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Partition
Letter From M. A. Jinnah September 25, 1944
M. A. Jinnah
Aug 2013

DEAR MR. GANDHI, 

I am in receipt of your letter of September 24, and I thank you for it.You have already rejected the basic and fundamental principles of the Lahore Resolution. 

1. You do not accept that the Mussalmans of India are a nation. 

2. You do not accept that the Mussalmans have an inherent right of self-determination. 

3. You do not accept that they alone are entitled to exercise this right of theirs for self-determination. 

4. You do not accept that Pakistan is composed of two zones, northwest and north-east, comprising six Provinces, namely, Sind, Baluchistan, North-West Frontier Provinces, Punjab, Bengal and Assam, subject to territorial adjustments that may be agreed upon, as indicated in the Lahore Resolution. The matter of demarcating and defining the territories can be taken up after the fundamentals above mentioned are accepted, and for that purpose, machinery may be set up by agreement. You do not accept the provisions embodied in the Lahore Resolution for safeguarding the minorities. 

. . . I asked you. . . to give me rough outlines of this new idea of yours as to how and when the division is to take place and in what way it is different from the division envisaged in the Lahore Resolution, and now you have been good enough to give me your amplification, in your letter of September 24 under reply. . . . 

The terms clearly indicate that your basis is in vital conflict with and is opposed to the fundamental basis and principles of the Lahore Resolution. 

Now let me take your main terms: 

(a) “I proceed on the assumption that India is not to be regarded as two or more nations, but as one family consisting of many members, of whom the Muslims living in the north-west zones, i.e., Baluchistan, Sind, North-West Frontier Province and that part of the Punjab where they are in absolute majority over all the other elements and in parts of Bengal and Assam where they are in absolute majority, desire to live in separation from the rest of India.” If this term were accepted and given effect to, the present boundaries of these Provinces would be maimed and mutilated beyond redemption and leave us only with the husk, and it is opposed to the Lahore Resolution. 

(b) That even in these mutilated areas so defined, the right of selfdetermination will not be exercised by the Muslims but by the inhabitants of these areas so demarcated. This again is opposed to the fundamentals of the Lahore Resolution. 

(c) That if the vote is in favour of separation, they shall be followed to “form a separate State as soon as possible after India is free from foreign domination”, whereas we propose that we should come to a complete settlement of our own immediately and by our united front and efforts do everything in our power to secure the freedom and independence of the peoples of India on the basis of Pakistan and Hindustan. 

(d) Next you say, “There shall be a treaty of separation which should also provide for the efficient and satisfactory administration of Foreign Affairs, Defence, Internal Communications, Customs, Commerce, and the like, which must necessarily continue to be matters of common interest between the contracting parties.” If these vital matters are to be administered by some central authority, you do not indicate what sort of authority or machinery will be set up to administer these matters, and how and to whom again that authority will be responsible. According to the Lahore Resolution, as I have already explained to you, all these matters, which are the life-blood of any State, cannot be delegated to any central authority or government. The matter of security of the two States and the natural and mutual obligations that may arise out of physical contiguity will be for the constitution-making body of Pakistan and that of Hindustan, or [any] other party concerned, to deal with on the footing of their being two independent States. As regards the safeguarding of the rights of minorities, I have already explained that this question of safeguarding the minorities is fully stated in the Lahore Resolution. 

You will, therefore, see that the entire basis of your new proposal is fundamentally opposed to the Lahore Resolution, and as I have already pointed out 'to you both in the correspondence and in our discussions, it is very difficult for me to entertain counter-proposals and negotiate. . . unless they come from you in your representative capacity. That was the same difficulty with regard to the Gandhi-Rajaji Formula, and I made it clear to you, at the very outset, but the Formula was discussed as you asserted that it had met the Lahore Resolution in substance. But while you were furnishing me with the clarification of this Formula, you shunted it and we confined ourselves to the Lahore Resolution, and hence the question of your representative capacity did not arise regarding this Formula. But now you have, in your letter of September 24, made a new proposal of your own on your own basis, and the same difficulties present themselves to me as before, and it is difficult to deal with it any further unless it comes from you in your representative capacity. 

I cannot agree with you when you finally wind up by saying: “In your letter of 23rd September, you refer to 'the basic and fundamental principles embodied in the Lahore Resolution' and ask me to accept them. Surely, this is unnecessary when as I feel I have accepted the concrete consequence that should follow from such acceptance.” This is obviously far from correct. Why not then accept the fundamentals of the Lahore Resolution and proceed to settle the details? 

Yours sincerely, 

M. A. JINNAH

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