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Resolution of the Working Committee of the All India Muslim League
April 2, 1942

Legal Document No 73

The Committee, while expressing their gratification that the possibility of Pakistan is recognized by implication by providing for the establishment of two or more independent Unions in India regret that the proposals of His Majesty's Government embodying the fundamentals are not open to any modification and therefore no alternative proposals are invited. In view of the rigidity of the attitude of His Majesty's Government with regard to fundamentals not being open to any modification, the Committee have no alternative but to say that the proposals hi their present form are unacceptable to them for the following reasons:
  1. The Mussulmans, after 95 years of genuine efforts for the reconciliation of the two major communities and the bitter experience of the failure of such efforts, are convinced that it is neither just nor possible, in the interests of peace and happiness of the two peoples, to compel them to constitute one Indian Union composed of the two principal nations - Hindus and Muslims, but this appears to be the main object of His Majesty's Government as adumbrated in the preamble of the Draft Declaration, the creation of more than one Union being relegated only to the real of remote possibility, and is purely illusory.
  2. In the Draft Declaration a constitution making body has been proposed with the primary object of creating one Indian Union. So far as the Muslim League is concerned, it has finally decided that the only solution of India's constitutional problem is the partition of India into independent zones: and it will therefore be unfair to the Muslims to compel them to enter such a constitution-making body whose main object is the creation of a new Indian Union. With conditions as they are it will be not only futile but on the contrary may exacerbate bitterness and animosity amongst the various elements in the country.
  3. The machinery which has been proposed for the creation of the constitution-making body, namely, that it will consist of members elected by the newly elected Lower Houses of the eleven Provinces upon the cessation of hostilities, as a single electoral college by the system of proportional representation, is a fundamental departure from the right of the Mussulmans hitherto enjoyed by them, to elect their representatives by means of separate electorates, which is the only sure way in which true representatives of the Mussulmans can be chosen.

    The constitution-making body will take decisions by a bare majority on all questions of the most vital and paramount character involved in the framing of the Constitution, which is a departure from the fundamental principles of justice and contrary to constitutional practice so far followed in the various countries and Dominions; and the Mussulmans by agreeing to this will, instead of exercising their right and judgment as a constituent factor, be at the entire mercy of the constitution-making body in which they will be a minority of about 25 per cent.

  4. The right of non-accession to the Union as contemplated in the Draft Declaration has been conceded presumably in response to the insistent demands by the Mussulmans for the partition of India; but the method and procedure laid down are such as to negative the professed object; for in the draft proposals the right of non-accession has been given to the existing Provinces which have been formed from time to time for administrative convenience and on no logical basis. The Mussulmans cannot be satisfied by such a Declaration on a vital question affecting their future destiny, and demand a clear and precise pronouncement on the subject. Any attempt to solve the future problem of India by the process of evading the real issue is to court disaster.
  5. With regard to the Indian States, it is the considered opinion of the Committee that it is a matter for them to decide whether to join or not to join or form a Union.
  6. With regard to the treaties to be negotiated between the Crown and the Indian Union or Unions, the proposals do not indicate as to what would happen in case of disagreement in the terms between the contracting parties; nor is there any provisions made as to what would be the procedure when there is a differences of opinion in negotiating a revision of treaty arrangements with the Indian States in the new situation.
With regard to the interim arrangement there is no definite proposal except the bare statement that His Majesty's Government desire and invite the effective and immediate participation of the leaders of the principal sections of the Indian people in the counsels of their country of the Commonwealth, and of the [United Nations. The Committee are therefore unable to express their opinion until a complete picture is available. Another reason why the Committee unable to express their opinion on the interim arrangements for participation in the counsels of the country is that Sir Stafford Cripps has made it clear that the scheme goes through as a whole or is rejected as a whole and that it would not be possible to retain the part relating to the immediate arrangements at the Centre and discard the rest of the draft scheme: and as the Committee has come to the conclusion that the proposals for the future are unacceptable, it will serve no useful purpose to deal further with the question of the immediate arrangements.
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