What is Pakistan Day and is it different from Independence Day?
Pakistan is celebrating its Republic Day on Thursday.
Known more often as Pakistan Day, the national celebration this year falls on the same day as Muslims around the world are set to mark the start of Ramadan.
The importance of this day for Pakistanis lays the foundation for the basis of achieving a separate nation for Muslims of the subcontinent.
The Indian subcontinent was under the rule of the British Empire for over two centuries.
However, the rulers that were set to preside over the country believed that Muslims would become a minority in India even after the independence from the British.
Why is Pakistan Republic Day on March 23?
On March 23, 1940, at a conference held in Lahore, Mohammad Ali Jinnah declared the demand for a separate Muslim state. The Lahore Resolution was passed by the working committee of the All India Muslim League, of which Mr Jinnah was the head.
The league had led the growing demands during the 1940s for a separate homeland for the Muslim minority of South Asia as the incidence of violence between Muslims and Hindus increased.
Partition of India and Pakistan resulted in a power transfer to Jinnah on August 14, 1947, from the British state. This was enacted by Lord Louis Mountbatten, the last viceroy of British India and the first governor-general of the Dominion of India.
Under the Mountbatten Plan approved earlier in 1947, Pakistan was created out of north-western and eastern parts the British-ruled Indian subcontinent, while the rest became modern-day India.
Both were granted dominion status as step towards obtaining full independence. The eastern part of Pakistan became Bangladesh after independence from Islamabad in 1971.
The division in 1947, known as the Partition, was followed by widespread violence between Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs as millions migrated between the newly created states according to their religion.
Third time lucky
Sixteen years after the Lahore Resolution, on March 23, 1956, Pakistan officially adopted its first constitution, turning Pakistan from a dominion into a republic. This document was set aside in 1958 and replaced with martial law, only to be replaced in 1962 by another constitution.
The current constitution is the third iteration, formed in 1973 and followed up by various amendments.
Is Pakistan Day the same as the country’s independence day?
It is not. Pakistan Day celebrates the Lahore Resolution, whereas independence day is celebrated on August 14, the day Pakistan was given independence from the British rule.