Date: 5/12/2003






Pakistan propagandists, in order to hide the shameful crimes of the Muslim League leaders, a part of whose programme it was to carve out a purely Muslim State and to eliminate religious minorities from it, have put forth a mischievous piece of propaganda that Sikhs (and by implication Hindus as well) left Pakistan by a design. Mat this ‘Design’ could have been passes ordinary human comprehension. The official Pakistan propaganda pamphlet contains this fantastic view:

“Sikhs ... stayed behind in Lyallpur till after the Partition and then (were) deliberately evacuated by Sikh leaders to East Punjab without any apparent immediate cause, seems to point out to a revision of the ‘Plan’ necessitated by some unexpected sequence of events.”

This remark contains several pieces of deliberate falsehoods and a lot of suppressio veri, besides mischievous suggestions. Let us analyse it here:

(a) Sikhs stayed behind lit Lyallpur till after Pakistan. Does the writer imply that it had already before the partition been decided upon by Muslim Leaguers that no Sikhs were to stay in West Punjab after Partition, and that in view of such a Scheme it was surprising for any Sikhs to have stayed in any parts of Pakistan after August, 1947? It is obvious that no one. the Sikhs least of all, expected or anticipated anything like the total exchange of population which actually occurred. All decent people expected that on the establishment of Pakistan its leaders would afford equal protection to all its citizens, irrespective of creed, like all good Governments. That is why Sikh and Hindu leaders (see later in this chapter) exhorted Sikhs and Hindus to stay on in their homes in Pakistan. So, Sikhs continued to stay in all parts of Pakistan except in the rural areas of Rawalpindi, Campbellpore, Jhelum and Multan Districts. They stayed there because these places were their ancestral homes. The question of any Sikhs ‘staying behind’ could riot arise, unless it was arranged by Muslim Leaguers, as of course it was, that no Sikhs be left in Pakistan. On August 15 all Sikhs excepting in specific areas of the districts mentioned, were in Pakistan.

(b) “Deliberately evacuated.” How in the name of sense and reasonableness Sikhs were evacuated because decent normal life was rendered impossible for them by the deliberate policy of massacre, loot and dishonouring of women adopted by Muslims in all parts of Pakistan. Why the Sikhs evacuated is answered by the last words in this very sentence quoted above ... “necessitated by some unexpected sequence of events.” This “unexpected sequence of events” was the hell which was let loose on Sikhs right from the 15th of August, and which fiendish activity became operative in Lyallpur not long after this.

(c) If Sikhs (of Lyallpur) left because of some plan, then why did Sikhs of other districts leave? And why did Hindus leave? Did they too leave in sympathy with the Sikh ‘Plan’ of evacuation, supposing for the sake of fantastic arguing that such a ‘Plan’ wherein evacuation for no reason was involved, could have existed?

Muslim League leaders had long advocated exchange of population between Muslim and non-Muslim India. All those who advocated the establishment of a Muslim State also advocated as its necessary corollary the exchange of population. Rahmat Ali, Syed Abdul Latif, Mr. Jinnah, all these have been quoted earlier to have expressed strong and unmistakable views on this question of exchange of Muslim and non-Muslim populations so as to make the Muslim State more homogeneous, and to solve the minority problem. Mr. Jinnah said, referring to the driving out of Hindus from Noakhali, that it was already transfer of population in action, and some machinery should be devised for effecting it peacefully and on a large scale. Though, it may be said here that this exchange was no real exchange - it was all the driving out of non-Muslims from Muslim majority zones, while Muslims, except for the isolated case of Bihar, where the Hindu riots were ruthlessly suppressed by the Congress Hindu Government and Pt. Nehru, everywhere were safe.

When Pakistan became a serious political proposition after H. M. G. statement of February 20, 1947 and progressively as August, 15, 1947 approached, the Muslim pace of eliminating non-Muslims from Pakistan was accelerated, till just on the eve of August 15 and after, it became a ruthless driving out, an all-out campaign.

Sikhs and Hindus could not have desired such an exchange. They would rather have preferred, and they actually did prefer, to stay on in Pakistan. They decided to join the Constituent Assembly, to continue in their occupations, business and services, and to stay in its territory with their women, children and possessions.

In order to realize the improbable and fantastic nature of the supposed Sikh attempt at leaving Pakistan in order to live under Indian rule, one has only to look at the sacrifices it would involve on the part of the Sikhs to make such a transmigration. These losses would be:

(1) Sikhs would leave behind vast lands, business, factories and institutions, for which a very poor substitute both in quantity and value could be found out of Muslim property in East Punjab.

(2) Land in East Punjab is poor, when compared with West Punjab. Even of this poor land, Muslims being mostly of the poorer classes and lower castes, had the least productive patches. These alone could be given to Sikhs if they decided to come out of Pakistan.

(3) Sikhs left behind in West Punjab their most sacred shrines, which would be ruined and desecrated if no Sikh was left in West Punjab.

So, it is not difficult, by the evidence of what Sikhs and Hindus had to leave in Pakistan, to show that they could not have left their rich possessions and their revered shrines just for a whim, fancy, or even for a political stake. Whole nations of millions do riot uproot themselves so lightly: even for political ideals - individuals and small groups may. If they bid good-bye to all that is cherished and valued by them, it is because to hold on to them is made impossible by powerful causes. And such causes were provided by Pakistan tyranny.

Hindus and Sikhs left behind in Pakistan fourteen hundred crores worth of property, innumerable banks, factories, works, business houses, their assets, lands, houses, gardens, more than five million acres of fertile land, their institutions, magnificent hospitals and what is more, their historic and sacred shrines, dearer than life. Did they want to ‘ruin’ Pakistan by having several lakhs of themselves killed, maimed, forcibly converted, their womenfolk dishonoured, their children cut to pieces and having fifty thousand girls abducted? Why, in the name of sense, if the Hindus and Sikhs wanted to migrate, did they not migrate while it was still somewhat safe to migrate - that is, before August 15, 1947. What were Hindus and Sikhs waiting for till then? After June 3 anyway, it was clear to the meanest intelligence that Pakistan would be established. Far from wishing to migrate from West Punjab, Hindus and Sikhs of the West Punjab decided to become citizens of Pakistan, and actually elected their representatives to the Pakistan Constituent Assembly. This does not look like migrating, but like staying on and obeying the laws of the new State. The total number of Hindus and Sikhs who migrated from the Western Districts of the Punjab east, prior to August would be less than a million. To put it at that would be making a very generous estimate. It was after August 15, when safety of life in Pakistan was rendered impossible that the forty-five lakhs of Hindus and Sikhs of the West Punjab, the entire Hindu and Sikh population of the North-Western Frontier Province, of Baluchistan and Bahawalpur, along with twelve lakh Hindus of Sind, left their ancestral homes to seek safety in India. Not only that, many Christians were forced out of Pakistan and many untouchables. From the other end of Pakistan too thousands of miles away, from East Bengal, as many as twenty-five lakhs of Hindus had to migrate to India. Even in a credulous world it Is somewhat hard to swallow that all these people, over a crore in number, chose to be poor and miserable only for the pleasure of seeing Pakistan go ruined economically.

In reality, such fantastic things are being said by Pakistan only to cover up their own conspiracy and crimes against Hindus and Sikhs, whom they persecuted, harassed and with murder, rape, arson and loot drove out of Pakistan. Here are a few grounds for believing that Sikhs and Hindus left Pakistan under very great duress, and that they were extremely unhappy to do so, as this coming away lost to them all that was precious to them in the material and spiritual way.


Exchange of population or even driving out of Hindu and Sikh population from the Muslim State has from the beginning been inherent in the very conception of the State of Pakistan. This has been amply argued in the opening chapter. When Pakistan was established, this inevitable finale to the process of its establishment was executed with equal zeal and collaboration by the people (Muslims) and. Government of Pakistan. The process of elimination of minorities went on without check by the Muslim police, officials and military. On the contrary, they abetted the process. No responsible Pakistan or Muslim League leaders condemned such attacks on Hindus and Sikhs. Governor Mudie of West Punjab revealed in his letter to Mr. Jinnah his determination to throw Sikhs out of Pakistan at all costs (The full text of this letter appears in the Appendix. Excerpts from it have been quoted in two places, earlier.) Jinnah did not have a word to utter about the murder of over 800 Sikhs in Karachi on the 6th January, 1948. Nor for the matter of that, a word about the massacres of Noakhali, the North-Western Frontier Province, Rawalpindi, Multan or any other.

Pakistan Press and its leaders openly advocated the elimination of Sikhs from Pakistan. Zafar Ali’s verse ‘Koi Sikh rehne na pae Maghribi Punjab men’ has already been quoted. The tempo of hate against Sikhs was deliberately raised, in order to incite the Muslim masses to drive them speedily out of West Punjab.


Driving Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan would bring great wealth into Muslim hands. This wealth has been estimated at fourteen hundred crores in value. It includes fifty-five lakh acres of rich land, good, firmly built houses, many factories and works, institutions, innumerable shops rich in merchandise and stores and godowns full of materials whose price runs into crores upon crores of rupees. Besides these there are hundreds of well established schools, many colleges, hospitals, charitable institutions and libraries. In the banks in West Punjab, Safe Deposit Lockers alone contained valuables worth about two hundred crores. All this was Hindu-Sikh property. And it had to be left behind.

As against all this, the total Muslim assets in the East Punjab do not come to more than two hundred and fifty crores. It would have been madness for Hindus and Sikhs to have left their own magnificent possessions for the beggarly Muslim assets, and to make a gift of all that they had to Pakistan.