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The Chronicle of Pakistan
Compiled by Khurram Ali Shafique
with special thanks to Aqeel Abbas Jafferi
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Jan 3 Hashim Khan sweeps 1st American Squash Championship

Jan 5 Cabinet gives official approval of National Anthem (Chhagla’s instrumental)

Jan Major political parties of East Bengal form United Front (Jugto Front) with a 21-Point Programme

Mar United Front sweeps provincial assembly elections while Muslim League gets only 9 out of 309 seats; former premier of province Nurul Amin loses his seat

Mar 15-Sep 21 Constituent Assembly sessions (36 sittings)

Apr Punjab-based feudal lord Iftikhar Hussain of Mamdot appointed Governor of Sind

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman appointed minister in Fazlul Cabinet

May 15-16 Narain Ganj (EP). 700 massacred as ethnic violence against non-Bengalis errupt in Adamjee Jute Mills

May 24 Dacca. CM Fal-e-Haque disowns statement supporting independence of Bengal, attributed to him in New York Times yesterday

May Pakistan signs Mutual Defence Assistance Agreement with USA

Jun Defense budget remains at 38% of the total for the next year (the same as previous), and the absolute defense expenditure has also not increased.

Jul 24 following ban in EP, The Communist Party of Pakistan declared illegal in all provinces. Leaders arrested include Ferozuddin Mansoor, Sibt-e-Hasan

Aug 4 Justice Mian Abdur Rasheed heads commission on marriage and family laws also including Khalifa Abdul Hakeem, Maulana Ehteshamul Haque Thanvi, Begum Jahanara Shahnawaz among others

Sep Public and Representative Office (Disqualification) Act of 1949 (PRODA) repealed

Oct 7 Sir Zafrullah elected judge to UNO Court of Justice with 6 votes to 5 for opponent Justice Paul from India in SC

Oct 26 Bogra and new cabinet sworn in. Mambers include Ch. M. Ali, Maj. Gen. Iskander Mirza, M.A.H. Ispahani, Gen. M. Ayub Khan

Nov 20 Bogra appoints Suhrawardy as Law Minister

Nov 22 PM Bogra supports One-unit scheme in radio broadcast

Obituary

Master Ghulam Haider (b.1906): music composer (Nov 9)

Rasheed Ahmad Bulbul Chaudhry (b.1919):
ballet dancer, story writer (May 17)

Syed Sulaiman Nadvi
(b. 1884): Religious scholar from Shibli school of thought

1954
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Election results

United Front, led by A. K. Fazlul Haq secures landslide victory. Distribution of seats is listed below (including minority seats in italics within brackets):

United Front 233 (10)
Scheduled Caste Federation 27 (27)
Congress 24 (24)
Muslim League 10 (Nil)
Communists 4 (4)
Ghanatantri Dal 3 (3)
Khilafat Rabbani 1 (Nil)
Independents 6 (3)
Total 309 (72)

Elections in East Bengal

March 12, East Bengal. Polling for elections to the provincial assembly of East Bengal comes to an end today. There were a total of about 20 million voters, listed on the basis of adult franchise and separate electorates. 1,284 candidates appeared for the 309 seats of the assembly (228 Muslims, 9 Muslim women, 30 Caste Hindus, 1 Caste Hindu woman, 36 Scheduled Caste, 2 Scheduled Caste women, 1 Christian and 2 Buddhists).

Polling in the Muslim constituencies was held on March 8, in the Muslim women's constituencies (both ordinary and special) on March 9 and 10, while the non-Muslims voted on March 10 and 12. To cater an enthusiastic multitude of voters, there were 6000 polling stations (and as many presiding officers) and about 20000 polling booths (and as many polling officers). A total of 150000 ballot boxes and 18205878 ballot papers were distributed.

The Muslim League, which rules the centre, has been given here a tough competition by the United Front - a combination of several political parties who have agreed on a 21-Point Manifesto to replace the Muslim League government in the province, which has been getting increasingly unpopular unpopular since 1947 for economic and political reasons.


Lion of Bengal

April 3, Dacca. United Front nomineee Fazlul Haq takes oath as Prime Minister of East Bengal.


Bengal CM sacked; Iskander Mirza appointed governor

May 30. GG Ghulam Mohammad has sacked Prime Minister of East Bengal Fazlul Haq over alleged statement in foreign press. He has also dissolved the East Bengal Assembly. Major-General Iskander Mirza, who was the Finance Secretary uptil now, replaces Khaliquzzaman as the Governor of East Bengal. He has resigned from civil service in order to take up the appointment.


SEATO

archives
SEATO

Text of the Treaty

Prospects of SEATO

Manila, September 8. Pakistan has signed the Southeast Asian Collective Defence Treaty with United States, Great Britain, France, Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Thailand and the Philippines. The treaty gives formal birth to the organization that was being conceptually called the "Southeast Asian Treaty Organization" (SEATO) for some time now.


One unit

September 21 Debate on constitutional framework in assembly ends; Sir Feroze Khan Noon suggests unification of West Pakistan provinces, or One-Unit Scheme: residual powers to rest with the resultant two units. The scheme leaked out for the first time by Noon, had been developing secretly in the minds of several West Pakistan power wielders such as Daultana and General Ayub. Assembly to meet again Oct 27


GG's powers restricted

September 21 Before adjourning today, the assembly has passed Hashmi Gazdar's Bill amending Section 10 of 1935 Act to curtail the powers of the GG. This move is expected to ensure the smooth development of democratic institutions in future


Quo Vadis?

The new government has no sanction in any law of the land. It is a Governor-General's Council, the way they used to be in the early days of the British Raj - only the Governor-General this time is a native, although still appointed by the British sovereign!

A big question: are we, the people of Pakistan, free? Do we know what freedom is, and do we even want it, let alone 'need' it or 'deserve' it? Perhaps we shall know when the judiciary decides on the appeal filed by Maulvi Tameezuddin against the Governor-General's action.

Constituent Assembly dissolved

October 24, Karachi. In a move unprecedented in the country's history, the Governor General Ghulam Mohammad (left) has dissolved the Constituent Assembly, merely 3 days before it was scheduled to meet again.

Prime Minister Bogra has been allowed to continue in office with a new cabinet that will soon be announced
Apparently this move has been taken in retaliation against Hashim Gazdar Bill passed Sep 21, as a desperate attempt to annul it before it is too late. Although the Governor General promises fresh elections, few expect any good out of this brute act of force against democracy.


The next five years?

Objectives of the first Five Year Plan: to raise national income and the standards of living of the people; to improve balance of payments of teh country by increasing exports and by the production of substitutes for imports; to increase employment opportunities; to make progress in providing social services, such as housing, education, health and social welfare; increase rapidly rate of development, especially in East Pakistan

Pakistan's expanding blackmarket

According to an official estimate, the value of smuggled goods during 1953-4 has been Rs. 30 crore, while the government has completely failed to check the increasing prices of basic commodities. The blackmarket in Pakistan is expanding since the temporary boom in ecomony receded when the US pulled out its forces from the Korean War.

Over the last year a total of more than 750000 tons of foodgrains have been received from the United States of America -- even the success of the Bogra Government to overcome the food shortage is not linked with domestic production but directly related to foreign aid.


Aga Khan weighed in platinum

February 3. Ismailis weigh His Highness SMS Aga Khan III in platinum, celebrating 70 years of his imamate at Aga Khan Gymkhana, Karachi


Ibne Safi leads a new cult

A huge section of the population is estimated to have become hooked to mystery stories. Ibne Safi, the 26-year-old writer presently living in Karachi, is supposed to be the father of this new cult since he launched his monthly Jasoosi Duniya from Allahabad (India) in 1952. The Golden Jubilee Number issued this January and featuring sketches of stock characters Fareedi, Anwer, Hameed, has seen unprecedented sales. It is not unusual for Safi's books to be sold at black market prices in Pakistan as well as in India, where they are originally published every month.

External link on Ibne Safi


Urdu debate

April 22. Maulvi Abdul Haque, popularly hailed as the Father of Urdu, leads 100,000 demonstrators outside the assembly building in Karachi against PML's decision to make Bengali a second national language


National Language Status for Bengali

May 7. Constituent Assembly declares today that Bengali is to be the 2nd National Language of Pakistan alongside Urdu.


Jaal movement

July 9: Leading film personalities are arrested in Lahore agitating at Regent Cinema against the realease of Indian film Jaal, which was licensed by Pakistani government for import only to East Pakistan but not in West Pakistan. The Indian films being generally superior in quality to local films are seen as a commercial threat by the local filmmakers.

The agitation was led by W.Z.Ahmad, Shaukat Husain Rizvi (left), Saifuddin Saif and Sibtain Fazli while almost all famous talent followed including Noor Jahan (above), Naina, Santosh, Sudhir, Bibbo, Allaudin, M. Ismail.

nterestingly, many of these personalities have themselves migrated from Bombay since the partition.


K2 explored

July 31 Italian mountaineers Noni and Deli reach K-2, the 2nd highest peak in the world.


National anthem

August 4: The search for proper lyrics for the national anthem, which
had been going on for the last few months, comes to an end as Central Cabinet selects Hafeez Jalandheri’s entry to be the official wording for the National Anthem.
Hakeem Ahmad Shuja & Z.A.Bukhari had also been shortlisted. Total entries received were 723.


Sassi's golden moment

Urdu film, Sassi, released Jun 3, becomes the first Pakistani film to run for over 50 weeks (Golden Jubilee); starringing Sabiha Khanum, Sudhir, Asha Posley, Nazar, Saleem Raza (not to be confused with the singer). Music from Chishti, produced by J.C. Anand for Ever Ready Productions; directed by Daud Chand.


Pakistan wins oval

Pakistan strikes a spectacular victory at Oval. Fazal Mahmood has taken all 12 wickets (7 catches by Imtiaz Ahmed) for 99 runs.

(Above: Captain Kardar waves to applauding crowd.)


Songs remembered
Bandar Road say Kemari

Tu lakh chalayri gori: Gumnam

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