Liaqat Ali Khan


Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan was born at Karnal, Haryana in 1895. He was the son of Rukunuddaulah Sharnsher lung Nawab Rustarn Ali Khan, the Nawab of Karnal. He did his graduation in 1918 from MAO College, Aligarh and went to Exeter College, Oxford in 1922 and then Inner Temple for his Bat-at-Law in 1922. On his return to India in 1923, he joined the All India Muslim League.

Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan was a Member of the United Provinces Legislative Council from t926-1940. He was elected Deputy President of the United Provinces Legislative Council and held that office for six years. He was also Leader of the Democratic Party of the Council.

In 1937, he went to London as a Member of the Indo-British Trade Delegation. When Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad A1i Jinnah reorganised the All India Muslim League in 1936, Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan was elected its Honorary General Secretary. In 1940, he was elected to the Central Legislative Assembly and became the Deputy Leader of the Muslim League. He entered into an agreement with Bhulabai Desai on the question of representation in the Interim Government known as 'LIAQUAT-DESAIPACT.1945'.

In 1946 he was appointed as a Member of the Governor General's Executive Council and the Leader of the Muslim League Party in the Indian Interim Government. He held the portfolio of Finance, being the first Indian Finance Minister. The Budget for 1947-48 which he presented was acclaimed throughout the Country as a 'Poor man's Budget'.

Liaquat Ali Khan attended the Simla conference on behalf of the Muslim League in 1945 and 1946. He was one of the most prominent of the All India Muslim League Leaders and one of the most trusted Lieutenants of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. He was Muslim League Delegate to All Parties Convention at Calcutta in December 1928. He was elected Secretary, All India Muslim League in 1936 and re-elected in 1938, 1940, 1941, 1942 and 1943. He was Member of the League Central Parliamentary Board in 1936. He moved a resolution regarding certain amendments in League Constitution in its historic 27th Session at Lahore in March 1940. he was Convener, Action Committee of the League and Member Parliamentary Board in 1943; he was also a Member Subjects Committee League's Legislator's Convention held at Delhi in April 1945.

On August 14, 1947, he became the first Prime Minister and the Minster of Defence of the new Dominion of Pakistan. He wielded effective power and provided dynamic leadership to Pakistan during the most crucial phase of its history. He signed the "LIAQUAT-NEHRU PACT” in 1950 in New Delhi on the problem of minorities. He was the Vice Chairman, Basic Principles' Committee of the Constituent Assembly in March 1949, which submitted its report in 1950.

He died at the hands of an assassin on October 16. 1951 while addressing a public meeting at Rawalpindi and was buried in the courtyard of the Quaid-e-Azam's mausoleum.

Author: Zia-ur-Rahman Zabeeh
Ex. Director General, Pakistan Post, Islamabad
Artist: Professor Saeed Akhter
National College of Arts, Lahore
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