Shaukat Hayat Khan

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Sardar
Shaukat Hyat Khan
Shaukat Hayat Khan.jpg
Birth name Shaukat Hayat Khan
Nickname(s) SHK
Born 24 September 1915
Amritsar, Punjab, British Indian Empire
Died September 25, 1998(1998-09-25) (aged 83)
Islamabad, Pakistan
Buried at Wah, Attock District, Pakistan
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  British Army
Years of service 1937–42
Rank Major
Unit 1st Duke of York's Own Skinner's Horse
Battles/wars World War IIMid East Theater
Other work Politician

Major Sardar Shaukat Hayat Khan (Urdu: شوكت حيات خان; 24 September 1915 – 25 September 1988) was an influential politician, military officer, and the Pakistan Movement activist who played a major role in organizing of the Muslim League in the British-controlled Punjab.

Educated at the Aligarh Muslim University and served in the British Indian Army in the Middle East theater of the World War II, he actively participated in the politics through the Muslim League platform. After a brief retirement, he made his comeback in politics during the general elections held in 1970 and was an instrumental negotiator in trying to settle the political issues with the Awami League.

Background[edit]

Shaukat Hayat Khan was born in Amritsar, Punjab of the British Indian Empire, on 24 September 1915.[1] His family hailed from the famous Hayat Khattar clan of Wah[2] in Attock, and he was the eldest son of Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan (1892-1942), the famous Punjabi statesman and feudal baron, from his first wife Begum Zubaida Khanum, a lady from a prominent Kashmiri family settled in Amritsar, British India.[3]

After his mother's early demise in 1919, the young Shaukat and his siblings were taken care of by their aunt and in due course, he was sent to study at the Aitchison College and the Aligarh Muslim University, briefly, before he was sent, in keeping with family tradition, to join the British Indian Army, upon passing the qualifying examinations.[4]

Early military career[edit]

Upon completing his military training or cadetship at the Indian Military Academy, he was formally commissioned as a Lieutenant in the 16th Light Cavalry[5] with effect from 15 July 1937.[6] After some service on the North West Frontier, when World War II broke out, he volunteered to go abroad for active service with any cavalry regiment being sent out to the Front, and was therefore seconded to Skinner's Horse.[7] He thereafter served in Somalia, the Middle East and North Africa from 1941 to 1942, first promoted as a Captain and then a War Substantive Major,[6] until his father's death in December 1942, when he had to quit military service to take up his political role in the Punjab.

Early political career[edit]

On taking up his late father's political mantle, he was duly elected to the Punjab Assembly and made a member of the cabinet under the new Punjab premier, Malik Khizar Hayat Tiwana, and subsequently served as Minister for Public Works in the Unionist Muslim League government. Dismissed in 1944 for his increasingly pro-All India Muslim League and pro-Jinnah ideals and policies, he was subsequently elected Deputy Leader of the Punjab League. Re-elected in 1946, he became one of the most prominent activists in the Muslim League's "Direct Action" campaign and the most famous and popular of the League's young leadership, winning the title of "Shaukat-i-Punjab "(Shaukat[8] of the Punjab) from Jinnah himself.[9] He played a significant role in eventually winning over the Punjabi Muslims in large numbers, to the cause of the League and of an independent Pakistan.[10]

Later career[edit]

After partition he left the Muslim League party amidst conflicts with Mian Mumtaz Daultana and briefly joined the Pakistan Azad Party along with Mian Iftikharuddin. Between the 1950s and 1970s, in his own words, he was 'an unlucky witness to the gradual destruction of the Quaid's (i.e. Jinnahs) Pakistan',[11] at the hands of greedy and corrupt politicians and the Martial Law regimes.

Elected again from Attock in the 1970 general elections, he played a key role in the opposition negotiations with Zulfiqar Bhutto which led to the passage of Pakistan's first interim constitution.[12] He was also one of the few Pakistani statesmen in 1970-71, who tried to negotiate amicably with the Awami League, in order to try to salvage former East Pakistan, which seceded and became Bangladesh soon afterwards.[13] Disillusioned, Khan soon afterwards resigned permanently from political life.[14]

He died in 25 September 1998 and is survived by two sons and four daughters. His son Sikander Hayat Junior has twice fought provincial elections from the PPP.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Press release (November 1998). "Obituaries: Shaukat Hyat Khan". Salaam Society Journal 28 (11): 49. Retrieved 24 December 2013. 
  2. ^ Shaukat Hayat Khan, The Nation that Lost its Soul:Memoirs, Lahore: Jang Group of Publishers, 1995, p. 12
  3. ^ Shaukat Hayat Khan, "The Nation that Lost its Soul: Memoirs", Lahore: Jang Group of Publishers, 1995, p.17
  4. ^ Shaukat Hyat Khan, "Memoirs", p.19
  5. ^ Originally the 1st Madras Lancers, the senior-most regiment of the Indian Cavalry. See C.Kempton, A Register of the Titles of the Units of the HEIC & Indian Armies, 1666-1947, Bristol: British Empire & Commonwealth Museum, 1996. ISBN 978-0-9530174-0-9
  6. ^ a b Indian Army List, 1943 ed
  7. ^ 1st Duke of York's Own Cavalry, the Bengal Lancers. For further details, see John Gaylor, "Sons of John Company: The Indian and Pakistan Armies, 1903-1991", Orig. pub. London, 1992. Reprint New Delhi: Lancer International Publications, 1993, pp. 59-61. ISBN 81-7062-185-2
  8. ^ Literally implying 'honour' and 'fame', a play on SHK's name. See Shahid Mahmud, Islamic Names and Titles in India and Pakistan, Rawalpindi: Ashraf Books, 1969, p.36
  9. ^ Shaukat Hyat Khan, "Memoirs', pp.77-78
  10. ^ See 1998 Obituary by Omer Tarin,reprinted in Selected Shorter Essays, pub. TSI, Pakistan, and Lulu Publishing, USA, 2011, p. 15. ISBN 978-1-105-15532-1
  11. ^ 'Memoirs', pp.128-129
  12. ^ The 1973 Constitution in fact
  13. ^ 'Memoirs' pp.294-301
  14. ^ 'Memoirs', pp. 354-55

Further reading[edit]

  • Shaukat Hyat Khan, "The Nation that Lost its Soul: Memoirs of Sirdar Shaukat Hayat Khan"; Lahore:Jang Publications,1995