(CTN NEWS) – This week, India and Pakistan are poised to commemorate their 77th Independence Day, marking 76 years since they attained freedom from British colonial rule.
The enactment of the Indian Independence Act of 1947 resulted in the partition of the Bengal and Punjab provinces, giving rise to two new independent dominions – India and Pakistan.
The Act stipulated that “commencing from the fifteenth day of August, nineteen hundred and forty-seven, two autonomous Dominions shall emerge in India, to be known respectively as India and Pakistan.”
In a momentous radio address, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the visionary founder of Pakistan, proclaimed, “August 15 is the anniversary of Pakistan’s emergence as an independent and sovereign nation.
It signifies the realization of the Muslim nation’s destiny, a destiny forged through significant sacrifices in recent years to establish its homeland.”
Given the compelling historical evidence that Pakistan came into existence concurrently with India’s attainment of independence, a perplexing query arises: Why does Pakistan observe its Independence Day on August 14, a day ahead?
Over time, numerous theories have circulated in an attempt to elucidate this intriguing question.
Explanations Behind Pakistan’s August 14 Independence Day: Mountbatten’s Role, Cabinet Decision, Ramzan Significance, and Time Zone Variation
One proposed explanation is linked to the demanding schedule of Lord Mountbatten, the final Viceroy of British India and inaugural Governor-General of the Dominion of India.
Although the transfer of power was originally slated for pre-June 1948, Mountbatten’s decision to declare a common Independence Day of August 15 hastened proceedings.
His journey to Karachi, where he transferred governance authority to Muhammad Ali Jinnah, took place on August 14, 1947.
Another theory traces back to a pivotal cabinet resolution. During a June 1948 cabinet session led by Pakistan’s inaugural Prime Minister, Liaquat Ali Khan, the notion of celebrating Independence Day ahead of India was put forth.
Jinnah’s endorsement led to the advancement of the date to August 14.
The religious month of Ramzan has also been cited as a driving factor. Advocates of this perspective contend that the night between August 14 and 15, 1947, coincided with the 27th day of Ramzan, a highly auspicious day within the holy month.
Consequently, August 14 was adopted as the day of independence.
Divergent time zones also play a role, with Indian Standard Time (IST) trailing Pakistan Standard Time (PST) by 30 minutes.
As India attained independence at 00:00 hours on August 15, the local time in Pakistan was 11:30 p.m. on August 14, thus precipitating the earlier observance of celebrations.
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