Remembering the eminence of Liaquat Ali Khan

Our beloved nation had a truly sordid inauguration with founding father Quaid-e-Azam successfully winning the battle for Pakistan but losing the battle for his life. Liaquat Ali Khan was the man who struggled with Jinnah through it all, eventually managing to get a separate homeland for Muslims of the subcontinent.  He was Jinnah’s most trusted lieutenant and served for more than twelve years as the general secretary of his party. Afterward, he was appointed by Jinnah as the first prime minister of the country and it was said that he was the apple of Jinnah’s eyes.

Born in East Punjab, Liaquat Ali Khan got his education from the Aligarh Muslim University in India and then further from the Oxford University in the UK. He was a truly well-educated individual who theorized the concept of an Islamic democracy.

His good work as the first Finance Minister of the interim government of the British Indian Empire had such an effect on the poor public that they started seeing him as their messiah. In a social-economic order dominated by caste-ridden Hindu hierarchy, he chose to stick with his principles of honesty, determination, and commitment.

Despite receiving invitations to join the Congress, he actively chose to opt for the Muslim League led by Jinnah, in hopes of eradicating the injustices and ill-treatment that Indian Muslims had to endure.  His devotion to the creation of a separate state for Indian Muslims is truly memorable.

Liaquat Ali Khan was martyred on October 16, 1951, in what was formerly called Company Bagh but later changed to Liaquat Bagh in Rawalpindi; which also saw the sad demise of two other Prime Ministers – Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and martyred Benazir Bhutto.

Pakistan faced a severe blow, losing Liaquat Ali Khan in its teething stage itself, just four years after Independence and the death of Jinnah.  Upon his death, he was given the title of “Shaheed-e-Millat” and is buried at the Mazar-e-Quaid building in Karachi.

Liaquat Ali Khan was said to be a larger than life personality. Although born with a silver spoon, he sacrificed everything in India, dying a pauper with a bank balance of Rs600 and no property in Pakistan, refusing to claim everything here. Pakistan hasn’t had a leader of his caliber since then.