The date of 14th august 1947 reminds us of a historical event after which one of the greatest nations of the world born. The list of Pakistan’s early problems after independence is huge and can not be covered in one article. Most of the initial problems were created intentionally to destabilize the newborn state. Partition was not the only problem, but establishing the new government with many hostile borders was difficult. In short, the independence and the establishment of Pakistan were not a piece of cake and were achieved by sacrificing hundreds of thousands of people.
Initial problems of Pakistan
Here is a small list of the initial problems faced by Pakistan after the partition.
1. Division of assets
The British government divided assets between Pakistan and India. According to the agreement, Pakistan got a share of 75 Crore. Only 20 crores were transferred to Pakistan initially. Other than these, military equipment and the record were also to be transferred to Pakistan. The Indian government’s negative attitude toward the transfer of divided assets created lots of difficulty for Pakistan.
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2. Water crisis
Pakistan started facing water when on the morning of 1st April 1948, India closed the headworks of the rivers of Pakistan. This caused significant damage to crops in Punjab. India started demanding money for the water that Pakistan uses. For the permanent solution to this problem, Pakistan took the help of the united nations, and a treaty called the “Indus Waters Treaty” was signed on 19th September 1960 in Karachi.
3. Choosing the capital of the country
One of Pakistan’s biggest and list problems after independence was that it did not have many developed cities like India. So Pakistani leaders have only a few choices of cities as capital. Karachi was chosen as the capital, and the officers and officials came from Dehli to Karachi to setup government capital. There was a lack of records, offices, furniture. Some of the government offices were also established in military barracks during that hard time. Later precisely, after 20 years of partition, on 14th august 1967, Islamabad became the second capital of Pakistan under the rule of Ayub khan.
4. Unfair boundary by Cyril Radcliffe
A commission was established to divide some provinces into Pakistan and India. As most of the British officers were against the partition, so they tried to harm Pakistan in all ways. Viceroy Mountbatten was also inclined towards India.
Due to this, Pakistan lost many Muslim Majority areas, including Ferozpor, Gordaspor, parts of Kashmir, and Jalandhar.
5. Killing of hundred thousands of Muslim Refugees In India
When the division of Punjab was decided, Muslims living in the Indian side of Punjab started the migration to Pakistani Punjab. Hindus and Sikhs started killing Muslims. Men and children were killed. Women were raped. Countless Muslim caravans and Muslim trains travelling to Pakistan were killed entirely. This resulted in more than 5 lac deaths in time less than one month.
6. The issue of refugees
According to sources, almost 65 lac people migrated toward Pakistan. Among which, 52 lac people migrated to Punjab. It was not an easy task for Pakistan’s government to make permanent arrangements for the resettlement of so many people. Despite limited resources, Pakistan set up refugee camps for the migrants and provided them with food and healthcare.
7. Forceful annexation of princely states by India
A coastal princely state present 300km away from Karachi decided to join Pakistan, but India did not accept the state’s decision and therefore forcefully took control of India. This step of India was entirely against the principle that states can decide whether they want to join Pakistan or India.
In the same way, India again violated the principles of states’ annexation when Nizam of Hyderabad decided not to join Pakistan and India. India forcefully took control of Hyderabad also.
8. Language Problem
At the time of independence, more than 70 languages were spoken in Pakistan. But in the 1956 constitution, only Urdu was given the status of the national language. This sparked hatred in the hearts of Bengalis living in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), which resulted in many riots and, in the end, the formation of Bangladesh. The leaders mishandled the whole situation, and the riots resulted in deaths.
9. Death of Quaid E Azam and Liaqat Ali Khan
Quaid-e-Azam died almost one year after Pakistan’s independence, and Nawab Zada Liaqat Ali Khan was also assassinated in Company Bagh Rawalpindi in 1951 while addressing a crowd of more than 1 lac people. Due to these two leaders’ unfortunate death, Pakistan experienced a lack of leaders that were sincere to the country. The country went into chaos by the hand of bureaucracy and insincere leaders.
One of the most severe problems faced by the initial Pakistani people was the lack of a constitution. Therefore, some amendments were temporarily done in the Indian act of 1935 and were enacted as an interim constitution.
11. Defence of boundaries
As soon as Pakistan became independent, it became concerned about defending its borders as there were problems on the eastern and western borders. In the West, Afghanistan refused to recognize Pakistan and was the only country to oppose Pakistan’s membership in the United Nations. The situation with India in the East was also not good for a few reasons. There was also a lack of modern military equipment. So defending the boundaries of Pakistan became a big problem at that time.
12. Economic problems
When Pakistan became independent, India refused to give Pakistan a fair share of national wealth. Also, the areas coming under the Pakistan section were mostly agricultural areas with very few industries. Due to which Pakistan faced a lot of economic problems.