Pakistan between 1947 and 1956
|Common languages||Englisha, Urdub, Bengalic|
|Government||Federated parliamentary constitutional monarchy|
|Muhammad Ali Jinnah|
|Liaquat Ali Khan|
|Mohammad Ali Bogra|
|Chaudhry Mohammad Ali|
|14 August 1947|
|23 March 1956|
|1956||943,665 km2 (364,351 sq mi)|
|ISO 3166 code||PK|
|Today part of||Pakistan|
a. Official Language: 14 August 1947
b. First National Language: 23 February 1948
c. Second National Language: 29 February 1956
Pakistan (Bengali: pakistan ôdhirajyô; Urdu: ? mumlik?t-? p?kist?n), also called the Dominion of Pakistan, was an independent federal dominion in South Asia that was established in 1947 as a result of the Pakistan movement, followed by the simultaneous partition of British India to create a new country called Pakistan. The dominion, which included much of modern-day Pakistan and Bangladesh, was conceived under the two-nation theory as an independent country composed of the Muslim-majority areas of the former British India.
At the dominion's creation in 1947, it did not include the princely states of Pakistan, which acceded slowly over the next year. Dominion status ended in 1956 with the creation of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, which was administratively split into West Pakistan and East Pakistan. In 1971 East Pakistan seceded from the union to become Bangladesh.
Section 1 of the Indian Independence Act 1947 provided that from "the fifteenth day of August, nineteen hundred and forty-seven, two independent dominions shall be set up in India, to be known respectively as India and Pakistan." The Dominion of India held seventy-five percent of the territory and eighty percent of the population of the former British India. As it was already a member of the United Nations, India continued to hold its seat there and did not apply for a new membership. The British monarch became head of state of the new dominion, with Pakistan sharing a king with the United Kingdom and the other Dominions of the British Commonwealth, but the monarch's constitutional roles were delegated to the Governor-General of Pakistan, and most real powers resided with the new government headed by Jinnah.
Before August 1947, about half of the area of present-day Pakistan was part of the Presidencies and provinces of British India, in which the agents of the sovereign as Emperor of India had full authority, while the remainder was a series of princely states in subsidiary alliances with the British, enjoying internal self-government. The British abandoned these alliances in August 1947, leaving the states entirely independent, and between 1947 and 1948 the states all acceded to Pakistan, while retaining internal self-government for several years.
The dominion began as a federation of five provinces: East Bengal (later to become Bangladesh), West Punjab, Balochistan, Sindh, and the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP). Each province had its own governor, who was appointed by the Governor-General of Pakistan. In addition, over the following year the princely states of Pakistan, which covered a significant area of West Pakistan, acceded to Pakistan. They included Bahawalpur, Khairpur, Swat, Dir, Hunza, Chitral, Makran, and the Khanate of Kalat.
The controversial Radcliffe Award, not published until 17 August 1947 specified the Radcliffe Line which demarcated the border between the parts of British India allocated to the two new independent dominions of India and Pakistan. The Radcliffe Boundary Commission sought to separate the Muslim-majority regions in the east and northwest from the areas with a Hindu majority. This entailed the partition of two British provinces which did not have a uniform majority -- Bengal and Punjab. The western part of Punjab became the Pakistani province of Punjab and the eastern part became the Indian state of Punjab. Bengal was similarly divided into East Bengal (in Pakistan) and West Bengal (in India).
The Radcliffe commission had no power to divide the territory of the princely states of India.
During the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, she was crowned as Queen of seven independent Commonwealth countries, including Pakistan, which was still a dominion at the time, whereas India was not, as the dominion of India had become a republic under the new Indian constitution of 1950.
Pakistan left the Commonwealth in 1972 over the issue of the former East Pakistan province becoming independent as Bangladesh. It rejoined in 1989, then was suspended from the Commonwealth twice: firstly from 18 October 1999 to 22 May 2004 and secondly from 22 November 2007 to 22 May 2008.
|Portrait||Name||Birth||Death||Monarch From||Monarch Until||Relationship with Predecessor(s)|
|George VI||14 December 1895||6 February 1952||14 August 1947||6 February 1952||None (position created). Emperor of India before partition.|
|Elizabeth II||21 April 1926||6 February 1952||23 March 1956||Daughter of George VI|