Air Force Officer's Memories of Pre-Partition Pakistan

H Dihingia

Editor's note: This article is reproduced from Sainik Samachar, Vol. 48, No. 19, 1-15 October 2001. If you have any information about the author or his family, please contact us at

I was in the Royal Indian Air Force station, Kohat in 1945, situated 70 km southwest of Peshawar and 90 km east of erstwhile Indo-Afghanistan border. During my stay in Kohat, my visit to the nearby tribal territory was a unique experience.

The tribal territory spread over in an area of about 400sq km was 20 km from our unit and a part of North West Frontier Province touching the Afghanistan border. Although it belonged to the Britishers, the latter had no administrative control on the territory and the tribal territory was like a no man's land within the British Empire.

The British government followed a conciliatory policy towards the tribal people but the latter did not reciprocate the same. They used to kidnap and kill the British subjects especially military personnel. So, in retaliation, the British aeroplanes dropped heavy bombs on the tribal territory from time to time for several years killing many tribal people and destroying their houses. That practice was stopped in 1945 at the intervention of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru when he was nominated as a member of the interim government formed at the Centre.

The Demand for Pakistan - Now or Never 1933

Rahmat Ali


Choudhary Rahmat Ali

Choudhary Rahmat Ali, born in 1895, obtained his MA and LLB with honours degrees from the universities of Cambridge and Dublin. It was during the years 1930 through 1933, that he established the Pakistan National Movement, with its headquarters at Cambridge, and produced the pamphlet that is reproduced below. In 1948, he visited Pakistan, and then returned to England. He died in February 1951, and was buried in the U.K.

Editor's note: Wikipedia states, while noting that a citation is needed to support this statement:

After the creation of Pakistan he returned to Pakistan in April 1948, planning to stay in this 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.

This is the full text of the pamphlet as published in 1933. It is said that this is the first time the word PAKISTAN was used in print. Note that the words PAKSTAN and PAKISTAN are both used in the pamphlet. A scanned copy of the original pamphlet is available in this pdf file.


3, Mumberstone Road,
Cambridge, England. 
28th January. 1933

Dear Sir,

The Idea of Pakistan 1930

Sir Muhammad Iqbal
Sir Muhammad Iqbal

Sir Muhammad Iqbal (November 9, 1877 - April 21, 1938), also known as Allama Iqbal, was an Indian philosopher, poet and politician who is widely regarded as having inspired the Pakistan Movement. He is considered one of the most important figures in Urdu literature, with literary work in both the Urdu and Persian languages. He wrote Sare Jahan se Accha, which is one of India's national songs. In 1930, in one of his most famous speeches, Iqbal pushed for the creation of a Muslim state in Northwest India.

Editor's note: The text of the speech is from the website of Dr. Francis W. Pritchett, Columbia University, NewYork.

Sir Muhammad Iqbal's 1930 Presidential Address to the 25th Session of the All-India Muslim League, Allahabad, 29 December 1930.

Source: Speeches, Writings, and Statements of Iqbal, compiled and edited by Latif Ahmed Sherwani (Lahore: Iqbal Academy, 1977 [1944], 2nd ed., revisedandenlarged), pp. 3-26. This version has been slightly edited by FWP for classroom use. Some extremely long paragraphs have been broken into shorter ones\;small errors of punctuation, etc., have been corrected. All italics are those of the original text. Annotations in square brackets, and paragraph numbers in double brackets, have been added by FWP.

The Demand for Pakistan 23 March 1940

All India Muslim League

Editor's note: The All India Muslim League met in Lahore in March 1940. The League adopted a resolution that has become known as the Lahore Resolution. March 23, the date on which this Resolution was adopted, is celebrated in Pakistan every year. The resolution was moved in the general session by A.K. Fazlul Huq, the chief minister of undivided Bengal, and was seconded by Choudhury Khaliquzzaman, a leader from what was United Provinces (now Uttar Pradesh). The full, unedited text of the resolution is reproduced below.

A silent black-and-white video is available here.




Nawab Sir Shah Nawaz Mamdot presenting address of welcome at the All-India Muslim League session, March 1940, with Jinnah at the left.

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