Saturday, September 26, 2020

Pakistan in history

Pakistan has a rich history dating back nearly 5,000 years, to the Indus Valley Civilization (ca. 2500-1600 B.C.). Stone-age hunter-gatherers lived on the Potohar plateau and in the Soan Valley in northern Punjab 300,000 or more years ago. Excavations on the Baluchistan plateau show a more advanced culture which flourished from 4000 to 2000 BC.

Due to its strategic location, the subcontinent has played host to a series of invaders—Aryans, Persians, Greeks, Arabs, Turks, and others— each weaving a further layer of complexity into the already intricate culture. Islam was introduced in the early 8th century.

Pakistan as an independent nation-state came into existence on 14 August 1947, in response to Muslim demand for a separate nation for Muslims in Hindu majority British India. The predominantly Muslim provinces of Punjab, the Northwest Frontier, Sindh in the west, and East Bengal in the east of British India were separated to form the independent state of Pakistan. Prior to the British rule in India, Muslims had migrated from West and Central Asia and many indigenous Hindustanis as they were known as that time.

Muhammad Ali Jinnah was sworn in as the first governor-general of Pakistan. Jinnah invited Liaqat Ali Khan to form a cabinet and become Pakistan’s first prime minister.

West Pakistan (as modern-day Pakistan was known upon independence in 1947, to distinguish it from East Pakistan, which subsequently seceded to become the independent state of Bangladesh) was carved out of the turbulent frontier marches of the Raj, large parts of which were never fully pacified and were perceived as vulnerable to foreign invasion and subversion.

The Hindu Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, with its’ majority Muslim population, was hesitant to accede to either Pakistan or India. However, armed incursions into the state by tribesmen from North-west Pakistan led him to sign accession papers in 1947 and allow Indian troops into the state. The Government of Pakistan, however, refused to recognize the accession and campaigned to reverse the decision.

In March 1956, Pakistan’s first constitution came into effect.
Pakistan in history

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