Yar Mohammad Khan

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Yar Mohammad Khan
Yar Mohammad Khan.jpg
Born September 9, 1920
Rai Saheb Bazar, Dhaka, British India
Died August 29, 1981
Madras, India
Resting place Rai Saheb Bazar Family Graveyard, Dhaka
Nationality Bangladeshi
Spouse(s) Late Begum Jahanara Khan

Yar Mohammad Khan (September 9, 1920 – August 29, 1981) was one of the founders of the Bangladesh Awami League.[1][2][3][4] He was the founder treasurer[5] of the Awami League and one of the five members of the founding committee of the party, along with Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani and Shamsul Haque. His residence in 18, Karkun Bari Lane, Dhaka was the first main office and headquarters of Bangladesh Awami League and was so for the first few years of the party.[6] He was also the main sponsor of Bangladesh Awami League and it was his able financing that helped mobilize and galvanize Awami League in its initial stages that contributed in bolstering the strength of the party and hence catapulted it to the position of being the main political party that eventually led Bangladesh's struggle for independence against the West Pakistan regime.

The Unfinished Memoirs[edit]

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman expressed his views about a prominent leader like Yar Mohammad Khan in his autobiography The Unfinished Memoirs. Yar Mohammad Khan as one of the key founders of Awami Muslim League in 1949. Presenting to you as historical masterpiece in the words of Sheikh Shaheb in his biography, The Unfinished Memoirs.[6] Following scripts are written by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Political career[edit]

Formation of Awami Muslim League[edit]

In 1949, Moulana Bhasani discussed with disaffected elements of the East Pakistan Muslim League the possibility of forming a new political party. A committee, headed by Bhashai as president and Yar Mohammad Khan as secretary, was set up to organise a June 20 conference on the matter. There a resolution was adopted creating the Awami Muslim League.[7]

"In 1949 People were gearing up for a grand meeting of workers. From our jail cell we came to know that elaborate preparations going on. An office has been set up at 150 Mughultuly. Shawkat Mia was looking after all the logistical details. Who else in Dhaka was competent enough to take care of food and accommodation matters? Yar Mohammad Khan, a veteran League worker of Dhaka was assisting him. Mr. Khan was resourceful in that he had the finances and the manpower to help. The party was formed and named East Pakistan Awami Muslim League. Moulana Bhasani was made President, Shamsul Huq was General Secretary, Ataur Rahman Khan, Vice President, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Joint Secretary and Yar Mohammad Khan, Treasurer."

Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani's guest house in Dhaka[edit]

"While I was in the sedative-induced sleep, Moulana Bhasani had sent instructions directing me to evade arrest. Moulana Bhasani used to stay with Yar Mohammad Khan's house at 18 Karkun Bari Lane. I had to meet him to find out why he had wanted me to evade arrest. I took a rickshaw to a fellow party worker's house. The two of us then headed for Yar Mohammad Khan's house. I could enter the house through a rear door. We took this route to get in. The policemen who were guarding the front door thus failed to spot us. The Moulana and Yar Mohammad seemed very glad to see me. I asked Moulana why he had wanted me to flee and avoid arrest."

Funding Awami League in establishing[edit]

"Mr. Ataur Rahman Khan was assisting me in every manner possible in running the party. Yar Mohammad Khan was also helping me in many ways. After Shamsul Huq I had to organize the party. Yar Mohammad Khan began to assist me in party work and I found him indespensable. The first party council meeting was summoned in Dhaka. However, getting a hall for the purpose proved difficult. In the end Yar Mohammad Khan managed to get Mukul Cinema Hall for the council".

Jukta Front[edit]

"I came to know that Sher-E-Bangla Fazlul Huq signed an agreement to form United Front. I just couldn't figure out how such a thing could have taken place. When I came back to Dhaka I went to Mr. Yar Mohammad Khan's house to meet Moulana Bhasani. The Awami League office was on the ground floor of the building where Yar Mohammad Khan's lived. Soon after Sher-E-Bangla was elected the leader of the United Front he was invited by the Governor of East Pakistan to form the ministry. He told the Governor that he would soon submit the list of the ministers. That evening Mr. Hossain Shahid Suhrawardy and Moulana Bhasani went to meet him. I accompanied the two to Mr. Huq's house. However, I was not made privy to their discussions which took place in another room. After a while Shahid Surwahardi and Moulana Bhasani came out and we went straight to Yar Mohammad Khan's residence. Mr. Ataur Rahman Khan was already there. They told us that Mr. Huq wants to form a government with 4-5 ministers. At that meeting Shahid Surwahardi, Moulana Bhasani and all of us decided that Awami League wouldn't join his cabinet now. Mr. Huq declared to Mr. Surwahardi and Moulana Bhasani that, 'I won't make Sheikh Mujibur Rahman minister in my cabinet. Mr. Suhrawardi responded, 'It is up to me and the Moulana to decide who the Awami League will nominate.' When we all were discussing all these in Yar Mohammad Khan's house, Mr. Huq sent a message that he would include me in his cabinet.

Member of East Bengal Legislative Assembly[edit]

Yar Mohammad Khan was elected to the East Bengal Legislative Assembly on a United Front coalition ticket in 1954. 'United Front' consisted mainly of four parties of East Bengal, namely Awami League, Krishak Sramik Party, Nizam-e-Islam and Ganatantri Dal.[8]

Dissolution of United Front government and arrest of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman[edit]

"Renu got my things ready. I told her, 'Do what you think is best but staying at Dhaka will be tough for you all. It will be best for you to go to our village.' I had requested my friend Yar Mohammad Khan to rent a house for her if Renu decided not to go to our village. He and the owner of Hotel Al Helal, Haji Helal Uddin had done so and helped her in my absence. A few days later when Yar Mohammad and Tajuddin Ahmed was bringing Renu, Kamal and Hasina, he was arrested at the jail gate. Mr. M.N. Khan was the chief Secretary of East Pakistan. At 8 pm I heard he had signed my release order. I was sad at the thought of leaving behind my colleagues specialty Yar Mohammad Khan since had been arrested at the time when he had come to meet me at the prison. I told him, 'Either you will be released or I will be back in prison with you again".

Kagmari Conference[edit]

Yar Mohammad Khan was the treasurer of the Kagmari Conference committee of Awami League held on 6–10 February 1957. During the Kagmari conference Maulana Bhashani said "good bye" ("Assalamu Alaikum") to the West Pakistani authority. Mirza Mehdy Ispahani who was a close companion of Yar Mohammad Khan flew by a helicopter and attended the historic Kagmari conference.

National Awami Party[edit]

Moulana Bhasani, at loggerheads with the Awami League leadership over foreign policy, resigned the presidency of the party in 1957. He sought support for the formation of a new, democratic, all-Pakistan party. The Dhaka district Awami League, under Yar Mohammad Khan's leadership, broke with the Awami League and declared it would attend the July 25 and 26 founding convention for the new party. Yar Mohammad Khan was made chairman of the committee that organised the convention. At the convention, he formally proposed the creation of what would be called the National Awami Party (NAP).[9] Yar Mohammad Khan being a founder treasurer of NAP finally quit politics in 1958.[citation needed]


No matter what, these great political leaders Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani, Yar Mohammad Khan and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman were friends forever. And they truly respect each other and this made them legends. Even after quiting politics Yar Mohammad Khan invited Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Maulana Bhashani in his family programs. In 1970, Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani, Yar Mohammad Khan and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman gathered at a wedding program of Yar Mohammad Khan's eldest daughter Shamim Akhtar Khan.




Along with Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani, Yar Mohammad Khan was also the founder of The Daily Ittefaq.[11] Yar Mohammad Khan started publishing the 'Weekly Ittefaq' in 1949 from B.J. Press. The Ittefaq was first published as a weekly paper on December 24, 1949 by Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani and Yar Mohammad Khan who was its founder publisher and also the founder treasurer of Bangladesh Awami League.[12] As both were actively involved politics and the anti-Pakistan movement, they appointed Tofazzal Hossain as its editor, who was working in Kolkata at the time as a journalist.[13] Ittefaq had a significant role in the 1954 general elections, and it contributed to the victory of the United Front. Ittefaq always strongly opposed all military rule of Pakistan starting from Ayub Khan to Yahya Khan. Eventually during this time, Ittefaq went from being a weekly to becoming a daily newspaper.[14] In 1958 Tofazzal Hossain changed the name of the original founder and publisher and replaced it with his name. The newspaper incorrectly displays Tofazzal Hossain as its founder.


  1. ^ Politics in Bangladesh: A Study of Awami League, 1949-58 - M. Bhaskaran Nair - Google Boeken
  2. ^ "National Newspapers | Bangladeshi Newspapers, Bangla Newspapers Online - All Daily Newspapers from Bangladesh, Bengali Newspaper". bangladeshnewspaper4all.com. Retrieved 9 February 2015. 
  3. ^ Press Under Mujib Regime - Māhaphuja Ullāha - Google Boeken
  4. ^ Peshawar: Historic City of the Frontier - Ahmad Hasan Dani - Google Boeken
  5. ^ "Banglapedia". banglapedia.org. Retrieved 9 February 2015. 
  6. ^ a b "The Unfinished Memoirs". Penguin Books India. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  7. ^ Umar, Badruddin (2004). The Emergence of Bangladesh: Class Struggles in East Pakistan (1947-1958). Oxford University Press. pp. 108–109. ISBN 0-19-579571-7. 
  8. ^ "Banglapedia". banglapedia.org. Retrieved 9 February 2015. 
  9. ^ Umar, Badruddin (2004). The Emergence of Bangladesh: Class Struggles in East Pakistan (1947-1958). Oxford University Press. pp. 338–341. ISBN 0-19-579571-7. 
  10. ^ https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:YarMohammadKhan2.jpg
  11. ^ The Daily Ittefaq
  12. ^ "Ittefaq | urduwallahs". urduwallahs.wordpress.com. Retrieved 9 February 2015. 
  13. ^ http://en.banglapedia.org/index.php?title=Hossain,_Tofazzal
  14. ^ http://www.londoni.co/index.php/who-s-who?id=342