By Free Choice
“Then came the fruit of our national efforts in the form of the Indian Independence Act of 1947, whereby the British Government acknowledged the supreme authority of the people of this sub-continent and they were obliged to transfer full powers to them. With the passing of this Act, the treaties and agreements which were in force between the British Government and the states and tribes, all lapsed. The obligations of the British Government and all powers, rights, authority, or jurisdiction, exercisable in relation to the tribal areas also disappeared. In other words, the tribal people were free to come to such arrangements with Pakistan as the successor authority of the British Government, as may be agreed upon. Side by side with this, the Chief Commissioner's Province of British Balochistan was made a part of the territories of Pakistan as laid down by the Indian Independence Act, and the Province of Balochistan accepted the position and decided to send their elected representatives to the Pakistan Constituent Assembly. It was in this state of freedom when, of their own free choice, the people of the Tribal Areas gave their verdict, through the referendum held in this Province in the summer of last year when they decided to join the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan. No sooner did this happen, then I, as Governor-General of Pakistan, felt it my duty to assure the people of Balochistan on behalf of the Government of Pakistan, that all agreements and allowances would continue until they could be modified after consultation with them.”
- Mr. Jinnah / Quaid-e-Azam
- Speech: New Era of Progress for Balochistan
- Context: Speech at Sibi Durbar
Every great movement finds its source in the depths of the people’s soul, the original spring of all strength and greatness. The dark eclipse of criminal colonization ended with our valiant national struggle and our Baloch brethren fought shoulder to shoulder in achieving Pakistan.
Formation of Pakistan has democratic origins where each province voted to join Pakistan via referendum. This freedom and consent is the source of our national cohesion but we recognize that political, social and economic reforms are necessary if we are to build a prosperous and progressive nation.
We need to achieve a balance of maintaining tradition and tribal control with rapid progressive reforms. The advance of science, technology, connectivity and education will naturally result in social changes that the people may not be accustomed to. Therefore, we must consult and train our people for progress, the origins of progress ought to be rooted in consent and choice. A delicate balance of introducing new ideas while retaining legacy traditions of brotherhood and hospitality is the pathway to progress that the Citizens of Pakistan will engineer.
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Mr. Jinnah's promise to Balochistan for joining Pakistan was based on educational, social, economic and political uplift.
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