Dominion of Pakistan

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Dominion of Pakistan
مملکتِ پاکستان
পাকিস্তান অধিরাজ্য

Flag National Emblem
Iman, Ittehad, Tanzeem
ایمان ، اتحاد ، تنظیم
"Faith, Unity, Discipline"
Qaumī Tarāna (1954–1956)
قومی ترانہ
The Dominion of Pakistan in 1956
Capital Karachi
Languages Englisha, Urdub, Bengalic,
Religion Islam, Hinduism
Government Constitutional Monarchy
 -  1947–1952 George VI
 -  1952–1956 Elizabeth II
 -  1947–1948 Muhammad Ali Jinnah
 -  1948–1951 Khawaja Nazimuddin
 -  1951–1955 Malik Ghulam Muhammad
 -  1955–1956 Iskander Mirza (Last)
Prime Minister
 -  1947–1951 Liaquat Ali Khan
 -  1951–1953 Khawaja Nazimuddin
 -  1953–1955 Muhammad Ali Bogra
 -  1955–1956 Chaudhry Muhammad Ali
Legislature Constituent Assembly
Historical era Cold War
 -  Indian Independence Act 15 August 1947
 -  Indo-Pakistani War 22 October 1947
 -  Constitution adopted 23 March 1956
 -  1956 943,665 km² (364,351 sq mi)
Currency Pakistani rupee
Today part of  Pakistan
a. Official Language: 14 August 1947
b. First National Language: 23 February 1948
c. Second National Language: 29 February 1956

Dominion of Pakistan (Bengali: পাকিস্তান অধিরাজ্য, Pakistan ôdhirajyô; Urdu: مملکتِ پاکستان‎, Mumlikāt-ē Pākistān), also usually called Pakistan; was an independent federal Dominion in South Asia that was established in 1947 on the Partition of India into two sovereign countries (the other being the Dominion of India). The Dominion, which included modern-day Pakistan and Bangladesh, was to be for the Muslims of South Asia. It became the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in 1956;[1] and East Pakistan seceded from the union to become Bangladesh in 1971.

Partition of British India[edit]

Section 1 of the Indian Independence Act 1947 provided that 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." India was treated by the United Nations as the successor-state to the former British India. As it was already a member of the United Nations, it continued its seat and did not apply for a new membership. However, Pakistan was a newly independent country and had to apply to join the international organisation. It was admitted as a UN member shortly after its independence on 30 September 1947.[2]

Before 1947, Pakistan was part of the non-independent British India in right of which the Monarch of the United Kingdom was styled Emperor of India. From 1947, the British monarch remained as head of state and Pakistan shared the Sovereign with the other Commonwealth realms. The monarch's constitutional roles were mostly delegated to the Governor-General of Pakistan. The royal succession was governed by the English Act of Settlement of 1701.


Main article: Partition of India

The Dominion of Pakistan was a federation of five provinces: East Bengal (later to become Bangladesh), West Punjab, Balochistan, Sindh, and the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP). In addition, those Princely States which were enclaves within those provinces also joined the federation: these included Bahawalpur, Khairpur, Swat, Dir, Hunza, Chitral, Makran and the Khanate of Kalat. Each province had its own governor, who was appointed by the Governor-General of Pakistan.

Radcliffe Line[edit]

Main article: Radcliffe Award

The controversial Radcliffe Award, not published until 17 August 1947, specified the Radcliffe Line which demarcated the border between India and Pakistan. The Radcliffe Boundary Commission sought to separate the Muslim-majority regions in the east and northwest from the rest of India with a Hindu majority. This entailed the partition of two provinces which did not have a uniform majority — Bengal and Punjab. The western part of Punjab became Pakistani province of Punjab and the eastern part became the Indian state of Punjab. Bengal was similarly divided into East Bengal (in Pakistan) and West Bengal (in India).

Reign of Elizabeth II[edit]

During the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, she swore as Queen of Pakistan,[3] since Pakistan was still a dominion during her coronation in 1953, whereas India was not (the Dominion of India had dissolved in 1950).

The Dominion of Pakistan ceased to exist and was succeeded by the Islamic Republic of Pakistan following the adoption of the Constitution of Pakistan on 23 March 1956.[4] Pakistan became a republic within the Commonwealth.

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh visited Pakistan as Head of the Commonwealth in 1961 and 1997.

Pakistan left the Commonwealth in 1972 over the issue of the former East Pakistan province becoming independent but rejoined in 1989, then suspended from the Commonwealth twice: first 18 October 1999 to 22 May 2004 and 22 November 2007 to 22 May 2008.

List of monarchs[edit]

Portrait Name Birth Death Monarch From Monarch Until Relationship with Predecessor(s)
King George VI.jpg King George VI 14 December 1895 6 February 1952 15 August 1947 6 February 1952 None (position ceded)
Elizabeth II greets NASA GSFC employees, May 8, 2007 edit.jpg Queen Elizabeth II 21 April 1926 6 February 1952 23 March 1956 Daughter of George VI

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Timothy C. Winegard (29 December 2011). Indigenous Peoples of the British Dominions and the First World War (1st ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 2. ISBN 978-1107014930. Retrieved 11 August 2013. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II". Retrieved 16 May 2014. 
  4. ^ John Stewart Bowman (2000). Columbia chronologies of Asian history and culture. Columbia University Press. p. 372. ISBN 978-0-231-11004-4. Retrieved 22 March 2011. 

Further reading[edit]