Shah Nawaz Bhutto

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This article is about the Sindhi Rajput landlord and politician of the early-mid 20th century. For Punjabi Arain Landlord and politician, see Mian Sir Muhammad Shah Nawaz.

Sir Shah Nawaz Bhutto, (Urdu: شاہ نواز بهُٹو‎), CIE, OBE, OBI (1888–1957) (Sindhi: شھنواز ڀٽو), was a politician hailing from Larkana in Sindh province of British India, which is now part of Pakistan.

Early life[edit]

Bhutto, the son of Ghulam Murtaza Bhutto, was born in a Rajput family of Sindh.[1] The father was impressed with western values, so he decided to send his son, Shah Nawaz, to the United Kingdom for his higher education.


On his return to India, then under a mixture of British and princely rule, Shah Nawaz Bhutto joined the civil service of Muhammad Mahabat Khan III the Nawab of Junagadh in the modern-day province of Gujarat, who was much impressed by his education and talents, leading the two to become great friends. Ultimately he rose to become the Dewan, or prime minister, of Junagadh and went on to play a major role in the politics of Pakistan Movement.

In 1934, with G. M. Sayed, Bhutto founded the Sindh Peoples Party.[2]

The British appointed him a Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire and an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.[3]

At the time of the independence of Pakistan in 1947, the princely states were left by the British to decide whether to accede to one of the newly independent states of India or Pakistan or to remain outside them. The princely state of Junagadh, which had a majority-Hindu population, did accede to Pakistan in September 1947, with its ruler's dewan, Sir Shah Nawaz Bhutto, personally delivering the accession papers to Jinnah. However, the Indian army occupied the principality in November, forcing the Nawab Muhammad Mahabat Khan III of Junagadh [4] (erstwhile Babi nawab dynasty of Junagadh) to flee for his life and settle in Sindh, Pakistan, with the faithful Bhuttos following suit, beginning the launch of the politically powerful Bhutto family. Shah Nawaz Bhutto moved to Larkana District, where land given to him for his services had made him one of the wealthiest and most influential landowners in Sindh.[2]

Bhutto was a good friend of Governor General (later President) Iskander Mirza, who was a regular guest for the annual hunt in Larkana, staying at the Bhutto family home, Al-Murtaza. In the winter of 1955-1956, Mirza brought General Ayub Khan with him to Larkana for the hunt.


Bhutto was a first cousin once removed of Wahid Baksh Bhutto, who in 1924 was made a sardar and in 1926 was elected to the Imperial Legislative Assembly from Sindh, a constituency of the Bombay Presidency, becoming the first member of the Bhuttho family to be elected to public office.

Bhutto was married to Khursheed Begum, formerly Lakhi Bai, who was of a modest Hindu family. She converted from Hinduism to Islam before her marriage.[5] Her brothers remained Hindu and eventually migrated to India.

Their children included Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the first elected Prime Minister of Pakistan, and a daughter called Mumtaz, who married Brigadier Muhammad Mustafa Khan Bahadur of the Sidi clan.[6] Their first child, Sikandar, died from pneumonia at the age of seven in 1914, and their second child, Imdad Ali, died of cirrhosis at the age of thirty-nine in 1953. Their son Zulfikar Ali was born in his parents' residence near Larkana, and was their third child.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Encyclopædia Britannica 2006. "Bhutto, Zulfikar Ali" (PHP). Retrieved 2006-11-07. 
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ Sir Shah Nawaz Bhutto
  4. ^
  5. ^ Burki, Shahid Javed, Historical Dictionary of Pakistan, Scarecrow Press, 1991, ISBN 0-8108-2411-6
  6. ^ The Sidi Dynasty