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Khawaja Nazimuddin


Khawaja Nazimuddin, KCIE  (name pronounced as Khajyäħ Nazim-üddeen; July 19, 1894 – October 22, 1964), was one of the notable Bengali Founding Fathers of modern-state of Pakistan, career statesman from East-Pakistan, serving as the second Governor-General of Pakistan from 1948 until the assassination of Prime minister Liaquat Ali Khan in 1951. Afterwards, Nazimuddin took the office of Prime Minister of Pakistan, becoming the second Prime minister as well the first Bengali prime minister of that country. 

His government lasted only two years but saw the civil unrest, political differences, foreign challenges, and threat of communism in East Pakistan and socialism in West Pakistan, that led the final dismissal of his government. As in response to Lahore riots in 1953, Nazimuddin was the first one to have declared the Martial law in Punjab Province under Major-General Azam Khan and Colonel Rahimuddin Khan, initiating a massive repression of the Right-wing sphere in the country. His short tenure also saw the quick rise of socialists in West-Pakistan after failing to enforce to alleviated poverty reduce expenditure programme, and failed to counter the communist influence in the East-Pakistan (his native province) after the successful demonstration of the Language Movement— in both states the Muslim league was diminished in public circle. At foreign events, the relations with United States, Soviet Union, and India, gradually went down, and was failed to reduce the anti-Pakistan sentiment in those countries.

On April 17, 1953, Nazimuddin was dismissed and forced out of the government, and conceded his defeat in 1954 general elections, and was succeeded by another Bengali statesman Muhammad Ali Bogra. After a long illness, Nazimuddin died in 1964 at the age of 70, and was given a state funeral and now buried at Suhrawardy Udyan, in his hometown of Dhaka, his home town.

Early life
He was born in Dacca, Bengal (now Dhaka, Bangladesh) into the family of the Nawabs of Dhaka. He received his education from Dunstable Grammar School in England, then Aligarh Muslim University, and later Trinity Hall, Cambridge, until the mid-1930s. He was knighted in 1934.

Politics
After returning to British India, he became involved in politics in his native Bengal. He was the Chairman of Dhaka Municipality from 1922 to 1929.[3] In the arena of provincial politics, Nazimuddin was initially the Education Minister of Bengal, but climbed the ranks to become the Chief Minister of the province in 1943.[3] Sir Khawaja also became the head of the Muslim League in Eastern India. He set up a committee Basic Principles Committee in 1949 on the advice of Liaquat Ali Khan to determine the future constitutions of Pakistan.

Governor-General of Pakistan
Upon the formation of Pakistan, he became an important part of the early government. After the early death of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Sir Khawaja succeeded him as the Governor-General of Pakistan. At this point in time, the position was largely ceremonial, and executive power rested with the Prime Minister. The first Prime Minister of Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan was assassinated in 1951, and Sir Khawaja stepped in to replace him.

Prime Minister
During Sir Khawaja's time as Prime Minister, Pakistan saw a growing rift within the Muslim League, especially between Punjabi and Bengali groups, as those were the two largest ethnic groups of Pakistan, but were separated by India. On 21 February 1952, a demonstration in the Language movement demanding equal and official status to the Bengali language turned bloody, with many fatalities caused by police firings. During his time in office, a framework was begun for a constitution that would allow Pakistan to become a republic, and end its Dominion status. Progress was made, but Sir Khawaja's time as Prime Minister would be cut short in 1953.

In 1953, a religious movement began to agitate for the removal of the Ahmadi religious minority from power positions, and demanded a declaration of this minority as non-Muslims. Sir Khawaja resisted such pressures; but mass rioting broke out in the Punjab against both the government and followers of this religious minority. He responded by changing the governor of that province to Feroz Khan Noon, but the decision came late.

Dismissal
Ghulam Muhammad, the Governor-General, asked the Prime Minister to step down. Sir Khawaja refused, but Ghulam Muhammad got his way by invoking a reserve power that allowed him to dismiss the Prime Minister. The Chief Justice, Muhammad Munir, of the "Federal Court of Pakistan" (now named as the Supreme Court of Pakistan), did not rule on the legality of the dismissal, but instead forced new elections. The new prime-minister was another Bengali born statesman, Muhammad Ali Bogra.

The dismissal of Sir Khawaja, the Prime Minister, by the Governor-General, Muhammad, signalled a troubling trend in Pakistani political history. 

Sir Khawaja died in 1964, aged 70.

He was buried at Suhrawardy Udyan in his hometown of Dhaka. 

Honours
He was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire (CIE) in 1926, and was knighted in 1934 by the King-Emperor, George V, when he was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire (KCIE).[5] However, he renounced his knighthood in 1946 due to his belief in independence from Britain.

The Nazimabad and North Nazimabad suburbs of Karachi and Nazimuddin Roads of Dhaka and Islamabad have been named in honour of Sir Khawaja Nazimuddin. In his honor, the Pakistan Post issued a commemorative stamp in accordance to his respect. 




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