.
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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...Even the Grand Mufti of Deoband, Mufti Muhammad Shafi, issued a fatwa in support of the Muslim League's demand.
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For example, the Barelvi ulama supported the formation of the state of Pakistan and thought that any alliance with Hindus (such as that between the Indian National Congress and the Jamiat ulama-I-Hind [JUH]) was counterproductive.
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Believing that Islam was a universal religion, the Deobandi advocated a notion of a composite nationalism according to which Hindus and Muslims constituted one nation.
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Madani...stressed the difference between qaum, meaning a nation, hence a territorial concept, and millat, meaning an Ummah and thus a religious concept.
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Madani makes a crucial distinction between qaum and millat. According to him, qaum connotes a territorial multi-religious entity, while millat refers to the cultural, social and religious unity of Muslims exclusively.
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Besides, Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, along with his pupils and disciples, lent his entire support to the demand of Pakistan.
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In the elections of 1946, the Muslim League won 90 percent of the legislative seats reserved for Muslims. It was the power of the big zamindars in Punjab and Sindh behind the Muslim League candidates, and the powerful campaign among the poor peasants of Bengal on economic issues of rural indebtedness and zamindari abolition, that led to this massive landslide victory (Alavi 2002, 14). Even Congress, which had always denied the League's claim to be the only true representative of Indian Muslims had to concede the truth of that claim. The 1946 election was, in effect, a plebiscite among Muslims on Pakistan.
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Undivided India, their magnificent imperial trophy, was besmirched by the creation of Pakistan, and the division of India was never emotionally accepted by many British leaders, Mountbatten among them.
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Mountbatten's partiality was apparent in his own statements. He tilted openly and heavily towards Congress. While doing so he clearly expressed his lack of support and faith in the Muslim League and its Pakistan idea.
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When Mountbatten was asked by Collins and Lapierre if he would have sabotaged Pakistan if he had known that Jinnah was dying of tuberculosis, his answer was instructive. There was no doubt in his mind about the legality or morality of his position on Pakistan. 'Most probably,' he said (1982:39).
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There are no exact numbers of people killed and displaced, but estimates range from a few hundred thousand to two million killed and more than 10 million displaced.
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An estimated 12–15 million people were displaced, and some 2 million died. The legacy of Partition (never without a capital P) remains strong today ...
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2,000,000 killed in the Hindu-Muslim holocaust during the partition of India and the creation of Pakistan
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In the event, largely but not exclusively as a consequence of their efforts, the entire Muslim population of the eastern Punjab districts migrated to West Punjab and the entire Sikh and Hindu populations moved to East Punjab in the midst of widespread intimidation, terror, violence, abduction, rape, and murder.
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The official estimate of the number of abducted women during Partition was placed at 33,000 non-Muslim (Hindu or Sikh predominantly) women in Pakistan, and 50,000 Muslim women in India.
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The horrific statistics that surround women refugees-between 75,000–100,000 Hindu, Muslim and Sikh women who were abducted by men of the other communities, subjected to multiple rapes, mutilations, and, for some, forced marriages and conversions-is matched by the treatment of the abducted women in the hands of the nation-state. In the Constituent Assembly in 1949 it was recorded that of the 50,000 Muslim women abducted in India, 8,000 of then were recovered, and of the 33,000 Hindu and Sikh women abducted, 12,000 were recovered.
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In addition thousands of women on both sides of the newly formed borders (estimated range from 29,000 to 50,000 Muslim women and 15,000 to 35,000 Hindu and Sikh women) were abducted, raped, forced to convert, forced into marriage, forced back into what the two States defined as 'their proper homes,' torn apart from their families once during partition by those who abducted them, and again, after partition, by the State which tried to 'recover' and 'rehabilitate' them.
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The first important result of the combined efforts of the Jamāʿat-i Islāmī and the ʿulamāʿ was the passage of the Objectives Resolution in March 1949, whose formulation reflected compromise between traditionalists and modernists. The resolution embodied "the main principles on which the constitution of Pakistan is to be based." It declared that "sovereignty over the entire universe belongs to God Almighty alone and the authority which He has delegated to the State of Pakistan through its people for being exercised within the limits prescribed by Him is a sacred trust," that "the principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice, as enunciated by Islam shall be fully observed," and that "the Muslims shall be enabled to order their lives in the individual and collective spheres in accord with the teaching and requirements of Islam as set out in the Holy Qurʿan and Sunna." The Objectives Resolution has been reproduced as a preamble to the constitutions of 1956, 1962, and 1973.
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The constitution proclaims ... that all existing laws shall be brought in accordance with the injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Quran and Sunnah, and no law shall be enacted which is repugnant to such injunctions.
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- National Fund for Cultural Heritage, Government of Pakistan
- Story of Pakistan
- A look at some of the historic moments that have shaped Pakistan
- Quick History of Pakistan
- History of Pakistan at Curlie (based on DMOZ)
Wikimedia Atlas of the History of Pakistan