DEAR MR. GANDHI,
I received your letter of September 11 at 5 p.m. today. I note that you have approached me as an individual, and I have already expressed my views about it. Please do not take it that I acquiesce in the position that you have adopted, for which there is no precedent. Nevertheless, I proceeded to discuss matters with you naturally because I am anxious to convcrt you to my point of view, if possible. I urged you that the only solution of India's problem is to accept the division of India as Pakistan and Hindustan, as briefly laid down in the Lahore Resolution of March 1940, and proceed to settle the details forth with.You say the Lahore Resolution is indefinite. You never asked me for any clarification or explanation of the terms of the Resolution, but you really indicated your emphatic opposition to the very basis and the fundamental principles embodied in it. I would, thcrcfbre, like to know in what way or respcet the Lahore Resolution is indefinite. I cannot agree that Rajaji has taken from it its substance and given it shape. On the contrary, he has not only put it out of shape but mutilated it, as I cxplained in my speech which I delivered at the meeting of the Council of the All-India Muslim League at Lahore on the 30th of July, 1944.
2. You say the “first condition of the exercise of the right' of self-determination is achieving independence by the joint action of all the parties and groups composing India. If such joint action is unfortunately impossible, then, too, I must fight with the assistancc of such elements as it, if we can. I have explained the process we have to go through. You have no objection to it. Perhaps, you want to know how I would form the provisional government if I was invited thereto. If I was in that unenviable position, I would see all the claimants and endeavour to satisfy them. My co-operation will be available in that task.
I can give you full satisfaction about your inquiry, “What I would like to know would be, what will be the powers of such a provisional interim government, how it will be formed, to whom it will be responsible.” The provisional interim government will be responsible to the elected members of the present Assembly or a newly elected one. It will have all the powers less that of the Commander-in-Chief during the war and full powers thereafter. It will be the authority to give effect to the agreement that may be arrived at between the League and the Congress and ratified by the other parties.