Muhammad Ali Jinnah Urdu: محمد علی جناح (help·info) (December 25, 1876 – September 11, 1948) was a Pakistani politician and leader of the All India Muslim League who founded Pakistan and served as its first Governor-General. He is officially known in Pakistan as Quaid-e-Azam (Urdu: قائد اعظم — "Great Leader") and Baba-e-Qaum ("Father of the Nation"). His birthday is a national holiday in Pakistan.
Jinnah rose to prominence in the
Indian National Congress expounding ideas of Hindu-Muslim unity and helping shape the 1916 Lucknow Pact with the Muslim League; he also became a key leader in the All India Home Rule League. He proposed a fourteen-point constitutional reform plan to safeguard the political rights of Muslims in a self-governing India. His proposals failed amid the League's disunity, driving a disillusioned Jinnah to live in London for many years. The Hindu centric policies of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi forced Jinnah to leave Congress and settle in London. Allama Muhammad Iqbal visited Jinnah in London and convinced him to return and lead Muslim League. Then Jinnah joined the Muslim League and became a prominent leader. Jinnah was a secular minded Shi'a Muslim by faith.
Several Muslim leaders persuaded Jinnah to return in 1934 and re-organise the Muslim League. Jinnah embraced the goal of creating a separate state for Muslims as per the
Lahore Resolution. The League won most Muslim seats in the elections of 1946, and Jinnah launched the Direct Action campaign movement to achieve independence of Pakistan, the strong reaction of Congress supporters resulted in communal violence across South Asia. The failure of the Congress-League coalition to govern the country prompted both parties and the British to agree to independence of Pakistan and India. As the Governor-General of Pakistan, Jinnah led efforts to rehabilitate millions of refugees, and to frame national policies on foreign affairs, security and economic development.

In the 1946 elections for the Constituent Assembly of India, the Congress won most of the elected seats and Hindu electorate seats, while the League won a large majority of Muslim electorate seats. The 1946 British Cabinet Mission to India released a plan on May 16, calling for a united Indian state comprising considerably autonomous provinces, and called for "groups" of provinces formed on the basis of religion. A second plan released on June 16, called for the separation of South Asia along religious lines, with princely states to choose between accession to the dominion of their choice or independence. The Congress, fearing India's fragmentation, criticised the May 16 proposal and rejected the June 16 plan. Jinnah gave the League's assent to both plans, knowing that power would go only to the party that had supported a plan. After much debate and against Gandhi's advice that both plans were divisive, the Congress accepted the May 16 plan while condemning the grouping principle.[citation needed] Jinnah decried this acceptance as "dishonesty", accused the British negotiators of "treachery",[25] and withdrew the League's approval of both plans. The League boycotted the assembly, leaving the Congress in charge of the government but denying it legitimacy in the eyes of many Muslims.
Jinnah issued a call for all Muslims to launch "
Direct Action" on August 16 to "achieve Pakistan".[26] Strikes and protests were planned, but violence broke out all over South Asia, especially in Calcutta and the district of Noakhali in Bengal, and more than 7,000 people were killed in Bihar. Although viceroy Lord Wavell asserted that there was "no satisfactory evidence to that effect",[27] League politicians were blamed by the Congress and the media for orchestrating the violence.[28] Interim Government portfolios were announced on October 25, 1946.[29] Muslim Leaguers were sworn in on October 26, 1946.[30] The League entered the interim government, but Jinnah refrained from accepting office for himself. This was credited as a major victory for Jinnah, as the League entered government having rejected both plans, and was allowed to appoint an equal number of ministers despite being the minority party. The coalition was unable to work, resulting in a rising feeling within the Congress that independence of Pakistan was the only way of avoiding political chaos and possible civil war. The Congress agreed to the division of Punjab and Bengal along religious lines in late 1946. The new viceroy Lord Mountbatten and Indian civil servant V. P. Menon proposed a plan that would create a Muslim dominion in West Punjab, East Bengal, Baluchistan and Sindh. After heated and emotional debate, the Congress approved the plan.[31] The North-West Frontier Province voted to join Pakistan in a referendum in July 1947. Jinnah asserted in a speech in Lahore on October 30, 1947 that the League had accepted independence of Pakistan because "the consequences of any other alternative would have been too disastrous to imagine."