Pakistan’s appearance on the world map as an independent state on August 14, 1947 was not an isolated, rootless incident. Nor was the country’s birth a result of the British colonialists ‘Divide and Rule’ policy. The birth of Pakistan was a culmination of the Indian Muslims’ long struggle to maintain their existence as a respected, dignified and progressive community with safeguards for its religious, social and political rights. The creation of Pakistan was not a manifestation of the narrow-nationalism of Indian Muslims. It was not an idea based on hatred, exclusivism, animosity or lack of will to peacefully co-exist with other religious communities. The Muslims left no stone unturned in pursuing a settlement with the majority community that would preserve the unity and integrity of India along with the religious, political, social, economic and cultural rights of the Muslims. Sadly, this could not happen. The freedom struggle against the British from 1858 to 1940 is a testament to this. If the political representatives of the Hindu community had displayed tolerance towards the Muslims, recognised their legitimate rights and agreed to create constitutional safeguards for these rights, the political map, social milieu and history of the subcontinent would have been different. There would be one Indian state on the world map in South Asia instead of three states, locked in a state of perpetual disharmony. When prospects of preserving their existence as political equals began to look too weak, the Muslims of India demanded a separate and independent nation state for themselves. So, Pakistan was a result of the intolerant and rigid attitude of India’s majoritarian democrats who wanted to establish their hold over the Subcontinent. The Muslims left no stone unturned in pursuing a settlement with the majority community that would preserve the unity and integrity of India along with the religious, political, social, economic and cultural rights of the Muslims. The freedom struggle against the British from 1858 to 1940 is a testament to this India’s Muslim community was justified in feeling vulnerable when it became known that the British were finally leaving. They were threatened by the narrow minded communalist and religious associations who viewed the Indian Muslims as aliens who needed to be thrown out of the body politic of India or brought back to their ancestral religion either forcefully or through preaching. They were narrow minded, obscurantist and rigid. Another group consisted of those elements who called themselves liberal and secular. Indian National Congress was the best example of this category.They emphasised on separation of religion and politics. The Muslims could have arrived at a settlement with this group for a permanent scheme for the future of India, but there were two obstacles here. Firstly, they formed alliances with religious fanatics and revivalists such as Swami Shardhanand, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Pandit Madan Mohan Malawiya and Villabhbhai Patel. These men viewed any concession to the Muslims with alarm and suspicion. They vehemently opposed any such move. Secondly, Congress’s demands risked leaving the Muslims completely under-represented in the legislatures and government departments. India’s Muslims would be left politically submerged by the majority community. Quotas in the educational institutions and government departments on the basis of population and separate electorate for elections to the elective bodies were the best possible options to alleviate the Muslims’ sense of deprivation. Moreover, although the Congress was apparently a secular body, its overall colour became increasingly Hindu with time. The entire style and direction of its policies betrayed a bias against the Muslims. The Muslims of the Subcontinent came to the conclusion that they could preserve their separate identity as a nation, and protect their religious, social, political and economic rights only by establishing a separate and sovereign state of their own. The Muslims of the Subcontinent were a separate nation due their distinct culture, religion, civilisation, historical experiences, economic and political interests, language and script. By any definition of nation, they were a nation, and were entitled to right to self-determination for preserving their separate identity and bequeathing their heritage to their cherished coming generations. Zafar Iqbal Yousafzai is MPhil scholar at Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. Iftikhar Ahmad Yousafzai is PhD Scholar at University of Peshawar Published in Daily Times, August 14th 2018.