Why was Liaqat Ali Khan Assassinated? Who murdered Shaheed e Millat?

November 23, 2010


Recently declassified documents regarding Liaqat Ali Khan’s assassination listed on Paul Wolf’s home page

Pakistan: Partition and Military Succession. Documents from the U.S. National Archives

Assassination of Liaquat Ali KhanG-2 BID Report No. R-91-48, June 15, 1948

Subjects Touched on by Liaquat Ali Khan in Speeches During His Tour of Western Pakistan, Oct. 5, 1948

Congen Lahore reports Liaquat shot this afternoon while attending meeting of Muslim City League at Rawalpindi. Operated on due two shots in chest. Hospital reports wound serious but not rpt not necessarily fatal. Assailant killed by crowd not rpt not yet identified. Information not rpt not yet confirmed by GOP Karachi. Confidential Telegram from Karachi Embasssy, Oct. 16, 1951

Prime Minister killed at Rawalpindi by Islam League fanatic. No rpt no internal disturbances reported. … Embassy informed Cabinet meeting tomorrow to be presided over by Governor Gen. who will probably step down as GG and take over temporarily as PM. Reference EmbDesp 409 October 4. Confidential Telegram from Karachi Embassy, Oct. 16, 1951

Although popular information attributes assassination to Khaksars, high authority in Government informs Embassy that killer Syed Akhbar, was an Afghan national and was motivated by (1) Pukhtoonistan sentiment and anger over political detention of his brother and (2) resentment over Pak Govts cautious attitude toward Kashmir. Killer had participated in Kashmir war. Source says connection with Pukhtoonistan will not rpt not be released to press. Killer left his home in Abbotabad for Rawalpindi on 14th. Emergency meeting of available Cabinet Ministers with Secy Gen Mohamed Ali presiding just concluded. No rpt no indication successor; decision probably not rpt not made. Confidential Telegram from Karachi Embasssy, Oct. 16, 1951

Government press information department is now telling press that assassin was Afghan national. Press information officer now says identity established as member of Jagran tribe. Present state of public opinion indicates strong possibility of public demand for war if this information accepted by public. Confidential Telegram from Karachi Embasssy, Oct. 17, 1951

The Situation in Pakistan, Oct. 17, 1951

Comment on the Assassination of the Pakistani Prime Minister, Oct. 17, 1951

The Assassination of the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Oct. 18, 1951

Special Note: The Assassination of the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Oct. 18, 1951 (11 pages; William Langer’s name appears on report)


Overt Activities by Communists and Other Former Security Prisoners, Nov. 16, 1955

Misc Political

Political, Press and Economic Developments for the Period Ending April 29, 1953, May 1, 1953

Political, Press and Economic Developments for the Period Ending April 21, 1953, April 22, 1953

The subject of U.S. military aid to Pakistan remained the dominant political theme during the week. On December 19, 1953, the Government of Pakistan presented a note to the Soviet Embassy in Karachi replying to the Soviet note of November 30 which demanded “clarification” of the press reported on the subject of “American military air bases” in Pakistan. … The Indian National Congress party’s drive to arouse public opinion in India against US military aid to Pakistan evoked a bitter reaction in Pakistan. Public opinion media referred to it as a “hate campaign” and held it to be particularly significant as it was government sponsored. Weekly Summary of Political Events for Week Ending December 24, 1953, Dec. 24, 1953

Weekly Summary of Political Developments for Week Ending December 19, 1953, Dec. 19, 1953

Summary of Political Developments for the Week Ending June 19, 1953, June 20, 1953

Weekly Summary, Political and Economic Events 29 October thru 4 November 1953, Nov. 5, 1953

Weekly Summary of Political and Economic Events, Sept. 24 through Sept. 30, 1953, Oct. 1, 1953

Weekly Political and Economic Report, Jan. 25 – Feb. 1, 1953, Feb. 2, 1953

Political and Economic Developments for the Week August 10-16, 1952

Political and Economic Developments July 15-21, 1952, July 21, 1952

Political and Economic Developments July 8-14, 1952, July 14, 1952

Political and Economic Developments for the Week Ending April 3, 1952, April 3, 1952

Political and Economic Developments for the Week Ending, March 20, 1952, March 20, 1952

Anti-Ahmadiya Agitation in Lahore, March 10, 1953

Confidential Telegram from Karachi Embassy, Feb. 28, 1953

Political and Economic Developments in East Pakistan During Week Ending March 14, 1952, March 15, 1952

Political and Economic Developments in East Pakistan During Two Weeks Ending March 7, 1952, March 8, 1952

Weekly Summary Dec 15-21, 1952, Dec. 22, 1952

Weekly Summary, Dec. 1-16, 1952, Dec. 8, 1952

Secret Telegram from Karachi Embassy, Jan. 16, 1953

Confidential Telegram from Karachi Embassy, Feb. 18, 1953

The Islamic Constitution of Pakistan, Jan. 11, 1954

Brief resume of talks between the Honourable Prime Minister and the Vice-President of U.S.A., held on 7-12-53, July 12, 1953

Memorandum of Conversation with Yusuf Haroon, April 3, 1954

The Pakistan National Alliance: Participants and Prospects, circa Aug. 1977

OPERATIONAL THEMES: … To link communism with imperialism by demonstrating that the original meaning of the word is being used as a cloak for planned conquest. … To show the communists as anti-God and therefore a threat to the continued existence of the Muslim world as a free and independent religio-political entity. … To promote the Islamic socio-economic concept under which there will be freedom and dignity for the individual and which will provide for the elimination of economic disparities and inequities. Coordinated Program for Combatting Communism in East Bengal, Aug. 7, 1951

Pakistan’s Problems, Jan. 8, 1979

The World Muslim Conference (Motamar-e-Alam-e-Islam) in Karachi sponsored a meeting on February 23 in observance of “Hasan-el-Banna Day” which was presided over by the ex-Mufti of Jerusalem and addressed by El-Amiri and Syed Ramazan; the latter was termed the son-in-law of Hasan-el-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood. Although the Secretary of the World Muslim Conference in conversation with officers of the Embassy evinced little interest in the formation of the Brotherhood, it is possible that the Motamar will support the embryonic organization. Formation of Muslim Brotherhood Branch in Pakistan, Feb. 28, 1952

Matta Riot

Suhrawardy Scores Victory Over Leftist Opponents in East Pakistan, June 16, 1957

[…]It was learned within Pakistani Foreign Office that while UK pressing Pakistan for support re Iran, US demanded Pakistan exploit influence with Iran and support Iran transfer oil fields to US. Liaquat declined request. US threatened annul secret pact re Kashmir. Liaquat replied Pakistan had annexed half Kashmir without American support and would be able to take other half. Liaquat also asked US evacuate air bases under pact. Liaquat demand was bombshell in Washington. American rulers who had been dreaming conquering Soviet Russia from Pakistan air bases were flabbergasted. American minds set thinking re plot assassinate Liaquat.

US wanted Muslim assassin to obviate international complications. US could not find traitor in Pakistan as had been managed Iran, Iraq, Jordan. Washington rulers sounded US Embassy Kabul. American Embassy contacted Pashtoonistan leaders, observing Liaquat their only hurdle; assured them if some of them could kill Liaquat, US would undertake establish Pashtoonistan by 1952. Pashtoon leaders induced Akbar undertake job and also made arrangements kill him to conceal conspiracy. USG-Liaquat differences recently revealed by Graham report to SC; Graham had suddenly opposed Pakistan although he had never given such indication. […]

Cartridges recovered from Liaquat body were American-made, especially for use high-ranking American officers, usually not available in market. All these factors prove real culprit behind assassin is US Government, which committed similar acts in mid-East. “Snakes” of Washington’s dollar imperialism adopted these mean tactics long time ago. Confidential Telegram No. 1532 from New Delhi Embassy, Oct. 30, 1951

Copyright Paul Wolf, 2003-2004. No copyright to original government works. For educational use only.

Resignation of Pakistani Prime Minister Suhrawardy, Oct. 12, 1957

I have just talked with Ghulam Mohd who asked me to send you his affectionate greetings. He said he is bearing up very well under shock of Liaquat’s death and necessity for taking immediate decisions that have resulted in his appointment and Nazimuddin’s Premiership. They are being sworn in tomorrow afternoon at four. Confidential Telegram from Karachi Embasssy, Oct. 18, 1951

This p.m. I had tea with Ghulam Mohammed following his arrival from Rawalpindi by train. He stood journey without undue fatigue and his convalescence does not appear to have been retarded by shocks of last 2 days. He will take oath of office as Governor General tomorrow at 4 p.m. and will immediately swear in Nazimuddin as PM. Announcement of new Cabinet will not be made immediately. Liaquat’s cabinet will continue in their various port-folios for time being. Secret Telegram from Karachi Embassy, Oct. 18, 1951

The Pakistan government has identified the assassin of Liaquat Ali Khan, late Prime Minister of Pakistan, as being Sayed Akber, son of Babrak Khan. If that assertion is true, the above mentioned Sayed Akber, together with his brother, [Za]marak, insurged against the government of Afghanistan in 1944 at a place named Elmara in Jadran, situated in the southern province of Afghanistan. The government forces defeated the insurrection and the two brothers escaped. After wandering for some time, they surrendered themselves to the British frontier authorities who interned them in Abot Abad, and granted them regular salaries. After the partition of India, the said Sayed Akber was given asylum by the Pakistan government. It is clear, therefore, that the said Sayed Akber had no connection whatsoever with Afghanistan, which looks upon such activities with great indignation. Official Afghan Reaction to Press Implications of Afghan Complicity in Assassination of Pakistan Prime Minister, Oct. 18, 1951

Iskander Mirza Defense Secretary called on me yesterday morning before cabinet meeting and asked my advice regarding Pak Govt attitude on publicity as to Afghan nationality of Primins assassin, money found in his possession, etc. I asked if facts were true and he said they were. I said that further publicity on this line would have bad effect on popular mind and he apparently agreed. Confidential Telegram from Karachi Embasssy, Oct. 19, 1951

Reliable source in Pak Intelligence Bureau reports that Pak Govt has been aware intelligence activities of Afghan Consul in Peshawar for some time and that he is known to have had recent and frequent contacts with Syed Akhbar, Assassin of Primin. Secret Telegram from Karachi Embasssy, Oct. 19, 1951

Press reaction including Bengali to assassination Liaquat Ali Khan: papers repeat GOI official’s remarks and expand expressions sympathy and condemnation of violence in editorials. Moderation is keynote throughout with exception extreme leftist press including Communist “Swadhinata” which states “Liaquat’s death only reflects inevidable disaster that overtakes policy of playing lackey to Anglo-American Powers,” also accuses Nazimuddin of “Western bias” and of planning prevention improvement position Suhrawardy. … Speculation in Calcutta tends emphasize probability assassination resulted same group (military) whose planned coup March 1951 nipped by GOP. Sources think military extremists hands strengthened. Restricted Telegram from Consulate General, Calcutta, Oct. 19, 1951

Afghan Charge handed Department October 18 translated communique from Kabul for local press, stating in summary if GOP identification Liaquat’s assassin Syed Akhbar as Afghan national correct, it was clear Akhbar and brother involved in unsuccessful insurrection against GOA 1944 southern province following which they interned India. Communique indicated GOA revulsion assassination. … Embassy Kabul should seek occasion soonest convey substance above remarks Foreign Office. While Department recognizes necessity Afghan pronouncement in answer implications press reports, believes best interest both countries served by limiting public discussion. Request earliest transmission fullest information and Embassy comments re alleged 1944 insurrection and possibility Commie instigation assassination. Secret Telegram from Secretary of State, Oct. 20, 1951

[] reports Afghan Consul Peshawar presently in Kabul. This confirmed by British Embassy clerk who when on October 16 asked for transport in Egyptian Embassy vehicle from Peshawar to Kabul was told seat was unavailable because Afghan Consul had been promised transport to Kabul. Embassy feels Afghan Consul’s departure not rpt not necessarily connected with assassination as no rpt no information established connection available this time. Afghan press today admits Liaquat assassin may have been one Syed Akbar from Khost Province in Afghan but stated that he and brother Zamarak had fled to South Waziristan in 1945 after inciting unsuccessful rebellion and were later resettled in Abbotabad and given pensions by British thus losing Afghan nationality. Consequently, press maintains Afghan cannot rpt not be held in any way responsible. Other source states assassin and two brothers (one named Izmair) were members leading family Hjadran tribe in Khost Province and fled to South Waziristan when tribe was defeated in 1945 uprising against Khost Provincial Government. Also states assassin was member “Red Shirt” organization but affiliation two surviving brothers, now residing Pakistan, unknown. Secret Telegram from Kabul Embassy, Oct. 21, 1951

It seems generally accepted in [Rawalpindi and Peshawar] that Afghan Consul was paymaster of assassin PAK PRIMIN. According to one story Consul made trip to Afghan frontier in own car and upon arrival paid off his Pak chauffeur. Chauffeur allegedly had no previous knowledge of trip or fact he was to be dismissed and on return Peshawar spole of matter to friends and to Pak Intelligence. In conversations with various non-official persons, including Pashtuns, it was stated as self-evident fact that Pashtuns as group have always provided assassins for suitable price. Pashtun racial background of assassin SEYED AKBAR was accepted as wholly natural. Confidential Telegram from Karachi Embasssy, Oct. 22, 1951

The Current Outlook in Pakistan, Oct. 22, 1951

In accordance GOP request Pakistan Press has refrained since October 19 from referring to Afghan connections of assassin. Government has not released to public information that assassin was in contact with Afghan Consul at Peshawar. GOP has no information indicating any commie connection with assassination. Secret Telegram from Karachi Embasssy, Oct. 23, 1951

Secret Telegram from Kabul Embassy, Oct. 23, 1951

Embassy today received Circular from Afghan Embassy containing following remarks: Assassin said Akhbar and brother revolted against Afghan government 1944. After defeat rebellion they fled over border and finally gave up selves to British authorities. For some unknown reason British gave them shelter in Abbottabad, center of Hazara district, and also gave them money to live on. After division Pakistan and India, Pakistan government, unconcerned about international law or acknowledged neighborly behavior, have been investigating against government of Afghanistan and, among other activities, have sought services of this assassin. His late crime proves that assassin was not only enemy of present regime Afghanistan but, through some other mysterious machinations in Pakistan itself, he also became enemy of Pakistan government. Government and people Afghanistan who could have possibly no connection with assassin look upon such base and mean crime with abhorrence and disdain. Secret Telegram from Moscow Embassy, Oct. 26, 1951

Under headline reading “Is Liaquat Ali Khan’s assassination result of a deep-laid American conspiracy?”, leftist Urdu daily Bhopal named Nadeem published article October 24 charging US with responsibility. Summary article follows:

Recommend Department ignore article summarized in Delhi’s 1532. It is compilation of utter falsehoods whose vituperation is some degree worse than articles that appear from time to time in Bombay’s Commie-line “Blitz”. To issue any statement labeling the facts in the article as lies will only give Nadeem an importance it does not merit. The investigation into background of Liaquat’s assassination is being conducted with extreme care and well guarded secrecy. Gurmani tells me an intercept has been obtained which if backed up by further material may reveal the assassination had some inspiration and followed the pattern of Razmara’s assassination in Teheran. Confidential Telegram from Karachi Embasssy, Oct. 31, 1951

Since article apparently not rpt not widely circulated, Department believes preferable not rpt not issue public denial. In its discretion, however, Embassy might informally mention case MEA with comment story so preposterous no rpt no public denial intended. Would be interesting to know whether this story of character which led adoption recent press law. Ownership management NADEEM should be discreetly be investigated. Confidential Telegram from State Dept., Nov. 1, 1951

Soviet Press today carried Prague Despatch reporting Rude Pravo article based Afghan press agency “Bahtar” information re assassination Liaquat Ali. Despatch states after escaping Afghanistan due murders and other crimes “Said Akbar ran to India and there under protection British authorities which gave him refuge in Abbotabad and provided him money. After partition India Akbar remained in Pakistan where he continued make use protection of certain British circles.” “These facts adduced by Afghan press supporting position that murder Liaquat Ali was result intrigue of imperialists in Asian countries.” Secret Telegram from Moscow Embassy, Nov. 3, 1951 [only first page located]

The Embassy questions the premise stated in the first sentence of the Airgram under reference (“Lack of spontaneous anti-Indian and anti-Afghan popular outburst over both July war scare and Liaquat’s assassination suggests feeling on Kashmir and Afghan disputes mostly government inspired.”) … The anti-Afghan agigation that spontaneously sprang up on October 16-17 was effectively stopped by the GOP’s prompt exercise of its official and unofficial powers of censorship over the press, even to the extent of preventing reference after October 17 to the assassin’s Afghan origin. Popular Feeling in Pakistan on Kashmir and Afghan Issues, Nov. 10, 1951

With regard to the assassination of the Prime Minister in Rawalpindi, Colonel Massart stated that he had not attended the meeting because of his UN position. He stated that part of the public reaction was a great surprise to him, since he found some of the non-commissioned officers nto expressing horror, but making remarks, “He should have known better to come to Rawalpindi, where he should have known that he would be shot.” The Colonel considers that Rawalpindi was a center of “anti-Liaquat feeling.” Confidential Telegram from Lahore Consulate, Nov. 14, 1951

Acting Foreign Minister Hussain informed me tonight in conversation called at his request that Paks had recd information over past two-three weeks that Afghan authorities rpt Afghan authorities had recently surreptitiously released from incarceration over 120 known killers with orders infiltrate Pak and eliminate Pak public men. At first Paks did not believe but Hussain states that information has now reached Paks causing them consider reports beyond doubt. He would not reveal sources of latter information beyond admitting that some came from Pak Embassy Kabul but with most from many other sources. Added that if other public men assassinated by suspected Afghan nationals government will be unable hold people in check. Secret Telegram from Karachi Embassy, Nov. 15, 1951

Liaquat Ali Khan was buried in the same manner (tomb) as Jinnah. In order to accomplish this, a wall behind Jinnah’s grave was torn down and access to the grave for the funeral procession was across a raised marble floor surrounding Jinnah’s mazar to Liaquat’s grave in the rear. This has continued to be the primary avenue to the grave of Liaquat used by the many mourners who still visit there every day. It is reliably reported, however, that Fatima Jinnah ordered the caretaker of Quaid-i-Azam’s mazar to rebuild the wall. She later repeated the request to the Secretary of the Ministry of Works. The matter was put before the Minister and on the same day orders were given to raise up the wall again. However, shortly afterwards the new wall was torn down by what was variously described in the press as a “bevy of All-Pakistan Women’s Association amazons” to a “mob from Quaiddbad.” M.A. Zuberi, Editor of the Evening Star told an officer of the Embassy that, in fact, two officers of the All-Pakistan Women’s Association, of which Begum Liaquat Ali Khan is President, incited a group of people at the mazar to tear down the wall. Public Role of Ms. Fatima Jinnah Since Assassination of Liaquat, Nov. 17, 1951

The Commission inquiring into the security precautions taken at time of Liaquat’s assassination reconvened Lahore Jan. 3. Among witnesses examined since convening are Khan Najaf Khan, Special Police, and Anwar Ali, Deputy Inspector General of Police, CIA (in “camera”). No conclusive findings made or announced thus far. Political and Economic Developments for the Week Ending Jan. 8, 1952, Jan. 8, 1952

Political Developments in Pakistan, Sept.-Dec. 1951, Jan. 30, 1952

The most significant internal development during the quarter, bearing on US interests and objectives, was Liaquat’s assassination. Aside from being an avowed friend of the US, Liaquat was a constructive factor of decision and strength, both in government and party leadership. … It seems clear that Prime Minister Nazimuddin, though basically friendly to the West, lacks the stubborn firmness that served Liaquat, the Muslim League and the country as a whole in its early formative years. Confidential Telegram A-251 from Karachi Embassy, Feb. 11, 1952

Political Developments in Pakistan, January 1952, Feb. 25, 1952

Summary of report Liaquat assassination enquiry commission, released by GOP yesterday, being sent in clear Embtel following. Emb believes commission report which is vague and inconclusive leaves cabinet in more vulnerable position than before enquiry started. Motive not established, according to released summary, and GOP now wide open to accusations by its critics of suppression of info and of not satisfying public demand, accusationswhich were made before release. It seems possible that summary is much watered-down version of full report in hands of GOP and that full facts will not be made public. Cabinet particularly vulnerable on enquiry commission’s announcement that info would not be divulged on three conspiracies uncovered. Confidential Telegram from Karachi Embassy, Aug. 18, 1952

Siddiq Wahab, one of speakers at public meeting August 14 addressed by Larachi Muslim League dissidents, arrested by police Aug 18 for “promoting hatred against Govt.” Emb local employees who attended meeting state that in addition to demanding publication Liaquat assassination enquiry report Wahab accused Nazimuddin and some of his cabinet of complicity in Liaquat assassination. Wahab is a director of large Karachi Urdu daily Anjam. Begum Liaquat in statement issued to press Aug 18 has strongly criticized published enquiry report. She stated “anybody reading report will be impressed particularly by wise reserve with which Commission left open the all important qusetion … that is, whether or not act of assassin was individiaul act of Said Akbar or perpetrated by him in pursuance of conspiracy,” and added “it is for nation now they have seen report to judge for themselves whether they satisfied with steps so far taken to track down hidden hand behind tragedy.” Confidential Telegram from Karachi Embassy, Aug. 19, 1952

Speculation is wide that the assassination was part of a conspiracy involving persons high in provincial or Central Govt. Khan Najaf Khan seems to be the convenient scapegoat. In fact careful reading of report shows there was negligent handling of security measures all down the line and at the inquiry both the Punjab Govt. and the North West Frontier Province Govt. seemed far more interested in passing the blame to each other and in covering up for their own officials than in getting at the truth. NWFP is involved because the assassin was under local detention in Abbotabad, NWFP, and was not supposed to make a move without police permission. Political and Economic Developments for the Week Aug 17-23, Aug. 25, 1952

Sudden death in air crash of GOP Inspector General of Police brought forth revelation that he was to be officially assigned to case. Press sources claimed he was already secretly working on it. H.S. Suhrawardy, head of opposition Junnah Awami League called on GOP to compel Punjab Government to do its duty in getting to the bottom of the assassination conspiracy. Political and Economic Summary for Week Aug. 24-29, 1952, Aug. 30, 1952

The Inquiry Committee investigating the recent plane crash in which GOP Inspector General of Police was killed has revealed that all the principal documents relating to the Liaquat assassination investigation were on the plane and had been received safely. It is believed here by some that this is another link in the chain of suspicious events surrounding the assassination. Had the plane burned on crashing, as tehre was good reason to expect, all the documents would have conveniently disappeared and the investigation would have practically come to an end. This of course has served to increase the rumors that high officials are implicated in the assassination and are making every effort to prevent an honest and efficient investigation. Political and Economic Summary for Week August 30 – September 5, 1952, Sept. 9, 1952

The release of the report which hinted at dark conspiracies and accused several police officials of derelication of duty in failing to take proper security precautions, opened the dam for a flood of rumors, suppositions and speculations. The most popularly accepted theory was that the assassination was the result of a conspiracy in which high officials were involved and that efforts had been, and were being made, to suppress an impartial and thorough inquiry. The Inquiry Commission was appointed by the Punjab government and much criticism was heaped on its head as a result of the report. Many demands were made for the Central Government to take up the investigation. Soon after the report was published, the Inspector General of Police of Pakistan was killed in a freak air crash. In the plane wreckage were found all the documents pertaining to the investigation. It thus leaked out that the central government had in fact been working on the case through a few days earlier the Prime Minister had stated that it was a purely provincial matter. The rumor factories at once linked the air crash with alleged attempts at suppression of evidence and concluded that it was all part of a well laid plan. However, after a few days of sensational reporting of the case the press did a black out and popular curiosity seems to have died down. Bi-Monthly Political Report – July and August, 1952, Sept. 12, 1952

Khan Najaf Khan, Police Official accused of negligence in failing to take proper security precautions for the safety of Liaquat has reportedly answered the charge sheet served on him. The burden of his answer is not yet revealed but it is assumed by all he will plead not guilty to the charges. Begum Liaquat has again charged that the government is dragging its feet in pressing the investigation of the assassination. COMMENT: It is widely rumored here that the charges against Najaf Khan are merely a cover for the parties really responsible for the assassination. Bazaar rumors are to the effect that he will be temporarily suspended but taken care of either financially or otherwise. Begum Liaquat has not failed to point out the inconsistency of the claim made by the GOP Prime Minister that the investigation was a purely provincial matter with the later revelation that the GOP Inspector General of Police was investigating the matter on behalf of the Central Govt and was conveniently killed in a recent plane crash. It has also been stated soto voce that the true instigators of the assassination are the same persons behind the Rawalpindi conspiracy to overthrow the government. A connection of some sort was hinted at in the official report of the assassination investigation. The link, it is rumored, lies in the fact that Liaquat was insisting on the death penalty for the conspirators and it was therefore necessary to eliminate him. Whether this connection is true or not, it is a fact that after Liaquat’s death the charges against the conspirators seem to have reached a stalemate and there are recent consistent reports of their impending release. ConGen officer was told by Finlay’s representative in Lahore that his company had received a letter signed by “ex-Major General Akbar Khan, Hyderabad Central Jail” inquiring as to prices of tractors and other agricultural equipment and stating that the writer expected to engage in large scale cultivation “within six months.” General Akbar Khan was the ringleader of the Rawalpindi conspiracy, and this communication if true would seem to indicate that at least the chief protagonist expects to be released in the near future. Political and Economic Summary, September 29-October 6, 1952, Oct. 6, 1952

Unnamed spokesman for GOP answered Begum Liaquat’s charges that investigation not pursued as actively as possible. He explained position of central govt. vis a vis provincial govt as being limited by Constitution to that of providing coordination and advice, but repeated that Law and Order are provincial subjects under Constitution. Punjab govt appointed Justice Abu Akram of the Federal Court of Pak to inquire into charges proferred against Khan Najaf Khan, police official accused of negligence in assassination. Weekly Political and Economic Summary, Oct. 6-12, 1952, Oct. 13, 1952

The formal inquiry before Mr. Justice Abu Saleh Mohammed Akram of the Federal Court, against Khan Najaf Khan, police official accused of negligence, started this week. It is being held in camera. Comment: It should be noted that a Federal court judge has been selected to conduct the inquiry in order to avoid the charges of provincialism which were levelled at the Assassination Commission itself. Nevertheless confidential reports reaching ConGen are to the effect that the present inquiry will be a whitewash and that Justice Akram is under the influence of Chief Min. Daultana and was selected for this very reason. Weekly Summary of Political and Economic Events, Oct. 20-26, 1952, Oct. 27, 1952

An unconfirmed news item appearing in the local press stated that the Punjab Govt is considering taking action against Khan Najaf Khan, Police Official, who has been accused of negligence in the Liaquat Assassination Commission Report. … According to the report if Mr. Najaf Khan is found to have been guilty of negligence he may appeal his case to the Central Govt as he in fact belongs to the Pak Police Service and is only on loan to the Punjab. Weekly Summary of Political and Economic Events, 18-25 January 1953, Jan. 26, 1953

The Punjab police have completed the inquiry into the assassiantion of the late Prime Minister, Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan, and now the scene of inquiry has been shifted to the Frontier Province where the Inquiry Board consisting of Director of the Intelligence Bureau and the Inspector-General of police of the Punjab and the Frontier, will continue further investigations. Weekly Summary of Political and Economic Events, Feb 23-3/1, 1953, March 2, 1953

According to a press report Khan Najaf Khan has been exonerated by the Pakistan Public Service Commission. At the time of Liaquat Ali Khan’s assassination Najaf Khan was Senior Superintendent of Police at Rawalpindi and was also acting as the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in that area. Mr. Justice Abu Saleh Mohammad Akram, a Judge of the Federal Court, had conducted an inquiry against Khan Najaf Khan in connection with Liaquat Ali’s murder. Weekly Summary of Political and Economic Events, June 18-24, 1953, June 25, 1953

The agitation to force the Government to publish the report of the commission investigating former Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan’s assassination and to induce the Government to adopt more stringent measures to apprehend the guilty parties was continued during the reporting period. A DAWN suggestion that Scotland Yard be called in to solve the murder elicited strong pro and con feelings. Weekly Summary of Political Developments for the Week Ending October 30, 1953, Oct. 31, 1953

With considerable emotion, Begum Liaquat spoke about the assassination of her husband, the late Prime Minister. She said it was fantastic that two years after a murder in broad daylight before thousands of peopel, not one arrest had been made. What harm could come from a thorough investigation? Witnesses had not been questioned, no real attempt at investigation had been made, and yet when a demand for this was made, the Government not only refused but “hired” the editor of a paper who himself had been in jail under a previous Cabinet (Suleri of the Times of Karachi) to campaign against Dawn and the people demanding an investigation. Memorandum of Conversation with Begum Liaquat Ali Khan, Nov. 21, 1953

No, repeat no, objection Prime Minister announcing he intends request US aid in obtaining services private, repeat private, investigator. You should make clear to Prime Minister this assent does not guarantee success in finding satisfactory person in US and that US Government participation would extend only to informal aid in search for investigator as it has offered such aid to Pakistan on previous occasions for technical experts. Secret Telegram from State Dept., Dec. 29, 1953

Nur Ahmed … urged that the appointment of a “foreign expert” to investigate the murder of Liaquat Ali Khan be made before October 16, the anniversary of Liaquat’s death. Nogum Nahie [?], Karachi Municipal Councillor, whose press statements, like those of Nur Ahmed, appear with rather astonishing frequency, asked on October 5th why the promised “foreign expert” had not appeared. “The Prime Minister’s broadcasts say nothing about the matter nearest to every Pakistani’s heart. Maybe foreign detectives are here and are at work.” Summary of Political Events for Week Ending October 8, 1954, Oct. 9, 1954

Anniversary of the death of Liaquat Ali Khan – Begum Liaquat Ali Khan, newly appointed Ambassador to the Netherlands and widow of the former Prime Minister, assassinated on October 16, 1951, issued a 500 word statement from the Hague calling for a solution to the crime and asking six leading questions: 1) “Why” was Liaquat murdered at the height of his popularity, “on the eve of … important policy decisions”; 2) “Why” was the assassin shot after he had already been overpowered; 3) “Why” was the police official responsible (for shooting the assassin) promoted instead of punished; 4) “Why” were “certain interested and influential persons within the country … anxious to remove Liaquat”; 5) “Why” is the Quad-i-Azam’s name “being subtly and unjustly ignored”; 6) “Why” are these questions not answered. Liaquat’s son, Wilayat Ali Khan, also issued a statement in which he pointed to the political and economic deterioration of Pakistan in the past three years and called upon the Central and Provincial Governments to cooperate with the newly appointed foreign expert, C.P. U’ren in his investigation. The Karachi Muslim League organized a public meeting at Jehangir Park, Karachi, to commemorate the anniversary. The principal speaker, Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar, spoke generally on the “economic deterioration” of the country, provincialism, and eulogized the former Prime Minister. He claimed that Liaquat had been pressing for certain reforms at the time of his assassination. Nishtar was followed on the platform by Mohsin Siddiqi, General Secretary of the Karachi Muslim League adn by S. M. Taufique, President of the Karachi Muslim League. Weekly Summary of Political Events for Week Ending October 23, 1954, Oct. 23, 1954

Ghulam Mohammed

Ghulam Mohammed says he has no intention of dying before his work of building Pak has been reinforced and more progress made in organizing the Muslim world against Communism. He wants you to know that Zafrulla, Gurmani and he have no intention of allowing “India’s pin-pricks” to lead to an evolvement of war. Secret Telegram from Karachi Embassy, Sept. 7, 1951

Ghulam Mohammed emphatically repudiated the insinuation in some sections of the press that the help received by Pakistan from foreign countries had any political strings. He stated that “Pakistan’s freedom and independence were not for barter – but that it was an Islamic obligation to acknowledge kindness with gratitude.” Weekly Summary of Political and Economic Events – May 14-20, May 21, 1953

The subject of the Eyes Only telegram No. 341 of November 2 from Karachi on the question of the dangers of Pakistan constitutional development along theocratic lines was handled in the following manner. … The President did not refer directly to the question of religious influence referred to above but by his questions let it be known that we in the United States had an interest in seeing Pakistan work out her problems so that she would have an effective constitution. Discussion with Ghulam Mohammed, Nov. 13, 1953

Regarding Kashmir, I apprehended trouble from Nehru and he is now trying to use the American aid to us as an excuse for going back on international stipulations and obligations. We took a calculated risk in these two matters depending on your word and promise. I do hope you will stand by us so that Nehru is not allowed to get out of international obligations and is not able to throw dust in the eyes of the world over Kashmir on the excuse of American aid. I appreciate the delecacy of the situation, but I feel that my country can rely on your promise to ensure justice for us. Letter from Ghulam Mohammed to John Foster Dulles, March 23, 1954

The Embassy desires to emphasize again that these documents were given to the Ambassador in the strictest confidence and any revelation of the source would seriously damage relationships with the Governor General. … “I have in the course of my discussions regarding Arab countries joining USA and other countries in a plan for mutual defense, felt that there is a wave of opposition in some Arab countries and that others are lukewarm. My discussions have shown that this opposition proceeds from the causes set out below which need early attention … Transmittal of Revised Document Received from the Governor General, May 21, 1954

I told the Governor General that he was being credited by the U.S. with having been helpful in bettering relations between Saudi Arabia and the United States during the Haj visit, whereupon the Governor General said the King was just like a nephew to him. Memorandum of Conversation with Governor General Ghulam Mohammed, Nov. 4, 1954

Pakistan’s Leaders Face Difficulties in Achieving Political Stability, Feb. 4, 1955

Ghulam Mohammed has in fact assumed virtual dictatorial powers. Embassy convinced however Department’s assumption correct that immediate motive is to serve administrative convenience. … Re Callahan’s predictions concerning indefinite deferral democracy, Embassy considers these observations indicate failure understand real nature of problem here. Fact of matter is Pakistan lacks most of essential elements which provide basis for democratic government in Western countries and effort to judge developments here by degree which they approximate standards appropriate these countries altogether unrealistic and almost totally irrelevant. Secret Telgram from Karachi Embassy, March 30, 1955

According to a usually reliable source in the Governor-General’s household, Ghulam Mohammed kept General Mirza and Chaudhri Mohammad Ali on tenterhooks for several days as he refused to sign the resignation prepared for him. He was rational for several days preceding the ceremonial ten described in the referenced despatch but “childishly” stubborn about signing away the last vestige of his rule. His daughter’s and son-in-law’s entreaties failed, but an aide finally persuaded him to sign by promising him a trip to his favorite Muslim shrine near Lucknow, India. The source, a layman, described Ghulam Mohammed’s mental affliction as a failure of blood supply to one portion of the brain. This condition is permanent; Ghulam Mohammed’s health continues to improve but he will never again have the full use of his faculties. For almost two months after his stroke on June 27 Ghulam Mohammed’s utterances were 90 percent irrational; the proportion is now reversed. Ghulam Mohammed’s Resignation, Sept. 23, 1955

Iskander Mirza

Lt. Col Iskander Mirza, Secy of Defense Ministry, today asked Emb Army Attache pass following to me: Major General Akbar Khan “is 100 percent Communist” and has been in contact with Communists since he recently took up his job as Chief of Staff at Rawalpindi. In personal opinion Col Mirza, conspirators motivated by dissatisfaction with GOP handling of Kashmir issue and feeling that Pak should turn away from Western powers and toward Soviet Union. In addition to those whose arrest has been announced, Air Commodore Janjua, senior Pak airman recently returned from school in UK is under house arrest. Janjua is known to have been in contact with conspiring army officers. Two unnamed communists, presumably civilian, are being sought but have gone underground. Brigadier Hussain, Director Interservices Intelligence, expressed opinion to Army Attache that there is some unrest in Pak Army especially among junior officers and enlisted men, because of failure to settle Kashmir issue. Some members of Army strongly believe a change in Govt is only solution. Secret Telegram from Karachi Embassy, March 10, 1951

When I called upon Sec Def (Mirza) this date on the MDAP matter he volunteered the following information which he asked me to pass on to the American Ambassador: a. Major General Akhbar Khan, senior military man involved in the conspiracy, is 100% communist. When he came to Rawalpindi as Chief of General Staff he contacted the communists of the Punjab. b. In addition to the people mentioned in the paper as having been arrested, the senior Pakistani Air Officer, Air Commodore Jinjua, recently returned from UK is in “house arrest.” He had conferred with the defecting army officers. c. In the opinion of Colonel Mirza, dissatisfaction with the handling of the Kashmir affair is probably behind this affair. He thinks that these officers wish to change their governments orientation from the West to Russia. d. He thinks that the Russian Embassy to Pakistan had something to do with the plot. He said that the Embassy had spent considerable money in the Punjab, to the extent of giving cameras to people. Secret Memorandum for the Record, March 10, 1951

Colonel Mirza, GOP Defense Secretary, stated to ConGen while visiting Lahore that Martial Law should be continued for a considerable period, in order that the politicians woudl understand that they had a duty of patriotism toward the country and could not act for their own selfish purposes. He did not indicate what period of time Martial Law would remain in force. He also stated that it was necessary that the civilian authorities did not revoke any of the Court Martial sentences. Without making a statement to that effect, he gave the impression that he was of the opinion that Daultana should be removed. Weekly Summary of Political and Economic Events, March 12-18, 1953, March 19, 1953 [emphasis in original]

I am convinced that at the present time the Government of Pakistan is being influenced strongly by a group of civil servants who have the backing, if not the actual participation, of the Pakistan Army. As far as I can determine, the definite members of this clique are Iskander Mirza, Akhtar Husain, and Agha Hilaly. Inasmuch as it is almost impossible for anything to happen at the secretarial level without the knowledge of the Cabinet Secretary, Aziz Ahmad, and inasmuch as he attended the Cabinet meeting on the night of February 26 at which the decision was taken to act firmly in the religious agitation, it is more than probably that Aziz is a participant. More than likely his brother, Ghulam Ahmad, the Interior Secretary and Intelligence Chief, is also involved. … I do not believe the group has influence or power enough yet to dictate political decisions to the Prime Minister. … AS you will recall from my conversation with General Ayub, I was told by Ayub that while he was reluctant to enter politics, he would take “no nonsense from the Center.” That, of course, was before the declaration of martial law in Lahore. Iskander Mirza subsequently told Col. Ashworth that as long as the Central Government proceeded in the right direction it would have Army support. He, too, implied that they would step in if there were signs of deviation from the present firm policy. Top Secret Office Memorandum of Karachi Embassy, April 6, 1953

Gen. Iskander Mirza leaves tonight midnight for Dacca to assume Governorship East Bengal tomorrow. … Impossible predict reaction East Bengal; violence certainly may occur. Mirza emphasizes has no desire rule by military force alone recognizes necessity establish clean administration. At same time he may be ruthless toward Communists. Secret Telegram from Karachi Embassy, May 29, 1954

PriMin asked me to see him this morning. He said in view close relationships our two countries he was telling me in greatest confidence that decision had been taken impose Governor’s rule East Pakistan. Governor would be Iskander Mirza who was summoned from London and who will leave for Dacca tomorrow. … PriMin stated first act of Governor would be to arrest known communists. … PriMin stated intensified activity would proceed two fronts, psychological and economic. GOP plan establish two new radio stations East Bengal, step up informational program to high degree. On economic front Governor would see that peopel received cheap necessities of life, namely food, cloth, kerosene, mustard oil and salt. Secret Telegram from Karachi Embassy, May 29, 1954

Iskander Mirza sworn in as Governor East Bengal 1800 hours. N.M. Khan Chief Secretary GOEB. Section 92-A (Governor’s rule) effective 1800 hours. IG police states District Magistrates to be given free hand for arrest “subversives”. Minister Sheikh Mujibir Rahman will be arrested immediately. Confidential Telegram from Dacca Consulate, May 31, 1954

“The present Governor of East Bengal has for private and personal reasons expressed a desire to be relieved of his office. It has therefore been decided to replace him by Major General Iskander Mirza who will be sworn in today.” Telgram from Karachi Embassy, June 1, 1954

Mirza said the only way for the US to stiffen Ali’s spine was to tighten the windscrew of economic and military assistance, making such assistance clearly dependent upon assurances of sane govt in Karachi. Mirza strongly recommended this course of action to US and stated his belief that Ali would respond favorably. Secret Telegram from London Embassy, Oct. 4, 1954

Mirza says he refused urgent calls return Karachi from London to await Primin. Believes Sunday’s action in best interests country, especially retaining Primin. Asked whether he expected trouble Mirza replied “We will make trouble,” meaning guilty would be punished. Said much to be cleaned up; for example Primin now finally recognized Mirza right in asking punishment corrupt Bengalis. Secret Telegram from Karachi Embassy, Oct. 26, 1954

Major General Mirza has said that democracy ran riot during the last seven years. It was not democracy but the denial of democratic rights that was responsible for the harm that has been done to our dear country. Had democracy a fair play, the evils would have been corrected long ago. UF Statement on General Mirza, Nov. 19, 1954

Comment on future form of government in Pakistan, Dec. 24, 1954

According to the Gazette of Pakistan dated January 21, 1955, Major General Iskander Mirza, C.S.P., retired from Government Service with effect from October 24, 1954. In effect this post-dated action removes from General Mirza the onus of having been appointed to a Cabinet post while still a member of the Civil Service. Telegram from Karachi Embassy, Jan. 25, 1955

Pakistani government will ignore challenge to its legality, Feb. 12, 1955

Iskander Mirza speaking February 15 to newly-organized West Pakistan Brotherhood praised Armed Forces highly and denied they taking active interest politics, and said “they have never taken part in politics nor is there any danyer that they will do so.” Telegram from Karachi Embassy, Feb. 17, 1955

Secret Telegram from Karachi Embassy, March 11, 1955

NSC Briefing: Background — Estimated Balances in Pakistan Politics, June 12, 1956

Secret Letter from Ambassador Hildreth to John Foster Dulles, Sept. 20, 1956

April 1953 Coup

Secret Telegram from Karachi Embassy, April 18, 1953

Confidential Telegram from Karachi Embassy, April 19, 1953

It becomes clear that Nazimuddin dismissal was planned and accomplished through combined efforts of Army leadership (specifically Def Secy Iskander Mirza and C-in-C Gen Ayub) and Gov Gen himself. Frustration which EMB has reported over past few months grew to exasperation at weakness and vascillation of Nazimuddin. Without doubt action by Iskander Mirza to declare martial law in Lahore Mar 6 in spite of PRIMIN objections saved country from what might have become national disaster. Mirza has apparently been in close touch with Gov Gen. Decision was taken by Gov Gen himself that PRIMIN could not be successfully managed and dismissal was planned. EMB believes very few people in Govt were privy to this decision – perhaps no one except Mirza and Ayub. … EMB believes unity now exists in country which has not prevailed since assassination Liaquat. Army is in firm position and will brook no nonsense. Whether Mohammad Ali will be able rise to demands of situation is not entirely certain and it is possible stronger leader such as Qayyum may take over at later date. EMB believes that in this favorable situation, US faces great opportunities develop closer relations with Pakistan and influence PAK policy toward settlement outstanding issues and toward firmer commitments to free world. Secret Telegram from Karachi Embassy, April 20, 1953

Perhaps this is the true picture: the Governor-General, Mr. Ghulam Mohammed could never have dared to dismiss a Ministry which had appointed him, had he not have had the support of the Army. The Army would take its cue from the Defense Secretariat. Therefore this is in fact a coup d’etat by Mr. Iskander Mirza and the Army, which has nominated Mr. Mohammed Ali as its agent. The Army (which includes Mr. Iskander Mirza) would not have been encouraged to do this, if it was not certain that the new dispensation would have the support of the Americans, on whom today Pakistan is almost wholly dependent for its food requirements, and to carry on the ordinary expenses of the Administration. We can give this credit to the Army that it, like other common citizens, saw that the country was going to the dogs, that the prevailing regime had lost the confidence of the people, that it had not the capacity to remedy the existing state of affairs, and that at the same time it could not carry the people with it in any of its measures. The Army, too, may have started getting ideas after its contact with the people and the civil administration in Lahore. The Americans must have been in contact with the Army, and the coup d’etat must have had their blessings. The Americans must have found (i) That there was no point in butressing an unpopular Ministry. (ii) There there was no point in giving supplies to an incompetent Ministry which would dissipate those supplies. (iii) That there was no hope of getting appropriation from Congress unless it was satisfied that the Ministry in Pakistan had popular support and Army support. (iv) That an unpopular Ministry cannot succeed in inducing the people to accept its policy in international affairs, and hence such a Ministry is useless to the Americans if they want Pakistan to accept the international policy of America. That is to say an unpopular Ministry in Pakistan cannot deliver the goods and is therefore useless for the American global strategy. The change in the Administration is therefore a result of American plus Army maneuvers, born of the conviction, for which there is every justification, that Nazimuddin’s regime was thoroughly unpopular and incompetent. Letter from H.S. Suhrawardy, April 21, 1953

Reversing their earlier critical attitude toward Nazimuddin, [the Awami League] are now shedding crocodile tears over his removal from the Prime Ministership, asserting that GHULAM MUHAMMED and his cronies from the Punjab had determined to eliminate Nazimuddin because he supported the provision in the BPC Report for “parity” between East Bengal and the rest of Pakistan in representation in the National Legislature. Political, Press and Economic Developments for the Week Ending June 24, 1953, June 25, 1953

Constititional Coup of September 21, 1954

Confidential Telegram from Karachi Embassy, Sept. 22, 1954

Secret Telegram from Karachi Embassy, Sept. 25, 1954

Pakistan Political Crisis, Sept. 25, 1954

Unsigned Top Secret Telegram #74, Sept. 25, 1954

Top Secret Telegram from Karachi Embassy, Sept. 27, 1954

The “Constitutional Coup” in the Constituent Assembly, Oct. 2, 1954

Divestment of Governor General’s Powers by Constituent Assembly, Oct. 3, 1954

Reftel and other recent Karachi messages seem clearly imply new group may well try seize control GOP within next few months. Motives and character Consembly rebellious element indicate new govt would be more to right than current clique with conservative “old Moslem leaguers” in dominant position but with little chance of communist or other leftist influence. Dept concedes good possibility such group might be less cooperative, less friendly to United States than present PriMin. Secret Telegram from John Foster Dulles, Oct. 6, 1954

While agree change Govt would not increase Communist leftist influence, situation East Bengal different from that West Pakistan. Commies stronger East Bengal would exploit instability which might result. Secret Telegram from Karachi Embassy, Oct. 7, 1954

Mohammed Ayub Khan

The Department of Defense has reported that the Military Attache in Karachi has recently recommended the award of the Legion of Merit to the Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army, General Mohammed AYUB Khan, stating that this recommendation is strongly supported by the Ambassador. Secret Telegram from Department of State, July 10, 1951

General Ayub stated that he had been talking to the leading politicians of Pakistan, and had told them that they must make up their mind to go whole-heartedly with the West. … He stated that the Pakistan Army will not allow the political leaders to get out of hand,and the same is true regarding the people of Pakistan. He stated that he realized that the Army was taking on a large responsibility, but that the Army’s duty was to protect the country. Secret Telegram from Lahore Consulate, Dec. 23, 1952

The Commander-in-Chief stated that he felt that there was no danger, from either politicians or the public, to overthrow the present Government, but in case there was such an attempt the Pakistan Army would immediately declare martial law and take charge of the situation. If the situation was critical, the Army would declare a Military Government in order to secure stability for Pakistan. He stated the Pakistan Army would not allow either politicians or the public to ruin the country. Top Secret Despatch from Lahore Consulate, Feb. 13, 1953

He said that the army was not interested in going into politics but that he had no intention of letting things get out of control. He said the army was a stabilizing force in Pakistan and that he would take no nonsense from the politicians. … I got the distinct impression from Ayub and from subsequent conversations with his senior officers who were in Lahore at the same time, that the Pakistan Army is definitely ready to take control should Civil Government break down, although they would be reluctant to do so. Memorandum of Conversation with General Mohammad Ayub Khan, Feb. 28, 1953

I took General Ayub for cocktails last evening and he is very much discouraged with our Number One guest who arrives in Washington this afternoon. He thinks there may be repercussions along the lines of your recent cables but expresses no alarm as far as the country as a whole is concerned. He is terribly confident of the ability of the Armed Services to step in any time as, if and when necessary. Secret Telegram from State Department, Oct. 14, 1954

NSC Briefing: Pakistan, Oct. 29, 1958

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto

It will be noted that he was accused inter alia of incitement of the masses to violate law and create disorder, violation of Secton 144, speaking so as to excite disaffection with the GOP, and disclosures of state affairs regarding weapons supply. Grounds for Detention of Bhutto, Dec. 4, 1968

MI officer told him that 24 officers arrested had been plotting to assassinate President Bhutto at Lahore People’s festival (revival of old Lahore horse show) when he attended as chief guest on March 31. Report of Military Assassination Plot Against President Bhutto, April 2, 1970

Central Intelligence Bulletin, Dec. 24, 1971

On February 7, I made a routine call on Rao Rashid, Deputy Director of Intelligence. … It was tragic, mused Rao, to have a man at the helm who despite all the blunders he committed, refused to step aside to the end, even though the nation was being destroyed. Political Notes, Feb. 17, 1972

Level of political violence and shrillness of political rhetoric has been on increase recently. Apart from Sind language riots, there have been disorderly political incidents in Lahore, Rawalpindi and elsewhere. Heightened political atmosphere has coincided with Bhutto’s greater involvement in grass-roots politics in wake Sind riots. While regime’s miscalculations and oppostion irresponsibility have contributed to new atmosphere, it seems also to reflect degree of return to pre-1971 “politics as usual.” Although disquieting, trend toward violence does not yet threaten Bhutto regime. Main present danger is that regime will be goaded into more repressive measures which could feed still more violence. Domestic Political Violence on Increase Aftermath Sind Disturbances, Aug. 4, 1972

Pakistan: Factionalism in Bhutto’s Party, July 1, 1975


Jamaat-e-Islami, which translated literally means “Islamic Organization,” is a Mullah-led, reactionary Islamic political party. Prior to partition the Jamaat, founded in 1941, was an inactive religious group without major interest in politics. However, since partition it has assumed an active part in politics and has gained strength, although it still plays a minor part in Pakistan politics. … At the annual meeting of Jamaat-e-Islami held on November 10 through 13, party leaders displayed an interesting combination of reactionary religious ideology, communist line propaganda and ideas of the welfare state. The meeting was attended by delegates from all over Pakistan. … Certainly not a powerful force in Pakistan politics today … the party is significant as an example of reactionary Islam in Pakistan politics. Annual Meeting of Jamaat-e-Islami, Pakistan, Nov. 28, 1951

The information contained in this report is from Ghulam Mohammed, Secty. Karachi Jamaat-i-Islami. He was anxious to get information on this organization into the hands of the American Embassy, he stated, because the organization “is misunderstood by foreign embassies and is the target of false propaganda from the Muslim League.” Jamaat-i-Islami (Islamic Party) was established in pre-partitioned India in 1941. Its main object is “revival of Islam, in both letter and spirit. We believe Islam is a complete code of life. We believe in democracy, with some changes regarding the limits of legislation. We believe that the government should be run by the people, but that the representatives are duty-bound to fulfill the laws written in the H.Q. Confidential Embassy notes, author unknown, circa 1951

Thirteen members of the Jamaat-e-Islami have been taken into custody by the Martial Law Authorities in Lahore including Maulana Maudoodi, Mian Tufail Mohammad and Maulana Amin Ahsan Islahi. Eighteen other Jamaat-e-Islami members were arrested outside the Lahore Martial Law area under the Provincial Public Safety Act. Comment: Maulana Maudoodi was one of the few prominent religious leaders who had escaped arrest during the general round-up of extremist Mullahs. He has now been arrested on the strength of a pamphlet which was just published in which Maudoodi tried to attack the Ahmadiyas by clever implications without indulging in open incitation. Martial Law authorities howwever felt that he had overstepped and thereupon arrested him. Weekly Summary of Political and Economic Events, March 26-April 1, 1953, April 2, 1953

Maulana Maudoodi, leader of Jamaat-i-Islami, arrested Mar 28 during anti-Ahmadiya agitation in Lahore, found guilty of complicity in riots by military tribunal May 11, and sentenced to death. Confidential Telegram from Karachi Embassy, May 12, 1953

Following the protest meeting and strike on the 14th occasioned by the sentence of Maulana Maudoodi reported in the Consulate’s despatch 96 dated May 14, 1953, an effort was made to organize a Maudoodi Day on May 22. Whereas the first demonstration was organized by Ulemas, the one scheduled for the 22nd was sparked by political opposition groups headed by the Awami League. Political, Press, and Economic Developments for the Week Ending May 27, 1953, May 28, 1953

Congen has no rpt no information to confirm GOI intelligence report that Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) groups planning attacks on Indian diplomats. Although prior to partition, JI supported Congress Party and opposed creation of Pakistan, JI has adopted anti-Indian position since partition. Its leaders, including recently retired Maulana Maudoodi, have advocated both moral and secular legality. Report of Planned Terrorist Attacks on Indian Diplomats, Nov. 7, 1972

Muslim Brotherhood

The Embassy’s confidential source stated that the organization was almost still-born, with no activities and few members. It is believed, however, that a recent conference of world Muslim divines held in Karachi may have given a fillip to the branch. In addition to Mahmoud Sawwaf there were several Middle Eastern Akhwan leaders at the conference. Hassan-ul-Hudeibi, the president of the Brotherhood did not come from Cairo but sent as his deputy Allama Mahmood-uz-Zubairi of Yemen. As-Syed Baha El-Amiri, the erstwhile Syrian Ambassador to Pakistan, fired from his job as a result of differences with Colonel Shishakly, was at the conference as Syrian delegate. Before his diplomatic appointment, El-Amiri was an officer in the Syrian Brotherhood. Another Akhwan leader, Sheikh Syed Ramazan of Egypt was also in attendence.

The Anti-Christian Riot at Matta, Aug. 28, 1951

Memorandum of Conversation with Rev. Frank Llewellen, Aug. 16, 1951

Of the 22 defendants, two were sentenced to death and 10 were sentenced to 19 years. The drafting officer has spoken to a few lawyers in Lahoer regarding these sentences. All were of the opinion that the two sentenced to death would have their sentence commuted to 15 years, and the others to 5-8 years by the reviewing court. The Christian missionaries with whom the drafting officer has spoken in regards to the trial all feel satisfied that justice was done – even if the sentences are commuted. Confidential Despatch from Lahore Consulate, Dec. 21, 1951

Anti-Communist Program in East Pakistan

PURPOSE: To destroy Communist influence and develop a positive (counter) program based on the new national ideals of Pakistan. … Collaboration between the USIS and the Government of East Bengal is to be kept secret. To this end every attempt will be made to keep knowledge of the program confined to the three officers of the American Consulate and the three officers of the Government of East Bengal whose concerted effort is necesssary to the formulation of plans and policies.

Developments in Iran and Egypt are seriously affecting Pakistan popular position reference United States and we should now expect period of critical attitudes. This change may imperil parts of information program. Clearly any revelation of my private understanding with top GOP officials will create greatest embarrassment to them. … View GOP changing position it is most imperative that all discussion be halted bringing GOEB personnel to Washington for discussion this highly delicate operation. If information officer GOEB is later sent to US as Leader Specialist, he should be given leader itinerary treatment and should not repeat not be consulted about policy matters affecting cooperation East Pakistan. We must assume he does not know of my overall understanding. Secret Telegram from Karachi Embassy, Nov. 5, 1951

Re Leader-Grant for either GOP or GOEB official, Department merely indicated availability of Grant in relation to request contained in Dacca Despatch 13; with assumption Embassy retaining actual perogative of nominating whomever desirable. If Embassy does desire send any official as straight leader-grantee, special project will not be discussed in Washington as you recommend. Secret Telegram from State Department, Nov. 16, 1951

Department will not invite GOEB official for purpose discussing subject your Despatch 13. However, ordinary leader-grant can at some future date be offered a Dacca journalist or even GOEB official, under normal Embassy selection processes. Secret Telegram from Secretary of State, Nov. 17, 1951

Secret Telegram from Karachi Embassy, Feb. 23, 1952

Confidential Telegram from Dacca Consulate, Feb. 28, 1952

Chief Minister Nurul Amin attended a meeting of the Mymensingh District Muslim League workers on June 14 and addressed the conference at some length. He reviewed the origins of, and government action during the Dacca riots in February, and announced that he had conclusive proof that these groups of people, viz. communists, other foreign agents, and political mal-contents had conspired to subvert the state from within. As for the communists, he quoted from a Calcutta communist paper which boasted of the party’s assisting the Language Movement in the right direction. As to the foreign agents, he dramatically flourished a secret document which he said was a circular of February 12 of an organization with headquarters outside Pakistan calling upon its members in East Pakistan to exploit the Language Movement. The name of the organization he withheld in the public interest. As for the disgruntled politicians, he observed that they are well known, and their motive in mising into the Language Movement and the riots was to split East and West Pakistan (he did not refer to the United Bengalers as such, but he evidently had them in mind). Confidential Telegram from Dacca Consulate, June 21, 1952

Confidential Telegram from New Delhi Embassy, Feb. 27, 1953

Telegram from New Delhi Embassy, May 6, 1954

Political, Press and Economic Developments for the Week Ended May 21, 1953, May 22, 1953

Telegram from Karachi Embassy, May 26, 1954

Political Developments for the Two Weeks Ending December 16, 1953, Dec. 17, 1953

Meanwhile there remains somewhat uncomfortably in my mind real concern over the Governor General’s attitude and approach to affairs these days. … I certainly do not see how running around East Bengal smashing Commies has much relation to what happened to the League in that province. Of course I see where a good Commie campaign might help disrupt the UF — but then what? Governor’s Rule? Martial law? The League has some hard lessons to learn. I hope the price won’t be too high or the instruction period too long. Secret Telegram from State Department, April 27, 1954

Agitation in East Bengal Schools and Colleges, Sept. 29, 1955

Political Attitudes and Opinions, East Pakistan, April 28, 1955

Gov. told me today will outlaw commie party East Bengal tomorrow. Said requested authorization from Center mid-June but only answer to date is under consideration. Thus, following abortive commie attempt few days ago blow up main bridge into Dacca he has decided to proceed [unilaterally]. Center as yet uninformed but will receive telegram from Gov. simultaneously with announcement of demarche. Confidential Telegram from Dacca Consulate, July 6, 1954

Secret Telegram from Karachi Embassy, Sept. 19, 1955

Secret Telegram from Karachi Embassy, Aug. 12, 1955

Current Position of Communism in Pakistan, July 10, 1953


Sunday, December 5, 2004 off the shelf,   Jinnah, Liaquat Ali Khan and Partition, V. N. DattaDear Mr Jinnah: Selected Correspondence and Speeches of Liaquat Ali Khan, 1937-1947edited by Professor Roger D. Long with a foreword by Stanely Wolpert. Oxford University Press, Karachi. Pages 328. Price not stated.

This compilation of selected correspondence and speeches of Liaquat Ali Khan, that comes with a foreword by Stanely Wolpert, well-known Jinnah biographer, focuses on highly significant issues and events which proved crucial in the creation of Pakistan. Of special interest to the reader is the author’s prefatory notes.

The period (1937-1947) chosen by Professor Long is momentous in the making of Pakistan. In the pre-1937 period, the Muslim League was a weak and inert organisation, destitute of leadership, funds and the press. It was seen as a coterie of toadies and sycophants basking in the sunshine of British patronage, passing stereotyped, mild resolutions for the protection of Muslims interests and making speeches in the Assemblies and at the Muslim League annual sessions. Mohammad Ali Jinnah then counted nowhere. He was rebuffed by the stalwart Muslim leader, Fazl-I-Husain in Punjab, and distrusted by the Congress. The British ignored him.

By 1939, the Muslim League became a strong and spirited organisation, and in March 1940, it demanded a separate homeland, an independent, sovereign Pakistan State, and by 1945, Jinnah emerged as the sole spokesman of the Muslims, who made high bids and vetoed all constitutional proposals suggested by the Congress and the British government. He scuttled the Simla conference in June-July 1945 and asked for parity with the Congress in the Viceroy’s executive council.


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