The gradual decline of the Mughal Empire in the early eighteenth century enabled Sikh rulers to control large areas until the British East India Company gained ascendancy over South Asia. The Indian Rebellion of 1857, also known as the Sepoy Mutiny, was the region’s major armed struggle against the British. The largely non-violent freedom struggle led by the Indian National Congress engaged millions of protesters in mass campaigns of civil disobedience in the 1920s and 1930s .
The All-India Muslim League rose to popularity in the late 1930s amid fears of under-representation and neglect of Muslims in politics. In his presidential address of 29 December 1930,Muhammad Iqbal called for “the formation of a consolidated North-West Indian Muslim State” consisting of Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, Sind and Baluchistan. Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, espoused the two-nation theory and led the Muslim League to adopt the Lahore Resolution of 1940, popularly known as the Pakistan Resolution. In early 1947, Britain announced the decision to end itsrule in India. In June 1947, the nationalist leaders of British India—including Jawaharlal Nehru and Abul Kalam Azad representing the Congress, Jinnah representing the Muslim League, and Master Tara Singhrepresenting the Sikhs—agreed to the proposed terms of transfer of power and independence.
The modern state of Pakistan was established on 14 August 1947 (27 Ramadan 1366 in the Islamic Calendar) in the eastern and northwestern regions of British India, where there was a Muslim majority. It comprised the provinces of Balochistan, East Bengal, the North-West Frontier Province, West Punjab andSindh. The partition of the Punjab and Bengal provinces led to communal riots across India and Pakistan; millions of Muslims moved to Pakistan and millions of Hindus and Sikhs moved to India.Dispute over the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir led to the First Kashmir War in October 1947