Jalal Baba

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Jalal ud din Khan [mb
Born (1901-03-03)3 March 1901[1][2]
Abbottabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, British India (now in Pakistan)
Died 21 January 1981(1981-01-21) (aged 79)[2]
Abbottabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
Other names Jalal Baba (جلال بابا)
Occupation Political leader
Movement Pakistan Movement activist[3]

Jalaluddin (Urdu: جلال الدین , March 3, 1901 – January 21, 1981), aka Jalal Baba (Urdu: جلال بابا), was a Muslim League stalwart and a Pakistan movement activist.[3][4]

Early life[edit]

Born in Abbottabad, Hazara, Jalaluddin started his career as a driver for the British, and rose to become a leading transporter. He joined the All-India Muslim League in 1935 and eventually became President of the Hazara branch of the Muslim League during the 1940s. The Muslim league gained strength of popularity in Hazara under his apt leadership. He was among the first ones to renounce his titles given by the British in 1946 and was widely regarded as the “Winner of Referendum” in 1947.[3][2]

Jalal Baba came from a middle-class background, but was interested in politics from a young age. After joining the Muslim League, he contributed to its progress and became its District President in 1940. His father Sheikh Ghulam Mohammad was a black smith who had migrated to this part of undivided India in the band of Mujahedeen under the banner of Syed Ahmad Barelvi before the 1857 War of Independence. Jalal-ud-din was brought up in a middle-class family of Abbottabad. Before matriculation he left his school in 1919, and joined the 'Hijrat Movement' and left for Kabul, Afghanistan. But his father brought him back from Landi Kotal when the movement was called off.[2]

Political career[edit]

Jalal Baba had a prominent position among the Muslim League workers who offered the founder of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah sincere support and remained loyal to him till the end of Pakistan movement.[1]

Jalal Baba was among the first ones to initiate the 'Direct Action' in the struggle for Pakistan by moving a resolution in the All-India Muslim League meeting in July 1946, recommending the renunciation of titles, conferred by the British Government.

Again when in July 1947, the Muslim League launched the civil disobedience movement, Jalal Baba was among the first ones to court arrest from Hazara followed by others in such large numbers that the jails were filled to capacity with the political internees. He was released from jail only after the declaration of independence and the establishment of Pakistan on 14 August 1947.

It was not before the late 1930s that Jalal Baba had established himself as a recognized businessman and a social worker of Hazara. Now he could afford to enter the field of politics. Jalal Baba joined the Muslim League in 1937, at Abbottabad in the first public meeting held at the Company Bagh, while Chaudhry Khaliquzzaman accompanied by Saadullah Khan was presiding over the meeting. His political efforts led to his nickname 'Jalal Baba' (which means an elder, wise man or expert in the local Hindko language ) and he was elected Hazara District President in 1940. He held the office for almost 21 years.[4][1]

Jalal Baba, by now an eminent figure in the provincial political circles, raised his voice at the most crucial juncture. The reorganization of the Muslim League resulted in a big change in the political ranks of British Indians. The seeds of the Hazara branch of Muslim League were sown by him. He further nourished it. After joining the Muslim League, he emerged as the league’s leader in Hazara.[4] In 1939, Jalal Baba was elected as the president of the Hazara District Muslim League. He held the office as unopposed president for twenty one years. The Hazara Muslim League acquired great strength and popularity under his leadership. He had also been the vice-president of the Provincial Muslim League and a member of the All-India Muslim League Council.[1]

When the British Government conferred titles on Jalal Baba, the Muslim League was in the initial stages of taking root in the N.W.F.P Province. In view of his personal influence in his native Abbottabad area, the Muslim League leaders assigned Jalal Baba the task of its organization there. He received support and co-operation from the middle and lower middle-class people who then comprised the majority of local population, as he himself had belonged to them. People gathered around him and turned his transport office into a political office. From all over Hazara, the Muslim League workers used to visit him in order to receive his directives on organizational matters.[1]

Referendum in NWFP[edit]

Jalal-ud-Din Khan’s services during the Pakistan movement were too numerous to be recounted. He staked all his belongings for the achievement of Pakistan. After the Direct Action of 1946, the movement for Pakistan entered a crucial stage. In NWFP, the Red Shirt Leaders were blowing their own trumpet. They raised the “Pukhtoonistan” slogan, backed by Russia, Afghanistan and India. NWFP was the stronghold of the Congress Party and it had also gained some influence locally after the 1946 provincial elections. So it started creating some trouble regarding the future of the Muslims of this Province. In order to decide whether NWFP should form part of the dominion of India or Pakistan, a referendum was held by the British government.[4]

On June 18, 1947, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah set up a Commission to see that the cause of the Muslim League was upheld successfully in the upcoming Referendum. He himself was the Chairman of the Commission. The other members of the Commission were I.I. Chundrigar, Raja Ghazanfar Ali Khan, Syed Wajid Ali, Jalal-ud-Din Khan Jalal Baba, Raja Haider Zaman and Sardar Bahadur Khan. The Referendum lasted from July 6, 1947 to July 17, 1947. Jalal Baba worked from dawn to dusk for the Referendum, provided funds and, being a transporter and transport contractor, used his transport for this purpose.

In NWFP, 90 per cent of the votes cast were polled in favor of Pakistan.[4] However, the Red Shirt Party (later named National Awami Party) boycotted the referendum.[4] From Hazara alone, 99% of the Muslim votes were cast in favor of Pakistan. Thirty percent of the total votes polled were from Hazara. Inayat-ur-Rahman Khan Abbasi[who?] quoted: “Khan Bahadur Jalal-ud-Din Khan was undoubtedly an organization in himself. Keeping in view his loyalty and services towards the country and the nation he deserved to be buried near Quaid-i-Azam’s Tomb. He was a veteran leader of the sub-continent in general and of NWFP in particular. It is not wrong to call him the Winner of the Referendum”.[3]

Jalal Baba auditorium[edit]

In Abbottabad, Pakistan, there is a 'Jalal Baba Auditorium' spanning an area of 8.75 acres, built with a cost of Rs27.5 million, in recognition of his services to Pakistan. This auditorium has a seating capacity of 500 to 700 people.[5]

Political offices
Preceded by
Khan Abdul Jabbar Khan
Vice president of NWFP/Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Muslim League
Succeeded by
Abdul Qayyum Khan
Preceded by
Mir Ghulam Ali Talpur
Interior Minister of Pakistan
Succeeded by
Zakir Hussain


  1. ^ a b c d e Profile of Jalal Baba on SLIDEDOCUMENTS website Published 23 December 2017, Retrieved 12 July 2018
  2. ^ a b c d Muslim League in N.W.F.P. (includes profile of Jalal Baba) on GoogleBooks Published 1992, Retrieved 12 July 2018
  3. ^ a b c d "CPEC to generate economic activity in Hazara: governor". Dawn (newspaper). 4 January 2016. Retrieved 12 July 2018. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Excerpt: Between Dreams And Realities Dawn (newspaper), Published 11 October 2009, Retrieved 12 July 2018
  5. ^ Nishaa Ishtiak (27 June 2011). "Government negligence: In Abbottabad, the forgotten Jalal Baba auditorium". The Express Tribune (newspaper). Retrieved 12 July 2018. 

External links[edit]