Iskander Mirza Becomes President


Governor General Ghulam Muhammad’s despotic and dictatorial policy led Iskander Mirza and his collaborators to force him out of power. Although his removal was necessary, yet another despot, Iskander Mirza, who was the fourth Governor General and then the first President of Pakistan, succeeded him. He was sworn-in as the first President under the 1956 Constitution. During his regime not only was the first Constitution of Pakistan finalized, but also all the provinces and princely states of West Pakistan were knitted together to form One Unit of the West Pakistan Province.

During his tenure from 1956 to 1958, President Iskander Mirza brought about various cabinet changes and advocated a controlled democracy for Pakistan. Muhammad Ali Bogra was the first Prime Minster under Iskander Mirza. Bogra could not stay at this position for long, he resigned and went back to the U. S. A. where he was reinstated as the Ambassador of Pakistan. After Bogra, Chaudhry Muhammad Ali became the next Prime Minster. It was under his premiership that the establishment of One Unit was given practical shape and the Constitution of 1956 was introduced. Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, I. I. Chundrigar and Malik Feroz Khan Noon succeeded him as Prime Ministers under Iskander Mirza’s despotic rule.

In collusion with the Commander-in-Chief, Muhammad Ayub Khan, Iskander Mirza abrogated the Constitution on October 7, 1958 and declared Martial Law. Iskander Mirza and Ayub Khan began the new era with apparent unanimity. Although the two were responsible for bringing about the change, they had different views on dealing with the new situation. Share of power soon led to a struggle between the two, which ended with Iskander Mirza being arrested and exiled to Britain where he later died.

This article was last updated on Sunday, June 01, 2003