PAKISTAN’S INDEPENDENCE – AUGUST 14th OR AUGUST 15th?

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I read an interesting information and I thought I would share it to everybody. It was in the year 1947 that both India and Pakistan were granted independence on the midnight of August 14-15 but Pakistan celebrates its independence on August 14 and India on August 15. Ironic but interestingly, Pakistan first independence day was celebrated as August 15 and later on it became August 14.

Another reason was that British Viceroy Mountbatten, who chose August 15 symbolizing the surrender of Japan to Allies two years ago as the date, preferred to transfer power to Pakistan on August 14 so he could attend the ceremony in Karachi and be in New Delhi the next day to oversee India’s birth as an independent nation.

Since the power of transfer took place on the midnight of 14 and 15 August, the Indian Independence Act 1947 clearly stated that 15 August was the birthday of both Pakistan and India:- “As 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 act stated.

Even Mohammad Ali Jinnah, who became the first governor general of Pakistan, declared August 15 as the independence day of Pakistan in his opening speech. Jinnah in his first broadcast to the nation said:- “August 15 is the birthday of the independent and sovereign state of Pakistan. It marks the fulfilment of the destiny of the Muslim nation which made great sacrifices in the past few years to have its homeland.”

So, Pakistan celebrated its first birthday on 15 August but in subsequent years 14 August was marked as the independence day. Even the first commemorative postage stamp of the country that was released a year later stated ’15th August 1947′ as the independence day of Pakistan. Currently, Pakistan got its independence on August 14, 1947 and India on August 15, 1947.

But in 1948, Pakistan decided to celebrate its Independence Day on August 14, a day before India’s Independence Day due to 27 Ramadan that fell on August 14, 1947. The night of 14-15 August 1947 coincided with 27 Ramadan 1366 of the Islamic calendar and Muslims, who regard it as a sacred night, decided to advance their Independence Day to August 14. Hence, the confusion is now clear, as which country celebrates their freedom first!

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