Liaquat Ali Khan was one of the leading Founding Fathers of modern Pakistan Rawalpindi.who served as the nation’s first prime minister In addition, he was also the first Defence Minister of Pakistan. A lawyer by profession, he was an acclaimed political theorist who rose to political prominence as a member of the All India Muslim League, and was regarded as the right-hand man of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the leader of the Muslim League. Born as the son of a wealthy landlord in British India, he studied law and political science at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) before moving to England on a scholarship to further his education in Oxford University’s Exeter College. Upon his return to India he became active in national politics and joined the All India Muslim League. An eloquent orator, he often spoke about the problems and challenges faced by the Muslim communities which earned him several Muslim supporters. He also firmly believed in the unity of Hindu-Muslim communities. Upon the partition of India in 1947, Pakistan as an independent nation came into existence and Khan was appointed as the first Prime Minister of Pakistan. He assumed this significant office during a highly tumultuous time despite which he tried his best to bring about positive political, social, and infrastructural changes in the nation. He was assassinated in 1951 at a political rally in
|Name:||Liaquat Ali Khan|
|Famous As:||First Prime Minister of Pakistan,Political Leaders|
|Nationality:||Pakistani, Famous Pakistani Men|
|Education:||University of Oxford, 1918 – Aligarh Muslim University, 1921 – Exeter College, Oxford, MAO College|
|Minister of Finance of India In office :||29 October 1946 – 14 August 1947|
|Minister of Finance of India In office Succeeded by:||Shanmukham Chetty|
|Minister of Finance of India In office Preceded by:||Office Establishment|
|Minister of Defence of Pakistan In office Succeeded by:||Khawaja Nazimuddin|
|1st Prime Minister of Pakistan In office Monarch:||15 August 1947 – 16 October 1951|
|1st Prime Minister of Pakistan In office Governor:||George VI|
|1st Prime Minister of Pakistan In office General:||Muhammad Ali Jinnah|
|1st Prime Minister of Pakistan In office Preceded by:||State proclaimed|
|1st Prime Minister of Pakistan In office Succeeded by:||Khawaja Nazimuddin|
|1st Prime Minister of Pakistan In office General:||Khawaja Nazimuddin|
|Minister of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan In office :||15 August 1947 – 27 December 1949|
|Minister of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan In office Preceded by:||Office established|
|Minister of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan In office Succeeded by:||Muhammad Zafarullah Khan|
|Minister of Defence of Pakistan In office :||15 August 1947 – 16 October 1951|
|Minister of Defence of Pakistan In office Preceded by:||Office Establishment|
|Date:||1 October 1895|
|Place:||Karnal, Punjab, British India (now in Haryana, India)|
|Spouse:||Ra’ana Liaquat Ali Khan, Jehangira Begum|
|Date:||17 October 1951|
Childhood Early Life
Liaquat Ali Khan was born on 1 October 1895 in Karnal Eastern Punjab of British India into a wealthy family of landlords. His father, Nawab Rustam Ali Khan, was much respected by the British Government and his mother Mahmoodah Begum was a religious lady.
His family wanted the young Liaquat to be educated according to the British educational system and arranged for him to study law and political science at the famous Muhammadan Anglo Oriental College (now Aligarh Muslim University). He graduated with a BSc in Political science and LLB in 1918.
He received scholarships and grants from the British Government which enabled him to attend the Oxford University’s Exeter College in England for his higher education. In 1921, Khan was awarded the Master of Law in Law and Justice. He was called to the Bar in 1922.
- Liaquat Ali Khan returned to India in 1923 and soon entered national politics. He was disturbed by the injustices and ill-treatment meted out to the Indian Muslims under the British and wanted to work towards eliminating this discrimination. He also strongly believed in Hindu-Muslim unity.
- He was approached by the Congress party but he refused to join them and instead joined the All India Muslim League in 1923. The Muslim League was led by another lawyer Muhammad Ali Jinnah with whom Khan went on to foster a close political relationship in future.
- In 1926, he began his political career as an elected member of the United Provinces Legislative Council from the rural Muslim constituency of Muzzafarnagar. In 1932, he was unanimously elected Deputy President of UP Legislative Council.
- Khan worked closely with Jinnah over the following years. In 1928, the two men decided to discuss the Nehru Report and in 1930, they attended the First Round Table Conference. The conference proved to be a disaster following which Jinnah moved from British India to Great Britain.
- Jinnah returned to British India after a few years and began re-organizing the Muslim League. In 1936, Jinnah moved a resolution proposing Khan as the Honorary General Secretary which was accepted. In 1940, Khan was made the deputy leader of the Muslim League Parliamentary party.
- Khan’s stature continued to grow in the ensuing years. Following the 1945-46 elections, the Muslim League won 87% of seats reserved for Muslims of British India and Khan was elected Chairman of the League’s Central Parliamentary Board. The Indian independence movement was in its final phase, and Khan helped Jinnah in his negotiations with the members of the Cabinet Mission and the leaders of the Congress.
- The partition of India took place in 1947 and Pakistan as a separate nation came into existence on 14 August 1947. Liaquat Ali Khan was appointed as the first Prime Minister of Pakistan by the founding fathers of Pakistan.
- The late 1940s marked a highly tumultuous period in the newly formed nation’s history. Even though Khan was determined that Pakistan be a part of the Non-Aligned Movement, he had to side with the United States in their intense competition with the Soviet Union as the U.S. had promised aid to help the newly independent Pakistan.
- As the prime minister, he envisioned a glorious future for the country and took initiatives to develop educational infrastructure, science and technology in Pakistan. He asked the much learned political theorist, educationist and scholar Ziauddin Ahmed to draft the educational policy which was later adopted as the roadmap for the establishment of the educational system in Pakistan.
- It was during his tenure that the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) was established in 1949. It was followed by the installation of a paper currency mill in Karachi.
- Despite all his achievements, Khan earned several detractors during his political career. His tenure as the prime minister was marred by the Indo-Pakistan War in 1947 and the Balochistan conflict. His ability as Pakistan’s leader was questioned by the communists and socialists active in the country. Problems also cropped up with Pakistan Armed Forces.
- On 16 October 1951, Liaquat Ali Khan was scheduled to make an important announcement in a public meeting of the Muslim City League at Company Bagh, Rawalpindi. There he was assassinated by a hired assassin, Sa’ad Babrak.
- Upon becoming the prime minister, Khan implemented initiatives to develop educational infrastructure, science and technology in the country. He appointed Salimuzzaman Siddiqui as his first government science adviser and asked Ziauddin Ahmed to draft the educational policy for establishing a strong educational system in Pakistan. During his tenure, the establishment of the Sindh University was also authorized.
- As the leader of a newly created nation, Khan wanted to develop friendly relations with powerful countries like the U.S. He visited the U.S. and asked for civilian foreign aid for economic and moral support to build Pakistan to which the U.S. agreed. Pakistan received U.S. aid for several years before the relations between the two nations soured.
Personal Life Legacy
Liaquat Ali Khan married his cousin, Jehangira Begum, in 1918. He married for the second time in 1932. His second wife, Begum Ra’ana, was a prominent economist and an educator who played an influential role in the Pakistan movement. He had three sons from these marriages.
During a public meeting of the Muslim City League at Company Bagh (Company Gardens), Rawalpindi, on 16 October 1951, Khan was shot twice in the chest by a hired assassin. The assassin was immediately killed by the police but the exact motive behind the assassination has never been fully revealed.
He was given the honorific title of “Shaheed-e-Millat”, or “Martyr of the Nation” upon his death.
When Muhammad Ali Jinnah returned to India, he started to reorganise the Muslim League. In 1936, the annual session of the League met in Bombay (now Mumbai). In the open session on 12 April 1936, Jinnah moved a resolution proposing Khan as the Honorary General Secretary. The resolution was unanimously adopted and he held the office till the establishment of Pakistan in 1947.In 1940, Khan was made the deputy leader of the Muslim League Parliamentary party. Jinnah was not able to take active part in the proceedings of the Assembly on account of his heavy political work. It was Khan who stood in his place. During this period, Khan was also the Honorary General Secretary of the Muslim League, the deputy leader of their party, Convenor of the Action Committee of the Muslim League, Chairman of the Central Parliamentary Board and the managing director of the newspaper Dawn.
Liquat Ali Khan (second left, first row) and wife, Sheila Irene Pant (far right, first row), meeting with the Nawab of Amb in 1948.
The Pakistan Resolution was adopted in 1940 at the Lahore session of the Muslim League. The same year elections were held for the central legislative assembly which were contested by Khan from the Barielly constituency. He was elected without contest. When the twenty-eighth session of the League met in Madras (now Chennai) on 12 April 1941, Jinnah told party members that the ultimate aim was to obtain Pakistan. In this session, Khan moved a resolution incorporating the objectives of the Pakistan Resolution in the aims and objectives of the Muslim League. The resolution was seconded and passed unanimously.
In 1945-46, mass elections were held in India and Khan won the Central Legislature election from the Meerut Constituency in the United Provinces. He was also elected Chairman of the League’s Central Parliamentary Board. The Muslim League won 87% of seats reserved for Muslims of British India.He assisted Jinnah in his negotiations with the members of the Cabinet Mission and the leaders of the Congress during the final phases of the Freedom Movement and it was decided that an interim government would be formed consisting of members of the Congress, the Muslim League and minority leaders. When the Government asked the Muslim League to send five nominees for representation in the interim government, Khan was asked to lead the League group in the cabinet. He was given the portfolio of finance. The other four men nominated by the League were Ibrahim Ismail Chundrigar, Ghazanfar Ali Khan, Abdur Rab Nishtar, and Jogendra Nath Mandal. By this point, the British government and the Indian National Congress had both accepted the idea of Pakistan and therefore on 14 August 1947, Pakistan came into existence.
After independence, Khan was appointed as the first Prime Minister of Pakistan Pakistan. Khan was made the prime minister during the penultimate times, the country was born at the time of starting of the extensive competition between two world superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union. Khan faced with mounted challenges and difficulties while trying to administer the country. Khan and the Muslim League faced with dual competitions with socialists in West-Pakistan and, the communists in East Pakistan. The Muslim League founded difficult to face competition with socialists in West Pakistan, and lost considerable support in favor of socialists led its Marxist leader Faiz Ahmad Faiz. In East Pakistan, the Muslim League’s political base was vanished by Pakistan Communist Party after staging a mass protest.by the founding fathers of
On the internal front, Khan faced with socialist’s nationalists challenges and different religious ideologies further pushed the country into more unrest.Problems with Soviet Union and Soviet bloc further escalated after Khan failed to make a visit to Soviet Union, despite his intention. Khan envisioned a non-aligned foreign policy, however despite some initiatives, the country became more dependent on the United States and this ultimately influenced Khan’s policy towards the communist bloc.His government faced serious challenges including the dispute over Kashmir with India, forcing Khan to approach his counterpart the Prime minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru. A settlement was reached to end the fighting, while Nehru also referred the issue to the United Nations.Generally an anti-communist, Ali Khan send the recommendation to Jinnah to appoint Abdul Rashid as country’s first Chief Justice, and Justice Abdur Rahim as President of Constitutional Assembly, both of them were also the Founding fathers of Pakistan.Earliest reforms Khan took was to centralize the Muslim League, and planned and prepared the Muslim League to become the successor authority of Pakistan.
Economic and education policy
Prime minister Liaquat Ali Khan took initiatives to developed educational infrastructure, science and technology in the country, with carrying the vision of successful development of science and technologyto aid the essential foreign policy of Pakistan.In 1947, with Jinnah inviting Rafi Muhammad Chaudhry to Pakistan, on the other hand, Liaquat Ali Khan called Salimuzzaman Siddiqui awarding him the citizenship, and appointed him as his first government science adviser in 1950. During this same time, Khan also called Raziuddin Siddiqui, asking him to plan and establish the educational research institutes in the country. Khan asked Ziauddin Ahmed to draft the educational policy, which was submitted to his office in November 1947, and a road map to establishing the education in the country was quickly adopted by Khan’s government.
Khan’s government authorized the establishment of the Sindh University. Under his government, the science infrastructure was slowly built but he continued inviting Muslims scientists and engineers from India to Pakistan, believing it essential for Pakistan’s future progress.
In 1947, Khan and his Treasure minister Malick Ghulam Karachi.Unlike his Indian counterpart Jawaharlal Nehru, Khan drew Pakistan’s economy planned, but open free market economy, with no government influence.proposed the idea of Five-Year Plans, by putting the country’s economic system on investment and capitalism grounds.Focusing on an initial Planned economic system under the directives of private sector and consortium industries in 1948; the economic planning began to take place in his office, but soon collapse partly because of unsystematic and inadequate staffing.Khan’s economic policies were soon heavily became dependent to United States’s aid to the country. In spite of planning an independent economic policies, Khan’s economic policies focused on the United States’ aid programme, on the other hand, Nehru focused on socialism and went on to be a part of Non Aligned Movement. An important event during his premiership was the establishment of National Bank in November 1949, and the installation of a paper currency mill in
War with India
Soon after appointing a new government, Pakistan Pakistan Army, Liaquat Ali Khan ordered the independent units of the Pakistan Army to intervene in the conflict. On Kashmir issue, Khan and Jinnah’s policy reflected “Pakistan’s alliance with U.S and United Kingdom” against the “Indian imperialism” and “Soviet expansion”.However, it is revealed by historians that differences and disagreement with Jinnah arise over on Kashmir issue.Jinnah’s strategy to liberate Kashmir was using the military forces.Thus, Jinnah’s strategy was to “kill two birds with one stone”,namely decapitate India by controlling Kashmir, and to find a domestic solution through foreign and military intervention.started a war with India over on Kashmir conflict in 1947-48.The British commander of Pakistan Army General Sir Frank Walter Messervy, KCB,KCIE,CB,CBE,DSO,MC refused to send the army units, General Douglas Gracey was appointed the commander in chief of
On Khan’s personal accounts and views, the prime minister preferred a “harder diplomatic” and “less militanry stance”.The prime minister sought a dialogue with his counterpart, and agreed to resolve the dispute of Kashmir in a peaceful manner through the efforts of the United Nations Kashmir on 1 January 1949. It was decided that a free and impartial plebiscite would be held under the supervision of the UN.Prime minister’s diplomatic stance was met with hostility by the Pakistan Armed Forces and the socialists and communists, notably the mid-higher level command who would later sponsored an alleged coup led by the communists and socialists against his government.According to this agreement a ceasefire was effected in
On southern fronts, Khan’s government faced another challenge the Balochistan conflict. Khan’s government send the army units to force tribal leaders to integrate their states with Pakistan. This move met with hostile when Prince Karim Khan, Kalat, initiated a separatist movement against his government. On the night of 16 May 1948, Prince Khan escaped to Afghanistan, conducting a guerrilla warfare based in Afghanistan against the Pakistan Government. This conflict was short-lived when Afghanistan and Soviet Union denied to offer Prince Khan’s scheme to dismembered the country.leader of
On 16 October 1951, Khan was shot twice and killed during a public meeting of the Muslim City League at Company Bagh (Company Gardens), Rawalpindi. The police immediately shot the presumed assassin who was later identified as Saad Akbar Babrak also known as ‘Said Akbar’. Khan was rushed to a hospital and given a blood transfusion, but he succumbed to his injuries. Saad Akbar Babrak was an Afghan national from the Pashtun Zadran tribe. He was known to the police prior to the assassination of Liaquat Ali Khan. The exact motive behind the assassination has never been fully revealed and a lot of speculation exists about it. In 2006, declassified documents shed light on the US’ role in the assassination.
Upon his death, Khan was given the honorific title of “Shaheed-e-Millat”, or “Martyr of the Nation”. He is buried at Mazar-e-Quaid, the mausoleum built for Jinnah in Karachi.The Municipal Park, where he was assassinated, was renamed Liaquat Bagh (Bagh means park) in his honor. It is the same location where ex-Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in 2007.