Malik Barkat Alis role in 1936 Elections and standing by Jinnah was highlighted in detail in Syed Nur Shahs book from Martial Law to Martial Law published by Vanguard Books in 1988 or so.
Mr Jinnah had been cold shouldered in Punjab in 1936 and warned by the brilliant Fazal Hussain to keep his finger out of the Punjab pie ! Thus Mr Jinnah in disgust as per Azeem Hussain had proclaimed that the Punjab was a hopeless place and that he will never come back to Punjab.
It is Jinnahs good luck that Fazal Hussain died and was succeeded by a man of far lower caliber Sikandar Hayat.
Just two Punjabi assembly members stood by Jinnah then . Malik Barkat Ali and Raja Ghazanfar Ali and Malik Barkat Ali was left in the end.
It was Jinnahs master stroke Jinnah Sikandar Pact later that saved the Muslim League in Punjab.Jinnah Sikandar Pact and how it politically saved Jinnah has also been described by Syed Nur Shah in a whole chapter in his book.
Agha H Amin
Thursday, April 05, 2012
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Malik Barkat Ali – freedom fighter from Punjab
By Malik Tariq Ali
Malik Barkat Ali died on April 5, 1946, a year before creation of Pakistan, for which he had struggled all his life.
At a special session of All-India Muslim League in 1946, which was attended by 470 elected Muslim members of provincial assemblies, the Quaid-e-Azam paid glowing tributes to him, "I am deeply grieved to hear the very depressing and sad news of the sudden death of Malik Barkat Ali. He was from the very beginning a true and loyal member of the Muslim League, and on all occasions, he rendered the greatest service to Muslim India. His advice and staunch support on all occasions was of greatest value to the league and myself. Muslim India has lost in him a great man, and I have lost in him not only a colleague, a collaborator, but also a great friend. My deepest sympathies go out to his family in their bereavement for their irreparable loss."
Malik Barkat Ali was elected twice to Punjab Legislature on a Muslim League ticket in 1937 and 1946. From 1937 to 1944, he alone represented Muslim League on floor of Punjab Legislature. After a distinguished academic career, he taught at FC College and briefly joined government service only to resign in 1914. He then became editor of English weekly The Observer and in 1916 he completed his legal studies gaining top position in LLB examination of the Punjab University. In an editorial written on June 8, 1916, he wrote, "At the present time, when clouds are thickening over the horizon of Indian Muslims, it is essential that the president of the Muslim League, at the gathering at Lucknow must be possessed of the rare quality of courage. As we look around in search of Muslim leaders, we must confess that the personality of Mr Jinnah emerges as the most appropriate."
Malik Barkat Ali was very critical of Sir Michael O'Dwyer, Lt governer of Punjab in 1913, who imposed censorship asking proprietors to sack him, but they chose to suspend publication.
Malik Barkat Ali participated in Muslim League annual sessions held at Bombay, Aligarh and Delhi in 1924, 1925 and 1926. He was a close associate of Allama Iqbal, with whom he shared ideas on major political issues. They both opposed Jinnah-Sikandar pact, which till to date has cast a gloom over the unethical politics of Pakistan in general and Punjab in particular. According to this pact agreed in 1937 at Lucknow, all Muslim members of Punjab Legislature were required to become members of Muslim League in PLA. Unfortunately, this was not done until after Sikandar Hayat's death on December 26, 1942, and a tribal feud started between Tiwanas led by Khizar Hayat of Shahpur and Khattars of Attock that ultimately led to Khizar's sacking from the league in 1944. This association between Allama Iqbal and Malik Barkat Ali continued until Iqbal's death in 1938. On June 19, 1930, Malik Barkat Ali and Allama Iqbal jointly sponsored a resolution with Gokal Chand and Nanak in the Lahore High Court Bar, condemning unfair trial of Bhagat Singh.
Mr Jinnah came to Lahore on April 29, 1936, to organise the Punjab Provincial Election Board. He met Allama Iqbal at his residence on May 1, 1936, who assured him of his wholehearted support for formation of a parliamentary board.
On May 8, 1936, a joint press statement was issued by Allama Iqbal, Malik Barkat Ali, Khalifa Shujauddin and Pir Taj Din announcing support and cooperation to Jinnah. The Punjab Muslim League session held on May 12, 1936, in Lahore elected Allama Iqbal president, Malik Barkat Ali and Khalifa Shujauddin vice presidents, Ghulam Rasool secretary and Ashiq Batalvi joint secretary. It was decided to make preparations for meeting of All-India Muslim League Council to be held in Lahore in June.
He was amongst four members nominated by the Quaid-e-Azam to prepare a draft of Lahore Resolution on March 21, 1940.
On March 22, 1940, the Quaid presented Lahore Resolution in an open session of the league in Lahore where he also informed the audience of a letter written by Lala Lajpat Rai to Bengal's famous leader CR Das, where he stated that Hindus and Muslims are two different people who could not be merged to form one nation. This resolution was proposed by Maulana Fazlul Haq on March 23, 1940, and seconded by Khaliquzaman and supported by Maulana Zafar Ali Khan from Punjab, Sardar Aurangzeb from Sarhad, Abdullah Haroon from Sindh, Abdul Hameed Khan from Madras, Abdul Rauf from CP, Ismail from Bombay, Ibrahim from Chundrigar and Nawab Ismail from Bihar. The Pakistan Resolution was adopted later at Madras session of AIML in April 1941 and at Legislatures Convention in Delhi on April 9, 1946, where it was declared that Pakistan, a modern democratic welfare state, would comprise Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, Sarhad, Bengal and Assam. Unfortunately, we as a nation, have betrayed the vision of our founding fathers.
The writer is the grandson of Malik Barkat Ali