Pakistan: British Control and the Muslim League
British Control and the Muslim League
The British attempted to subdue the anarchic northwest during the First Afghan War (1839–42) and succeeded in conquering Sind in 1843 and the Punjab in 1849. The turbulence of the region was intensified by the fierce forays of Baluchi and Pathan tribespeople from the mountainous hinterlands. The British occupied Quetta in 1876 and again attempted to conquer the tribespeople in the Second Afghan War (1878–80) but were still unsuccessful. With the creation of the North-West Frontier Province (now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) in 1901, the British shifted from a policy of conquest to one of containment.
Unlike previous settlers in India, the Muslim immigrants were not absorbed into Hindu society. Their ranks were augmented by the millions of Hindus who had been converted to Islam. There was cultural interchange between Hindu and Muslim, but no homogeneity emerged. After the Indian Mutiny (1857), a rising Hindu middle class began to assume dominant positions in industry, education, the professions, and the civil service. Although, in these early decades of the Indian National Congress, vigorous efforts were made to include Muslims in the nationalist movement, concern for Muslim political rights led to the formation of the Muslim League in 1906; in the ensuing years Hindu-Muslim conflict became increasingly acute.
The idea of a Muslim nation, distinct from Hindu India, was introduced in 1930 by the poet Muhammad Iqbal and was ardently supported by a group of Indian Muslim students in England, who were the first to use the name Pakistan [land of the pure, from the Urdu
Sections in this article:
- Recent History
- Bangladesh and Bhutto
- The Ayub Khan Regime
- <named-content content-type="print">Independence and After</named-content><named-content content-type="electronic">Partition and Conflict</named-content>
- British Control and the Muslim League
- Early History
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Pakistan and Bangladesh Political Geography