Khawaja Nazimuddin

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Sir Khawaja Nazim-ud-din
خواجہ ناظم الدین
খাজা নাজিমুদ্দীন
Khawaja Nazimuddin of Pakistan.JPG
2nd 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
2nd 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
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
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
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)
Resting place Mausoleum of three leaders, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Nationality British Indian (1894-1947)
Pakistani (1947-1964)
Political party Muslim League
Alma mater Aligarh Muslim University
Trinity Hall, Cambridge
Religion Sunni Islam

Sir Khawaja Nazimuddin, KCIE (Urdu: خواجہ ناظم الدین‎; Bengali: খাজা নাজিমুদ্দীন; 19 July 1894 – 22 October 1964) was a conservative Pakistani politician and statesman who served as the 2nd Prime Minister of Pakistan from 15 October 1951 to 1953.[1]

Born into the Dhaka Nawab Family, Nazimuddin was educated at M.A.O. College and later at the Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He was elected as the chair of the Dacca Municipality in 1922 and served until 1929 before moving to the provincial Education Minister of Bengal in 1929 during which he piloted the Bengal Rural Primary Education Bill in 1930, in 1937, he was appointed as the Home Minister under the government of Fazlul Haque Amini. On 24 April 1943, Nazimuddin became the Prime Minister of Bengal during the British Raj and later the chief minister of East Bengal.[2]

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.[3] 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[edit]

He was born in Dacca, Bengal (now Dhaka, Bangladesh) into the family of the Nawabs of Dhaka.[4] He received his education from Dunstable Grammar School in England. He went on to Aligarh Muslim University,[5] and then Trinity Hall, Cambridge in England. He was knighted in 1934.[6]


After returning to British India, he became involved in politics in Bengal. He was the Chairman of Dhaka Municipality from 1922 to 1929.[7] He lost the 1937 provincial election in East Pakistan to A. K. Fazlul Huq.[8] 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.[7] 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[edit]

Upon the formation of Pakistan, he became an important part of the early government. After the early death of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Nazimuddin 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. On state religion he spoke against secularism, “I do not agree that religion is a private affair of the individual nor do I agree that in an Islamic state every citizen has identical rights, no matter what his caste, creed or faith be".[9] In 1950 he declared “Pakistan would remain incomplete until the whole of Kashmir is liberated”.[10] The first Prime Minister of Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan was assassinated in 1951, and Nazimuddin became the next Prime Minister.[11]

Prime Minister[edit]

During Nazimuddin'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 held when he declared Urdu the National Language of Pakistan, following the previous statement of Muhammad Ali Jinnah that Urdu shall be 'one and only' language of Pakistan.[12]

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 Nazimuddin'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. Nazimuddin 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. In the same year Governor General Ghulam Muhammad dismissed the government of Nazimuddin.[13]


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 Mausoleum of three leaders in his hometown of Dhaka.[14][15]


He was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire (CIE) in 1926, and was knighted in 1934 by the King-Emperor, George V, when he was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire (KCIE).[16]

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.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Khawaja Nazimuddin | Former Governor General of Pakistan". 1 June 2003. Retrieved 20 September 2016. 
  3. ^ " : Khwaja Nazimuddin". Retrieved 12 January 2012. 
  4. ^ "The Official website of the Dhaka Nawab Family: Biographies". Retrieved 12 January 2012. 
  5. ^ Ziegler, S. Shahid Hamid ; with a foreword by Philip; Willey, preface by Peter (1993). Disastrous twilight : a personal record of the partition of India ([2nd ed.]. ed.). London: Published by the author in association with Leo Cooper. p. 74. ISBN 9780850523966. 
  6. ^ Watt, Andrew. "9 celebrities you might not know have a connection with Dunstable". Luton on Sunday. Retrieved 21 January 2016. 
  7. ^ a b "Khwaja Nazimuddin". Story of Pakistan. Retrieved 12 January 2012. 
  8. ^ Shibly, Atful Hye (2011). Abdul Matin Chaudhury (1895-1948) : trusted lieutenant of Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Dhaka: Juned A. Choudhury. p. 69. ISBN 9789843323231. 
  9. ^ Ahmed, Khaled (22 July 2015). "Defined by exclusion". The Indian Express. Retrieved 22 January 2016. 
  10. ^ Praveen, Swami (10 July 2015). "Why Narendra Modi is smoking the Pakistani peace pipe". The Indian Express. Retrieved 22 January 2016. 
  11. ^ Balouch, Akhtar (16 October 2015). "The mystery that shrouds Liaquat Ali Khan's murder". Retrieved 21 January 2016. 
  12. ^ Wali Janjua, Raashid. "Secession of East Pakistan". Retrieved 21 January 2016. 
  13. ^ Simon Sharaf, Samson; Hussain, Hamid. "Ther [sic] great betrayal: 1947-71". The Nation. Retrieved 22 January 2016. 
  14. ^ "Find A Grave Memorial". Retrieved 12 January 2012. 
  15. ^ Qasmi, Ali Usman (16 December 2015). "1971 war: Witness to history". Retrieved 21 January 2016. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Stamp of Sir Nazimuddin". 

Current Events Biography, 1949

External links[edit]

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