Malik Ghulam Muhammad

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Malik Ghulam Muhammad
ملک غلام محمد
Malik Muhammad.jpg
Sir M. Ghulam Muhammad (1895–1956)
Governor-General of Pakistan
In office
17 October 1951 – 7 August 1955
Monarch Elizabeth II
Prime Minister Nazimuddin (1951–53)
Muhammad Ali Bogra (1953–55)
Muhammad Ali (1955)
Preceded by Nazimuddin
Succeeded by Iskander Ali Mirza
Finance Minister of Pakistan
In office
15 August 1947 – 19 October 1951
Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan
Preceded by State proclaimed
Succeeded by Muhammad Ali
Personal details
Born Malik Ghulam Muhammad
(1895-04-20)April 20, 1895
Lahore, Punjab, British India
(Present-day Pakistan)
Died August 29, 1956(1956-08-29) (aged 61)
Citizenship British Raj British Subject (1894-1947)
 Pakistan (1947-1964)
Political party Muslim League (1947–51)
Alma mater Aligarh Muslim University
Occupation Civil servant, accountant
Religion Islam
Awards Order of the Indian Empire Ribbon.svgOrder of the Indian Empire

Sir Malik Ghulam Muhammad (Urdu: ملک غلام محمد‎;b. 20 April 1895–29 August 1956), CIE, was a Pakistani civil servant who served as the third Governor-General of Pakistan, appointed in this capacity in 1951 until being dismissed in 1955 due to health conditions.

Educated at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), he joined the Indian Civil Service and enjoyed a distinguish career as a chartered accountant at the Indian Railway's accounts service before elevating to join the Ministry of Finance under Liaquat Ali Khan in 1946. After independence of Pakistan as a result of partition of India in 1947, he became a leading member of the Liaquat administration and appointed as country's first Finance Minister where he helped draft the first plan to alleviate the national economy while emphasizing the economical role of pan-Islamism in the Muslim world.

Muhammad was appointed as Governor-General in 1951 by Khwaja Nazimuddin who took over the government as Prime Minister after the assassination of Liaquat Ali Khan. Amid nationwide violence as an aftermath of language movement in Dacca and religious riots in Lahore led to him dismissed Prime Minister Nazimuddin's adminsitration and later Prime Minister M.A. Bogra using the reserve powers to restore control of the law and order in the country in 1953–54. In 1955, he was forcefully dismissed from the post of Governor-General by Interior Minister Iskander Ali Mirza due to worsening health conditions, afterwards, he fought a brief illness and passed away in 1956.

His personal image is viewed negatively by Pakistan's historians, criticized for giving rise to political intrigue, undermining civilian control of the military by declaring martial law, and devaluing nascent democratic norms by sacking parliament.[1]


Family background and education[edit]

Malik Ghulam Muhammad was born in a suburban neighborhood of near Mochi Gate in Lahore, Punjab, India, to a middle class family on 20 April 1895.[2]

He hailed from a Punjabi Pathan family who traced their roots Kakazai tribe of Pashtuns and spent his childhood walled city of Lahore and thus the impact of pure Lahori culture was very much visible on his personality.:xxx}[3] After completing his schooling in Lahore, he went to Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh to attend the MOA College of the Aligarh Muslim University, and was a roommate of Nazir Ahmed, a physicist and a bureaucrat.:259[4] At the AMU, he studied accountancy and gained BA degree in a accountancy.[5]

Civil service and politics[edit]

After graduating from AMU, he joined the Indian Civil Service and posted at the Audit and Accounts Service to provide accountancy for the Indian Railways's accounts service.:26[6]:630[7] He earned a reputation as an able and competent accountant for the Indian Railway which eventually led to be served as a member in the Indian Railway Board before becoming the Controller of General Supplies and Purchase of the Indian Railways.:274-275[7] His serves as a professional accountant was recognized by the British government who honoured him by appointed Malik as a Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire (CIE) in 1941.[8]

In 1945, he helped co-found the Mahindra and Mohamed Steel Company together with steel industrialists, JC Mahindra and KC Mahindra where Muhammad served the company's chartered accountant.:334[9] In 1945–47, the company initially registered as the Mahindra & Mohammad, and started the licensed production of the Willys jeeps in Mumbai as Muhammad looked after the company's revenue and finances.[10]

After the World war II, he was asked by Nawab of Bahawalpur, Lord Sadeq Mohammad Khan V to represent him at the Round Table Conferences, and during this time, he began formatting political relations with the Liaquat Ali Khan.[2] He later served as advisor to the Nizam of Hyderabad, but left to join the Ministry of Finance in 1946.[2] In the 1946 Birthday Honours, the last honours list in which Indian civil servants were honoured, he received a knighthood.[11]

Finance Minister (1947–51)[edit]

In 1946–47, Muhammad left the Mahindra & Mahindra and joined the Ministry of Finance as a Cabinet Secretary under Finance Minister Liaquat Ali Khan, assisting him in drafting and preparing India's first union budget.[2]

After witnessing the partition of India in 1947, he decided to acquire the citizenship of Pakistan and permanently settled in his native city, Lahore, on 14 August of 1947.[2] He was brought up in the Liaquat administration when Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan appointed him as country's first Finance Minister.[2] He presented the first budget and submitted the draft of the First Five-Year Plans in 1948.[2]

In 1949, Muhammad invited leaders of the Muslim world to the International Islamic Economics Organization in Pakistan, where he emphasised the idea of a Muslim economic bloc.[2] During this time, he survived the fatal attack of paralysis that made him unable to talk or move effectively and began suffering with poor health conditions.[12][2]

Governor-General (1953-55)[edit]

Further information: Constitutional Coup

As early as 1951, Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan had made a decision of removing Finance Minister Muhammad due to his continuing worsening of his health conditions.[2] However, the decision was not taken due to the assassination of Prime Minister Liaqat Ali Khan on October 1951.

One of Ghulam Muhammad's first duties was to represent Pakistan as Governor General at the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II held in London in 1953. Ghulam Muhammad was present in Westminster Abbey alongside the other major Dominion Governors-General from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and Ceylon.

In 1954, the Assembly of Pakistan tried to change the constitution to establish checks and balances on the Governor-General's powers. In response, Ghulam Muhammad dismissed the Constituent Assembly, an action that was challenged in the Sindh High Court by Maulvi Tamizuddin, the Speaker of the Assembly. The court's Justice Sir Georges Constantine ruled the Governor-General's decision illegal, but the ruling was overturned by Supreme Court of Pakistan, led by Chief Justice Muhammad Munir, in a split decision.

Historians consider this action the beginning of viceregal politics in Pakistan, in which the military and civil bureaucracy, not elected officials, would gain increasing influence over the country's policymaking.[13]

Dismissal and death[edit]

Ghulam Muhammad's health deteriorated, and he took a leave of absence in 1955. The acting Governor-General, Iskander Mirza, dismissed him, and Ghulam Muhammad died the next year in 1956.


  1. ^ Ghulam Muhammad - Story of Pakistan, Retrieved 17 August 2015
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j, administration (21 October 2013). "Ghulam Muhammad--Former Governor General of Pakistan" (html). Story Of Pakistan. Lahore, Pakistan: Nazaria-e-Pakistan Trust. Retrieved 24 March 2017. 
  3. ^ Kumarasingham, H. (2016). "Bureaucratic Statism". Constitution-making in Asia: Decolonisation and State-Building in the Aftermath of the British Empire (google books) (1 ed.). U.S: Routledge. ISBN 9781317245094. Retrieved 24 March 2017. 
  4. ^ Rizvi, H. Military, State and Society in Pakistan. Springer. ISBN 9780230599048. Retrieved 24 March 2017. 
  5. ^ News Desk, (29 August 2012). "Ex-Governor General Ghulam Mohammad's anniversary today | SAMAA TV". Samaa TV. Samaa'TV, 2012. Samaa' TV. Retrieved 24 March 2017. 
  6. ^ Malik, I. State and Civil Society in Pakistan: Politics of Authority, Ideology and Ethnicity. Springer. ISBN 9780230376298. Retrieved 24 March 2017. 
  7. ^ a b Raza, Syed Hashim (1991). Hamari Manzil. Karachi, Pakistan: Mustafain & Murtazain. ISBN 9789694600024. Retrieved 24 March 2017. 
  8. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 35184. p. 3285. 6 June 1941. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  9. ^ Jacobs, A. J. (2016). "Mahindra&Mahindra in North America". The New Domestic Automakers in the United States and Canada: History, Impacts, and Prospects (googlebooks). New York: Lexington Books. ISBN 9780739188262. Retrieved 24 March 2017. 
  10. ^ Mahindra, Mahindra. "Mahindra's history - Mahindra Rise". Mahindra. Retrieved 24 March 2017. 
  11. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 37598. p. 2757. 4 June 1946. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  12. ^ Balouch, Akhtar (3 October 2014). "Graves laden with sweets". DAWN.COM. Dawn Newspapers, 2014. Dawn Newspapers. Retrieved 24 March 2017. 
  13. ^ PAKISTAN: The New Dictatorship, TIME Magazine, 8 November 1954
Political offices
New office Minister of Finance
Succeeded by
Chaudhry Muhammad Ali
Preceded by
Khawaja Nazimuddin
Governor-General of Pakistan
Succeeded by
Iskander Mirza