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Liaquat Ali Khan As Prime Minister History Essay

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Liaquat Ali Khans contributions to the struggle for independence were numerous. After independence, he was thus the natural choice for the premiership. Liaquat Ali Khan was appointed as the first Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Being the first Prime Minister of the country, Liaquat Ali Khan had to deal with a number of difficulties that Pakistan faced in its early days. He helped Quaid-i-Azam in solving the riots and refugee problem and in setting up an effective administrative system for the country. He established the groundwork for Pakistan's foreign policy. He also took steps towards the formulation of the constitution. He presented The Objectives Resolution, a prelude to future constitutions, in the Legislative Assembly. The house passed it on March 12, 1949. It is considered to be the "Magna Carta" in Pakistan's constitutional history. Liaquat Ali Khan called it "the most important occasion in the life of this country, next in importance, only to the achievement of independence". Under his leadership a team also drafted the first report of the Basic Principle Committee and work began on the second report.

During his tenure, India and Pakistan agreed to resolve the dispute of Kashmir in a peaceful manner through the efforts of the United Nations. According to this agreement a ceasefire was affected in Kashmir in January 1948. It was decided that a free and impartial plebiscite would be held under the supervision of the

After the death of Quaid-i-Azam, he tried to fill the vacuum created by the departure of the Father of the Nation. The problem of religious minorities flared during late 1949 and early 1950, and it seemed as if India and Pakistan were about to fight their second war in the first three years of their independence. At this critical moment in the history of South Asia, Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan met Nehru to sign the Liaquat-Nehru Pact in 1950. The Liaquat-Nehru Pact was an effort on his part to improve relations and reduce tension between India and Pakistan. In May 1951, he visited the United States and set the course of Pakistan's foreign policy towards closer ties with the West. An important event during his premiership was the establishment of National Bank of Pakistan in November 1949, and the installation of a paper currency mill in Karachi.

Liaquat Ali Khan was unfortunately assassinated on October 16, 1951. Security forces immediately shot the assassin, who was later identified as Saad Akbar. The question of who was behind his murder is yet to be answered.

The government officially gave Liaquat Ali Khan the title of Shaheed-i-Millat.

Jinnah - Mountbatten Talks [1947]

The history of bilateral negotiations pertaining to Kashmir between the leaders of India and Pakistan at the state level can be traced back to November 1947. The meeting of the Joint Defense Council was scheduled at Delhi only four days after the occupation of Kashmir by the Indian forces. The venue of the meeting was changed from Delhi to Lahore. The Governor General and Prime Minister of the two countries were supposed to attend the meeting. However, to avoid direct talks with his Pakistani counterpart, Jawaharlal Nehru declared himself ill and his deputy, Sardar Patel, refused to come to Lahore, stating that there was nothing to discuss with the Pakistani leadership. This left Mountbatten alone in his visit to Pakistan.

Mountbatten came to Lahore on November 1, 1947, and had a three and a half hour long discussion with the Governor General of Pakistan. Mountbatten made an offer to the Quaid that India would hold a plebiscite in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, provided Pakistan withdrew the Azad Kashmiri forces and their allies. He also made it clear that the Indian forces would remain in the valley and Sheikh Abdullah in the chair. Quaid-i-Azam opposed the unjust plan and claimed that the State of Jammu and Kashmir, with its massive Muslim majority, belonged to Pakistan as an essential element in an incomplete partition process. He was also convinced that plebiscite under the supervision of Sheikh Abdullah and Indian regular army would be sabotaged.

Presenting his proposal, Quaid-i-Azam asked for the immediate and simultaneous withdrawal of both the Pathan tribesmen and the Indian troops. Afterwards, he suggested that the leaders of India and Pakistan should take control of the State of Jammu and Kashmir and sort out all matters including the arrangement of a free and fair plebiscite.

Quaid-i-Azam guaranteed his counterpart that the two of them would be able to solve the problem once and forever, if Mountbatten was ready to fly with him to Srinagar at once. As India was not interested in the immediate resolution of the problem and wanted to gain time, Mountbatten told the Quaid that unlike him, he was not the complete master of his country and had to take the consent of Nehru and Patel. Thus the talks ended and the problem remained unsolved.

Post Independence Problems

Pakistan was carved out in desperate urgency. It came into existence with horrible loss of life and property, and the migration of millions of dazed and destitute men, women, and children. The cost was heavy in terms of human suffering. But what the Muslims wanted and what they achieved was a homeland of their own. They now had the freedom to worship, practice their religious faith and develop their culture. Moreover, independence had opened up a bright future for the Muslims, who hoped for a better standard of living, economic development, prosperity and a fuller life.

But it seemed in those early years (1947-58) that the immense sacrifices might have been in vain for Pakistan had been struggling from one major crisis to another, fighting to ward off the multiple problems that threatened the nation.

The main problems were:

1. Refugees

2. Indus Water

3. Accession of Princely States

1. Refugees

It had been agreed between Jinnah and Nehru that a Boundary Commission should be setup to define the borders between India and Pakistan. The British Government immediately appointed a Boundary Commission under Sir Cyril Radcliffe to demarcate permanent borders.

The boundaries had to be defined as such that provinces, districts, and villages that were predominantly Muslim went to Pakistan, while Hindu majority areas went to India. Provinces like Baluchistan, Sindh, N. W. F. P. and East Bengal provided little difficulty. But deep problems arose when boundaries in Punjab had to be fixed; there were also a substantial number of Hindus and Sikhs residing in this region, other than the Muslims. However, the province was partitioned.

When the boundaries were drawn between India and Pakistan, it resulted in many tragic events. In an almost frantic, cruel rush, the commission divided districts, villages, farmlands, water and property. Thousands of innocent men, women and children were caught unaware. The result was that many hastened across the border, leaving their homes, land and personal property to seek refuge. Panic, fear, revenge and reprisals followed. Both India and Pakistan were soaked in blood. It left on Pakistan's doorstep, seven million refugees who had to be rehabilitated, clothed, fed and sheltered.

Partition also involved dividing of the assets of the Sub-continent. India, being the larger country, got the lion's share in all transactions, leaving Pakistan with minimal resources to survive and build on.

Equally disastrous was the economic situation. There were not sufficient skilled personnel to run the railways, hospitals and offices. There weren't enough chairs, tables or even stationery and paper pins for administrative purposes. Food was scarce. Pakistan had no industry.

At the time of partition, the cash balances of undivided India stood at about Rupees 4,000 million. At the beginning of December 1947, India and Pakistan mutually came to an agreement that Pakistan would get Rupees 750 million as her share. Rupees 200 million had been already paid to Pakistan while Rupees 550 million were to be paid immediately. But this amount was withheld on the plea that Pakistan would use it in the war going on in Kashmir. However, as this stand was morally untenable, the remaining amount was later on released after Gandhi's fast and under world pressure on January 15, 1948.

Soon afterwards, Sardar Patel threatened that the implementation of the agreement would depend upon the settlement of the Kashmir issue. But, it was upon Gandhi's request that the Reserved Bank of India paid Pakistan Rupees 500 million, retaining the balance of Rupees 50 million to adjust some trumped up claim against Pakistan

2. The Indus Water

The most explosive of Indo-Pakistan disputes was the question of sharing the waters of the Indus basin.

On April 1, 1948, India cut off the supply of water from the two headworks under her control. Fortunately, Eugene Black, President of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development offered the offices of the Bank for the solution of the water problem in 1952. A solution acceptable to both governments was agreed upon in 1960 at the Indus Basin Development Fund Agreement at Karachi. This treaty is commonly known as the "Indus Water Treaty".

The treaty allowed for a transitional period of 10 to 13 years, after which the three eastern rivers would fall exclusively to India's share and the three western rivers to Pakistan. During the transitional period, Pakistan would construct a system of replacement works consisting of two dams, five barrages and seven link canals financed by the Indus Development Fund.

3.Accession of Princely States

Prior to partition, there existed in British India many semi-autonomous Princely states whose future had to be settled before Britain withdrew from India.

There were some 560 such states all over the Sub-continent. Some fell within Indian territory, others in Pakistan.

On July 25, 1947, Lord Louis Mountbatten (the last Viceroy of India) in his address to the Chamber of Princes advised them that in deciding the question of accession, they should take into consideration communal composition and the geographical location of their states. Nearly all the states accepted the reality of the situation and opted either for Pakistan or India accordingly. But there were four states, Junagadh, Hyderabad, Jodhpur and Kashmir, which defied the principle of partition.

I. Junagadh: The ruler of Junagadh was a Muslim but 80 percent of his subjects were Hindus. On September 15, 1947, the Nawab acceded to Pakistan, despite the fact that his state did not fall within the geographical grouping of Pakistan. India protested, stormed in her troops, and forcibly reversed the Nawab's decision and Junagadh became a part of India.

II. Hyderabad: Hyderabad, the second of the defiant states was the largest and richest in India. Its population was 85 percent Hindu but the ruler (Nizam) was a Muslim. He was reluctant to accede either to India or Pakistan but was dismissed by Mountbatten for adopting this course. The Nizam was forced by the Indian government and Lord Mountbatten to join India. A standstill agreement was concluded between India and Hyderabad. The Hindu subjects were incited to revolt against the Nizam's desire to be independent. The whole province suffered turmoil and violence. Hyderabad filed a compliant with the Security Council of the United Nations. Before the hearing could be started, Indian troops entered Hyderabad to "restore order", and under the pretext of "police action" Hyderabad was forced to join India. The Hyderabad army surrendered on September 17, 1948, and finally Hyderabad was annexed into the Indian Union.

III. Jodhpur: Yet another prince, the Maharaja of Jodhpur, expressed a wish to join Pakistan but Mountbatten warned him that his subjects were mostly Hindus and his accession to Pakistan would create problems. As a result Jodhpur, too, acceded to India.

IV. Kashmir: Please see "Kashmir Crisis".

Kashmir Crisis [1948]

Kashmir, the last of the defiant states, was the reverse of Hyderabad. It had a Hindu ruler, Maharaja Hari Singh, but his subjects were mostly Muslims, accounting to 78 percent of the total population. The Maharaja was reluctant to join either India or Pakistan. But Lord Mountbatten urged him to take a decision to join either of the states before August 15, 1947.

The Maharaja asked for more time to consider his decision. In the meantime he asked the Indian and the Pakistani government to sign a "standstill agreement" with him. Pakistan consented but India refused.

The local population of Poonch began to press the Maharaja to accede to Pakistan. In August 1947, they held a massive demonstration to protest against the Maharaja's indecisiveness. The Maharaja panicked. He asked his Hindu paratroopers to open fire, and within a matter of seconds, several hundred Muslims were killed. Rising up against this brutal action, a local barrister called Sardar Muhammad Ibrahim immediately set up the Azad Kashmir government and began to wage guerrilla warfare against the Maharaja.

By October 1947, the war of Kashmir had begun in earnest. The Pathan tribesmen from the North West Frontier Province, wanting to avenge the deaths of their brothers, invaded the valley. On reaching the valley of Kashmir, they defeated the Maharaja's troops and reached the gates of Srinagar, the capital.

The Maharaja sensing his defeat took refuge in Jammu whence he appealed to India to send troops to halt the onslaught of the tribesmen. India agreed on the condition that Kashmir would accede to India. On October 26, 1947, the Maharaja acceded to India. Lord Mountbatten accepted the accession on behalf of India.

On October 27, 1947, India began to airlift her troops to Srinagar, and launched a full-scale attack on the tribesmen. Pakistan was stunned. Despite her scant military resources, Pakistan was prepared to send in her troops but the British General Gracey, Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army, was against it. Jinnah proposed an immediate ceasefire and later on a fair and free plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir.

In January 1948, India took the dispute to the Security Council. There it accused Pakistan of aggression and demanded that Pakistan withdraw her tribesmen. But Pakistan held that the accession of Kashmir had been brought about by force. The government requested the Security Council to arrange a cease-fire and asked both the tribesmen and the Indian troops to withdraw so that a free and impartial plebiscite could be held to ascertain the wishes of the people of Kashmir.

While the Kashmir issue was still on the table, the Indian troops launched a full-scale attack and drove the tribesmen right back to the Pakistani border.

Pakistan rushed her regular troops into Kashmir and a full-scale war with India ensued. She took control of the Azad Kashmir Army. But the Security Council on August 13, 1948, called for an immediate ceasefire, the withdrawal of all Pakistani and Indian troops and holding of plebiscite under United Nations' supervision. Both the Indian and Pakistani governments accepted the resolution.

In January 1949, the resolution began to be implemented. In July 1949, the ceasefire line was demarcated. Pakistan's side of Kashmir consisted of some parts of Jammu, Poonch, some areas of Western Kashmir, Gilgit, and a great chunk of Ladakh territory near the Chinese border in the North. India kept the valley of Kashmir, Jammu and the remainder of Ladakh territory near the Tibet border.

The cease-fire has remained in existence since 1949. No plebiscite has been held and thus the Kashmir issue still remains disputed and unresolved.

Jinnah Passes Away [1948]

Quaid-i-Azam had been ailing since long before Independence. By the time of Independence, he was quite an old man but still possessing a strong spirit. He hid the debilitating weakness caused by severely advanced tuberculosis. Researchers like Professor Stanley Wolpert believed that by the end, cancer had developed as well. Quaid-i-Azam was convinced that if word of illness leaked out, his opponents would make the most of it. He denied his illness even to himself and remained intent and unflinching so as to achieve the dream of millions of Muslims. He worked almost 24 hours a day and always preferred performing his national obligations to his own ailment.

At the time of independence, he was worn out by his intense struggle and opted to take the position of Governor General instead of that of Prime Minister. It had been proposed that the last Viceroy of India, Lord Mountbatten, be allowed to continue as a joint Governor General of both Pakistan and India. Quaid-i-Azam refused to accept this proposal as he felt that a joint Governor General would not be able to do justice to both the countries. He firmly believed that since Pakistan was a sovereign state, it must be sovereign in all respects with its own executive and government.

By this time, both aging and illness had mounted a terrible toll upon the Quaid. Although the flame still burnt bright, it was now at the cost of his own life. His physicians regularly advised him to take care of his health and to ease back on his work. But he never cared for it and kept on working hard day and night.

After the establishment of Pakistan, India created numerous problems. The refugee problem, the withholding of Pakistani assets by India, and the Kashmir problem were a real test for the Quaid. However, his indomitable will prevailed. He also worked out a sound economic policy, established an independent currency and the State Bank of Pakistan. He selected Karachi as the federal capital. His health deteriorated to such an extent, that he had to go to Ziarat for the restoration of his health. Despite the warning from his physicians, he went to Karachi to inaugurate the State Bank of Pakistan. This was his last public appearance.

His sickness grew more serious until his death on September 11, 1948. He was buried in Karachi amidst the tears of the entire nation mourning an irreparable loss.

Khawaja Nazimuddin Becomes Governor General [1948-1951]

After Pakistan came into being on August 14, 1947, Nazimuddin was appointed the first Chief Minister of the Province of East Bengal. When the founder of Pakistan, Quaid-i-Azam, Muhammad Ali Jinnah died on September 11, 1948, Nazimuddin was appointed as the second Governor General of Pakistan.

Objectives Resolution is passed [1949]

The history of formulation of the constitution of Pakistan begins with the Lahore Resolution in 1940. It was here

that the idea of Pakistan, a separate homeland for the Muslims of India, was first outlined. It came to be known as the Pakistan Resolution.

On June 3, 1947, the British Government accepted in principle the partition of India in order to create two independent dominions of Pakistan and India. The British Parliament passed the Indian Independence Act on July 18, 1947. Accordingly, the new state of Pakistan came into being on August 14, 1947. This new state was formed of East Bengal, a part of Assam (Sylhet), West Punjab, Sindh, N. W. F. P. and Baluchistan provinces of undivided India.

Under Section 8 of the Indian Independence Act of 1947, the Government of India Act of 1935 became, with certain adaptations, the working constitution of Pakistan.

However, the Quaid's aim was the establishment of a truly Islamic society. As a result, a Constituent Assembly was set up under the Independence Act. The Constituent Assembly had a dual purpose; to draft the constitution of Pakistan and to act as a legislative body till the new constitution was passed and enforced

Objectives Resolution

On March 12, 1949, the Constituent Assembly adopted a resolution moved by Liaquat Ali Khan, the then Prime Minister of Pakistan. It was called the Objectives Resolution. It proclaimed that the future constitution of Pakistan would not be modeled on European pattern, but on the ideology and democratic faith of Islam.

The Objectives Resolution, which is considered to be the "Magna Carta" of Pakistan's constitutional history, proclaimed the following principles:

1. Sovereignty belongs to Allah alone but He has delegated it to the State of Pakistan through its people for being exercised within the limits prescribed by Him as a sacred trust.

2. The State shall exercise its powers and authority through the chosen representatives of the people.

3. The principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice, as enunciated by Islam, shall be fully observed.

4. Muslims shall be enabled to order their lives in the individual and collective spheres in accordance with the teachings of Islam as set out in the Holy Quran and Sunnah.

5. Adequate provision shall be made for the minorities to freely profess and practice their religions and develop their cultures.

6. Pakistan shall be a federation.

7. Fundamental rights shall be guaranteed.

8. Judiciary shall be independent.

The Objectives Resolution is one of the most important and illuminating documents in the constitutional history of Pakistan. At the time it was passed, Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan called it "the most important occasion in the life of this country, next in importance only to the achievement of independence".

The importance of this document lies in the fact that it combines the good features of Western and Islamic democracy. It is a happy blend of modernism and Islam. The Objectives Resolution became a part of the constitution of Pakistan in 1985 under the Eighth Amendment.

Basic Principles Committee [1949-1952]

After the Objectives Resolution was passed in 1949, the Constitution Assembly set up a number of committees to draw the future constitution on the basis of the principles given in the Objectives Resolution. The most important among those committees was the Basic Principles Committee set up on March 12, 1949, by Khawaja Nazimuddin on the advice of Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan.

The main function of this committee was to determine the basic principles of the future Constitution of Pakistan. The committee comprised 24 members. Maulvi Tamiz-ud-din Khan headed it and Liaquat Ali Khan was its Vice President. The committee presented its interim report to the Legislative Assembly in 1950. This was a short document presenting the guidelines and principles of the future Constitution of Pakistan.

Representatives of East Pakistan raised objections against the report. The main criticism was against the quantum representation in the Central Legislature. East Pakistan, with a majority of the population, was given an equal number of seats in the Upper House as West Pakistan, thus reducing the representation of the majority of the population in Pakistan by one-fifth. East Pakistan representatives also did not like Urdu being declared as the only national language of Pakistan.

Liaquat Ali Khan agreed to consider the objections with an open mind. He, therefore, postponed the deliberation of the Constituent Assembly in order to enable the Basic Principles Committee to examine and consider suggestions that might be made by the people regarding the principles of the Constitution. In order to include public opinion, Liaquat Ali Khan called forth general comments and suggestions by the public on the report. A large number of proposals and suggestions were sent by the public, which were examined by a special subcommittee headed by Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar. The setting up of the committee was a right and commendable step, but its working was immensely affected by the assassination of Liaquat Ali Khan. The subcommittee, however, gave its report to the Basic Principles Committee in July 1952, which was presented by Khawaja Nazimuddin in the National

According to the Basic Principles Committee Report, the head of the state was to be a Muslim, elected by a joint session with the majority vote of the Central Legislature for a period of five years. The Prime Minister was to be appointed by the head of the state. The Central Legislature was to consist of two houses: the House of Units with 120 members and the House of People with 400 members. There were to be three lists of subjects for the division of power between the Federation and the Units. Adult franchise was introduced. The judiciary was to be headed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan consisting of a Chief Justice and two to six other judges. The Chief Justice was to be appointed by the head of state. There was to be a High Court for each of the units of East Pakistan, Punjab, Sindh Baluchistan and the N. W. F. P. A Board of Ulema was to be set up by the head of state and provincial governors. The Board of Ulema was to examine the law making process to ensure that no law was passed that went against the principles of the Quran and Sunnah. The Objectives Resolution was adopted as a preamble to the proposed Constitution.

The Basic Principles Committee's report was severely criticized and raised much bitterness between East and West Pakistan. The Prime Minister, Khawaja Nazimuddin, however, welcomed the report and commended it as a valuable document according to the aspirations of the people of Pakistan. But the fact was that the nation was not satisfied with the report and hence there was a serious deadlock in making of the constitution.

Liaquat-Nehru Pact 1950

At the time of independence, many communal riots broke out in different areas of India and Pakistan. These riots had a great impact on the status of minorities in the two nations. Due to brutal killings by the majority community, a huge number of Muslims migrated from India, and Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan. Yet, the mass migration failed to solve the minority problem. Even after the migration, almost half of the Muslims living in the Sub-continent were left in India and a sizable number of Hindus in Pakistan. Those who were left behind were unable to become an integral part of the societies they were living in. The people and government of their countries looked upon them as suspects. They were unable to assure their countrymen of their loyalty.

This problem escalated during the late 40's and early 50's. It seemed as if India and Pakistan were about to fight their second war in the first three years of their independence. At this critical juncture in the history of South Asia, Prime Minister of Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan issued a statement emphasizing the need to reach a solution to the problem. He also proposed a meeting with his Indian counterpart to determine how to put an end to the communal riots and the fear of war.

The two Prime Ministers met in Delhi on April 2, 1950, and discussed the matter in detail. The meeting lasted for six long days. On April 8, the two leaders signed an agreement, which was later entitled as Liaquat-Nehru Pact. This pact provided a 'bill of rights' for the minorities of India and Pakistan. Its aim was to address the following three issues:

1. To alleviate the fears of the religious minorities on both sides.

2. To elevate communal peace.

3. To create an atmosphere in which the two countries could resolve their other differences.

According to the agreement, the governments of India and Pakistan solemnly agreed that each shall ensure, to the minorities throughout its territories, complete equality of citizenship, irrespective of religion; a full sense of security in respect of life, culture, property and personal honor.

It also guaranteed fundamental human rights of the minorities, such as freedom of movement, speech, occupation and worship. The pact also provided for the minorities to participate in the public life of their country, to hold political or other offices and to serve in their country's civil and armed forces.

The Liaquat-Nehru Pact provided for the mechanism to deal with oppressive elements with an iron hand. Both the governments decided to set up minority commissions in their countries with the aim of observing and reporting on the implementation of the pact, to ensure that no one breaches the pact and to make recommendations to guarantee its enforcement. Both Minority Commissions were to be headed by a provincial minister and were to have Hindu and Muslim members among its ranks. India and Pakistan also agreed to include representatives of the minority community in the cabinet of the two Bengals, and decided to depute two central ministers, one from each government, to remain in the affected areas for such period as might be necessary. Both the leaders emphasized that the loyalty of the minorities should be reserved for the state in which they were living and for the solution of their problems they should look forward to the government of the country they were living in.

This pact was broadly acknowledged as an optimistic beginning to improve relations between India and Pakistan.

Khawaja Nazimuddin becomes Prime Minister [1951-1953]

Under Quaid-i-Azam's constitutional framework, executive powers lay with the Prime Minister. When Liaquat Ali Khan was assassinated on October 16, 1951, Khawaja Nazimuddin, who was the Governor General at that time, took over as the second Prime Minister of Pakistan. Ghulam Muhammad, who had been Finance Minister since the inception of Pakistan, was elevated to the post of Governor General.

It was under Prime Minister Khawaja Nazimuddin that the second draft of the Basic Principles Committee was presented to the Constituent Assembly on December 22, 1952. He remained in power till April 1953 when Ghulam Muhammad removed him from the office. Khawaja Nazimuddin's downfall was not only due to his meekness of character, but also due to the power struggle amongst the various leaders. The movement for Tahaffuz-i-Khatam-i-Nabuwat and the worsening food condition in Punjab caused a lot of trouble for Khawaja Nazimuddin.

The anti-Ahmadiya movement was started in Punjab by the Ahrar and had the support of Mian Mumtaz Daultana, the Chief Minister of Punjab. This movement soon spread to other parts of the country. There were widespread disturbances and the situation in the country soon worsened to the brink of anarchy and civil war. Imposition of Martial Law became imminent. Khawaja Nazimuddin was summoned by the Governor General along with his Cabinet and ordered to resign. Khawaja Nazimuddin declined but was dismissed by Malik Ghulam Muhammad on April 17, 1953. After the dismissal of Khawaja Nazimuddin, the Governor General appointed Muhammad Ali Bogra, an unknown person from East Pakistan, as the Prime Minister.

Most historians agree that the removal of Khawaja Nazimuddin was improper, undemocratic and objectionable because the Prime Minister still enjoyed the confidence of the Parliament. This act set an unhealthy tradition and precedent for the future Presidents who were fond of removing elected governments, thus creating continued instability in the country.

Ghulam Muhammad becomes Governor General [1951]

When Khawaja Nazimuddin took over as Prime Minister in 1951, Ghulam Muhammad was appointed as the Governor General. After coming to power, Ghulam Muhammad wanted to change the status quo of executive powers. To this end, in an undemocratic move, he dismissed the Prime Minister, Khawaja Nazimuddin in April 1953.

After dismissing Khawaja Nazimuddin, the Governor General appointed a rather unknown leader from East Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Bogra, as the Prime Minister. Ghulam Muhammad had also dissolved the Constituent Assembly although the Assembly had accomplished the task of framing the Constitution, and all obstacles in the way of its promulgation had been removed. After coming to power, Bogra declared that the making of the Constitution was one of his primary targets. He worked hard towards accomplishing this task and within six months of assuming power, came out with a constitutional formula known as the Bogra Formula. The Bogra Formula was presented before the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on October 7, 1953.

A committee was set up to draft the constitution according to the approval of the Constituent Assembly. However, before the constitution could be finalized, Ghulam Muhammad dissolved the Assembly. The Prime Minster, Muhammad Ali Bogra was allowed to continue in office with a new cabinet. This move was apparently to counter a bill passed in the Assembly curtailing the powers of the Governor General. Muhammad Ali Bogra was sworn in again as the Prime Minister and it was promised that fresh elections would be held later on.

Malik Ghulam Muhammad was forced to retire from the post of Governor General due to his failing health and Major General Iskander Mirza, the Minister of Interior, took over the office. Although the expulsion of Ghulam Muhammad from power seemed necessary, yet his successor, Iskander Mirza proved to be a greater menace for the country.

Muhammad Ali Bogra becomes Prime Minister [1953]

Khawaja Nazimuddin was dismissed by the Governor General, Malik Ghulam Muhammad, on April 17, 1953, and replaced by Muhammad Ali Bogra. Bogra was then the Pakistani Ambassador to the United States. After coming to power, he set a new precedent of inviting the Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army to become the Defense Minister.

Governor General Ghulam Muhammad had dissolved the Constituent Assembly although the Assembly had accomplished the task of framing the Constitution and all obstacles in the way of its promulgation were removed. After coming to power, Prime Minister Muhammad Ali Bogra declared that the making of the Constitution was one of his primary targets. He worked hard towards accomplishing this task and within six months of assuming power, he came out with a constitutional formula. His constitutional proposal is know as the Bogra Formula and was presented before the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on October 7, 1953.

Unlike the two reports of the Basic Principle Committee, the Bogra Formula was appreciated by different sections of the society. There was great enthusiasm amongst the masses as they considered it a plan that could bridge the gulf between the two wings of Pakistan and would act as a source of unity for the country. The proposal was discussed in the Constituent Assembly for 13 days. On November 14, 1953, a committee was set up to draft the constitution according to the approval of the Constituent Assembly. However, before the constitution could be finalized, Ghulam Muhammad dissolved the Assembly. The Prime Minster, Muhammad Ali Bogra, was allowed to continue in office with a new cabinet. This move was apparently to counter a bill curtailing the power of the Governor General. Muhammad Ali Bogra was sworn in again as the Prime Minster on October 26, 1954. The new government promised fresh elections.

Muhammad Ali Bogra as Prime Minister of Pakistan worked hard for the settlement of the Kashmir issue. He urged Nehru to settle the Kashmir dispute in order to promote friendly relations between the two countries. Due to his strenuous efforts, the Prime Ministers of both the countries met numerous times in London and Karachi. Letters and telegrams were also exchanged between the leaders of the two countries. As a result of his efforts, Pandit Nehru agreed to hold a free and fair plebiscite in Kashmir. However, in May 1954, the news of American military aid to Pakistan gave Pandit Nehru an excuse to go back on his commitments to hold referendum in Kashmir. Thus Bogra was unable to solve the Kashmir problem. It was during the tenure of Muhammad Ali Bogra that Pakistan joined C. E. N. T. O. and S. E. A. T. O. In August 1955, the Governor General was forced to resign due to ill health and Major General Iskander Mirza was made the acting Governor General. The acting Governor General also dismissed Muhammad Ali Bogra on August 8, 1955.

Bogra - Nehru Negotiations

Muhammad Ali Bogra became the Prime Minister of Pakistan in April 1953. He made an impassioned appeal to Pandit Nehru to settle all outstanding disputes between the two countries. Addressing the parliament he said, "I consider that the maintenance of peace and establishment of friendly relations between India and Pakistan are essential to the peace and stability of Asia". He stressed the need for the settlement of Kashmir issue without which permanent peace or friendship in the Sub-continent was not possible.

Due to his efforts, the two Prime Ministers met informally in London in June 1953, on the occasion of the Commonwealth Prime Ministers Conference, and again the following month in Karachi. Muhammad Ali urged Nehru to realize the desirability of settling the Kashmir dispute, thus promoting friendly relations between the two countries. Nehru was ready to talk on everything, including philosophy and ethics, but not on Kashmir. Bogra seemed impressed by Nehru's charm and started calling him "elder brother", but as far as the Kashmir dispute was concerned, the progress was not nearer to any solution.

The Indian government had to face an uprising in Kashmir in 1953, which they crushed by force. This caused widespread anger and concern in Pakistan. Bogra dashed to New Delhi to confer with Nehru, who at first did not like the idea of meeting him, as "the affairs in Kashmir were no concern of Pakistan". However, they finally met in August 1953. This resulted in a statement that stressed the following points:

1. It was their opinion that this dispute would be settled in accordance with the wishes of Kashmiris by a fair and impartial plebiscite.

2. The plebiscite administrator should be appointed by the end of April 1954.

3. The preliminary issues that had so far held up progress towards a plebiscite should be decided and actions in implementation thereof should be taken, and with this object in view, committees of military and other experts should be appointed to advise the two Prime Ministers.

4. Progress could only be made in this direction if there was an atmosphere of peace and cooperation between the two countries.

The Delhi meeting was followed by an exchange of letters between the two Prime Ministers. It is said that 27 letters and telegrams were exchanged between August 10, 1953, and September 21, 1954. However, in May 1954, the news of American military aid to Pakistan was published, which gave Pandit Nehru an excuse to go back on his commitments to hold a free vote in Kashmir. Muhammad Ali pointed out the strength of India, and the fact that India was spending three times as much as Pakistan on its armed forces. He warned that a war might engulf the entire Sub-continent. But Nehru's objections to military aid to Pakistan dominated the correspondence and ultimately wrecked the direct talks with Bogra, which had started with great hope.

Muhammad Ali Bogra soon became convinced that all his efforts for a peaceful settlement of the Kashmir dispute were in vain. In his letter on September 21, 1954, he wrote, "It is with profound regret that I have been led to the conclusion that our talks regarding Kashmir have failed." However he concluded his letter with the words, "I hope and pray that the conscience and wisdom of men may yet perceive the great injustice and dangers inherent in the continuance of this disastrous dispute."

Bogra Formula

While taking charge as Prime Minister, Muhammad Ali Bogra declared that formulation of the Constitution was his primary target. He worked hard on this project and within six months of assuming power, came out with a constitutional formula. His constitutional proposal, known as the Bogra Formula, was presented before the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on October 7, 1953. The plan proposed for a Bicameral Legislature with equal representation for all the five provinces of the country in the Upper House. A total of 50 seats were reserved for the Upper House. The 300 seats for the Lower House were to be allocated to the provinces on the basis of proportionate representation. One hundred and sixty five seats were reserved for East Pakistan, 75 for Punjab, 19 for Sindh and Khairpur, 24 for N. W. F. P., tribal areas and the states located in N. W. F. P., and 17 for Baluchistan, Baluchistan States Union, Bhawalpur and Karachi.

In this way East Pakistan was given more seats in the Lower House than the combined number of seats reserved for the federal capital, the four provinces and the princely states of the Western Wing. So in all, both the wings were to have 175 seats each in the two houses of the Legislative Assembly. Both the houses were given equal power, and in case of a conflict between the two houses, the issue was to be presented before a joint session.

In order to prevent permanent domination by any wing, a provision was made that if the head of the state was from West Pakistan, the Prime Minister was to be from East Pakistan, and vice versa. The two houses of the Legislative Assembly formed the Electoral College for the presidential elections and the President was to be elected for a term of 5 years. In place of the Board of Ulema, the Supreme Court was given the power to decide if a law was in accordance with the basic teachings of the Holy Quran and Sunnah or not.

Unlike the two reports of the Basic Principles Committee, the Bogra Formula was appreciated by different sections of the society. There was great enthusiasm amongst the masses as they considered it as a plan that could bridge the gulf between the two wings of Pakistan and would act as a source of unity for the country. The proposal was discussed in the Constituent Assembly for 13 days, and a committee was set to draft the constitution on November 14, 1953. However, before the constitution could be finalized, the Assembly was dissolved by Ghulam Muhammad, the then Governor General of Pakistan

Chaudhry Muhammad Ali Becomes Prime Minister [1955]

On October 24, 1954, Malik Ghulam Muhammad dissolved the Constituent Assembly of Muhammad Ali Bogra on the grounds that it had "lost the confidence of the people", and declared a state of emergency in the country. Muhammad Ali Bogra, however, remained as the Prime Minister, since he was again invited to form a cabinet known as the Ministry of Talents. On August 8, 1955, he was dismissed by the acting Governor General, Major General Iskander Mirza in the absence of Malik Ghulam Muhammad, who had gone on a temporary leave and was also subsequently forced to resign due to his ill health. Chaudhry Muhammad Ali was appointed as the new Prime Minister on August 11, 1955.

Chaudhry Muhammad Ali's greatest achievement was framing the Constitution of 1956 and its approval by the Constituent Assembly. The entire country with great joy and enthusiasm celebrated the promulgation of this Constitution on March 23, 1956. The 1956 Constitution was Islamic and democratic in character, acceptable to people of all parts of the country, and had the blessings of almost all schools of thought.

Chaudhry Muhammad Ali, however, could not come up to the bargaining and the deals necessary to reconcile the various interest groups into accepting the One Unit and the adoption of the Constitution. He proved to be a poor politician who failed to control his own party. This ultimately led to his downfall. His greatest blunder was the selection of Dr. Khan Sahib as Chief Minister of the Unified Province of West Pakistan, despite the opposition of the Muslim League. Dr. Khan Sahib was an old Congressman who had opposed the creation of Pakistan, therefore the Muslim League opposed his appointment. Dr. Khan Sahib, however, enjoyed the support of the President Iskander Mirza. He dropped Muslim League members from his cabinet, and by bringing the dissident Muslim Leaguers and other supporters, formed his own party, the Republican Party.

In the Central Government, the Muslim League shared power as a major component of the coalition without being in office in any province. The Republican Party kept growing in number and claimed to be the single largest party in the National Assembly. Prime Minister Chaudhry Muhammad Ali was urged by the Muslim League to act against the West Pakistan Ministry. Chaudhry Muhammad Ali believed that as a Prime Minister, his actions should be governed by the good of the country and not by the resolution of any party. He believed that he was responsible only to the Cabinet and the Parliament. Thus, he refused the demands of the Muslim League. Disgusted with the scenario, Chaudhry Muhammad Ali resigned as a Prime Minister on September 8, 1956, also resigning from his membership of the Muslim League at the same time. His decision to resign of his own accord is considered as a unique example of political decorum in the history of Pakistan.

Iskander Mirza Becomes Governor General [1955]

In August 1955, Major General Iskander Mirza took over as Governor General when Ghulam Muhammad became too ill to continue. He was confirmed as the fourth Governor General of Pakistan on October 4, 1955.

Iskander Mirza was a civil servant and it is widely believed that he lacked the parliamentary spirit. He was of the view that democratic institutions could not flourish in Pakistan due to lack of training in the field of democracy and low literacy rate of the masses. He wanted a controlled democracy for Pakistan with more powers for the civil bureaucracy. He thought that politicians should be given the power to make policy but not allowed to interfere in administration. Iskander Mirza was also a great advocate of the One Unit scheme and it was under his rule that all the four provinces and the states of West Pakistan were merged into one unit in October 1955.

It was during his tenure that Chaudhry Muhammad Ali presented the 1956 Constitution and Iskander Mirza was elected the first President of Pakistan.


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