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• Dr. Muhammad Hanif Khalil has resumed the charge as Acting Director of the National Institute of Pakistan Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad w.e.f. 25-09-2023
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National Institute of Pakistan Studies
Name of ScholarNaureen Talha
Title of Dissertation Economic Factors in the Making of Pakistan (1921-1947)
Issue Date1995
PublisherNational Institute of Pakistan Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad

The study of the different factors which contributed in the creation of Pakistan cannot be completed without analysing the role of economic factors. The role of economic factors in the development of Muslim separatism in India and in the making of Pakistan has not been the subject of a scholarly study though it has been mentioned in Passing.

The present study attempts to analyse the response of the Muslim educated, professional and commercial classes to the realities of British rule in India. The perception of their economic future in an independent, undivided India played a major role in strengthening the cause for Pakistan.

The study has been made in the light of the Muslim backwardness theory. The underlying theme is that the realization of political and economic loss by the Muslim changed into an awareness of economic backwardness in the early 1860s. in the first phase of their awareness, they expressed their discontentment at their economic backwardness through petitions and memorandums and sought government patronage. In the second phase from 1921-35 the Indian Muslims understood the various forms of their backwardness i.e. arrested development in educated and government employment; backwardness of Muslim majority provinces; and limited participation in business, commercial and mercantile life in India. During the same period they realized the social and political advantages of an economically sound community which gave birth to Muslim economic nationalism.

In the third phase from 1935-40, the practical problems resulting from the political events of the late thirties gave them an insight in the future of the Muslim economic position in a Hindu dominated India. The Muslim desire for economic regeneration of transformed into a political philosophy of separatism. Consequently, the passage of the Lahore Resolution became possible on 23rd March 1940. In the period after 1940, the Muslim educated, professional and business classes promoted Muslim interests in the Muslim majority areas. They developed Muslim economic institutions and Pakistan offered them the hope of a better future.

The Hindus, hoping to dissuade the Muslim from demanding Pakistan, claimed that Pakistan was not economically viable. This debate about economic viability, however, increased the Muslim desire for creating Pakistan and strengthened their sense of economic deprivation in United India. In the end the desire for economic security in a separate state led to the creation of Pakistan.