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Khawaja Nazimuddin


Khawaja Nazimuddin

Sir Khawaja Nazimuddin
خواجہ ناظم الدین
খাজা নাজিমুদ্দীন
Prime Minister of Bengal
In office
29 April 1943 – 31 March 1945
Governor Richard Casey, Baron Casey
Preceded by A. K. Fazlul Huq
Succeeded by H. S. Suhrawardy
Prime Minister of Pakistan
In office
17 October 1951 – 17 April 1953
Monarch George VI
Elizabeth II
Governor General Malik Ghulam Muhammad
Preceded by Liaquat Ali Khan
Succeeded by Muhammad Ali Bogra
Governor-General of Pakistan
In office
14 September 1948 – 17 October 1951
Acting until 11 November 1948
Monarch George VI
Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan
Preceded by Muhammad Ali Jinnah
Succeeded by Malik Ghulam Muhammad
Chief Minister of East Bengal
In office
15 August 1947 – 14 September 1948
Governor Sir Frederick Chalmers
Preceded by Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy
Succeeded by Nurul Amin
Personal details
Born (1894-07-19)19 July 1894
Dacca, Bengal Presidency, British India
(now Dhaka, Bangladesh)
Died 22 October 1964(1964-10-22) (aged 70)
Dacca, East Pakistan, Pakistan
(now Dhaka, Bangladesh)
Political party Muslim League
Alma mater Aligarh Muslim University
Trinity Hall, Cambridge

Sir Khawaja Nazimuddin, KCIE (Urdu: خواجہ ناظم الدین‎; Bengali: খাজা নাজিমুদ্দীন; 19 July 1894 – 22 October 1964) was a politician and statesman from the Dhaka Nawab Family who served as 2nd Prime Minister of Pakistan after the assassination of Liaquat Ali Khan from 15 October 1951 to 1953 and successed Mohammad Ali Bogra as third prime minister.[1] A member of the All India Muslim League, Nazimuddin served as the second Prime Minister of Bengal in the British Raj. After the establishment of Pakistan, he became the second Governor-General of Pakistan in 1948, following the death of Muhammad Ali Jinnah. After the assassination of Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan in 1951, Nazimuddin assumed office as the second Prime Minister of Pakistan fro[2] A staunch conservative, he was an often unpopular political figure.

His government lasted only two years, but saw civil unrest and foreign challenges that led to their final dismissal. In response to the 1953 Lahore riots, Nazimuddin was the first to declare martial law in Punjab, under Major-General Azam Khan and Colonel Rahimuddin Khan, initiating a massive repression of the right-wing sphere in the country. His short tenure also saw the quick rise of socialism in West Pakistan after failing to enforce the reduced expenditure programme to alleviate poverty, and failed to counter the Awami League in East Pakistan (his native province) after the successful demonstration of the Bengali Language Movement – in both states the Muslim league was diminished. Foreign relations with the United States, the Soviet Union and India gradually declined, and anti-Pakistan sentiment persisted in those countries.

On 17 April 1953, Nazimuddin was dismissed and forced out of the government, and conceded his defeat in the 1954 general elections, and was succeeded by another statesman from Bengal, the Bengali Muhammad Ali Bogra. After a long illness, Nazimuddin died in 1964 at the age of 70, and was given a state funeral. He is buried at Suhrawardy Udyan, in his hometown of Dhaka.


  • Early life 1
  • Politics 2
  • Governor-General of Pakistan 3
  • Prime Minister 4
  • Dismissal 5
  • Death 6
  • Honours 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10

Early life

He was born in Dacca, Bengal (now Dhaka, Bangladesh) into the family of the Nawabs of Dhaka.[3] He received his education from Dunstable Grammar School in England, then Aligarh Muslim University, and later Trinity Hall, Cambridge, until the mid-1930s. He was knighted in 1934.


After returning to British India, he became involved in politics in Bengal. He was the Chairman of Dhaka Municipality from 1922 to 1929.[4] In the arena of provincial politics, Nazimuddin was initially the Education Minister of Bengal, but climbed the ranks to become the Chief Minister of the province in 1943.[4] Sir Khawaja also became the head of the Muslim League in Eastern India. He set up a committee Basic Principles Committee in 1949 on the advice of Liaquat Ali Khan to determine the future constitutions of Pakistan.

Governor-General of Pakistan

Upon the formation of Pakistan, he became an important part of the early government. After the early death of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Sir Khawaja succeeded him as the Governor-General of Pakistan. At this point in time, the position was largely ceremonial, and executive power rested with the Prime Minister. The first Prime Minister of Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan was assassinated in 1951, and Sir Khawaja stepped in to replace him.

Prime Minister

During Sir Khawaja's time as Prime Minister, Pakistan saw a growing rift within the Muslim League, especially between Punjabi and Bengali groups, as those were the two largest ethnic groups of Pakistan, but were separated by India. On 21 February 1952, a demonstration in the Language movement demanding equal and official status to the Bengali language turned bloody, with many fatalities caused by police firings. This demonstration was vitally influenced by his remark following the previous statement of Qaid-e-Azam that Urdu shall be 'one and only' language of Pakistan. It is important to note here that in contrast to the ethno-nationalist Bengalis, the Punjabi Muslims saw themselves or aspired to as being of West Asian blood and together with the community of non-native, West Asian, Urdu speaking migrants who had come/brought into India during previous generations, attempted to give the country a non-native "Islamic" identity comprising a hodge-podge mix of various West Asian/Turkic/Middle Eastern elements. A prime example being the Urdu language, whose very status as a different language is debated. It is essentially a language using Arabic script, using Hindi, Arabic, Iranian, and various other West Asian words. This was taught to Muslim Punjabis in place of their native toungue - Punjabi.

During his time in office, a framework was begun for a constitution that would allow Pakistan to become a republic, and end its Dominion status. Progress was made, but Sir Khawaja's time as Prime Minister would be cut short in 1953.

In 1953, a religious movement began to agitate for the removal of the Ahmadi religious minority from power positions, and demanded a declaration of this minority as non-Muslims. Sir Khawaja resisted such pressures; but mass rioting broke out in the Punjab against both the government and followers of this religious minority. He responded by changing the governor of that province to Feroz Khan Noon, but the decision came late.


Ghulam Muhammad, the Governor-General, asked the Prime Minister to step down. Sir Khawaja refused, but Ghulam Muhammad got his way by invoking a reserve power that allowed him to dismiss the Prime Minister. The Chief Justice, Muhammad Munir, of the "Federal Court of Pakistan" (now named as the Supreme Court of Pakistan), did not rule on the legality of the dismissal, but instead forced new elections. The new prime-minister was another Bengali born but ethnically Bengali statesman, Muhammad Ali Bogra.

The dismissal of Sir Khawaja, the Prime Minister, by the Governor-General, Muhammad, signalled a troubling trend in Pakistani political history.


Sir Khawaja died in 1964, aged 70.
Mausoleum of three leaders at Dhaka
He was buried at Suhrawardy Udyan in his hometown of Dhaka.[5]


He was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire (CIE) in 1926, and was

Political offices
Preceded by
Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy
Chief Minister of East Bengal
Succeeded by
Nurul Amin
Preceded by
Muhammad Ali Jinnah
Governor-General of Pakistan
Succeeded by
Malik Ghulam Muhammad
Preceded by
Liaquat Ali Khan
Prime Minister of Pakistan
Succeeded by
Muhammad Ali Bogra
Minister of Defence
  • Chronicles Of Pakistan
  • Story of Pakistan

External links

Current Events Biography, 1949

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See also

The Nazimabad and North Nazimabad suburbs of Karachi and Nazimuddin Roads of Dhaka and Islamabad have been named in honour of Sir Khawaja Nazimuddin. In his honour, the Pakistan Post issued a commemorative stamp in accordance to his respect.[7]

However, he renounced his knighthood in 1946 due to his belief in independence from Britain. [6]

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