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Partition
Letter From M. A. Jinnah September 21, 1944
M. A. Jinnah
Aug 2013

DEAR MR. GANDHI, 

I am in receipt of your letter of September 19, and I have already given you my answers to all your questions relating to clarification of the Lahore Resolution or any part of it, and I am glad that you admit when you say it may be that “all my questions do not arise from the vicw of mere clarification of the Lahore Resolution”, but you particularly emphasize your points 15 (a) and 15 (b). 

I regret to say it has no relation to the context of the Resolution or any part thereof. You have brought so many matters into our correspondcnce, which arc entirely outside the matter requiring clarification, so I have perforce to deal with them. Let me first deal with your letter of September11.

1. You say, “My life mission has been Hindu-Muslim unity, which I want for its own sake but which is not to be achieved without the foreign ruling power being ousted. Hence the first condition of the exercise of the right of self-determination is achieving independenc 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 assistance of such clements as can be brought together.” 

2. The gist of yout' letters up to date is that you are wedded to this policy and will pursue it. In your next letter of September 14, while you were good enough to furnish me with the clarification of the Gandhi-Rajaji Formula, you were pleased to observe : “I have, at any rate for the moment put it out of my mind and I am, now concentrating on the Lahore Resolution in the hope of .finding a ground for mutual agreement.” In your letter of September 15, you say “Independcncc does mean as envisaged in the A.I.C.C. Resolution of 1942.” It is, therefore, clear that you are not prepared to revise your policy and that you adhere firmly to your policy and programme, which you have persisted in and which culminated in your demand, final policy, programme and the method and sanction for etiforcing it by resorting to mass civil disobediece in terms of the August 8, 1942, Resolution, and you have made it more clear again by stating in your letter of Septembcr 19 as follows: “As to your verdict on my policy and programme, we must agree to differ. For, I am wholly unrepcntant.” You know that the August 1942 Resolution is inimical to the ideals and demands of Muslim India. Then again, in the course of our discussion when I asked you for clarification of the Gandhi-Rajaji Formula, you were pleased to say, by your letter of September 15 as follows: “For the moment I have shunted the Rajaji Formula and with your assistance am applying my mind very seriously to the famous Lahore Resolution of the : Muslim League.” We discussed it in its various aspects, as you told me you were open to be persuaded and converted to our point of view. I discussed the Resolution at great length with you, and explained everything you wanted to understand, even though you have emphasized more than once that you are having these talks with me in your personal capacity, and in your letter of September 15 you assured me in the following words with regard to the Lahore Resolution “Believe me, I approach you as a seeker, though I represent nobody but myself,” and that you were open to conviction and conversion. You had informed me by your letter of September 11 as follows: “It is true that I said an ocean separated you and me in outlook. But that had no reference to the Lahore Resolution of the League. The League Resolution is indefinite.” I naturally, thcrefore, proceeded in reply to ask you by my letter of September11 as follows: “You say the Lahore Resolution is indefinite. You never asked me for any clarification or explanation of the terms of the Resolution, but you real1y indicated your emphatic opposition to the very basis and the fundamental principles embodied in it. I would, therefore, like to know in what way or respect the Lahore Resolution is indefinitc,” and I sent you a reminder on September 13, to which you replied by your letter of September 15, not confining yourself really to matters of clarification, but introducing other extraneous matters, with some of which I had already dealt, in reply to this letter of yours of September 15, by my letter of September 17 and furnished you with all the c1arifications, informing you that you had introduced several matters which could hardly be discussed in a satisfactory manner by meam of correspondence. I have already given you all the clarifications you require so far as the Lahore Resolution goes and its text is concerned. You, again raise further arguments, reasons and grounds and continue to persist in a disquisition on the point, amongst others, whether Muslims of India are a nation, and then you proceed further to say;? Can we not agree to differ on the question of two nations and yet solve the problem on the basis of self-determination? It seems to me that you are labouring under some misconception of the real meaning of the word "self-determination. Apart from the inconsistencies and contradictions of the various positions that you have adopted in the course of our correspondence, as indicated above, can you not appreciate our point of view that we claim the right of self-determination as a nation and not as a territorial unit, and that we are entit1ed to exercise our inherent right as a Muslim nation, which is our birth-right? 

Whereas you are labouring under the wrong idea that “self-determination” means only that of “a territorial unit” which, by the way, is neither demarcated nor defined yet; and there is no Union or Federal Constitution of India in being, functioning as a sovereign Central Government. Ours is a case of division and carving out two independent sovereign States by way of settlement between two major nations, Hindus and Muslims, and not of severance or secession from any existing union, which is non-existent in India. The right of self-determination which we claim postulates that we are a nation, and as such it would be the self-determination of the Mussalmans, and they alone are entitled to exercise that right. I hope you will now understand that your question 15(a) does not arise out of the Lahore Resolution or of any part thereof. As to 15(b), again it does not arise as a matter of clarification, for it will be a matter for the constitution-making body chosen by Pakistan to deal with and decide all matters as 'a sovereign body representing Pakistan vis-a-vis the constitution-making body of Hindustan or any other party concerned. There cannot be Defence and similar matters of “common concern” when-it is accepted that Pakistan and Hindustan will be two separate independent sovereign States. 1 hope,1 have now given all satisfactory explanations, over and above the matter of clarification of the Lahore Resolution, in the hope of converting you as an individual “seeker”. 

Yours sincerely, 

JINNAH 

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