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Pakistan is 70 years old, India one day younger
Posted:Aug 14, 2017
 
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By Ishtiaq Ahmed 
 
On 14 August 1947 Pakistan, consisting of East and West Pakistan, celebrated its independence. The 14th was chosen for the ceremony because Lord Mountbatten who came to Karachi as the Chief Guest had to later leave for Delhi where ot the midnight stroke India was to declare its independence.
 
THE ACTUAL TRANSFER OF POWER FROM THE BRITISH TO THE PAKISTANI AND INDIAN GOVERNMENTS TOOK PLACE ON 15 AUGUST.
 
On 14 August the British were still in power. In my Punjab book I mention the last telegram sent by Punjab Governor Sir Evan Jenkins at 10.30 pm. So, it was not until 15 August that Pakistan and India came into being as two independent dominions of the British Commonwealth.
 
Had this subcontinent not been partitioned its people would be living as one nation but the verdict of history was in favour of partition - so be it.
 
We cannot choose our past but we can do something about our present and future.
To all Pakistanis and Indians I wish peace, prosperity and good neighbourly relations. The Subcontinent is the cradle of ancient civilizations - all have left their mark on it and its people.
 
Let's hope we get governments in power which instead of indulging in the arms race turn their attention to serving their people with honesty and sincerity.
Pakistan Zindabad, Hindustan Zindabad!
Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed
 
Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Stockholm University; Visiting Professor Government College University;  and, Honorary Senior Fellow, Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore. Latest publications, The Punjab Bloodied, Partitioned and Cleansed, *(Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2012), won the Best Non-Fiction Book Prize at the 2013 Karachi Literature Festival and the 2013 UBL-Jang Groups Best Non-Fiction Book Prize at Lahore and the Best Book on Punjab Award from Punjabi Parchar at the Vaisakhi Mela in Lahore, 2016. And , Pakistan: The Garrison State, Origins, Evolution, Consequences (1947-2011), Oxford, 2013.  I can be reached at: billumian@gmail.com
 
 
 
 
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