Khan Abdul Jabbar Khan

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Not to be confused with Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan.
Dr Khan Sahib
1st Chief Minister of West Pakistan
In office
14 October 1955 – 27 August 1957
Monarch Elizabeth II
President Iskander Mirza
Governor-General Iskander Mirza
Governor Mushtaq Ahmed Gurmani
Preceded by First
Succeeded by Sardar Abdur Rashid Khan
Personal details
Born 1882
Utmanzai, Charsadda, British India, now Charsadda District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
Died 9 May, 1958 (aged 76)
Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan

Khan Abdul Jabbar Khan (Pashto: خان عبدالجبار خان‎) ( born 1882, Utmanzai – 9 May 1958, Lahore), popularly known as Dr. Khan Sahib, was a pioneer in the Indian Independence Movement and a Pakistani politician.

Early life[edit]

He was born in the village of Utmanzai, in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) of British India (now in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan). His father, Bahram Khan was a local landlord. He was eight years older than his brother, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (Bacha Khan).

After matriculating from the Edwards Mission High School in Peshawar, Khan Sahib studied at Grant Medical College, Bombay. He subsequently completed his training from St Thomas' Hospital in London. During the first World War he served in France,during his stay at France he met a Scottish girl Mary. They fell in love and soon they get married though his younger brother Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan was against this marriage. Mary had a daughter from her earlier relation and her name was Meriam. After the war, he joined the Indian Medical Service and was posted in Mardan with the Guides regiment. He resigned his commission in 1921, after refusing to be posted in Waziristan, where the British Indian Army was launching operations against fellow Pakhtuns.[citation needed]

Contribution to the Indian independence movement[edit]

In 1935, Khan Sahib was elected alongside Peer Shahenshah of Jungle Khel Kohat as representatives of the North-West Frontier Province to the Central Legislative Assembly in New Delhi.

With the grant of limited self-government and announcement of provincial elections in 1937, Dr. Khan Sahib led his party to a comprehensive victory. The Frontier National Congress, an affiliate of the Indian National Congress emerged as the single largest party in the Provincial Assembly.

Politics in Pakistan 1947 – 1954[edit]

At the time of independence, he was the chief minister. Later he was jailed by Abdul Qayyum Khan's government. After Qayyum Khan's appointment to the Central government and the personal efforts of the Chief Minister of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa at the time, Sardar Bahadur Khan, he along with his brother and many other activists were released.

Back in government[edit]

He joined the Central Cabinet of Muhammad Ali Bogra as Minister for Communications in 1954. This decision to join the government led to his split with his brother.[1]

In October 1955, he became the first Chief Minister of West Pakistan following the amalgamation of the provinces and princely states under the One Unit scheme. After differences with the ruling Muslim League over the issue of Joint versus Separate Electorates, he created the Republican Party.

He resigned in March 1957 after the provincial budget was rejected by the assembly.

In June, he was elected to the National Assembly representing the constituency of Quetta, the former capital of Balochistan.


He was assassinated by Atta Mohammad at approximately 8:30 am on 9 May 1958, according to some sources on the orders of the Allama Mashraqi, leader of the Khaksars.[2]

This tragic incident occurred while Dr. Khan Sahib was sitting in the garden of his son Sadullah Khan's house at 16 Aikman Road, GOR, Lahore.[3] He was waiting for Colonel Syed Abid Hussein of Jhang to accompany him to a meeting organised in connection with the scheduled February 1959 General Elections. The assailant was a "Patwari" (Land Revenue Clerk) from Mianwali who had been dismissed from service two years previously.[citation needed]

The body of Dr. Khan Sahib was taken to his village Utmanzai in Charsadda about 30 miles from Peshawar, where he was laid to rest by side of his English wife Mary Khan. All West Pakistan Government offices remained closed on 9 May and flags flew at half-mast in memory of Dr. Khan Sahib.[4]

Speaking of his passing, Pakistani President Iskander Mirza said, about him that he was "the greatest Pathan of his times, a great leader and a gallant gentleman whose life-long fight in the cause of freedom, his sufferings and sacrifices for the sake of his convictions and his passion to do good to the common man were the attributes of a really great man."[5]

Dr. Khan Sahib was survived by three sons.[citation needed]

After his death, Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti was elected to fill the vacancy arising in the National Assembly.[citation needed]

It is important to note that Dr.Khan Sahib's brother, Abdul Ghaffar Khan and his Red Shirt movement stayed away from the electoral politics.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Victoria Schofield Afghan (2004)Frontier: Feuding and Fighting in Central Asia. Tauris Parke Paperbacks,
  2. ^ Dr Ali Muhammad Khan, 'Allama Mashriqi , Khaksar Tehreek aur uss ki Qatilana Siyasat' (Urdu: Allama Mashriqi, the Khaksars and the Politics of Assassination') pub Lahore: Rang Mahal Publishers, 1978, pp 121-123
  3. ^ Khan, p 121
  4. ^ The Hindu : Miscellaneous / This Day That Age : dated 10 May 1958: Khan Sahib assassinated
  5. ^ Frontier Post, 27 May 2004 Dr Khan Sahib Remembered By Syed Afzaal Hussain Zaidi


  • Mahmud, Makhdumzada Syed Hassan (1958). A Nation is Born

See also[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Sahibzada Abdul Qayyum
Chief Minister of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
Succeeded by
Sardar Aurang Zeb Khan
Preceded by
Sardar Aurang Zeb Khan
2nd term
Succeeded by
3rd term
Preceded by
2nd term
3rd term
Succeeded by
Abdul Qayyum Khan
Preceded by
Office created
Chief Minister of West Pakistan
Succeeded by
Sardar Abdur Rashid Khan