23rd March, Lahore Resolution Day -Commemorating 60 years of oppression in Pakistan
"The people of Pakistan celebrate the 23rd of March, every year, with great zeal and enthusiasm, to commemorate the most outstanding achievement of the Muslims of South Asia who passed the historic Pakistan Resolution on this day at Lahore in 1940" - Pakistan Times (March 23, 2005)
"The right to self-determination is the right of a people to determine its own destiny. In particular, the principle allows a people to choose its own political status and to determine its own form of economic, cultural and social development. Exercise of this right can result in a variety of different outcomes ranging from political independence through to full integration within a state" (Unrepresented Nations and People's Organization â€“ UNPO). United Nations declares self determination to be an inalienable right of all people.
Washington, D.C: From March 22 to March 24, 1940, the All India Muslim League held its annual session at Minto Park, Lahore. On the basis of the ideas of Jinnah, A. K. Fazl-ul-Haq, the then Chief Minister of Bengal, moved the historical resolution which has since come to be known as Lahore Resolution/Pakistan Resolution.
The Resolution declared: "No constitutional plan would be workable or acceptable to the Muslims unless geographical contiguous units are demarcated into regions which should be so constituted with such territorial readjustments as may be necessary. That the areas in which the Muslims are numerically in majority as in the North-Western and Eastern zones of India should be grouped to constitute independent states in which the CONSTITUENT UNITS SHALL BE AUTONOMOUS AND SOVEREIGN". The Lahore Resolution laid down only the principles, with the details left to be worked out at a future date. It was made a part of the All India Muslim League`s constitution in 1941.
Hence, when Pakistan came into being in August 1947, the provinces (with the exception of Balochistan) agreed to join a confederation, anticipating considerable autonomy and a system of self governance. Over a period of time however, the prospects for provincial autonomy have become a distant dream and Pakistan became a highly centralized bureaucracy controlled by the military. Even during the brief periods of civilian rule that the military tolerates from time to time, the real reins of power are held by the Inter Services Intelligence and a coterie of senior military officers, at all times.
The World Sindhi Institute (WSI) plans to organize a discussion forum on Friday, March 23, 2007. This event would be conducted at 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm in the 'Lisagor Room' of National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW 13th Floor, Washington, DC 20045. Speakers and participants will include individuals representing various areas and nations of the country, including Sindhi, Baloch, Pashtun, Punjabi, Kashmiri, Gilgiti and Saraiki. Dr. Haider Nizamani from Vancouver, Canada has very kindly consented to be the Moderator of the meeting.
The goals of this discussion forum are to review the past 60 years of Pakistan and to compare the original ideas of M.A. Jinnah reflected in the 1940 Resolution with the on- ground reality that exists today, from the perspective of all nations that live in present day Pakistan who are not represented in the power and privilege sharing that takes place in Islamabad.