Khan Liaquat Ali Khan

Shaheed-e-Millat - First Prime Minister of Pakistan - [1896-1951

Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan, the second son of Nawab Rustam Ali Khan, was born on October 1, 1896, in a Madal Pathan (Nausherwan) family. He graduated in 1918 from M. A. O. College, Aligarh. After his graduation, he was offered a job in the Indian Civil Services, but he rejected the offer on the plea that he wanted to serve his nation. He married his cousin, Jehangira Begum in 1918. After his marriage, he went to London for higher education. In 1921, he obtained a Degree in Law from Oxford and was called to Bar at Inner Temple in 1922.

On his return from England in 1923, Liaquat Ali Khan decided to enter politics with the objective of liberating his homeland from the foreign yoke. Right from the very beginning, he was determined to eradicate the injustices and ill treatment meted out to the Indian Muslims by the British.

In his early life, Liaquat Ali, like most of the Muslim leaders of his time, believed in Indian Nationalism. But his views gradually changed. The Congress leaders invited him to join their party, but he refused and joined the Muslim League in 1923. Under the leadership of Quaid-e-Azam, the Muslim League held its annual session in May 1924 in Lahore. The aim of this session was to revive the League. Liaquat Ali Khan attended this conference along many other young Muslims.

During this time, Muhammed Ali Jinnah had moved to the United Kingdom, where he was disinvolved from Indian politics. Khan was instrumental in getting Jinnah back to the subcontinent, and Jinnah made Khan the Secretary of the Muslim League. Thus in the 1940s, Khan was heavily involved in convincing the British of the need for a separate Muslim homeland in India.

This work helped lead to the formation of Pakistan in 1947, and Liaquat Ali Khan was made the first Prime Minister. During his time in office, he had to deal with the setup of a new government that was plunged into a war with neighboring India, and that faced a refugee crisis due to the Partition.

Jinnah died in 1948, leaving Khan at the helm of Pakistan, he began to work on a constitution, and began building foreign relations with western nations, culminating with a trip to the United States. In 1950, he worked out an agreement with Nehru that sought to ease tensions between India and Pakistan.

He also managed to quell the 1st coup attempt in Pakistan to overthrow his Government by Major General Akbar Khan in the famous or rather infamous Rawalpindi Conspiracy Case 1951.

Khan's time as Prime Minister was cut short by an assassin's bullet. On October 16, 1951, he had been scheduled to make an important announcement in a public meeting of Muslim City League at Municipal Park, Rawalpindi. Upon his death, Liaquat Ali Khan was given the honorific title of "Shaheed-i-Millat", or "Martyr of the Republic".

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