Chaudhry Rahmat Ali

(Ata Rehman Zaki, Karachi)

Chaudhry Rahmat Ali, founder of the Pakistan National Movement, was born in 1895. From his early childhood, Rahmat Ali showed signs of great promise as a student. After completing his schooling, he joined the Islamia College of Lahore in order to get his Bachelor of Arts degree. Rahmat Ali finished education in England, obtaining MA and LLB with honors from the universities of Cambridge and Dublin.

It was during the years 1930 through 1933, that he seemed to have established the Pakistan National Movement, with its headquarter at Cambridge. On January 28, 1933, he issued his first memorable pamphlet "Now or Never; Are we to live or perish forever?" He coined the word "Pakistan" for 30 million Muslims who live in the five northern units of India; Punjab, North West Frontier (Afghan) Province, Kashmir, Sindh and Baluchistan. The pamphlet also gave reasons for the establishment of Pakistan as a separate nation. He spoke of an independent homeland for Muslims, Pakistan, in the northern units of India, "Bang-i-Islam" for Muslims in Bengal, and "Usmanistan" for the Muslims in Hyderabad-Deccan.

Chaudhry Rahmat Ali propagated the Scheme of Pakistan with a missionary zeal since its inception in 1933. In August 1947, Pakistan came to be established and in 1948 Chaudhry Rahmat Ali visited Pakistan. Later he proceeded to England to champion the cause of Kashmir through the United Nations.

Sick and weak, he died on February 12, 1951.

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