American Consulate General,
September 14, 1948
Despatch No. 69
The Secretary of State,
I have the honor to refer to report that the news of Mr. Jinnah's death was received in Lahore shortly after
eleven PM Saturday, September 11th. The District Commissioner of Lahore, M. I. Rahim, announced the
bad news to a stunned group at the Gymkhana Club dinner dance where many West Punjab officials, our
own staff and that of the British Deputy High Commissioner were present. The party immediately
broke up and Cootes and I had a meeting with British officials at the home of the Manager of the
Imperial Bank of India where we agreed that tragic as the situation appeared no immediate action seemed
called for in regard to our colonies.
The following day was taken up by visits of condolence and running down rumors of a possible successor
to Mr. Jinnah, ranging from the Nawab of Bhopal or the Aga Khan to Sir Francis Mudie, Governor of the
West Punjab. A copy of my letter of condolence to the Governor is attached. Hastily organized memorial
services were held in the public parks for the citizens of Lahore and in the Anglican and Catholic Cathedrals
of the city for the Christian communities. A military parade of the Lahore garrison at the Cantonment followed
at six PM under Brigadier Rodham, commanding the 10th division. The last post was sounded and 31 guns
Monday brought the news of the Indian invasion of Hyderabad State on the lines and accompanied
by the same propaganda as the invasion of Czechoslovakia by Hitler. A startling parallel runs through
the Indian announcement of their humanitarian motives in bringing fire and sword to that State. Other
than anxious crowds gathered at newspaper offices, the city was like a dead town due to the closing
of all government and business offices but in the afternoon crowds of demonstrators toured the city
shouting "Pakistan Zindabad" - "Hyderabad Zindabad" and at 4:30 PM a group of about a hundred
gathered at the gate of Government House, only a hundred yards from the entrance to this Consulate
General, shouting for permission from His Excellency to make an immediate attack on Amritsar. They
were dispersed with little effort and went back to town where a giant mass meeting which I would
estimate at well around one hundred thousand listened for the most part in silence to a series of
speeches from Chaudri Nazeer Ahmad, member of the Pakistan Constituent Assembly, Sahib Bahadur
S.P. Singha, President Pakistan Christian Association, Mr. Dinshaw B. Challa, President of the Parsees,
Mufti Mohammad Hasan and the Premier of the West Punjab, Khan Iftikar Hussain Khan of Mamdot.
During the rabble rousing Koranic injunctions of the Mufti, the fourth speaker, the crowd began to
get restive and Sardar Sampuram Singh, Deputy High Commissioner for India in Lahore, who sat next to
me, was hastily advised to leave which he did as unobtrusively as possible under cover of the elevated
stand on which we sat with the speakers. A small escort of plain clothes police rushed him to the car
and away just in time. At the conclusion of the meeting the crowd roared the adoption of a motion by
Premier Iftikar Khan to pledge themselves to work for the ideals of the deceased Quaid-i-Azam. As we
left, the Premier was mobbed by the crowd which began to shout anti-Indian and pro-Hyderabad slogans.
The spectacle of one of these vast Oriental crowds is impressive but rather frightening when it is
realized that only a spark, a small scuffle, a rumor is sufficient to turn it into a turbulent murderous mob.
As there are luckily practically no Hindus left in Lahore as targets the crowd broke up peaceably
enough, although another group, this time estimated at about two thousand, again came to the gate of
Government House for action against India.
So far - Tuesday morning - Lahore is quiet and most of the smaller shops and bazaars have
reopened under instructions of the Government who evidently prefer to have the people at work than
milling about in the present explosive situation. The banks and larger establishments are still closed.
Hooker A. Doolittle
American Consul General
American Embassy, Karachi
American Embassy, Delhi