Muslim League, political organization of India and Pakistan, founded 1906 as the All-India Muslim League by Aga Khan III. Its original purpose was to safeguard the political rights of Muslims in India. An early leader in the League, Muhammad Iqbal, was one of the first to propose (1930) the creation of a separate Muslim India.
By 1940, under the leadership of Muhammad Ali Jinnah,
it had gained such power that, for the first time, it demanded the
establishment of a Muslim state (Pakistan), despite the opposition of
the Indian National Congress.
During World War II the Congress was banned, but the League, which
supported the British war effort, was allowed to function and gained
strength. It won nearly all of the Muslim vote in the elections of 1946.
The following year saw the division of the Indian subcontinent and the
Muslim League became the major political party of newly formed Pakistan. By 1953, however, dissensions within the League had led to the formation of several different political parties.