The Story of Pakistan, its struggle and its achievement, is the very story of great human ideals, struggling to survive in the face of odds and difficulties.

Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah (Chittagong, March 1948)

Liaquat Ali Khan as Prime Minister

Liaquat Ali Khan as Prime Minister

Liaquat Ali Khan’s contributions to the struggle for independence were numerous. After independence, he was thus the natural choice for the premiership. Liaquat Ali Khan was appointed as the first Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Being the first Prime Minister of the country, Liaquat Ali Khan had to deal with a number of difficulties that Pakistan faced in its early days. He helped Quaid-i-Azam in solving the riots and refugee problem and in setting up an effective administrative system for the country. He established the groundwork for Pakistan’s foreign policy. He also took steps towards the formulation of the constitution. He presented The Objectives Resolution, a prelude to future constitutions, in the Legislative Assembly. The house passed it on March 12, 1949. It is considered to be the “Magna Carta” in Pakistan’s constitutional history. Liaquat Ali Khan called it “the most important occasion in the life of this country, next in importance, only to the achievement of independence”. Under his leadership a team also drafted the first report of the Basic Principle Committee and work began on the second report.

During his tenure, India and Pakistan agreed to resolve the dispute of Kashmir in a peaceful manner through the efforts of the United Nations. According to this agreement a ceasefire was affected in Kashmir in January 1948. It was decided that a free and impartial plebiscite would be held under the supervision of the UN.

After the death of Quaid-i-Azam, he tried to fill the vacuum created by the departure of the Father of the Nation. The problem of religious minorities flared during late 1949 and early 1950, and it seemed as if India and Pakistan were about to fight their second war in the first three years of their independence. At this critical moment in the history of South Asia, Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan met Nehru to sign the Liaquat-Nehru Pact in 1950. The Liaquat-Nehru Pact was an effort on his part to improve relations and reduce tension between India and Pakistan. In May 1951, he visited the United States and set the course of Pakistan’s foreign policy towards closer ties with the West. An important event during his premiership was the establishment of National Bank of Pakistan in November 1949, and the installation of a paper currency mill in Karachi.

Liaquat Ali Khan was unfortunately assassinated on October 16, 1951. Security forces immediately shot the assassin, who was later identified as Saad Akbar. The question of who was behind his murder is yet to be answered.

The government officially gave Liaquat Ali Khan the title of Shaheed-i-Millat.

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