Mohammad Ali Bogra

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Mohammad Ali Bogra
Mohammad Ali of Bogra.jpg
3rd Prime Minister of Pakistan
In office
17 April 1953 – 12 August 1955
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor General Malik Ghulam Muhammad
Preceded by Khawaja Nazimuddin
Succeeded by Chaudhry Muhammad Ali
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
13 June 1962 – 23 January 1963
President Ayub Khan
Preceded by Manzur Qadir
Succeeded by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
In office
24 October 1954 – 12 August 1955
Preceded by Muhammad Zafarullah Khan
Succeeded by Hamidul Huq Choudhury
Minister of Defence
In office
17 April 1953 – 24 October 1954
Preceded by Khawaja Nazimuddin
Succeeded by Ayub Khan
Personal details
Born (1909-10-19)19 October 1909
Barisal, Bengal Presidency, British India
(now in Bangladesh)
Died 23 January 1963(1963-01-23) (aged 53)
Dacca, East Pakistan, Pakistan
(now Dhaka, Bangladesh)
Resting place Bogra, Bangladesh
Political party Muslim League
Alma mater University of Calcutta

Shahebzada Mohammad Ali Bogra[1][2][3][4] (19 October 1909 – 23 January 1963), also known as Mohammad Ali of Bogra,[5] was a notable East Pakistani politician, diplomat and statesman from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). He served as the third Prime Minister of Pakistan. He was also the country's ambassador to Burma, the United States and Canada.Mohammad Ali Bogra also served as the External Affairs Minister of Pakistan under President Ayub Khan until his death by heart attack on 23 January 1963.

Mohammad Ali Bogra studied in Presidency College, Calcutta. He was elected to the Bengal Legislative Assembly from Bogra in 1937. He was a minister in the cabinet of Prime Minister H. S. Suhrawardy in British Bengal. In 1948, he opposed the declaration of Urdu as the sole official language of Pakistan. He also formulated the Bogra Formula for Pakistan to adopt a federal constitution and began peace talks with India on the Kashmir conflict.

Early life and family[edit]

Mohammad Ali Bogra was born in Barisal in 1909 to Nawabzada Altaf Ali. His grandfather was Syed Nawab Ali Chowdhury, one of the founders of the University of Dhaka. Ali grew up in the Bogra Estate. He attended Presidency College in Calcutta University.[5]

He was married twice. His first wife was Begum Hamida Mohammad Ali, with whom he had two sons.[6] He later married Aliya Saddy in 1955.[6] His second marriage led to widespread protests against polygamy by women activists in the country.[7]

Political and diplomatic career[edit]

A member of the All India Muslim League, Mohammad Ali Bogra contested elections from Bogra in 1937. He was elected as an opposition MLA in the Bengal Legislative Assembly. However, his father was a member of the assembly's upper house from the ruling Krishak Praja Party. Ali served in opposition until 1943, when the Muslim League gained power. In 1946, he joined the H. S. Suhrawardy Ministry, holding the portfolios of health, finance and local-government. As health minister, he founded the Dhaka Medical College and the Calcutta Lake Medical College.[5]

Upon the formation of Pakistan in 1947, Mohammad Ali Bogra was elected to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan. During the visit of Governor General Muhammad Ali Jinnah to Dhaka in 1948, Ali dissented on the issue of Bengali being excluded as an official state language. He strongly advised Chief Minister Sir Khawaja Nazimuddin to restrain Jinnah from announcing the measure, but was rebuked. Furious with Ali's dissent, Jinnah ordered him to take a diplomatic assignment. He was offered to be sent as ambassador to Egypt, but Ali chose to serve in neighboring Burma.[5] Ali was renowned for his diplomatic credentials. He was ambassador in Rangoon in 1948. In 1949, he was appointed High Commissioner to Canada. In 1952, he was made Ambassador to the United States.[8]

As Prime Minister[edit]

In 1953, Ali was recalled to Karachi from Washington DC. He reluctantly accepted the post of Prime Minister under pressure from Governor-General Ghulam Muhammad, as he was a relatively unknown figure in national politics. He succeeded Sir Khawaja Nazimuddin. After taking office, Ali took an initiative to address the Kashmir dispute with India. He met Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on the sidelines of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth. Ali and Nehru later exchanged state visits. The two men enjoyed a very warm relations.[5] He also led Pakistan to attend the Bandung Conference in Indonesia in 1955.

Mohammad Ali Bogra's other chief priority was the formulation of the Pakistani constitution. In October 1953, he outlined proposals to the Constituent Assembly for a federal parliamentary republic. Known as the Bogra Formula, it called for a bicameral legislature with equal representation from the five provinces. The plan also called for the Supreme Court to replace the clergy-based Board of Ulema in deciding whether laws were in accordance with Islamic principles. The Bogra Formula was widely welcomed by people in East and West Pakistan. However, Governor General Ghulam Muhammad arbitrarily dissolved the Constituent Assembly in 1954. The Governor General was replaced by Major General (Retd.) Iskandar Mirza who forced Mohammad Ali Bogra to resign in 1955.[8]

Later life[edit]

Mohammad Ali Bogra (centre) with John F. Kennedy (right) at the Oval Office in 1962

After his resignation, Ali returned to his post as ambassador to the US. In 1962, he briefly served as foreign minister under President Ayub Khan until his death in Dhaka in 1963. He was succeeded by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

Ali is buried on the grounds of the Bogra Nawab Palace in Bangladesh.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Former Prime Ministers". Prime Minister's Office Islamabad. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Mir Monaz Haque. "Mohammed Ali Bogra". Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  3. ^ Burki, Shahid Javed (5 March 2015). "Mohammed Ali Bogra". Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  4. ^ Kalim Bahadur (1998). "Democracy in Pakistan: Crises and Conflicts". New Delhi: Har-Anand Publications. p. 36. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Syed Hamde Ali (20 October 2009). "Mohammed Ali of Bogra". The Daily Star. Retrieved 13 February 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Mohammad Ali and Hamide. corbis 1955 Retrieved 15 December 2012
  7. ^ Ansari, Sarah, "Polygamy, Purdah and Political Representation: Engendering Citizenship in 1950s Pakistan" in Modern Asian Studies 43, 6, pp. 1426–1428. Cambridge University Press 2008
  8. ^ a b "Muhammad Ali Bogra". Story of Pakistan. 1 June 2003. Retrieved 13 February 2015. 

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Abol Hassan Ispahani
Ambassador to the United States
Succeeded by
Amjad Ali
Preceded by
Amjad Ali
Ambassador to the United States
Succeeded by
Aziz Ahmed
Political offices
Preceded by
Khawaja Nazimuddin
Prime Minister of Pakistan
Succeeded by
Chaudhry Muhammad Ali
Minister of Defence
Succeeded by
Ayub Khan
Preceded by
Muhammad Zafarullah Khan
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Hamidul Huq Choudhury
Preceded by
Manzur Qadir
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto