Showing posts with label Chittagong. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chittagong. Show all posts

Farewell Message to East Pakistan (28th Mar 1948)

Broadcast Speech from Radio Pakistan, Dhaka on 28th March, 1948.

During the past nine days that I have spent in your province, I have been studying your local conditions and some of the problems that confront east Bengal. Tonight, on the eve of my departure, I want to place before you some of my impressions. Before I do this, however, let me first cordially thank you for the great warmth and affection with which you have received me everywhere in your midst during my stay here.

From the administrative point of view, East Bengal perhaps more than any other province of Pakistan, has had to face the most difficult problems as a result of Partition. Before August 14, it existed merely as a hinterland to Calcutta, to whose prosperity it greatly contributed but which it did not share. On August 14, Dhaka was merely a mofussil town, having none of the complex facilities and amenities, which are essential for the capital of a modern Government. Further, owing to partition, the province’s transport system had been thrown completely out of gear and the administrative machinery seriously disorganised at a time when the country was threatened with a serious food shortage. The new province of East Bengal thus came into being in the most unfavourable circumstances, which might easily have proved fatal to a less determined and less tenacious people. That the administration not only survived but even emerged stronger from such setbacks as the Chittagong cyclone, is a striking tribute both to the sterling character of the people as well as to the unremitting zeal of the Government of the province. The position now is that the initial difficulties have to a great extent been overcome and, though there is no ground for complacency, there are at least reasons for quiet confidence in the future. Though now undeveloped, East Bengal possesses vast potentialities of raw materials and hydroelectric power. In Chittagong you have the making of a first-class port which in time should rank among the finest ports in the world. Given peaceful conditions and the fullest co-operation from all sections of the people, we shall make this province the most prosperous in Pakistan.

It is a matter for congratulation that despite the massacre and persecution of Muslims in the Indian Domination in the months immediately following Partition, peaceful conditions have throughout prevailed in this province, and I have seen the minority community going about its normal day-to-day vocations in perfect security. Some migration of Hindus to the Indian Dominion, there unfortunately has been, though the estimates mentioned in the Indian press are ridiculous. I am satisfied, at any rate, that whatever movement there has been, has not in any way been due to their treatment here, which under the circumstances has been exemplary, but rather to psychological reasons and external pressure. Indian leaders and a section of the Indian press have indulged freely in war-mongering talks against Pakistan. There has been persistently insidious propaganda by parties like the Hindu Mahasabha in favour of an exchange of population: and disturbances in the Indian Dominion, in which Muslims have been persecuted; have not unnaturally given rise to fears in the mind of the minority community lest unpleasant repercussions should occur in East Bengal, even though such apprehensions have no foundation for they have been belied by actual facts. Over and above all these factors, the recent declaration by the Indian Dominion on Pakistan as a foreign country for customs and other purposes has involved the Hindu business community in serious economic difficulties and brought pressure to bear on many Hindu businessmen to remove their business to the Indian Dominion. I find that the Provincial Government have repeatedly given assurances and have at all times taken whatever steps were possible for the protection and well being of the minority community and have done their best to dissuade them from leaving their ancestral homes in East Bengal for an unknown fate in the Indian Union.

I would like now to offer a word of advice to the people of this-province. I notice a regrettable tendency on the part of a certain section of the people to regard their newly won freedom, not as liberty with the great opportunities it opens up and the heavy responsibilities it imposes, but as licence. It is true that, with the removal of foreign domination, the people are now the final arbiters of their destiny. They have perfect liberty to have by constitutional means any Government that they may chose. This cannot, however, mean that any group may now attempt by any unlawful methods to impose its will on the popularly elected Government of the day. The Government and its policy may be changed by the votes of the elected representatives of the Provincial Legislative Assembly. Not only that, but no Government worthy of the name can for a moment tolerate such gangsterism and mob rule from reckless and irresponsible people, but must deal with it firmly by all the means at its disposal. I am thinking particularly of the language controversy, which has caused quite unnecessary excitement and trouble in certain quarters in this province; and if not checked, it might lead to serious consequences. What should be the official language of this province is for your representatives to decide.

But this language controversy is really only one aspect of a bigger problem–that of provincialism. I am sure you must realize that in a newly-formed State like Pakistan, consisting moreover as it does of two widely separated parts, cohesion and solidarity amongst all its citizens, from whatever part they may come, is essential for its progress, nay for its very survival. Pakistan is the embodiment of the unity of the Muslim nation and so it must remain. That unity we, as true Muslims, must jealously guard and preserve. If we begin to think of ourselves as Bengalis, Punjabis, Sindhis etc. first and Muslims and Pakistanis only incidentally, then Pakistan is bound to disintegrate. Do not think that this is some abstruse proposition: our enemies are fully alive to its possibilities, which I must warn you they are already busy exploiting. I would ask you plainly, when political agencies and organs of the Indian press, which fought tooth and nail to prevent the creation of Pakistan, are suddenly found with a tender conscience for what they call the ‘just claims’ of the Muslims of East Bengal, do you not consider this a most sinister phenomenon? Is it not perfectly obvious that, having failed to prevent the Muslims from achieving Pakistan, these agencies are now trying to disrupt Pakistan from within by insidious propaganda aimed at setting brother Muslim against brother Muslim? That is why I want you to be on your guard against this poison of provincialism that our enemies wish to inject into our State. There are great tasks to be accomplished and great dangers to be overcome: overcome them we certainly shall but we shall do so much quicker if our solidarity remains unimpaired and if our determination to march forward as a single, united nation remains unshaken. This is the only way in which we can raise Pakistan rapidly and surely to its proper, worthy place in the comity of nations.

Here I would like to address a word to the women of East Pakistan. In the great task of building the nation and maintaining its solidarity women have a most valuable part to play, as the prime architects of the character of the youth that constitute its backbone, not merely in their own homes but by helping their less fortunate sisters outside in that great task. I know that in the long struggle for the achievement of Pakistan, Muslim women have stood solidly behind their men. In the bigger struggle for the building up of Pakistan that now lies ahead, let it not be said that the women of Pakistan had lagged behind or failed in their duty.

Finally, I would address a special word to Government servants, both Central and Provincial –that great body of pioneers, many of whom have been working under very difficult conditions in this province. Yours is a great responsibility. You must ensure that this province is given, not merely the ordinary routine services that you are bound to perform, but rather the very last ounce of selfless endeavour that you are capable of producing for your State. In the great task of building up this State, you have a magnificent opportunity. You must continue to face the future, handle your jobs with the same courage, confidence and determination as you have so far displayed. Above all do not allow yourselves to be made the pawns of mischievious propagandists and self-seeking agitators who are out to exploit both you and the difficulties with which a new State is inevitably faced the Government of Pakistan and the Provincial Government have been anxiously devising ways and means whereby your housing and other difficulties, inescapable in a period of such rapid transition, may be relieved and I trust that these difficulties will soon disappear. You owe it to the great State to which you belong, to the people whom you serve and, indeed, to yourself not to be daunted by any difficulties, but to press on and go forward and maintain sustained efforts with single-minded devotion. Pakistan has a great future ahead of it. It is now for us to take the fullest advantage of what nature has so abundantly provided us with and builds up a glorious and mighty State.

Pakistan Zindabad

Development of Chittagong Port (March 1948)

Speech at the Public Reception at Chittagong on 26th March, 1948.


I am grateful to you all for the warm welcome which you have accorded me on this my first visit to a city destined to be one of the biggest in Pakistan as a whole. On my part I am glad to be in your midst and I need hardly assure you that not only are your problems being dealt with steadily and progressively but that unhindered by difficulties and obstacles we are determined to make good the neglect of centuries in course of the next few years when Chittagong will rank as one of the finest ports in the world.

You are only voicing my sentiments and the sentiments of millions of Mussalmans when you say that Pakistan should be based on sure foundations of social justice and Islamic socialism, which, emphasis’s equality and brotherhood of man. Similarly you are voicing my thoughts in asking and in aspiring for equal opportunities for all. These targets of progress are not controversial in Pakistan, for we demanded Pakistan, we struggled for it, and we achieved it so that physically as well as spiritually we are free to conduct our affairs according to our traditions and genius. Brotherhood, equality and fraternity of man -these are all the basic points of our religion, culture and civilization. And we fought for Pakistan because there was a danger of denial of these human rights in this sub-continent. We aspired for these great ideals because of centuries of dual domination by the foreign rulers and by a caste-ridden social system. This domination continued for over two hundred years until we realized that it would ultimately mean complete extinction of Mussalmans individually as human beings and collectively as a nation. After all, the story of Pakistan, its struggle and its achievement is the story of great human ideals struggling to survive in the face of odds and difficulties. This biggest Muslim State came into being on 14th August 1947. It was a great day in our history. But on this great day, it was not merely a Government, which came into existence; it meant the birth of a great State and a great nation one supplementing the other and both existing for each other. I can understand and appreciate the limitations of those amongst us whose minds have not moved fast enough to realize that 14th of August ushered in such a State and such a nation. It is natural for some to think only in terms of Government but the sooner we adjust ourselves to new forces, the sooner our mind’s eye is capable of piercing through the horizons to see the limitless possibilities of our State and of our nation, the better for Pakistan. Then an d then alone it would be possible for each one of us to realize the great ideals of human progress, of social justice, of equality and of fraternity which, on the one hand, constitute the basic causes of the birth of Pakistan and also the limitless possibilities of evolving an ideal social structure in our State. It reiterates most emphatically that Pakistan was made possible because of the danger of complete annihilation of human soul, in a society based on caste. Now that the soul is free to exist and to aspire it must assert itself galvanising not only the State but also the Nation.

Such mental and spiritual changes cannot be brought about over-night. Nor can these be inflicted by anybody without dislocating the structure of human relationships.

Today, your State is hardly eight months old; but if we look back and review this short span of our national life, we can clearly see the steady evolution of great social ideologies and balanced relations between man and man. Any impartial observer will admit that in fact it has already been admitted that the minorities in Pakistan have had a better deal than elsewhere. Here in our midst they have lived not only peacefully but have enjoyed complete liberty of asserting themselves. Some have even given a lead in controversies which, but for the realisation on the part of our people, might have struck at the very root of Pakistan in an hour of grave emergency.

This, –our single biggest achievement, –alone, reflects thedirection in which we are moving. There cannot be any better evidence to show that we are determined to evolve a State based on principles of equality and social justice. If we can be fair and just to others there can be no doubt about being fair and just among ourselves.

The address of welcome, which you have just presented refreshingly, embodies your urge for progress and development. It is indeed a pleasure to see that the people of Pakistan are conscious of the great possibilities of their State; –though, I must warn you that impatience will be as dangerous as lack of enthusiasm. Chittagong is destined to be great and you, as her citizens, are destined to share her greatness and prosperity. I can assure you that the Central and Provincial Governments are endeavouring hard to catch up on years of indifference and neglect. Notwithstanding the inevitable pre-occupation of your Central Government with grave and emergent problems which confronted them in Western Pakistan which was called upon to shelter, house and rehabilitate millions of your brethren uprooted from the Indian Union, blue prints for developing Chittagong have been got ready. This potentially great port has been neglected for centuries along with other similar areas in Pakistan regions and you know that such neglect and indifference has constituted the biggest single justification for our demand for Pakistan. Accordingly, now that we are free to shape our future, we are not going to be indifferent to it. We need not look back to the past of neglect with pessimism. All that is required is courage and faith in our future, and I am glad to say, that such faith has not been found lacking during the last eight months.

I need hardly remind you that due to the determination of the people of Pakistan and the efforts made by your Government, Chittagong as a port, is already coming into its own. During the last few months, ships of various nationalities, whose ensigns fly colourfully along your roads today, have harboured in your port. Some for the first time in history to take your raw products to their countries for manufacture into finished products. Chittagong is already handling a fair portion of your export and import trade. This has been possible mainly due to the efforts of us all to decrease our dependence on others.

This achievement in such a short time shows what human will can do. Funds are no doubt necessary for development but at the same time national growth and regeneration does not depend on funds alone. It is human toil that makes for the prosperity of a people and I have no doubt that we have in Pakistan a nation of industrious and determined people whose past traditions have already distinguished them in the field of human achievement.

I have frankly and clearly associated myself with your aspirations for developing your city of which you are justly proud. Your urge for progress and your Government’s efforts to reach the goal will soon get translated in the shape of large-scale projects, which I am satisfied are being actively pursued. The most important scheme which concerns you vitally, and which is at present under active examination, is the harnessing of Karnaphuly River to control floods and silt, to irrigate fields and to develop cheap hydroelectric power. The necessary preliminary work is being expedited and the project is on our top priority list. I might tell you that one of the reasons, which prompted me to visit. East Pakistan at this juncture, when Western Pakistan particularly is passing through a period of grave emergency, was to see for myself the progress made in respect of developing your city which can now look forward to a future of great maritime importance.

While at Chittagong, I have spent the major portion of my time in studying the possibilities of port development and I am confident that embarkation for Hajis from East Pakistan but also an export and import center for which we can spare for the world and for what we need from other countries. Chittagong is destined to be the Eastern mighty queen and Gateway to Pakistan, your will to progress, labour and work and your Government’s efforts to hit targets, of progress aimed at, will I am sure do it.

Nature has endowed you bountifully. Yours is a beautiful garden land with sea, rivers and hills and magnificent scenery all-round. It remains now for man in Chittagong to play his part fully and raise Chittagong to zenith for which it is destined

So I wish you Godspeed.

Pakistan Zindabad

On need of medical relief (26th Mar 1948)

Message to the Pakistan Medical Association, Dhaka on the 26th March, 1948.

I have learnt with great interest that the Pakistan Medical Association has been formed and is going to be inaugurated on Saturday the 27th March, 1948 in Dhaka. This Association, I hope, will serve earnestly to organize the medical profession in Pakistan on a high level befitting our State. It can render many services if it is well organized and efficient. For example, it can help to speed up medical relief of which we stand in very great need indeed at present. It will also keep medical and social contact with similar interests in other parts of the world for exchange of views and ideas from time to time, and thereby establish better understanding in solving medical problems peculiar to various countries and Pakistan.

I wish Pakistan Medical Association all success.

Do your duties as servants - An advice to officers ( 25th Mar 1948)

Address to the Gazetted Officers of Chittagong on 25th March, 1948

I thank you for giving me this opportunity to see you collectively. My time is very limited and so it was not possible for me to see you individually. I have told you two things: I have already said what I had to say to the Gazette Officers at Dhaka. I hope you should read an account of what I said there in the newspapers. If you have not I would request you to take the trouble of reading what I said there. One cannot say something new everyday. I have been making so many speeches and I expect each one of you to know my views by now.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I want you to realize fully the deep implications of the revolutionary change that has taken place. Whatever community, caste or creed you belong to you are now the servants of Pakistan. Servants can only do their duties and discharge their responsibilities by serving. Those days have gone when the country was ruled by the bureaucracy. It is people’s Government, responsible to the people more or less on democratic lines and parliamentary practices. Under these fundamental changes I would put before you two or three points for your consideration:

You have to do your duty as servants; you are not concerned with this political or that political party; that is not your business. It is a business of politicians to fight out their case under the present constitution or the future constitution that may be ultimately framed. You, therefore, have nothing to do with this party or that party. You are civil servants. Whichever gets the majority will form the Government and your duty is to serve that Government for the time being as servants not as politicians. How will you do that? The Government in power for the time being must also realize and understand their responsibilities that you are not to be used for this party or that. I know we are saddled with old legacy, old mentality, old psychology and it haunts our footsteps, but it is up to you now to act as true servants of the people even at the risk of any Minister or Ministry trying to interfere with you in the discharge of your duties as civil servants. I hope it will not be so but even if some of you have to suffer as a victim. I hope it will not happen –I expect you to do so readily. We shall of course see that there is security for you and safeguards to you. If we find that is in anyway prejudicial to your interest we shall find ways and means of giving you that security. Of course you must be loyal to the Government that is in power.

The second point is that of your conduct and dealings with the people in various Departments, in which you may be: wipe off that past reputation; you are not rulers. You do not belong to the ruling class; you belong to the servants. Make the people feel that you are their servants and friends, maintain the highest standard of honor, integrity, justice and fair-play. If you do that, people will have confidence and trust in you and will look upon you as friends and well wishers. I do not want to condemn everything of the past, there were men who did their duties according to their lights in the service in which they were placed. As administrator they did do justice in many cases but they did not feel that justice was done to them because there was an order of superiority and they were held at a distance and they did not feel the warmth but they felt a freezing atmosphere when they had to do anything with the officials. Now that freezing atmosphere must go and you must do your best with all courtesy and kindness and try to understand the people. May be sometimes you will find that it is trying and provoking when a man goes on talking and repeating a thing over and over again, but have patience and show patience and make them feel that justice has been done to them.

Next thing that I would like to impress upon you is this: I keep or getting representations and memorials containing grievances of the people of all sorts of things. May be there is no justification, may be there is no foundation for that, may be that they are under wrong impression and may be they are misled but in all such cases I have followed one practice for many years which is this: Whether I agree with anyone or not, whether I think that he has any imaginary grievances whether I think that he does not understand but I always show patience. If you will also do the same in your dealings with an individual or any association or any organization you will ultimately stand to gain. Let not people leave you with this bearing that you hate, that you are offensive, that you have insulted or that you are rude to them. Not one per cent who comes in contact with you should be left in that state of mind. You may not be able to agree with him but do not let him go with this feeling that you are offensive or that you are discourteous. If you will follow that rule believe me you will win the respect of the people.

With these observations I conclude what I had to say. I thank you very much indeed that you have given me this opportunity to say these few words to you and if you find anything good in it follow, if you do not find anything good in it do not follow.

Thank you very much.

Pakistan Zindabad

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