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Pakistan and her people - II (Feb 1948)

Broadcast talk to the people of the United States of America on Pakistan recorded February, 1948

It is a matter of great pleasure to me to give this broadcast talk to the people of the United States of America on Pakistan, its Government, its people and its resources. This Dominion which represents the fulfillment, in a certain measure, of the cherished goal of 100 million Muslims of this sub-continent Pakistan is premier Islamic State and the fifth largest in the world, came into existence on August 14, 1947. Pakistan is premier Islamic State and the fifth largest in the world. It is divided geographically into two parts, one representing Western Pakistan and other Eastern Pakistan. A distance of more than a thousand miles separates these two main divisions. The area of Western Pakistan, comprising North-West Frontier Province, West Punjab, Sindh and Baluchistan is 179,000 square miles while the area of Eastern Pakistan consisting of Eastern Bengal and the district of Sylhet, is 54,000 square miles. Thus the total area of Pakistan is 233,100 square miles and its population is about 70 million.

Pakistan is essentially an agricultural country, its two main food crops being wheat and rice. Rice is the staple food of Eastern and wheat of Western Pakistan. Western Pakistan is well served with a network of canals, both in West Punjab and Sindh. Mention must be made here of the Lloyd Barrage irrigation works which have brought about 6 million acres of wasteland under cultivation by harnessing the waters of the Indus. There is also a scheme of constructing two new barrages, one in Upper and the other in Lower Sindh. When these are completed, it is hoped that the total area under cultivation in Sindh would increase to 12 million acres.

Among the other produce of Pakistan must be mentioned jute and cotton. The areas producing jute, fittingly described as the golden fiber of Bengal, are now largely in Eastern Pakistan though the jute mill industry is mostly located in Calcutta and its suburbs in the Indian Dominion. According to the latest calculation, the area under jute in Pakistan is about 1.50 million acres and the yield of jute is estimated at over 4 million bales. Plans have already been drawn up for developing the jute trade in Pakistan and efforts are being made to import necessary plants for setting up jute mills in Eastern Pakistan.

The position of cotton in Pakistan has recently much improved. The area of cotton under cultivation in 1944-45 in Western Pakistan was nearly 3 million acres, while the yield was about 1 million bales. The estimated value of cotton produced in Pakistan during 1946-47 comes to 450 million rupees. In the not very distant future Pakistan’s produce of cotton is expected to reach a much higher level.

Tea and tobacco are also produced in Pakistan. In 1944, the area now under Pakistan in Eastern Bengal under tea cultivation was 80.000 acres.

Minerals

Nature has endowed Pakistan with tremendous mineral wealth, which awaits exploitation and development. Coal, iron, petroleum, chromate, gypsum, salt, building materials, steatite and gold are found in Pakistan.

Industries

As I have said before, Pakistan is essentially an agricultural country with no large-scale industries. But the blue prints of a scheme for the rapid industrialization of both Western and Eastern Pakistan have already been drawn up by my Government. The Sindh Government alone has formulated a scheme of industrialization which will cost about 13 million rupees and will take about four years to materialize. An initial sum of 25 million rupees for the development of special industrial areas in the Province, has already been sanctioned. Other province in Pakistan is also engaged at present in preparing vast and comprehensive schemes of industrialization.

There are two principal ports in Pakistan, namely, Karachi and Chittagong. Besides its importance as the present capital of the Dominion of Pakistan, Karachi boasts of being one of the busiest airports in Asia.

Chittagong is the main outlet for the trade and commerce of Eastern Pakistan and my Government is taking requisite steps for its further improvement and development.

Constitution

The constitution of Pakistan has yet to be framed by the Pakistan Constituent Assembly. I do not know what the ultimate shape of this constitution is going to be, but I am sure that it will be of a democratic type, embodying the essential principle of Islam. Today, they are as applicable in actual life as they were 1,300 years ago. Islam and its idealism have taught us democracy. It has taught equality of man, justice and fairplay to everybody. We are the inheritors of these glorious traditions and are fully alive to our responsibilities and obligations as framers of the future constitution of Pakistan. In any case Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic State to be ruled by priests with a divine mission. We have many non-Muslims –Hindus, Christians, and Parsis –but they are all Pakistanis. They will enjoy the same rights and privileges as any other citizens and will play their rightful part in the affairs of Pakistan.

Foreign Policy

Our foreign policy is one of friendliness and goodwill towards all the nations of the world. We do not cherish aggressive design against any country or nation. We believe in the principle of honesty and fairplay in national and international dealings and are prepared to make our utmost contribution to the promotion of peace and prosperity among the nations of the world. Pakistan will never be found lacking in extending its material and moral support to the opposed and suppressed peoples of the world and in upholding the principles of the United Nations Charter.

During the last five months of its existence, Pakistan has had to face terrible trials and tribulations and to suffer tragedies, which are almost without parallel in the history of mankind. We have, however, withstood these calamities with courage and fortitude. Through our perseverance, labor and sacrifice we will make Pakistan into a great and powerful nation. Pakistan has come to stay and no power on earth can destroy it.

Pakistan Zindabad

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