Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry was born on January 1, 1904, in Gujrat. He received his early education from his hometown and went to Aligarh University for higher education. He did his M. A. in Political Science in 1925 and took his degree of Law from the University of Punjab in 1927. After completing his education, he went back to Gujrat and started practicing Law. He took part in the election of Gujrat District Board and was elected unopposed.
He joined the Muslim League in 1942. In 1945, he was elected from Gujrat as the President of Muslim League. He took part in the 1946 elections on Muslim League’s ticket and played an important role in propagating the ideas of Muslim League among the people of his area.
After Independence, he was given the post of Parliamentary Secretary. He was later appointed Minister for Education and Health. In 1951, he contested the elections of the Punjab Legislative Assembly on the Muslim League ticket and was elected as a member of the Punjab Assembly. In 1952, he represented Pakistan in the United Nations. In the 1956 elections, he was elected as member of the Assembly and later as the Speaker of the National Assembly. He remained as Speaker till 1958. In 1962, when Ayub Khan announced the elections, he was selected as the Deputy Opposition Leader of the House on the basis of his experience and knowledge about parliamentary proceedings. He joined the Convention Muslim League, and after the 1956 elections, he was elected as the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly.
He was elected as member of the National Assembly in 1970 on the ticket of Pakistan Peoples Party and was later elected as the Speaker of the National Assembly. After the 1973 Constitution, Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry was made the President of Pakistan for five years on August 14, 1973. On July 5, 1977, the army took over the reigns of power in the country. Fazal Ilahi, however, completed his tenure as President of Pakistan. He resigned on September 16, 1978.
He died on June 2, 1982.
This article was last updated on Sunday, June 01, 2003