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National Integration of Pakistan: An Assessment of Political Leadership of Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy.

Byline: Rizwan Ullah Kokab and Mahboob Hussain


Pakistan, during its first quarter, was in direct threat to disintegration. A Separatist Movement in eastern wing of Pakistan was in progress that ultimately ended with the bifurcation of Pakistan. There were very few leaders in Pakistan during the early phases of the secessionist movement who could foresee the danger to the integration of Pakistan and fewer of them had the capacity to appease that movement as well as belonged to the eastern wing. Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy was only one of the most prominent of such type. This paper is appraisal of his leadership capacities in curbing the disintegration of Pakistan. His awareness of the challenge of disintegration, his loyalty with the state of Pakistan, his position in the minds of Bengalis that could convince them to remain with Pakistan, his efforts for establishing the links between two wings, and obstacles in his way have been reviewed. It has also been examined how his rivals in politics wasted his utility for the integration of Pakistan.


Mahatma Gandhi, while addressing a Muslim gathering once said, "Jinnah, there is your statesman; Liaquat, there is your politician; Suhrawardy, there is your leader." (Talukdar, 1987, pp. 71-72) Known for his controversial role in the Direct Action Day of August 16, 1946, he is considered as the first populist leader in Pakistan's history. Founder of Awami League, a cultivated and sensitive man with a cosmopolitan outlook and background Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy had an ironic wit. (James, 1993, p. 18) A man of great charm and humour, equipped with an extraordinary intellect and power of persuasion, he had no fear. He would not yield to President Gen. Ayub Khan or any other General. (Gauhar, 1998, pp. 24-25).

Suhrawardy rendered substantial services during the Pakistan Movement. He was the moving spirit behind the United Muslim Party, which was converted into Muslim League in Bengal. (Ahmad K., 1970, p. 33) In 1941, Suhrawardy kept the masses consolidated in support of the Muslim League during the critical situation when A. K. Fazlul Huq was dismissed from Muslim League. Suhrawardy with the help of Abul Hashim took the Muslim League in Bengal to a level of membership that was more than the party's membership in all other provinces in India combined. In April 1946 he led the largest and the most enthusiastically welcomed contingent in Muslim League Legislators' Convention held in Delhi on 8 April 1946 (Dil, 2000, pp. 276-77) where Abul Hashim pleaded for free Bengal but he moved the resolution for Pakistan, through which ambiguities of whatever kind existed in the Lahore Resolution (1940) were removed.

To Matinuddin (1994, p. 64) he was the only person who had the ability and the stature to keep the two wings together. Begum Shaista Ikramullah observes that he was "the only person...besides Jinnah who inspired such universal and wholehearted love and admiration for he had charisma." She notes that had he "been allowed to play the part that was his,... the antagonism and bitterness would not have grown to the extent that led to the division of Pakistan afterwards.... He was the one leader who straddled both East and West Pakistan and who had the prestige in West Pakistan to safeguard the rights of East Pakistanis, and who had the influence in East Pakistan to persuade the people to accept what was best for both parts of the country. But the chance was never given to him and when the crisis came he was no more." He had himself once said jokingly, "The English language, the PIA and I are the only links between East and West Pakistan." (Dil, 2000, pp. 272-73).

The trust and esteem in which he was held by the East Pakistanis was not at all misplaced. Even Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rehman, later the founder Prime Minister of Bangladesh, did not have the courage to disobey his commands. If he had stayed in office of Prime Minister of Pakistan for a longer period...he would have succeeded in bringing East and West Pakistan closer together. He would certainly have smashed the Bengali Movement. (Hamid, 1993, pp. 188-89).

Suhrawardy was mindful of the challenge of separatism confronting the Pakistani leadership. He predicted in his first speech in Constituent Assembly of Pakistan (CAP) that "if Pakistan is not founded on the co-operative goodwill of all the nationals, a time will come when it will destroy itself." (Suhrawardy H. S., 1948, p. 593)He, at another occasion recognizing the growing alienation of Bengalis and the inevitability of a violent upheaval, mentioned that "by all accounts there is general political stagnation and the question remains how it can be ended. The general theory is that when constitutional avenues are blocked, people find a way to adopt unconstitutional measures - in short, the revolution." Pointing out to a contingency and mass upheaval which was probably approaching before he said, "I have succeeded in stemming this, but we have yet to see if it is entirely extinguished. If not, desperation may once more light the smouldering fires and destroy me in the process as well." (Hossain, 1987, p. xi).

Suhrawardy was loyal to Pakistan and he not only desired but also worked for the integration of Pakistan. In a letter to President Ayub Khan, he reminded of his services for the Pakistan Movement and his loyalty to Pakistan. Having asked the president's opinion about his reconciliation to the concept of Pakistan during his premiership he reiterated

For me, Pakistan is one and indivisible. It is for this I have risked and grown old. Both must remain together. East Pakistan stands in the greatest danger of being overwhelmed and destroyed and annexed by police actions if it secedes. This is my reaction to any suggestion of secession.(Suhrawardy H. S., Letter to President Ayub Khan, 1962, pp. 672-78)

Establishing Political Links between Two Wings

To create links between two wings of Pakistan, Suhrawardy tried his best to remain in national politics. In 1949 when his supporters had joined the AML he tried to bring it within the framework of a national party. Suhrawardy, negating the separation of East Pakistan from West Pakistan, tried to establish links with the political workers of West Pakistan. He in March 1950, formed the All-Pakistan Awami Muslim League.(Zaheer, The Separation of East Pakistan, 1994, p. 19)

He tried to establish links with West Pakistani provinces especially Punjab. He got an opportunity to acquaint himself with the people of the Punjab during election campaign for Punjab provincial legislature in 1951. He visited practically all the constituencies of the Punjab. His ally Nawab of Mamdot, fearing from defeat from Pakistan Muslim League and thinking its opposition fruitless, left him alone (Talukdar, 1987, p. 113) but he continued his struggle for creating some link between the two wings of Pakistan.

For the integration of Pakistan in December 1952, he called a convention of the three parties - All-Pakistan Awami Muslim League, Mamdot's Jinnah Muslim League in Punjab and Pir of Manki Sharif's Awami League in the NWFP - at Lahore and a new party, All Pakistan Jinnah Awami Muslim League, emerged which, to keep a semblance of an all-Pakistan character, avoided the mention of the burning national issues which were agitating East Pakistan. For a time a sort of loose affiliation of the provincial parties was accepted under the umbrella of this new party with the East Pakistan AwamiMuslim League keeping its separate name, identity and programme. (Alqama, 1997, p. 171)

Other Bengali leaders did not prefer national integration to the autonomy of East Pakistan.A. H. Bhashani's disenchantment with Suhrawardy began when the latter ignored the autonomy question. (Kamal, 1970, p. 172)Bhashanidid not care for Bengalis' relationship with Suhrawardy' while refusing to tolerate any interference in East Pakistan by the Jinnah AML. He demanded the concept of provincial autonomy should be applicable to party organization also. (Zaheer, The Separation of East Pakistan, 1994, pp. 19-20) The Mamdot group departed from the AL in 1953 and weakened the West Pakistan AL numerically.

Thus Suhrawardy's efforts to establish national AwamiLeague and to make it have coalition with regional autonomists in both East and West Pakistan between 1953 and 1955 failed. (Jahan, 1972, p. 48) Then after Martial Law 1958 having tried to establish National Democratic Front, Suhrawardy rejected the plea of Sheikh Mujib for revival of regional AwamiLeague saying that he had given his word to the other leaders of the National Democratic Front and that he would not revive the party without consulting them. (Suhrawardy R., 1987, pp. xiv-xv) His attempts were nullified by his death 5 December1963.(Times, 1964,)

While entering the central Cabinet in December 1954 Suhrawardy took the risk of being accused of having sold Bengali interests out to the authorities and be left without Bengalis' support. He had great pressure from his colleagues for the lifting of section 92A in East Bengal. Even then he assumed law ministry which decreased great resentment in East Pakistan which the people felt that all their efforts for establishing a democratic government had failed. Becoming the law minister he got the task of drawing up the constitution of Pakistan. (Ikramullah, 1991, pp. 80-81) He was the most important personality in the cabinet in the context of the integration of East and West Pakistan especially in the troubling context of the issue of the amount of East Bengal representation in the Cabinet. (Deputy UKHC Dhaka, 1953)

Acceptance of Parity Principle

Suhrawardy played central role for acceptance of parity principle and Constitutional Convention by Awami League which resulted in the formation of Constitution of 1956.(Ahmad K. U., p. 75) His effort got praise from all friends and foes. One of his political rival and member of Ayub Khan's cabinet, Ahmad Saeed Kirmani (2009) said that by enforcement of disparity Suhrawardy played historical and exemplary part for the unification of the two parts of Pakistan. When the Awami League turned the proposal of Constitution Convention down and particularly bristled at the parity proposal Suhrawardy argued, "On the question of representation, misunderstanding has been going on for a long time between the two wings. All this will disappear on the acceptance of parity. Good will and harmony shall return.

The sacrifice is worth it." Within Awami League Suhrawardy did not agree with proposal of delay in joining Constitutional Convention and persuaded Maulana Bhashani to agree to submission of nomination papers. (Kamal, 1970, p. 87) By accepting parity Suhrawardy expected that it would force members to vote through the manifesto of political parties and not parochially and would lead to the creation of national political parties. (Talukdar, 1987, p. 49)

To enforce parity Suhrawardy, as law minister, drafted the One Unit Bill. By the time it came before the Parliament he opposed the undemocratic way with which it was passed. Later, when he was PM, he strongly resisted attempts to dismember the One Unit which he envisaged would have been a solution for all the regional and provincial problems. (Ikramullah, 1991, p. 82) In his effort to save this foundation of East and West Pakistan cooperation, Suhrawardy toured West Pakistan but it brought him in headlong collision with the Republican Party (Dil, 2000, p. 284) that ended on his resignation from premiership.

Electorate Issue

Suhrawardy after 1956 increasingly began to think more in terms of building a national consensus in Pakistan, and less about the concerns of East Bengal. (Maniruzzaman, 1975, pp. 33-34) After assumption of premiership, he conducted issues with great political skill, and during the short tenure of his rule resolved some of the controversial issues, the most significant one was that of the type of electorate. In October 1956 a formula was accepted in National Assembly according to which joint electorate in East Pakistan and separate electorate in West Pakistan was introduced.(Dawn, 1956) This solution of Suhrawardy was the only way in which it could be solved in those circumstances.(Peregrinus, 1956)

Afterwards Suhrawardy(1957)argued that "there was no justification for having two systems of electorate in the two wings of Pakistan as this gave credence to the jibes of our enemies that the two wings were so different from each other in outlook that their differences were irreconcilable." At last he was eventually successful, in April 1957, in persuading his coalition partner, the Republican Party, to agree to joint electorate in West Pakistan also. (Zaheer, 1994, p. 44)

As Prime Minister of Pakistan

Suhrawardy redressed economic disparity of East Pakistan as Prime Minister of Pakistan. A high ranked council decided a higher proportion of allocation to East Pakistan to make up for the lag of the two previous years. A working agreement on public sector development was arrived at between East Pakistan and the Centre. (Zaheer, 1994, p. 56) His Government in November 1956 decided to review existing categories of importers and introduced new comers in import trade from East Pakistan and unrepresented areas of West Pakistan. 10 million dollar aid was distributed to East Pakistan for favouring industrialization there. A permanent office of the controller of Import and Export was set up in East Pakistan and a new financial year was introduced. (Kamal, 1970, pp. 91-92)

About Suhrawardy's tenure as Prime Minister for the first and last time, East Pakistan gained a sense of participation in the power structure. (Zaheer, The Separation of East Pakistan, 1994, p. 43) The students' organisations changed their allegiance and fell away from one another. (Gupta, 1963, p. 11)Free by-elections in East Pakistan, for the first time since 1949, were held. (Ahmad K., 1970, p. 43)FazlulHuq and his United Front had already supported the Constitution 1956. Now Suhrawardy'sAwamiLeague also accepted it and Suhrawardy though his party men were disappointed in him, declared on 14 June 1957, that 98 per cent of provincial autonomy had been guaranteed by the Constitution. (Umar, 2004, p. 285)

Suhrawardy, on the point 3 of the 21 points programme for repealing of the Safety Act, declared in February 1957 that so long as he was the Prime Minister, he "would not allow a comma or semi colon to be deleted for the safety and security of the country."It was easy to understand Suhrawardy's objection to many of the 21 points. He was not confined to provincial politics. His interest spread to the whole of Pakistan. (Kamal, 1970, pp. 82, 91)

Suhrawardy, in his speech in Awami League Council meeting at Kagmari in February 1957, spoke not as a leader of East Pakistan but as a representative of West Pakistan. He took no serious notice of the unanimously passed resolution of the East Pakistan Assembly on 3 April 1957 and called it a 'political stunt.' The Constitution, he said, 'provided enough powers to the Provinces.' Suhrawardy endeavoured to allay the fears of West Pakistan. He accused the East Pakistan legislature, on passage of resolution on 3 April 1957, of sowing dissensions in the country.(Dawn, 1957) The Central Government with his support decided to set up a committee to examine the question of regional autonomy for East Pakistan, without impairing the integrity of the country as a whole.(UKHC Pakistan, 1957)

Opposition to Suhrawardy

Now we see how this common public leader of both wings of Pakistan was hurdled to use his utility. In spite of being the chief executive of the biggest Muslim majority province and despite significant services for Muslim League, he was not included in the Working Committee of the All India Muslim League during the critical period, 1945-7 and Bengal was represented in this highest policy-making body of the League by MaulanaAkram Khan, Khawaja Nazimuddin, or Isphahani. (Sayeed, 1960, pp. 188-89) He thought that in view of his stand for the Muslim League and attacks on him his position in Bengal would be jeopardised. The Muslims of Bengal would not understand why Isphahani had been preferred to him.

On the other side his old political rival A. K. FazlulHuq, Suhrawardy wrote to Jinnah on 20th February 1947, was about his nefarious business and held student meetings in which he abused Suhrawardy filthily. The speaker of Bengal Assembly Mr. Nurul Amin, entertaining secret ambition of becoming Chief Minister (of Bengal) and some of the disgruntled elements of Nazimuddin's group like Mr. HamidulHuq Chowdhury, Mohan Mia and Abdullah Mahmud had joined hands with FazlulHuq. (Harun-or-Rashid, 2003, pp. 107 and 70-72.)

After the creation of Pakistan, Suhrawardy was not allowed to assume the parliamentary leadership of the East Pakistan Assembly.

Instead the amenable Khawaja Nazimuddin was elected Chief Minister under instructions of the central leadership. (Zaheer, The Separation of East Pakistan, 1994, p. xviii)Suhrawardy (1994) latter claimed that 'even when the majority of the members were against Khawaja Nazimuddin, he refused even to set foot in Dhaka, and only went there after the Quaid-i-Aza, Jinnah had fixed the Ministry firm in the saddle, and the party that was supporting him had accepted his advice to support the Nazimuddin Ministry and even to join it, if offered.(UKHC Pakistan, 1948) Hasan Zaheer ( 1994, p. 18) views that there was some substance in Suhrawardy's claim that he could have obtained a majority in the Provincial Assembly; 42 Hindu members would have certainly preferred the secular-minded Suhrawardy and many Muslim members would have perhaps joined him after the language riots of 1948.

Suhrawardy was included in the enemies of Pakistan, was arrested and externed from East Bengal after it had been contrived that he should have been deprived of his seat in Constituent Assembly of Pakistan(UKHC India and Pakistan, 1948)on 18thMay 1948. The Assembly amended its Rules of Procedure whereby a person not resident in Pakistan ceased to be its member. Suhrawardy was hit by this amendment. (Zaheer, 1994, p. xviii) This was done when one Abdul Matin Chaudhry, in a memorandum written on the advice of Finance Minister Ghulam Muhammad, had suggested among other proposals that

co-operation of Suhrawardy group of Muslim Leaguers should be secured by including some of them in the Ministry. Their loyalty to Pakistan ideal is indisputable and there is no reason why their talents, energy and resources should not be harnessed in the combined co-operative effort for building up the Pakistan State.(Chaudhry, 1947)

Fearing from Suhrawardy's political acumen and sagacity and considering him a serious threat, Khawaja Nazimuddin as Chief Minister of East Bengal, on the approval from Liaquat Ali, barred Suhrawardy's entry into the province. Next his membership of the Constituent Assembly was finally cancelled in March 1949. In May he was expelled from the Pakistan Muslim League and was forced to settle in Karachi.(Samad, 1991) The ruling leadership took such actions instead of acceptance or political maneuvering for his political stand for the neutrality of Pakistan in Korean War.

They even repented for their action of letting Suhrawardy come to Pakistan.(Newspaper clippings of the Suhrawardy's statements enclosed with the letter and the report of Governor Noon to PM Pakistan, 1950, ) Rival action was not taken against only Suhrawardy but his supporters were also obstructed. Muhammad Ali Bogra(1947)reported that an MNA of his district was left out of District Board by Nazimuddin Ministry. His one and only offence was that he voted for Suhrawardy.

It was alleged that the pleadings of Suhrawardy for Hindus were due to his secret conspiracies with India against Pakistan. He was also charged with conspiring secretly to unite the two Bengals with the intention of including Bengal in the Indian Union. Suhrawardy(Letter to Liaquat Ali, 1948)negated these allegations and said

I suppose the Nazimuddin Government has had to invent these lies and accept these inspired police reports with alacrity, supposed to be from independent sources, as he has no other weapon with which he can malign me or blacken my face, or justify the action of exclusion.

The letters of Suhrawardy could not satisfy the ruling leaders. Feroz Khan Noon,(1950)Governor East Bengal continued persuading Prime Minister Liaquat Ali to 'hit back hard' against Suhrawardy. He tried to support his thought with the help of secret reports that Suhrawardy had joined hands with his Indian friends to unite the two Bengals.

Thus a useful contact between East and West Pakistan and even India and Pakistan was wasted. It is correct that Suhrawardy had reconciliatory attitude towards India and Hindus. Suhrawardy also wanted to get any place in the ruling circles of India by organizing the helpless Muslims of West Bengal. He called a conference of the Muslim leaders of India in Calcutta in the second week of November 1947. The conference assured India that Muslims of India are loyal with India and they do not want Pakistan to fight for them. (Choudhury, 2005, p. 35) He was a leader of high rank and had a definite point of view. A political settlement with such a kind of personality in the starting years of Pakistan could have provided stability to the new-born state. The pleas of Suhrawardy mentioned in his letters to Liaquat Ali Khan could be answered positively but he was cornered in a very awkward way. Courts of Karachi and Lahore were directed not to register him as a lawyer.

It was the court of the small town of Montgomery that enrolled Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy as a lawyer. (Ikramullah, 1991, p. 74)

Ghulam Muhammad, Governor General of Pakistan, offered Suhrawardy to join the federal government as law minister when the ruling leadership became disappointed with other Bengalis led by Khawaja Nazimuddin and FazlurRehman after the unsuccessful constitutional coup and dissolution of the first Constituent Assembly of Pakistan in 1954. Suhrawardy was hesitant to take the law ministry because of low status. Then in Suhrawardy's own words

Ghulam Muhammad threatened that if I did not join the cabinet he would hand over the government to C-in-C Ayub. Partly wishing to avoid military dictatorship in Pakistan and partly because Ghulam Muhammad promised that he would set up a Constituent Assembly and restore the constitution. (Talukdar, 1987, p. 87)

He consented to work as Law Minister.Aware of the dangers of military rule to Pakistan Suhrawardy accepted the lesser offer even when he and his party deserved a greater share.

Even at the time when Ghulam Muhammad offered law ministry to Suhrawardy, Gen. Ayub and Gen. Iskandar Mirza communicated their dislike of Suhrawardy to Ghulam Muhammad. Prime MinisterBogra too feared Suhrawardy's inclusion in the cabinet. So, he on the advice of Ghulam Muhammad met FazlulHuq and promised him and his Krishik Siramic Party power in East Bengal in exchange for Huq's promise to challenge Suhrawardy's credentials to represent the people of East Bengal. (Talukdar, 1987, p. 47)Suhrawardy accused the Prime Minister Bogra of instigating and anti-Suhrawardy campaign in the Pakistan Standard, the official organ of the Muslim League. Suhrawardy also described that he was surrounded in the cabinet by a set of crooks and fascists - he particularly mentioned Iskandar Mirza.(UKHC Karachi, 1954) Iskandar Mirza told that the government was ready to take Suhrawardy in cabinet only on their terms.

He had suggested that if they took Suhrawardy in the cabinet he should be made to swear two oaths of loyalty; first the usual to uphold the constitution and second an oath of loyalty to PM.(UKHC Karachi, 1954)

Nevertheless Suhrawardy was deliberately ignored by Prime Minister Bogra and his important ministers. In March 1955, Bogra visited East Pakistan along with three Central Ministers, namely, Iskandar Mirza, Abu Hossain Sarkar and Ghiasuddin Pathan; the significant omission was Suhrawardy. Nawa-i-Waqt wrote 'the way the Prime Minister is ignoring both unfair and unwise. It appears that Mohammad Ali is making an attempt to bypass Suhrawardy altogether and install the FazlulHuq group in power.' Suhrawardy, said the paper, was a much better person than FazlulHuq whom the PM himself had, some time ago, proclaimed as a traitor; and yet 'it is the same traitor he wishes to prop up now solely because he wants to damage Suhrawardy's position'.(Nawa-i-Waqt,, 1955)

Suhrawardy was once more bypassed on 7 August 1955. It was decided that after the resignation of Bogra he would be appointed as the Prime Minister of the coalition established between the Muslim League and Awami League. A resolution was passed to this effect. The arrangements appeared to be so firm and official that BBC broadcast his name as the next PM. He even chalked out his cabinet with Ch. Muhammad Ali. But at the last moment, Ch. Muhammad Ali was made PM on his place because the main protagonist Iskandar Mirza was averse to his selection. (Talukdar, 1987, p. 89)Kabiruddin Ahmad ( n.d., p. 77) laments that although two Bengalis - Bogra and Suhrawardy, were mainly responsible for the sell out of Bengali interests, when there was a major cabinet reshuffle in August 1955, the Prime Ministership went to neither of them; what a magnificent reward for the splendid job they had done!

Then the decision of making Suhrawardy as PM was not made willingly and as an action to appease the Bengali Movement. President Mirza declared earlier that, "Suhrawardy would become PM over my dead body". He preferred Suhrawardy now because he had private reasons of his own. He thought Suhrawardy and his AL opposed the framing of 1956 constitution as such they would not be keen to work the constitution. Moreover Suhrawardy might be persuaded to delay the general elections. Another reason was that Mirza wanted the governments of different leaders to fall in quick succession so as to justify the contention that democracy in Pakistan had failed. And lastly Mirza calculated that AL was emerging as the largest party after the election in East Pakistan and some sort of rapprochement might be useful for his future ambition to remain as president.

Iskandar Mirza watched grimly and uncomfortably at the rise of Suhrawardy in the power politics and condemned the work on economic parity. (Kamal, 1970, pp. 88-89, 92)

On the row between Suhrawardy and Republicans headed by Dr. Khan Sahib and supported by Iskandar Mirza the President Mirza gave Suhrawardy the option to resign or be dismissed. The real reason why he was forced to resign was because he had promised that the general elections would be held in 1958 and he, the last link between East and West Pakistan, was brought down by Dr. Khan Sahib who had strongly opposed the creation of Pakistan. (Dil, 2000, p. 284) The Republicans and Iskandar Mirza sidelinedSuhrawardy not on the issue of One Unit but because Republicans were threatened by him as he, through a successful political move in favour of one unit, had tried to split both Republican Party and ML and attach to himself the pro-"One Unit" elements in each party.(UK Government, 1957)

President Mirza did not like Suhrawardy because the latter had an independent power base in East Pakistan, and he and his party were not amenable to the influence of the President as other politicians were. C-in-C General Ayub Khan (1967, p. 37), ignorant of the code of the legal profession, considered that Suhrawardy, as defence counsel in the Rawalpindi Conspiracy trial, had done great harm to the army by 'harsh and undignified cross-examination of the army officers' and was, therefore, 'no friend of Pakistan.'

The fall of Suhrawardy was engineered by Iskandar Mirza himself. His duplicity and guile worked for the doom of Suhrawardy. Mirza got assurance from Awami League leaders including Suhrawardy for his re-election as president after the general election but Suhrawardy declared in a statement given at London airport that he was thinking for two men. It created suspicion in Mirza's mind. Suhrawardy was neither postponing elections nor assuring Mirza next presidentship and thinking for Gurmani as next president. Suhrawardy also did not sign over the files for the extension of services of C-in-C and dismissal of Gurmani from governorship of West Pakistan. Suhrawardy and Gurmani did not want to bring into life the government of Republicans in West Pakistan against the wishes of Mirza. Suhrawardy did not order to arrest Bhashani on the instigation of Mirza. (Kamal, 1970, pp. 97-Every effort was made to suppress Suhrawardy.

"Somebody shot at him in Gujranwala and the bullet lodged in the thigh of the person to his right who was accompanying him."Suhrawardy writes that a number of police trucks had brought 400 bullies and roughs armed with iron-shod lathis. They gathered near place of meeting. The meeting was not materialized due the preparations to attack over it" (Talukdar, 1987, p. 196)

Suhrawardy thought to give Ayub Khan a chance by not putting hurdles in the way of his attempting to stop the deteriorating political situation. (Ikramullah, 1991, p. 94) He therefore accepted Martial Law for the time being. Six months after Martial Law a case was opened against him under the EBDO on the charges of misconduct during his premiership; soliciting contribution for the AL; improperly allocating export licenses; intervening to secure a government rice contract for his friend and ordering the PIDC against the strong advice of three ministries to conclude a contract for the supply of jute with a particular firm.(UKHC Pakistan, 1960) On July 18, 1960, military court disqualified him for membership of any elective body until December 31, 1966. On January 31, 1962, he was arrested in Karachi, for "taking part in activities prejudicial to the interest of Pakistan." This led to great turmoil in East Pakistan and he had to be released. (Dil, 2000, pp. 284-85)

Suhrawardy (1962) pleaded that he had been preaching integration and national unity while denouncing separatism. He blamed central and provincial Ministers for misleading the President Ayub.He told Ayub Khan that by keeping him under detention with such terrible charges against him, Ayub had destroyed his utility. Due to public pressure he was released on 19 August 1962. (Bhuiyan, 1982, p. 65) Ayub offered him Vice-Presidency. He rejected the offer and replied that the offer was too late when too much blood had flowed under the bridge and President's reputation had become so tainted that it was now impossible. (Suhrawardy R., Recollections, 1987, p. xiv)

On December 31, 1962, he suffered a heart attack. He died in a Beirut hotel on December 5, 1963. The circumstances surrounding Suhrawardy's death are shrouded in mystery, which give rise to many people, including Sheikh Mujib, believing that it was not a natural one. While there is no conclusive proof to this effect, two incidents occurred that lend potency to this controversy. Bhutto's threat and CID officer's warning. (Talukdar, 1987, p. 71)

Pakistan's ruling leaders - Liaquat Ali, Nazimuddin, Iskandar Mirza and Ayub Khan were not prepared to accept leadership of Suhrawardy. They considered him too sharp, untrustworthy and unreliable when, in fact he was a great Pakistani nationalist. (Hamid, 1993, p. 188)Talukdar(1987, pp. 36-39) lays the responsibility of not nominating Suhrawardy as PM on Jinnah. The statement of Baxter (1988, p. 289) gives the impression Jinnah himself had decided on the election of Nazimuddin in the place of Suhrawardy as PM Bengal. In fact it was the free decision of factions in the parliamentary party against Suhrawardy and supporting Nazimuddin. ShaistaIkramullah confirms that Suhrawardy's overconfidence undermined his position; a mistake he was to repeat more than once, leading him to lose the Party leadership to Khawaja Nazimuddin. (Dil, 2000, p. 279)

Suhrawardy himself alleged that Khawaja Nazimuddin instigated the actions against him. The letter of Nazimuddin written to Liaquat Ali Khan confirmed this. He reported to LiaquatAli Khan that everywhere Suhrawardy ran down Pakistan, the State, and Jinnah. Then Khawaja Nazimuddin(1948)told his intention that he wanted to ask Suhrawardy to come to East Bengal, and, if he did so, to extern him. Khawaja Nazimuddin was supported by Liaquat Ali Khan definitely. Though Jahan Ara Shahnawaz(1971, p. 234)recounts that Liaquat Ali had decided to ask Suhrawardy to join the Central Cabinet as Defence Minister, but he refusedyet it is obvious that Liaquat Ali Khan, who should have been careful for Suhrawardy, informed in response to his complaint against Khawaja Nazimuddin, that the action taken against him 'was a matter entirely for the Provincial Government and Liaquat could not interfere in their administration.' (Zaheer, 1994, pp. 18-19)


Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy was leader of high rank. His constituency consisted of Bengali Muslims as well as Hindus. Being himself a strong link between East and West Pakistan he tried to form political links between two wings by establishing national political parties and alliances. His services for the compromise between the peoples and leaders of both wings are of great value as one unit scheme, electorate issue and parity formula was compromised with his efforts. However the politics of personal interests by the ruling leaders did not let him get proper share in government and co-optation of his party and Bengalis could not be achieved. That led Pakistan to disintegration that he had already foretold.


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Author:Kokab, Rizwan Ullah; Hussain, Mahboob
Publication:Journal of Political Studies
Article Type:Essay
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Jun 30, 2017
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