Bloody Birth of Pakistan, and its early Philatelics

Prior to independence in 1947, the territory of modern Pakistan was a part of the British Indian Empire. Before this period the region was consecutively a part of Mauryan Empire, the Persian Achaemenid Empire, part of empire of Alexander of Macedonia, the Arab Umayyad Caliphate, the Mongol Empire, the Mughal Empire, the Durrani Empire, the last being British Empire.  

Pakistan Rupee 1947

Pakistan’s modern political history began with the birth of the All India Muslim League in 1906 to protect “Muslim interests, amid neglect and under-representation” and to oppose Congress and growing Hindu nationalism in return the British Raj would decide to grant local self-rule. On 29 December 1930, philosopher Sir Muhammad Iqbal called for an autonomous new state in “northwestern India for Indian Muslims”.. Muhammad Ali Jinnah espoused the Two Nation Theory and led the League to adopt the Lahore Resolution of 1940, demanding the formation of independent states in the East and the West of British India. Eventually, a successful movement led by Jinnah resulted in the partition of India and independence from Britain, on 14 August 1947.  

The border between India and Pakistan was drawn right down the middle of the province, between Lahore and Amritsar. On both sides, people scrambled to get onto the “right” side of the border, or were driven from their homes by their erstwhile neighbors. At least 10 million people fled north or south, depending upon their faith, and more than 500,000 were killed in the chaos. Trains full of refugees were set upon by militants from both sides, and all the passengers massacred.

On August 14, 1947, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan was founded. The following day, the Republic of India was established to the south. On January 30, 1948, Mohandas Gandhi was assassinated by a young Hindu radical for his support of a multi-religious state.

PAKISTAN 1956Initial stamps of independent Pakistan were overprinted definitive issues of British India. Initially a dominion after independence, Pakistan adopted a new constitution in 1956, becoming an Islamic republic. A civil war in 1971 resulted in the secession of East Pakistan as the new country of Bangladesh which in turn used the overprinted Pakistan definitive issues for postage during March 26, 1971 to April 30, 1973.  These interesting local overprints are not listed in any of the major catalogs, and there are many machine printed and hand-stamped varieties of these local overprints issued for cities and towns throughout Bangladesh, especially those near the Pakistan-Bangladesh border controlled by the Liberation Army exist. 

 

First Coins of Pakistan

Stamps of India, Pakistan and Bangaladesh

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