“Muslims of India should not be regarded as a mere minority community but a separate nation, whose rights and obligations should be guaranteed by a statue and this was sought to be achieved through adequate and separate representation for Muslims both on local bodies and in legislative councils.”
– The Memoirs of Aga Khan
By Hussain Bux for Dawn – Published November 2nd, 2014
APROPOS the news item ‘Role of various leaders in Pakistan Movement highlighted’ (Oct 17), I would like to point out the efforts of Sir Aga Khan III for the creation of Pakistan. Born in Karachi on Nov 2, 1877, Sir Sultan Mohammed Shah Aga Khan was a visionary leader who guided the Muslim nationalist movement, nursing the All-India Muslim League into a strong, united organisation which played an important role in the evolution of Pakistan.
In 1906, he helped in founding the Muslim League and remained its president for seven years. On Oct 1, 1906, the Aga Khan led a delegation of 35 Muslim leaders of India to Shimla and presented a memorandum on behalf of the Muslims of South Asia.
He presented an address to the Viceroy with a clear message which was as follows: “Muslims of India should not be regarded as a mere minority community but a separate nation, whose rights and obligations should be guaranteed by a statue and this was sought to be achieved through adequate and separate representation for Muslims both on local bodies and in legislative councils.”– The Memoirs of Aga Khan
On Oct 24, 1906, he wrote a letter to Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk, which went down in the history of South Asian Muslims because it ignited the Muslim League under whose banner the Muslims won their freedom and Pakistan was created.
Sir Sultan contributed vast amounts of personal wealth and energy toward the creation of Pakistan.
His contacts with the heads of state and the international elite helped gather world support. Prince Aly Khan, his eldest son, served as Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN.
In 1911, the Aga Khan took it upon himself to collect funds to establish the Aligarh Muslim University. Subsequently, he also established and funded education and health institutions across South Asia.
We must at least recognise the great Muslim leader by remembering his name amongst the list of leaders responsible for the creation of Pakistan.
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