Liaquat-Nehru Pact: When India, Pak Promised to Protect Minorities

The Delhi Pact was signed by Jawaharlal Nehru and Liaquat Ali Khan to protect minorities in India and Pakistan.

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(On Liaquat Ali Khan’s birth anniversary, The Quint is republishing this story from its archives. It was originally published on 8 April 2017.)

In 1950, in the wake of the Partition, and the bloodshed and misery it caused, minorities in India and Pakistan were viewed with suspicion and doubt. In this atmosphere of growing apprehensions against Muslims in India and Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan, the possibility of another war also loomed overhead.

The Indian and Pakistani Prime Ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Liaquat Ali Khan signed the Delhi or the Liaquat-Nehru Pact on 8 April 1950 to safeguard minority rights in their respective countries. The pact was opposed by Syama Prasad Mookerjee, who eventually resigned as Nehru’s cabinet minister when the prime minister chose to go ahead with the pact. Mookerjee founded the Bharatiya Jana Sangh in 1951 after quitting the cabinet, which later became the BJP in 1980.

Graphics and Editing: Kunal Mehra

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