Muhammad Ali Bogra becomes Prime Minister

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Khawaja Nazimuddin was dismissed by the Governor General, Malik Ghulam Muhammad, on April 17, 1953, and replaced by Muhammad Ali Bogra. Bogra was then the Pakistani Ambassador to the United States. After coming to power, he set a new precedent of inviting the Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army to become the Defense Minister.

Governor General Ghulam Muhammad had dissolved the Constituent Assembly although the Assembly had accomplished the task of framing the Constitution and all obstacles in the way of its promulgation were removed. After coming to power, Prime Minister Muhammad Ali Bogra declared that the making of the Constitution was one of his primary targets. He worked hard towards accomplishing this task and within six months of assuming power, he came out with a constitutional formula. His constitutional proposal is know as the Bogra Formula and was presented before the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on October 7, 1953.

Unlike the two reports of the Basic Principle Committee, the Bogra Formula was appreciated by different sections of the society. There was great enthusiasm amongst the masses as they considered it a plan that could bridge the gulf between the two wings of Pakistan and would act as a source of unity for the country. The proposal was discussed in the Constituent Assembly for 13 days. On November 14, 1953, a committee was set up to draft the constitution according to the approval of the Constituent Assembly. However, before the constitution could be finalized, Ghulam Muhammad dissolved the Assembly. The Prime Minster, Muhammad Ali Bogra, was allowed to continue in office with a new cabinet. This move was apparently to counter a bill curtailing the power of the Governor General. Muhammad Ali Bogra was sworn in again as the Prime Minster on October 26, 1954. The new government promised fresh elections.

Muhammad Ali Bogra as Prime Minister of Pakistan worked hard for the settlement of the Kashmir issue. He urged Nehru to settle the Kashmir dispute in order to promote friendly relations between the two countries. Due to his strenuous efforts, the Prime Ministers of both the countries met numerous times in London and Karachi. Letters and telegrams were also exchanged between the leaders of the two countries. As a result of his efforts, Pandit Nehru agreed to hold a free and fair plebiscite in Kashmir. However, in May 1954, the news of American military aid to Pakistan gave Pandit Nehru an excuse to go back on his commitments to hold referendum in Kashmir. Thus Bogra was unable to solve the Kashmir problem. It was during the tenure of Muhammad Ali Bogra that Pakistan joined C. E. N. T. O. and S. E. A. T. O. In August 1955, the Governor General was forced to resign due to ill health and Major General Iskander Mirza was made the acting Governor General. The acting Governor General also dismissed Muhammad Ali Bogra on August 8, 1955.

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