Shah Nawaz Bhutto

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Sir Shah Nawaz Bhutto
Born(1888-03-08)8 March 1888[1]
Died19 November 1957(1957-11-19) (aged 69)[1]
Resting placeGarhi Khuda Bakhsh
EducationSt. Patrick's High School
OccupationPolitician, Landowner
ChildrenZulfiqar Ali Bhutto (son)
Imdad Ali Bhutto(son)
Sikander Ali Bhutto (son)
Mumtaz Sahiba Bhutto (daughter)
Parent(s)Ghulam Murtaza Bhutto (father)
RelativesBenazir Bhutto (granddaughter)
Shahnawaz Bhutto (grandson)
Mir Ghulam Murtaza Bhutto (grandson)
Sanam Bhutto (granddaughter)
Bilawal Zardari (great-grandson)
Wahid Baksh Bhutto (cousin)
Nabi Bux Khan Bhutto (brother)
Wali Muhammad Bhutto (cousin)

Sir Shah Nawaz Bhutto, (Urdu: شاہ نواز بهُٹو‎), CIE, OBE, OBI (8 March 1888 – 19 November 1957) (Sindhi: شھنواز ڀٽو‎), was a politician and a member of Bhutto family hailing from Larkana in Sindh province of British India, which is now part of Pakistan.[2]

Early life[edit]

Shah Nawaz Bhutto, the son of Ghulam Murtaza Bhutto, was born in a Bhutto family of Sindh as the youngest brother of Nawab Nabi Bux Khan Bhutto.[3] The Bhutto family owned 250,000 acres of land spread over Larkana, Sukkur and Jacobabad.[4] Shah Nawaz got his early education at 'Sindh Madressa ' in Karachi and later at St. Patrick's High School in Karachi.[1]


Bhutto entered the Legislative Council of the Bombay Province, of which Sindh was a part, in 1921 at the age of 33. He continued till 1936. During this time, he received the honours of CIE followed by knighthood. In 1934, he became a minister in the Bombay government.[4]

Bhutto attended the Round Table Conference in 1931 as a leader of Sindhi Muslims demanding separation of Sind from the Bombay province. This was eventually granted in the Government of India Act, 1935, with Sind becoming a separate province on 1 April 1936. Bhutto was appointed as a chief advisor to the Governor of Sind.[4]

In preparation for the provincial elections in 1937, the Sind United Party was formed by Haji Abdullah Haroon and Bhutto joined it as the vice chairman of the party.[5] It was modelled after the Punjab Unionist Party and claimed to represent all Sindhis irrespective of religion. Nevertheless, Bhutto brought leading pirs (Sufi saints) to influence the voters `religiously' to cast their votes in his favour.[6] The Sind United Party emerged as the largest party in the elections, winning 21 out of 60 seats. However both Harron and Bhutto failed to get elected. The Larkana seat, which Bhutto had contested, was won by Sheikh Abdul Majid Sindhi. The Governor invited Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah, the leader of the Sind Muslim Party and a political rival of Bhutto in Sind, to form a government. Large scale defections took place in the Assembly, Bhutto resigned from the party and Haroon eventually merged his party into the All-India Muslim League.[5][7][8]

Bhutto returned to Bombay to become the Chairman of the Bombay-Sind Public Service Commission.[4]

Dewan of Junagadh[edit]

Early in 1947, Bhutto joined the council of ministers of Muhammad Mahabat Khan III the Nawab of Junagadh in the modern-day province of Gujarat, becoming its Dewan, or prime minister in May.

At the time of the independence of India in 1947, the princely states were asked by the British to decide whether to join the newly independent states of India or Pakistan or to remain autonomous and outside them. The Constitutional Advisor to the Nawab, Nabi Baksh, indicated to Lord Mountbatten that he was recommending that the State should join India. However, the Nawab did not make a decision. Early in 1947, Bhutto was invited to join the Council of Ministers of the Nawab. In May, when the Dewan Abdul Khadir Muhammad Hussain went abroad for medical treatment, Bhutto was appointed as the Dewan. On 15 August 1947, the State announced that it had acceded to Pakistan. On 13 September 1947, the Government of Pakistan accepted the accession.[9]

However, the Hindu citizens of the State revolted, leading to several events and also a plebiscite, resulting in the integration of Junagadh into India.[10] Nawab Muhammad Mahabat Khan III of Junagadh (erstwhile Babi nawab dynasty of Junagadh) fled to Sindh, Pakistan.[11]

Shah Nawaz Bhutto moved to Larkana District, where his land-ownership made him the wealthiest and most influential people in Sindh.[2] Bhutto was a good friend of Governor General (later President) Iskander Mirza, who was a regular guest for the annual hunt in Larkana, staying at the Bhutto family home called Al-Murtaza. In the winter of 1955-1956, Mirza brought General Ayub Khan with him to Larkana for the hunt.[citation needed]

Honours and legacy[edit]

The British appointed him a Companion to the Order of the Indian Empire (CIE) and an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).[12]

  • He was a Delegate to the Round Table Conference in London in 1930-31 as a leader of Sindhi Muslims demanding separation of Sindh from the Bombay Province[1]
  • Pakistan Postal Services issued a commemorative postage stamp in his honor in its 'Pioneers of Freedom' series.[1]


Bhutto was a first cousin once removed of Wahid Baksh Bhutto, who in 1924 was made a sardar and in 1926 was elected to the Imperial Legislative Assembly from Sindh, a constituency of the Bombay Presidency, becoming the first member of the Bhuttho family to be elected to public office.

Shah Nawaz Bhutto was married to Khursheed Begum, formerly Lakhi Bai, who was of a modest Hindu family. She converted from Hinduism to Islam before her marriage.[13] Her brothers remained Hindu and eventually migrated to India.

Their children included Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the first elected Prime Minister of Pakistan, and a daughter called Mumtaz, who married Brigadier Muhammad Mustafa Khan Bahadur of the Sidi clan.[14] Their first child, Sikandar, died from pneumonia at the age of seven in 1914, and their second child, Imdad Ali, died of cirrhosis at the age of thirty-nine in 1953. Their son Zulfikar Ali was born in his parents' residence near Larkana, and was their third child.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e, Profile of Shah Nawaz Bhutto on website, Retrieved 7 Jan 2017
  2. ^ a b, Retrieved 7 Jan 2017
  3. ^ a b Encyclopædia Britannica, Published 24 October 2003,. "Bhutto, Zulfikar Ali" (PHP). Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d Chitkara 1996, p. 17.
  5. ^ a b Jalal 1994, p. 28.
  6. ^ Ansari, Sarah F. D. Sufi Saints and State Power: The Pirs of Sind, 1843-1947. Cambridge South Asian studies, 50. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. pp. 115-116
  7. ^ Siddiqi 2012, p. 78.
  8. ^ Afzal, Nasreen. Role of Sir Abdullah Haroon in Politics of Sindh (1872-1942)
  9. ^ Menon, V. P. (1956). The Story of Integration of the Indian States (PDF). Orient Longman. pp. 85–87.
  10. ^ Gandhi, Rajmohan (1991). Patel: A Life. India: Navajivan. p. 292.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-02-25. Retrieved 2013-02-16.
  12. ^ Sir Shah Nawaz Bhutto
  13. ^ Burki, Shahid Javed, Historical Dictionary of Pakistan, Scarecrow Press, 1991, ISBN 0-8108-2411-6
  14. ^, The Sidi Dynasty, Retrieved 7 Jan 2017