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Indian Independence: Partition Source 8

M A Jinnah's broadcast on the partition of India, 3 June 1947.

[L/P&J/10/81]

Mountbatten and Jinnah at the inauguration of Pakistan, 14 august 1947. [photo Neg B5675)]

Mountbatten and Jinnah at the inauguration of Pakistan, 14 august 1947. [photo Neg B5675)]

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Mr Jinnah's Broadcast, 3rd June 1947

I am glad that I am afforded the opportunity to speak to you directly through this radio from Delhi. It is the first time, I believe, that a non-official has been afforded an opportunity to address the people through the medium of this powerful instrument, direct, to the people on political matters. I hope that in the future I shall have greater facilities to enable me to voice my views and opinions, which will reach directly (to) you, life warm rather than in the cold print of the newspapers.

The statement of Government, embodying the plan for the transfer of power to the peoples of India, has already been broadcast and will be released to the press and will be published here and abroad tomorrow morning. It gives the outline of the plan for us to give it our most earnest consideration. We have to examine it coolly, calmly and dispassionately. We must remember that we have to take the most momentous decisions and handle grave issues facing us in the solution of the complex political problem of this great sub-continent inhabited by 400,000,000 people.

The world has no parallel of the most onerous and difficult task which His Excellency had to perform. Grave responsibility lies particularly on the shoulders of Indian leaders. Therefore we must galvanise and concentrate all our energies to see that the transfer of power is assisted in a peaceful and orderly manner. I most earnestly appeal to every community and particularly to Moslems in India to maintain peace and order. We must examine the plan, its letters and spirit and come to our conclusions and take our decisions. I pray to God that at this critical moment he may guide us to enable us to discharge our responsibilities in a wise and as statesmanlike manner having regard to the sum total of the plan as a whole.

It is clear the plan does not meet in some important respects our point of view, and we cannot say or feel that we are satisfied or that we agree with some of the matters dealt with by the plan. It is for us to consider whether the plan as presented to us by His Majesty's Government should be accepted by us as a compromise or a settlement. On this point I do not wish to prejudge. The decision of the Council of the All India Moslem League which has been summoned to meet on Monday, 9th June, and its final decisions can only be taken by the conference according to our constitution, precedence and practice.

But so far as I have been able to gather, on the whole reaction in the Moslem League circle in Delhi has been hopeful. But for us, the plan has got to be very carefully examined in its pros and cons before a final decision can be taken. I must say that I feel that the Viceroy has battled against various forces very bravely - and the impression that he has left on my mind is that he was actuated by the highest sense of fairness and impartiality, and it is up to us to make the task less difficult, and help him, as far as lies in our power in order that he may fulfil his mission of the transfer of power to the peoples of India in a peaceful and orderly manner.

Now that plan has been broadcast already, and makes it clear in paragraph eleven that a referendum will be made to the electorate of the present Legislative Assembly in the N.W.F.P., who will choose which of the two alternatives in paragraph four they wish to adopt.

The referendum will be held under the aegis of the Governor-General, in consultation with the Provincial Government. Hence it is clear that the verdict and the mandate of the people of the Frontier Province will be obtained as to whether they want to join the Pakistan Constituent Assembly or the Hindustan Constituent Assembly. In these circumstances I request the Provincial Moslem League of the Frontier Province to withdraw the employment of peaceful civil disobedience which they had perforce to resort to, and I call upon all the leaders of the Moslem League and the Mussalmans generally to organise our people to face this referendum with hope and courage, and I feel confident that the people of the Frontier will give their verdict by a solid vote to join the Pakistan Constituent Assembly.

I cannot but express my appreciation of the sufferings and sacrifices made by all classes of the Mussalmans, and particularly the great part that the women of the Frontier played in the fight for our civil liberties. Without a personal bias, and this is hardly the moment to do so, I deeply sympathise with all those who have suffered and those who died and whose properties were subjected to destruction, and I fervently hope the Frontier will go through this referendum in a peaceful manner, and it should be the anxiety of everyone to obtain a fair, free and clean verdict of the people of the Frontier.

Once more I most earnestly appeal to all to maintain peace and order.

Pakistan Zindabad.