Liaquat Ali Khan

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Liaquat Ali Khan
Liaquat Ali Khan
Liaquat Ali Khan

Nawabzaada Khan Liaquat Ali Khan (October 1, 1896 - October 16, 1951) was the first Prime Minister of Pakistan.

He was born in the town of Karnal in present-day Haryana to a land-holding family. Khan completed his early education at Aligarh University, and obtained a law degree from Oxford University in 1921. Upon his return to India in 1923, Khan devoted himself to the Indian nationalist cause, and increasingly began to work for a Muslim state due to the injustices he felt were leveled upon Muslims by the British. In April 1933, he was married to Begum Ra'Ana Liaquat Ali Khan. He was invited to join the Indian National Congress, but refused, forming his own party. He joined the legislative council of Uttar Pradesh, and served there until 1940, when he was elevated to the central legislative assembly.

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. Khan was shot twice in the chest during that meeting by a man sitting in the audience’s only fifteen yards away, and the security forces immediately shot the assassin, who was later identified as Saad Akbar. Killing the assassin erased all clues to the identity of the real culprit behind the murder. Upon his death, Liaquat Ali Khan was given the honorific title of "Shaheed-i-Millat", or "Martyr of the Republic".

Preceded by :
Prime Ministers of Pakistan Succeeded by:
Khawaja Nazimuddin

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