Pakistan After the Death of Jinnah


Pakistan Studies 2059

Pakistan After the Death of Jinnah

Pakistan After the Death of Jinnah

Key Question 12: How far did Pakistan achieve stability following the death of Jinnah?

Liaquat Ali Khan (1947 – 1951)


• He was born in Karnal, India in 1895.

• When Pakistan came into formation, Liaquat Ali Khan became the first Prime Minister.

• His role in the Pakistan Movement was significant and he along with Iqbal also persuaded Jinnah to return to India in 1934.

• In the initial years, Pakistan faced various problems and he failed to acknowledge all of them, but he wanted the county to be developed.

• He gained popularity after the death of Jinnah.

• In 1951, he was assassinated.

Role of Liaquat Ali Khan:

• In 1949, a resolution was passed by the first constituent Assembly moved by Liaquat Ali.

• This resolution was known as the Objection Resolution.

• The basic principles of this resolution were as follows:

- Sovereignty belongs to Allah only and Pakistan will practice tolerance, freedom, democracy, social justice and equality as described by the religion, Islam.

- The Muslims will be allowed to live their lives as defined by Islam and Sunnah with full liberty.

- The rights of minorities will be protected, and provisions will be made to allow them to practice their religion freely.

- The country will be a federation and the legal system will be independent of government.

• Liaquat Ali Khan performed his role in preserving the Islamic and ideological character of Pakistan.

• The Objective Resolution is the first step towards the making of the constitution.

• Objective Resolution was made in accordance to Islam to avoid criticism from the Ulema, but it lacked objective implementation.

• Liaquat Ali Khan failed to define a proper timeline for the draft of the constitution and holding of the elections.

Khawaja Nazimuddin (1948 – 1951)


• Khawaja Nazim was Nawab Samiullah’s nephew and son of Khawaja Nizamuddin.

• He was one of the most successful members of the Nawabs of Dhaka.

• He entered politics with loyalty and consistency, but he lacked firmness.

• In 1947 he was appointed as the Chief Minister of East Bengal.

• After the death of Jinnah, he became the 2nd Governor-General of the newly created Muslim state. 

• He also became the second Prime Minister of Pakistan after the demise of Liaquat Ali Khan.

Role of Nazimuddin:

• One thing that Khawaja Nazimuddin lacked is the charisma to be a leader.

• In 1951, the Finance Minister of Pakistan, Ghulam Muhammad asked him to leave the post of Governor-General to become the Prime Minister.

• In 1953, Nazimuddin also stepped down from the post of Prime Minister.

• Several factors created the basis for Nazimuddin's failure as a Prime Minister including the anti-Ahmadi movement, poor economy, constitutional issues, and Bengali and Punjabi rivalry.

• Later, Ghulam Muhammad appointed Muhammad Ali Bogra as the new Prime Minister.

Ghulam Muhammad (1951 – 1955)


• Ghulam Muhammad was appointed as a member of the Cabinet.

• He became the Finance Minister of Pakistan.

• Liaquat Ali Khan wanted to remove him from the Cabinet before he was assassinated.

• However, the demise of Liaquat Ali Khan turned the tables for Ghulam Muhammad.

• When Nazimuddin stepped down from the post of Governor-General to become the Prime Minister, the cabinet elected Ghulam Muhammad as the third Governor-General of Pakistan.

• When he became the Governor-General, Khawaja Nazimuddin became nothing but only a dummy as Ghulam Muhammad was dominating the affairs of the country.

Role of Ghulam Muhammad:

•  In 1950, a commission was established to manage the economic development of the country.

• In 1951, the commission proposed a 6-year plan for the development.

• In 1952, a vast reserve of natural gas was discovered in Sui, Balochistan because of exploration by a major jute processing plant.

• From 1951 to 1953, there was severe flooding in Pakistan that resulted in a shortage of food.

• There were major riots throughout the country due to the shortage of food and religion.

• A campaign was started by the Ulemas to declare Ahmedis as the non-Muslims as well as to dismiss the Ahmedis from the office.

• In 1953, Ghulam Muhammad dismissed Khawaja Nazimuddin from the cabinet and criticized him for not controlling the riots and economic crisis.

• A new Cabinet was formed, and Muhammad Ali Bogra became the new Prime Minister of Pakistan.

• In 1954, Muhammad Ali Bogra tried to limit the power of the Governor-General to make sure Ghulam Muhammad would not dismiss him like he did Khawaja Nazimuddin.

• However, Ghulam Muhammad acted promptly and dismissed the entire Constituent Assembly.

• A new Cabinet was formed and Ghulam Muhammad re-appointed Muhammad Ali Bogra as the Prime Minister.

• Maulvi Tamiz-ud-din challenged the decision in Sindh High Court and won the case, but the Supreme Court reversed the verdict.

• In 1955, Ghulam Muhammad fell seriously ill and Major General Iskandar Mirza replaced him.

Iskandar Mirza (1955 – 1958)


• In 1955, Iskandar Mirza became the Governor-General.

• He had been a British Indian Army officer but served in the political sector and was considered to be a bridge between civil and military service.

• However, he used his power to overthrow the government.

• In 1956, he was successful in formulating the first constitution of Pakistan.

• According to the constitution of 1956, he became the first President of Pakistan.

• He also encouraged General Ayub Khan to demonstrate the first Martial law in Pakistan.

Role of Iskandar Mirza:

• In 1955, One Unit scheme was introduced that suggestion the formation of West Pakistan i.e. Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and NWFP as a single province and East Pakistan as another province.

• The main aim of the One Unit scheme was to make the administration efficient.

• However, East Pakistan considered this scheme as the denial of their right to claim majority seats in the national assembly because in the constitution of 1956 equal number of seats to be given to East and West Pakistan.

• In 1958, Iskandar Mirza dissolved the constitution and imposed Martial Law.

• In the Martial Law, he remained the President but appointed General Ayub Khan as the Chief Martial Law Administrator.

• In the same year, Ayub Khan forced Iskandar Mirza to resign and exiled him

Ayub Khan (1958 – 1969)


• In 1958, with the support of Iskandar Mirza, Ayub Khan demonstrated the first martial law and became the Martial Law Administrator.

• In the same year, he exiled and forced Iskandar Mirza to leave the post of President.

• The dictatorship of Ayub Khan was the first period of direct rule in the country.

Role of Ayub Khan:

• Under the Martial Law Regulation of 1958, Ayub Khan banned all political parties as the leaders were creating instability in the country.

• In 1959, Ayub Khan introduced the first constitutional reform.

• The reform of the Basic Democracies Order was introduced which was a four-tier system.

• This system allowed the common people to elect union council members.

• These elected members can then select the district and divisional members through voting.

• The Basic Democracies system stole the right of common people to vote for the President.

• In 1959, the Basic Democrats were asked to vote for confidence to make Ayub Khan the President for the next five years.

• Almost 95% of the Democrats voted in favor of Ayub Khan and he became the President.

• In 1960, he formed a Constitution Commission to make recommendations for the new constitution of Pakistan.

• In 1962, a new constitution was introduced by Ayub Khan.

• In the Constitution of 1962, it was stated that these 80,000 elected democrats will form a college for the election of the President as well as Provincial and Central Legislatures.


• In 1959, Ayub Khan introduced the Land reforms and the Green revolution.

• The land reforms introduced by Ayub Khan turned bigger inefficient farms into small efficient farms.

• Under the Green Revolution, farmers were encouraged to use modern techniques to boost production and increase the income that also helped in the country's economy.

• These Land Reforms and the Green Revolution were proved to be good for the country, but it made many tenants jobless.

• Oil Refinery was established in Karachi that allowed Pakistan to import crude oil instead of refined oil that resulted in a 7% economic growth rate.


• Ayub Khan introduced the family planning concept in Pakistan with American aid.

• The family planning initiated was immensely opposed by Ulemas as they considered it against Islam.

• In 1961, all marriages and divorces needed to be registered.

• Men were required to take their first wife’s consent before marrying another woman.

• During Ayub Khan’s rule, the rehabilitation ministry worked rigorously to solve the refugee problem.

• They set up many housing societies to shelter the refugees.

• Many schools and colleges were established, and the curriculum was reorganized.

Foreign Policy:

• Under the United Nations, Pakistan signed the Indus Water Treaty.

• A highway was constructed between Turkey, Iran, and Pakistan that improved the relations between these countries.

• In 1965, Tashkent Accord was signed that resolved the Indo-Pak War of 1965.

Yahya Khan (1969  - 1971)


• In 1969, when the situation in the country became out of control, Ayub Khan handed over General Yahya Khan the powers.

• Yahya Khan demonstrated the second martial law in the country soon after he came to power.

• He dissolved the provincial and national assembly as well as the constitution and became the President.

Role of Yahya Khan:

• He reversed the One Unit Scheme introduced by Ayub Khan divided West Pakistan into the four provinces again.

• He also announced that now that the One Unit Scheme is reversed, seats in the assembly will be in direct proportion to the population.

• He organized the fairest elections in the history of Pakistan i.e. one man one vote.

• He revoked the 1962 constitution and the Basic Democracy system.

• Sheikh Mujibur Rahman came out victorious in the 1970 elections yet Yahya Khan delayed the power handover to him indefinitely which made the residents of East Pakistan agitated.

• He took military action against East Pakistan to crush the rebellion and a civil war started in 1971.

• He ordered the army to surrender and Pakistan’s East Wing became Bangladesh (a separate independent state).

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