Pakistan Declaration

Pakistan Declaration
A pamphlet named as Now or Never.
Author Chaudhry Rehmat Ali
Original title Now or Never; Are We to Live or Perish Forever?
Country England
Language English
Publication date
28 January 1933

The Pakistan Declaration (titled Now or Never; Are We to Live or Perish Forever?) was a pamphlet written and published by Choudhary Rahmat Ali,[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8] on 28 January 1933, in which the word Pakstan (without the letter "i") was used for the first time and was presented in the Round Table conferences in 1933.[9]

Covering letter

The declaration was circulated with a covering letter dated 28 January 1933 signed by Rahmat Ali alone, and addressed from 3 Humberstone Road. It read as follows:[9]

3, Humberstone Road,
Cambridge, England.
28 January 1933

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am enclosing herewith an appeal on behalf of the thirty million Muslims of PAKISTAN, who live in the five Northern Units of India—Punjab, North-West Frontier (Afghan) Province, Gujarat, Kashmir, Sind, and Baluchistan. It embodies their demand for the recognition of their national status, as distinct from the other inhabitants of India, by the grant to Pakistan of a separate Federal Constitution on religious, social and historical grounds.

I shall be pleased if you will kindly acquaint me with your valuable opinion on the proposed solution of the great Hindu-Muslim problem. I trust that, vitally interested as you are in a just and permanent solution of that complex problem, the objects outlined in the appeal wiIl meet with your fullest approval and active support.

Yours truly, Rahmat Ali (Choudhary). (Founder, Pakistan National Movement)

Now or Never; Are We to Live or Perish Forever?

The pamphlet started with this famous sentence:[10]

At this solemn hour in the history of India, when British and Indian statesmen are laying the foundations of a Federal Constitution for that land, we address this appeal to you, in the name of our common heritage, on behalf of our thirty million Muslim brethren who live in PAKSTAN—by which we mean the five Northern units of India, Viz: Punjab, North-West Frontier Province (Afghan Province), Kashmir, Sind and Baluchistan.

The pamphlet asked that "the five Northern units of India"—Punjab, North-West Frontier Province (Afghan Province), Kashmir, Sindh and Baluchistan (or Pakstan)[11] become a state independent of the proposed Indian Federation.

Here it is important to note that many historians reject this derivation of the name "Pakistan" as it came after the province of Bengal, then East Pakistan got separated and became Bangladesh. They term it as myth on the basis that when Pakistan got independence, the province of Bengal was the foremost part of this newly born state but there is no mention of it in the name "Pakistan".

Professor K.K. Aziz writes[12] that "Rahmat Ali alone drafted this declaration.[13] The word Pakstan was used for the first time in this pamphlet. To make it "representative", he looked for people who would sign it along with him. This difficult search among the firm grip of 'Indianism' on the young intellectual at English universities took him more than a month to find three young men in London who offered to support and sign it."[14] Chaudhry also suggested the establishment of two other Muslim states within the British Raj; Bangalistan and Osmanistan. He suggested the former Muslim provinces of Eastern Bengal and Assam in East India become an independent Muslim state for Bengali, Assamese and Bihari speaking Muslims while suggesting the princely state of Hyderabad become an Islamic monarchy called Osmanistan.[15]

After the publication of the pamphlet, the Hindu press vehemently criticized it, and the word 'Pakstan' used in it.[16] 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 as an independent state in 1947.[17]


The author of this famous pamphlet was Chaudhary Rahmat Ali (16 November 1897 – 3 February 1951), a Muslim nationalist from Punjab, who was one of the earliest proponents of the creation of the state of Pakistan. He is credited with creating the name "Pakistan" for a separate Muslim homeland from Presidencies and provinces of British India. He propagated the Scheme of Pakistan with a missionary zeal since its inception in 1933.[17] He also later founded the Pakistan National Movement[18] to propagate his ideas. Being a political thinker and an idealist, wanted more than for accepting a smaller Pakistan in 1947[19] and save every Indian Muslim from the so-called "Hindu domination".[20]

After the creation of Pakistan he returned to Pakistan in April 1948, planning to stay in the country, but he was ordered by the then Prime Minister Liaqat Ali Khan to leave the country. His belongings were confiscated, and he left empty-handed for England in October 1948.[21]

He died on 3 February 1951 and was buried on 20 February at Newmarket Road Cemetery, Cambridge. As there was no nearby family to take responsibility for his burial, Emmanuel College's Master, Edward Welbourne, who had been Rahmat Ali's Tutor, himself arranged the burial in Cambridge on 20 February 1951.[22]



  • Aziz, Khursheed Kamal (1987). Rahmat Ali: A Biography. Lahore: Vanguard. 


  1. Pakistan, the enigma of political development, by Lawrence Ziring, p. 67
  2. Iqbal, an illustrated biography Khurram Ali Shafique, p.131
  3. India-Pakistan in war & peace, Jyotindra Nath Dixit p. 10
  4. The Great Divide: Muslim Separatism and Partition By S.C. Bhatt, p. 70
  5. Historiography of India's Partition: An Analysis of Imperialist Writings By Viśva Mohana Pāndeya p.15
  6. Governments and politics of South Asia J. C. Johari, p. 208
  7. Creating New States: Theory and Practice of Secession By Aleksandar Pavković, Peter Radan p.103
  8. A history of Pakistan: past and present Muḥammad ʻAbdulʻaziz, p. 162
  9. 1 2 Aziz 1987, p. 89
  10. "Now or Never; Are We to Live or Perish Forever?" Archived 19 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  11. THE HISTORY MAN: Cambridge Remembers Rahmat Ali – Ihsan Aslam Daily Times
  12. Aziz 1987, p. 85
  13. "Now or Never; Are We to Live or Perish Forever?" Archived 19 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  14. Chaudhry Rahmat Ali, Pakistan
  15. "dinia".
  16. Aziz 1987, p. 92
  17. 1 2 Aziz 1987, pp. 472–487
  18. Aziz 1987, p.109
  19. Aziz 1987, pp. 319–338
  20. Aziz 1987, p. 330
  21. Aziz 1987, pp. 303, 316
  22. Aziz 1987, pp. 340–345
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