Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy

Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy (Urdu: حسین شہید سہروردی‎; Bengali: হোসেন শহীদ সোহ্‌রাওয়ার্দী; 8 September 1892 – 5 December 1963) was a Bengali[1] politician and a lawyer who served as the fifth Prime Minister of Pakistan, appointed in this capacity on 12 September 1956 until resigning on 17 October 1957.

Born into an illustrious Bengali Muslim family in Midnapore, Suhrawardy was educated in Calcutta and was trained as a barrister in Oxford where he practiced law at the Gray's Inn in Great Britain.[2] Upon returning to India in 1921, his legislative career started with his election to the Bengal Legislative Assembly on Muslim League's platform but joined the Swaraj Party when he was invited to be elected as the Deputy Mayor of Calcutta under Chittaranjan Das.

After Chittaranjan Das's death in 1925, Suhrawardy promoted the Muslim unity on a Muslim League platform, and began advocating for the two-nation theory. After the general elections held in 1934, Suhrawardy pushed for strengthening the Muslim League's political program and asserted his role as becoming one of the Founding Fathers of Pakistan. After joining the Bengal's government in 1937, Suhrawardy assumed the only Muslim League-led government after the general elections held in 1945, and faced criticism from the Indian press of his alleged role in massive riots took place in Calcutta in 1946.[3]

As the Partition of India loomed in 1947, Suhrawardy championed an alternative to the Partition of Bengal, the idea of an independent united Bengal not federated with either India or Pakistan. This proposal enjoyed some support from Muhammad Ali Jinnah,[4][5][6] but ultimately was not adopted.[7]

Nonetheless, Suhrawardy worked towards integration of East Bengal into the Federation of Pakistan but partied away with the Muslim League when he joined hands to establish the Awami League in 1949.[8][9] During the legislative elections held in 1954, Suhrawardy provided his crucial political support to the United Front that defeated the Muslim League.[8][10] In 1953, Suhrawardy joined the Prime Minister Mohammad Ali Bogra's Ministry of Talents as a Minister of Law and Justice and served until 1955.

After supporting the vote of no-confidence motion at the National Assembly that removed Prime Minister Muhammad Ali, the three-party coalition government of Muslim League, Awami League, and the Republican Party, appointed Suhrawardy to the office of Prime Minister, promising to address the issue of economic disparities between the Western Pakistan and the Eastern Pakistan, resolving the energy conservation crises and reforming the nation's military.[10] His foreign policy resulted in increase dependency towards the US foreign aid to the country and pioneering a strategic partnership with the United States against the Soviet Union, and recognised the China by supporting the One-China policy. On the home front, he faced pressure from the business and stock community over his economic policy to distribute the taxation and federal revenues between East Pakistan and West Pakistan, where the controversial issue of national integration had been brought to fruition by the nationalists.[11] After defections from his coalition, and under pressure from President Iskander Mirza, Suhrawardy resigned rather than be dismissed.[12]

Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy
হোসেন শহীদ সোহরাওয়ার্দী
حسین شہید سہروردی
H S Suhrawardy
Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy (1892–1960)
5th Prime Minister of Pakistan
In office
12 September 1956 – 17 October 1957
PresidentMajor-General Iskandar Mirza
Preceded byMuhammad Ali
Succeeded byI. I. Chundrigar
Minister of Defence
In office
13 September 1956 – 17 October 1957
DeputyAkhter Husain
(Defence Secretary)
Preceded byMuhammad Ali
Succeeded byM. Daultana
Minister of Health
In office
12 August 1955 – 11 September 1956
Prime MinisterMuhammad Ali
Leader of the Opposition
In office
12 August 1955 – 11 September 1956
Serving with I. I. Chundrigar
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byFatima Jinnah
(Appointed in 1965)
Minister of Law and Justice
In office
17 April 1953 – 12 August 1955
Prime MinisterMohammad Ali Bogra
Premier of Bengal
In office
23 April 1946 – 14 August 1947
PresidentLouis Mountbatten
Preceded byKhawaja Nazimuddin
Succeeded byKhawaja Nazimuddin
(as Chief Minister in East)
P.C. Ghosh
(as Chief minister in West)
Provincial Minister of Civil Supplies
In office
29 April 1943 – 31 March 1945
Prime MinisterSir K. Nazimuddin
Provincial Minister of Labor and Commerce
In office
1 April 1937 – 29 March 1943
Prime MinisterA. K. Fazlul Huq
Deputy Mayor of Calcutta
In office
16 April 1924 – 1 1925
MayorChittaranjan Das
Member of the Bengal Legislative Assembly
In office
Parliamentary groupMuslim League (Nationalist Group)
MajorityMuslim League
President of Awami League
In office
Preceded byMaulana Bhashani
Succeeded byA. R. Tarkabagish
Personal details
Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy

8 September 1892
Midnapore, Bengal, British India
(Present day in West Bengal in India)
Died5 December 1963 (aged 71)
Beirut, Lebanon
Cause of deathCardiac arrest
Resting placeMausoleum of three leaders in Dhaka, Bangladesh
CitizenshipBritish Raj British India
Political partyAwami League
Other political
Muslim League
Spouse(s)Vera Alexandrovna Tiscenko
(m. 1947; div. 1951)
(Elder brother)
Shahida Jamil
ResidenceDHA estate in Karachi
Alma materCalcutta University
(BS in Maths, MA in Arabic lang.)
St Catherine's College, Oxford
(MA in Polysci and BCL)
ProfessionLawyer, politician

Early years

Family background and education

Huseyn Suhrawardy was born on 8 September 1892 in Midnapore, Bengal in India into an illustrious Bengali Muslim family known for their wealth, education, and gentry background, who claimed to be the direct descendant and ancestors of the First Caliphate.[13]:81[2] His father, Justice Sir Zahid Suhrawardy, was a jurist at the Calcutta High Court; and his mother, Banu, was the daughter of Maulana Ubaidullah Suhrawardy, who was a prolific Urdu language writer and was the first Indian women to have passed the Senior Cambridge examinations.[14] His elder brother, Hasan, a linguist, found a great successful career as a diplomat with Pakistan's Foreign ministry.[14] Shaista Suhrawardy Ikramullah was his niece.[15] His uncles, Hassan Suhrawardy served in the British Indian Army as a military physician while Sir Abdullah Suhrwardy was a barrister.[14]

After his matriculation from the Calcutta Madrassa, Suhrawardy attended St. Xavier's College, where he earned a BSc.[16][17] In 1913, Suhrawardy attained his MA in Arabic Language and earned a scholarship to attend the Oxford University for his higher studies. His gentry background allowed him to settle in England comfortably while attending the St. Catherine's College of Oxford University, where he attained an MA in political science and graduated with the BCL degree in 1920.[18][19]

After leaving Oxford, Suhrwardy was called to bar at the Gray's Inn where he was trained as barrister-at-Law in 1922–23.[20]

Political career in India

Deputy mayorship of Calcutta and legislation (1922–1944)

After his training as a Barrister-at-Law in England, Suhrawardy returned to India where he begin his practice at the Calcutta High Court in 1922–23, building his reputation as a competent lawyer.[13]:80 During this time, he joined the Muslim League and secured his elections as a Member of the Bengal Legislative Assembly.[2] His legislative career took prominence during the times of the Khilafat Movement, a conservative Islamic movement in India, and had remained associate with it for several years.[13]:80

In 1924–25, Suhrawardy was appointed as deputy mayor of the Calcutta Corporation when he joined the Swaraj Party led by the Mayor of Kolkata Chittaranjan Das.[13]:80 In 1926, he broke with the Swaraj Party after the Hindu-Muslim riots took place in Calcutta, and represented the accused Muslims at the Calcutta High Court, and begin encouraging the trade strikes to maintain pressure on the Congress Party.[21]

In 1930s, he strengthened the political program of the Muslim League, supporting the concept of Pakistan, and begin mobilizing his support in favor of the Pakistan Movement.[2] In 1936, he became the Secretary-General of the Muslim League's Bengal chapter and successfully defended his constituency in general elections held in 1934–37.[2]

He was appointed to head the Ministry of Commerce and Labour in 1937 under the provincial administration of Premier of Bengal A. K. Fazlul Huq.[22]

In 1943, Premier K. Nazimuddin eventually appointed him to lead the Ministry of Civil Supply and it was during his tenureship when the famine took place in Bengal in 1943.[23] Although, British administrator and Governor of Bengal Richard Casey was of the view of considering Premier K. Nazimuddin as "incapable", there were major allegations that leveled on him towards deliberating causing the famine and doing very little to prevent it.[23] Suhrawardy, on the other hand, contradicted when claiming that it was the Central government in New Delhi and black marketers that had seized the transportation of rice and wheats to the presidency.[23]

On the other hand, Indian author, Madhushree Mukherjee, laid major responsibility of this famine to British Prime Minister Winston Churchill who wanted the ration for war efforts only and had refrained the U.S. aid to Bengal.[24] Suhrwardy was further accused of practicing the Scorched-Earth policy to counter the Japanese Army's advances in East and supervised to burn thousand fishing boats to block any potential movement of invading Japanese Army troops.[25]:533–535 These measures aggravated starvation and famine and the relief was only ordered when Lord Wavell became the Viceroy, using the Indian Army to organise relief.[25] However, by that time, the winter crop had arrived and famine conditions had already eased, after millions had earlier perished.[25]:534

The Indian press, notably the Hindu press, had become very critical of his role and the Bengali Hindus held him directly responsible for the famine.[26]

Premiership and United Bengal (1946–47)

United Bengal
Bengal in 1940s: Suhrawardy's proposal of United Bengal eventually failed due to riots in 1946.[27]

During the general elections held in 1945 in India, Suhrawardy campaigned against K. Nazimuddin for the Premiership of Bengal, and secured enough political endorsement from the Muslim League that allowed him to form the provincial government as its Prime Minister– the only Muslim League-led government in India in 1946.[2] The Congress Party had been very critical of his role and the government and limited the number of cabinets departments by dismissing the Hindu members of his cabinet.[26]

By 1946–47, the support for the Pakistan Movement among the Indian Muslims had become very popular and it became inevitable for the creation of the nation-state through the partition of India by 1947.[28] The issue of communalism based on the religious beliefs prevented the inclusion of Hindu-majority districts of Punjab and Bengal in the Federation of Pakistan as the Congress Party and their allies the Hindu Mahasabha sought the division of these provinces on communal lines.[28]

To prevent the violence, riots, and long-term border disputes, Suhrawardy joined hands with the demands of preventing the second partition of Bengal by endorsing the idea of independent United Bengal, alongside with Sarat Chandra Bose, K. Shanker Roy, Abul Hashim, Satya Ranjan Bakshi and F. Q. Choudhri.[29][30]

Suhrawardy reached a compromise with Bose when he sought to form the coalition government between the Congress Party's Bengal section with the Muslim League's Bengal Division.[28] Proponents of the plan urged the Indian public in Bengal to reject the communal divisions and uphold the vision of an independent but united Bengal.[28] In a press conference held in New Delhi on 27 April 1947 Suhrawardy presented his plan for a united and independent Bengal and Abul Hashim issued a similar statement in Calcutta on 29 April.[29]

The issue of United Bengal was met with favorable views and backing of Muhammad Ali Jinnah who saw it for the benefits for Bengali Muslims.[31]:285 Jinnah viewed this plan in a long term geostrategic point in believing that independent Bengal led by Muslim premier would forged a closer alliance with Pakistan than it would with India.[31]:285[27]

Despite Jinnah's backing, the plan was fiercely opposed by K. Nazimuddin, his brother K. Shahabuddin, Nurul Amin, and Mohammad Akram who wanted to integration with Pakistan.[32]:25 Amongst Bengali Hindus, the plan was not supported, therefore supporting for the creation of the West Bengal– the partition.[32]:25–26 During this time, Suhrawardy led massive rallies on every Friday for the cause of independence movement to separate from India, further fueling tensions with Congress Party.[32]:25–26

Direct Action Day (16 August 1946)

Suhrawardy and other Muslim League leaders reportedly delivered provocative speeches reminding the Bengali Muslims of the historical Islamic victory and urged them to follow the same way on 16 August. The historian Devendra Panigrahi, in his book India's Partition: The Story of Imperialism in Retreat,[33] quotes from the 13 August 1946 issue of Muslim League mouthpiece The Star of India, "Muslims must remember that ... it was in Ramazan that the permission for jehad was granted by Allah. It was in Ramazan that the Battle of Badr, the first open conflict between Islam and Heathenism, was fought and won by 313 Muslims and again it was in Ramazan that 10,000 Muslims under the Holy Prophet conquered Mecca and established the kingdom of Heaven and the commonwealth of Islam in Arabia. The Muslim League is fortunate that it is starting its action in this holy month". According to historian Juthika Roy, Jinnah gave a free hand to Suhrawardy to terrorise the Hindus and start a pogrom against Hindus.[34] On 16 August 1946, the massive bloody riots erupted in Calcutta, killings scores of Hindus at the hands of rioters.[35] Suhrawardy attempted to control the situation by unsuccessfully calling for peace and deployment of the Indian Army in Calcutta with no success.[35] The riots ended with thousand deaths and the Indian press blaming Suhrawardy of obstructing the police work, which is well documented by several authors and eyewitnesses.[36][37][38] According to authorities, the riots were instigated by members of the Muslim League and its affiliate Volunteer Corps after listening to the speeches made by Nazimuddin and Suhrawardy,[39][40][41][42][43] in the city in order to enforce the declaration by the Muslim League that Muslims were to 'suspend all business' to support their demand for an independent Pakistan.[39][40][41][44] However, supporters of the Muslim League believed that the Congress Party was behind the violence[45] in an effort to weaken the fragile Muslim League government in Bengal, further generating the controversy about the real culprits.[39] Historian Joya Chatterji allocates much of the responsibility to Suhrawardy, for setting up the confrontation and failing to stop the rioting, but points out that Hindu leaders were also culpable.[46]

A senior intelligence operative wrote to a senior British officer based at Fort William after the 'Great Calcutta Killings' after the Calcutta riots revealing Suhrawardy's villainous nature. He wrote, "There is hardly a person in Calcutta who has a good word for Suhrawardy, respectable Muslims included. For years he has been known as "The king of the goondas" and my own private opinion is that he fully anticipated what was going to happen, and allowed it to work itself up, and probably organised the disturbance with his goonda gangs as this type of individual has to receive compensation every now and again."[47] According to Tathagata Roy, the Governor of Tripura, Suhrawardy had pre-planned the riot long back, evident from the fact that demographic changes were being made in the Calcutta Police constabulary.[48] Even the Bangladeshi historian Harun-or-Rashid, in his book The Foreshadowing of Bangladesh: Bengal Muslim League & Muslim Politics: 1906–1947,[49] also disclosed the diabolic role of Suhrawardy in orchestrating riots against the Hindus in a pre-planned manner and safeguarding the Muslim goons from the police.

Eventually, the United Bengal plan eventually failed which had earlier been facing the opposition of the Muslim League led by K. Nazimuddin , Congress Party, the Hindu Mahasabha[50] and the Communist Party of India.[51] Eventually, the Bengali Hindus voted for the partition that created the West Bengal joining the Union of India, and East Bengal was left with no choice but to join the Federation of Pakistan on 14 August 1947.[32]:26–27[27]

Public service in Pakistan

Law and health ministries in coalition government (1953–55)

Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy (left) with Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, 1949.

On 14 August 1947, Suhrawardy lost the control of the Bengal Division of the Muslim League and lost the election when K. Nazimuddin was elected for the Chief Minister of East Bengal.[10] After the partition of India, Suhrawardy remained in Calcutta and made calls for peace when soughting help from Mahatma Gandhi; he returned in 5 March 1949 to Pakistan.[52]

After Jinnah's death and K. Nazimuddin becoming the Governor-General in 1948, Suhrawardy was forced out from the Muslim League but the latter co-founded the Awami Muslim League, alongside with the conservative cleric, Maulana Bhasani and others in 1949.[10][53] He shifted from Muslim unity to greatly espousing the Bengali nationalism, becoming critical of the Government of East Pakistan.[54] In 1950, he begin opposing the conservative agenda of Prime Minister K. Nazimuddin, and forged an alliance with the Communist Party and other left-oriented parties, which was known as the United Front.[55]

After the dismissal of Prime Minister K. Nazimuddin in 1953, Suhrawardy joined the Ministry of Talents as a Minister of Law and Justice under Prime Minister Mohammad Ali Bogra, taking responsibility of drafting the Constitution of Pakistan.[31]:145 He also oversaw the implementation of the unification of the West Pakistan as a counterbalance to the East, in a prospect for providing the better governance.[31]:145

During the legislative elections in held in 1954 in East, Suhrawardy led the United Front against the Muslim League led by Nurul Amin, which saw the landslide victory of the United Front.[2] The Awami League forged a three-party alliance with the Muslim League and the Republican Party to form the coalition government in the National Assembly.[2] During this time, he was appointed as Health Minister in the three-party coalition government led by Prime Minister Muhammad Ali.[56]

During this time, he also acted as Leader of the Opposition, alongside with the I.I. Chudrigar of the Pakistan Muslim League.[2] After Prime Minister Muhammad Ali refused to support the motion to investigation the Muslim League's allegations on Republican Party led by its President Feroze Khan in 1956, Suhrawardy went onto support the vote of no confidence movement by Muslim League against its own Prime Minister.[2] After supporting the successful vote of noconfidence movement at the National Assembly, the Awami League successfully held negotiations with the Muslim League and the Republican Party to appoint Suhrawardy as the new Prime Minister.[11]

Prime Minister of Pakistan (1956–57)

Suhrawardy administration: Internal affairs and constitutional reforms

On 12 September 1956, Chief Justice M. Munir, administrated the oath of Prime Minister Huseyn Suhrawardy in Governor's House in Karachi, then-Federal capital of the country.[57]

Initially promising to review the policy of One Unit status to the nationalists at the National Assembly, Prime Minister Suhrwardy backed out to overturn this scheme.[58] At the National Assembly, Prime Minister Suhrawardy faced politics over two issues pressed by the nationalists: the One Unit and the Electoral College.[59] The issue of One Unit was revived by the nationalists who called for the restoration of the status of the four provinces, beginning to hold massive rallies all around the West.[11][59] Prime Minister Suhrawardy, however, showed less concern over this issue which came at the interests of the East as he had earlier reached the compromise in favor of being appointed as the Prime Minister.[58] Though, the East had not objected the implementation of the One Unit as they were not above the factional battles motivated by personal interests, the West's multi-ethnic diversity background had effectively raised this issue which had won public support and sympathy.[58]

Nonetheless, there were no concrete steps taken by Suhrwardy government to address this issue and it was not until the Yahya administration when it was repealed in 1970.[59] At the National Assembly, the Awami League initiated the constitutional work on reviving the joint electorate system but faced strong pressure and opposition from the Muslim League to implement this issue.[11] The Muslim League had called for the separate electoral system which had subsequent public support over this issue; the East had favored the joint electorate system.[11]

In 1956, Prime Minister Suhrwardy approved to request the three-year extension of army commander General Ayub Khan while approving the appointment of V-Adm. HMS Choudhry as the first native naval commander– both men served to command their services until 1959.[60]

To address the issue of energy conservation in West, Suhrawardy established the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) inviting its chair to Dr.Nazir Ahmad, a physicist.[61] The nuclear power program was intended to be for peaceful usages when he affirmed his obiligations towards the clauses of the Atoms for Peace initiative.[61] When his Science Advisor, Dr. Salimuzzaman Siddiqui, presented the plan to acquire the NRX reactor from Canada, Suhrawardy reportedly vetoed instead releasing funds for the U.S.-based Pool-type reactor from the United States in 1956.[61]

U.S. aid and the economic policy

In 1956, Prime Minister Suhrawardy halted the National Finance Commission (NFC) program to allocate taxed revenue equally between East and West Pakistan. Suhrawardy relied heavily upon U.S. aid to the country to meet food shortages, and asked the U.S. President to ship wheat flour and rice on a regular basis to Pakistan.[62]:375 In East Pakistan, there were reports of another widespread famine, in which, wheat, potatoes, and rice were being sent from the U.S. and West Pakistan's Fauji Foundation to East Pakistan on a regular basis.[62]:374–375

The central government led by Suhrawardy focused on the implementation of the planned economy.[11] His relations with the stock exchange and the business community deteriorated when he announced distribution of the US$10 million ICA aid between West and East, and establishing the shipping corporation at the expense of West Pakistan's revenues.[31]:149 Massive labor strikes broke out in West Pakistan against his economic policy in major cities of Pakistan. Eventually leaders of the stock exchange met with President Mirza to address their concerns and issues.[11]

Foreign policy

HSS and Eisenhower
The 10 July 1957: Prime Minister Suhrawardy meeting with the U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower in Washington D.C. when paying a state visit to the United States.[63]

Prime Minister Suhrwardy directed the foreign policy towards aligning with the United States against the Soviet Union, and was seen as a pro-American political figure in the country.[64][65] Suhrawardy harboured strong anti-Soviet views and advocated for strong pro-Western and pro-American policy at the public circles, putting himself at odds with the policy of his own party, the Awami League.[65]

He is considered to be one the pioneers of Pakistan's foreign policy aimed, directed, and set towards excessively supporting the United States and their cause, a policy that was pursued by the successive administrations.[65] On July 10, 1957, Prime Minister Suhrawardy paid a state visit to the United States where he met with President Dwight Eisenhower and accepted his request to lease out an air force base to the United States Air Force that would be in use for the signals intelligence purposes against the Soviet Union. The incident in 1960 severely compromised the national security of Pakistan when Soviet Union eventually discovered the base through interrogating its pilot. In return, the United States distributed ~US$ 2.142 billion in shape of giving the supersonic F-104 Starfighter and M48 Patton tanks and dispatching the assistance group to the Pakistan's military.[66]

After his visit to the United States, Prime Minister Suhrawardy was invited by the Soviet Union for a state visit but Suhrawardy complained of Soviet Union's attitude towards supporting India over the issue of Kashmir.[67]:170; 196 He snubbed the Soviet Union's invitation by maintaining discreet silence.[67]:197

Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy and Zhou Enlai signing the Treaty of Friendship Between China and Pakistan in Beijing
1956 in China: Prime Minister Suhrawardy signed the alliance pact with Chinese premier Chou-en Lai in Beijing.[68] Today, Pakistan hosts China's largest embassy.[69]

In 1956, Prime Minister Suhrawardy became the Pakistan's first Prime Minister to paid a state visit to China when he went to meet with Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai in Beijing, taking with him the entire diplomatic mission including the Pakistan Ambassador to China, Dr. Ahmed Ali, who had established the Pakistan embassy in Beijing and formed Pak-China friendship and strengthened the official diplomatic friendship between Pakistan and China. In 1957, he well received the Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai in Karachi when he reciprocated the visit in Karachi.[68]

In 1956–57, Prime Minister Suhrawardy accused India of supporting insurgency in different parts of the country, and leveled accusations against his counterpart, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru of undoing the partition of India.[70]

Decline and resignation

His economic policy and distribution of taxation revenues between West and East invited massive labour strikes as well as opposition from the stock exchange community and the private sector in 1956.[71] Furthermore, his policy inclination towards the United States brought great ire and opposition from within the Awami League, which had been favoring the cleric Maulana Bhasani, who had been suspicious of American motives. Suhrawardy had strongly advocated for Pakistan's membership in the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization, which was aimed towards containing communism; he was in direct conflict with Bhasani on this issue.[72]

To the dismay of his party, Suhrawardy became closer to President Iskander Mirza on many issues.[68] There were massive protests carried out in the East against Prime Minister Suhrawardy by the Awami League when the United States dispatched a Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) to the Pakistani military.[73] Eventually, Bhashani and Yar Mohammad challenged him for the party's presidency, as both men had managed to consolidate the Awami League, but they failed to carry the party mass with them.[65]

Intending to break President Mirza's control over Parliament, Suhrawardy asked President Mirza to call a session of the National Assembly and seek a Vote of Confidence from the Parliament, where Prime Minister Suhrawardy's allies had the majority.[74]

His alignment with the United States at the expense of the Soviet Union caused Prime Minister Suhrawardy to eventually lose control over the presidency of the party to the junior leadership under Abdur Rashid Tarkabagish.[75][76] Threatened with President Mirza's retaliation after the failed parliamentary resolution and facing to have lost the majority in the National Assembly, Prime Minister Suhrawardy faced the similar circumstances as his predecessor and surprisingly tendered his resignation on 17 October 1957.[76][77]

In 1960, he retired from politics, departing for Beirut.[2]

Public and personal life

In 1920, Suhrawardy was arranged to marry, Fatima (d. 1922), the daughter of Justice Sir Abdur Rahim who was also a politician. The marriage produced two children, Ahmed Shahab Suhrawardy and Jahan Suhrawardy— Ahmed died of pneumonia while studying in London whilst his daughter, Jahan was arranged to marry Shah Ahmed Sulaiman, son of Justice Sir Shah Sulaiman.

After his passing in 1963, the Suhrawardy family remained active in national politics, and his granddaughter Shahida Jamil subsequently is a politician with the PML(N) and briefly served as the Law Minister in 1999 and 2007.

In 1940, Suhrawardy married Vera Alexandrovna Tiscenko, a Russian theatre actress and dancer whom he knew through his older brother's work in Russia.[78] Vera converted to Islam by taking the name of Begum Noor Jehan, and took Pakistani citizenship in 1947.[79] She was a Russian actress of Polish descent from the Moscow Art Theatre and protege of Olga Knipper.[80][81] Suhrawardy and Vera Tiscenko filed for a divorce in Sindh High Court, which was said to be bitter when the Sindh High Court ordered for distribution of Surawardy's wealth with Vera; the divorce was finalized in 1951.[78]

Following the divorce, Vera moved to the United States with their only son, Rashid Suhrawardy, (known as Robert Ashby), who is a British actor living in London and briefly portrayed Jawaharlal Nehru in film Jinnah in 1998.


Tomb Of Three Leader 3.A.M.R
Suhrawardy is buried with other Bengali leaders at a mausoleum in Shahbag, Dhaka.

He had been a chronic heart patient and died in Lebanon in 1963 due to a cardiac arrest.[82] His death was officially due to complications from heart problems, though some have alleged he was poisoned, gassed or subjected to blunt-trauma in his bedroom, although there is no proof of this.


See also


  1. ^ Redclift, Victoria (2013). Statelessness and Citizenship: Camps and the Creation of Political Space. Cambridge, UK: Routledge. p. 183. ISBN 978-1-136-22032-6.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy–Former Prime Minister of Pakistan". Story of Pakistan. Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan: Nazaria-i-Pakistan Trust. 22 October 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  3. ^ Chatterji, Joya (1994). Bengal Divided: Hindu Communalism and Partition, 1932–1947. Cambridge University Press. p. 239. ISBN 978-0-521-41128-8. Hindu culpability was never acknowledged. The Hindu press laid the blame for the violence upon the Suhrawardy Government and the Muslim League.
  4. ^ Jalal, Ayesha (1994). The Sole Spokesman: Jinnah, the Muslim League and the Demand for Pakistan. Cambridge University Press. pp. 265–266. ISBN 978-0-521-45850-4.
  5. ^ Ahmed, Akbar (2005) [First published 1997]. Jinnah, Pakistan and Islamic Identity: The Search for Saladin. Routledge. p. 235. ISBN 978-1-134-75022-1. At one point, late in the 1940s, he was even prepared to concede an independent Bengal as long as the Muslims of that area had freedom and got Calcutta.
  6. ^ Kulke, Hermann; Rothermund, Dietmar (1998). A History of India. Psychology Press. pp. 290–291. ISBN 978-0-415-15482-6.
  7. ^ Low, D. A. (1991). Political Inheritance of Pakistan. Springer. p. 140. ISBN 978-1-349-11556-3.
  8. ^ a b Harun-or-Rashid (2012). "Suhrawardy, Huseyn Shaheed". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
  9. ^ Ahsan, Syed Badrul (5 December 2012). "Suhrawardy's place in history". The Daily Star. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  10. ^ a b c d "H. S. Suhrawardy Becomes Prime Minister". Story of Pakistan. 1 July 2013. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g "The H.S. Suhrawardy government". Story of Pakistan. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  12. ^ Talukdar, Mohammad Habibur Rahman, ed. (2009) [First published 1987]. Memoirs of Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy with a Brief Account of His Life and Work (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 63. ISBN 978-0-19-547722-1. [Mirza] presented him with a letter from the Republicans, withdrawing their confidence ... and asked Suhrawardy to resign by 10:30 a.m. failing which he would dismiss him. Suhrawardy resigned ... to avoid the ignominy of dismissal.
  13. ^ a b c d Chatterji, Joya (2002). Bengal Divided: Hindu Communalism and Partition, 1932–1947. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-52328-8. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  14. ^ a b c Ikram, S. M. (1995). Indian Muslims and Partition of India. Lahore, Pun. Pak.: Atlantic Publishers & Dist. p. 320. ISBN 9788171563746. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
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  44. ^ "Direct Action". Time. 26 August 1946. p. 34. Retrieved 10 April 2008. (Subscription required (help)). Moslem League Boss Mohamed Ali Jinnah had picked the 18th day of Ramadan for "Direct Action Day" against Britain's plan for Indian independence (which does not satisfy the Moslems' old demand for a separate Pakistan).
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Further reading

  • Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy: A Biography by Begum Shaista Ikramullah (Oxford University Press, 1991)
  • Freedom at Midnight by Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins
  • Gandhi's Passion by Stanley Wolpert (Oxford University Press)
  • The Last Guardian: Memoirs of Hatch-Barnwell, ICS of Bengal by Stephen Hatch-Barnwell (University Press Limited, 2012)

External links

Political offices
New office Chief Minister of East Bengal
Succeeded by
Khawaja Nazimuddin
Preceded by
Chaudhry Muhammad Ali
Prime Minister of Pakistan
Succeeded by
Ibrahim Ismail Chundrigar
Minister of Defence
Succeeded by
Mian Mumtaz Daultana
1956 in Pakistan

Events from the year 1956 in Pakistan.

1957 in Pakistan

Events from the year 1957 in Pakistan.

Abdul Sattar Khan Niazi

Abdul Sattar Khan Niazi (October 1, 1915 – May 2, 2001) was a religious and political leader of Pakistan. He was born at Isakhel in district Mianwali. After initial education, he opted for religious education in Lahore. He obtained his master's degree from Islamia College, Lahore, and was later appointed the Dean of Islamic Studies at the same college. He remained at that position until 1947, after which he joined active politics.

Abdus Sattar Khan Niazi was an active participant in the political struggle for the creation of Pakistan. He was elected the President of Punjab Muslim Students Federation in 1938. He then took the position of the President of the Provincial (Punjab) Muslim League until the creation of Pakistan in 1947. Abdus Sattar Khan Niazi was elected as Secretary General of the All-Pakistan Awami Muslim League in 1950 under the Presidency of Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy. He was briefly arrested along with Abul Ala Maududi by the Pakistan Army for purportedly inciting the Lahore riots of 1953 against the Ahmadiyya. He worked as the Secretary General of the Central Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan, a Sunni Barelvi political party from 1973 to 1989 and was elected as the President of the Central Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan in 1989. He was elected member of the National Assembly of Pakistan twice, in 1988 and 1990. He was elected to the Senate of Pakistan in 1994 for a six years term.

Abdus Sattar Khan Niazi never married and devoted his life to his political and religious career.

All Pakistan Awami Muslim League

All Pakistan Awami Muslim League (Urdu: آل پاکستان عوامی مسلم لیگ‎) is a Pakistani political party founded by Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy in February 1950. Pir of Manki Sharif and Khan Ghulam Mohammad Khan from the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) joined it soon afterwards.Around the same time, Iftikhar Mamdot, who was dismissed from the premiership of Punjab, formed a party called Jinnah Muslim League. The two parties merged to form Jinnah Awami Muslim League prior to the provincial elections in 1951.In the Punjab provincial election in 1951, the Jinnah Awami Muslim League polled 18.3 percent votes and won 32 seats. In the NWFP, it won 4 seats.In East Pakistan, East Pakistan Awami Muslim League was founded by Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani in June 1949. It was established as the Bengali alternative to the domination of the Muslim League in Pakistan and over centralisation of the government. The party quickly gained massive popular support in East Bengal. In the 1954 provincial election in Bengal, the party won 143 seats. The United Front led by the party won a total of 223 seats, soundly defeating the Muslim League with 10 seats.Subsequently, the two parties merged in 1959 and used the name All Pakistan Awami Muslim League (Awami Muslim League). The party later evolved into the Awami League, the party that, under the leadership of Shaikh Mujibur Rahman (himself a former aide to Suharwardy), eventually led the forces of Bengali nationalism in the struggle against West Pakistan's military and political establishment.The All Pakistan Awami Muslim League was formed as a breakaway faction of the "All Pakistan Muslim League" in 1949, within two years of the formation of Pakistan. The word Muslim was dropped in 1953.

Arun Bali

Arun Bali (Punjabi: ਅਰੁਣ ਬਾਲੀ, Hindi: अरुन बाली) is an Indian actor who has worked in numerous films and television series. He played the part of King Porus in the 1991 period drama Chanakya, Kunwar Singh in the Doordarshan soap opera Swabhimaan and the Chief Minister of undivided Bengal, Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, in the controversial and critically acclaimed 2000 film Hey Ram. In the 2000s, he became known for his "grandfatherly" roles like that of Harshwardhan Wadhwa in Kumkum and has even garnered popular awards for the same. He is also a National Award-winning producer. He hails from a Punjabi Muhiyal (Brahmin) Family.

In 2001, the prominent writer, actor and director Lekh Tandon counted Bali amongst one of his favorite actors.

Awami League

The Bangladesh Awami League (Bengali: বাংলাদেশ আওয়ামী লীগ; translated from Urdu: Bangladesh People's League), often simply called the Awami League or AL, is one of the two major political parties of Bangladesh.

The All Pakistan Awami Muslim League was founded in Dhaka, the capital of the Pakistani province of East Bengal, in 1949 by Bengali nationalists Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani, Shawkat Ali, Yar Mohammad Khan, Shamsul Huq, and joined later Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy who went on to become Prime Minister of Pakistan. The Pakistan Awami Muslim League was established as the Bengali alternative to the domination of the Muslim League in Pakistan and over centralisation of the government. The party quickly gained massive popular support in East Bengal, later named East Pakistan, and eventually led the forces of Bengali nationalism in the struggle against West Pakistan's military and political establishment.

The party under the leadership of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founding father of Bangladesh, led the struggle for independence, first through massive populist and civil disobedience movements, such as the Six Point Movement and 1971 Non-Cooperation Movement, and then during the Bangladesh Liberation War.

After the emergence of independent Bangladesh, the Awami League won the first general elections in 1973 but was overthrown in 1975 after the assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The party was forced by subsequent military regimes onto the political sidelines and many of its senior leaders and activists were executed and jailed. After the restoration of democracy in 1990, the Awami League emerged as one of the principal players of Bangladeshi politics.

Amongst the leaders of the Awami League, five have become the President of Bangladesh, four have become the Prime Minister of Bangladesh and one became the Prime Minister of Pakistan. The incumbent Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, has headed the party since 1981.

Begum Akhtar Sulaiman

Begum Akhtar Sulaiman (née Akhtar Jahan Suhrawardy) (1922–1982) was a Pakistani social worker, political activist and the daughter of Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, the fifth Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Bengal Provincial Muslim League

The Bengal Provincial Muslim League (BPML) was the branch of the All India Muslim League in the British Indian province of Bengal. It was established in Dacca on 2 March 1912. Its official language was Bengali. The party played an important role in the Bengal Legislative Council and in the Bengal Legislative Assembly, where two of the Prime Ministers of Bengal were from the party. It was vital to the creation of the Dominion of Pakistan, particularly after its election victory in 1946.

In 1929, a faction of the party broke away as the Praja Party. Members of the BPML later became prominent statesmen of Pakistan and Bangladesh, including holding offices such as the Prime Minister of Pakistan (Sir Khawaja Nazimuddin, Mohammad Ali of Bogra, Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy and Nurul Amin), Governor General of Pakistan (Sir Khawaja Nazimuddin), Chief Minister of East Bengal (Sir Khawaja Nazimuddin, Nurul Amin, A. K. Fazlul Huq and Ataur Rahman Khan), President of Bangladesh (Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Mohammad Mohammadullah and Khondaker Mostaq Ahmad), Vice President of Bangladesh (Syed Nazrul Islam) and Prime Minister of Bangladesh (Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Tajuddin Ahmad, Muhammad Mansur Ali and Ataur Rahman Khan).

Mausoleum of three leaders

The Mausoleum of three leaders (Bengali: তিন নেতার মাজার), located at Shahbag, Dhaka in Bangladesh, contains the graves of three pre-liberation politicians from Bengal in the 20th century: A.K. Fazlul Huq (1873–1962), Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy (1892–1963) and Khwaja Nazimuddin (1894–1964). All three men served as the Prime Minister of Bengal in British India.

The monument was designed by architect Masood Ahmed and S.A. Zahiruddin and was established in 1963. The style of architecture of the monuments is an interpretation of Islamic Arcs.

Naz Ikramullah

Naz Ikramullah Ashraf (née Naz Ikramullah) is a British-Canadian artist and film producer of Pakistani origin.

Nuclear medicine in Pakistan

The history of pursuing nuclear medicine goes back to 1956, when the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) was established under the executive order of the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy. The PAEC, the scientific body who is responsible for establishing the nuclear power plants in the country, has sat up a Nuclear Medicines laboratory. The PAEC also sat up the nuclear medicines lab and facilities throughout the country to fight against Cancer. Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission had provided the facilities of diagnosis and treatment of cancer and allied diseases to the patients from all over the country employing Nuclear Techniques at its Medical Centres. PAEC also sponsored the research program in the field of radiochemistry and biochemistry. PAEC also sat up the research institutes all over the country, some of them are below:

Atomic Energy Medical Centre (AEMC)


Multan Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Radiotherapy (MINAR)

Institute of Nuclear Medicine & Oncology (INMOL)

Punjab Institute of Nuclear Medicines (PINUM)

Institute of Radiotherapy & Nuclear Medicine (IRNUM)

Centre for Nuclear Medicines (CENUM)

Nuclear Institute of Medicine & Radiotherapy (NIMRA)

Centre for Nuclear Medicine & Radiotherapy (CENAR)

Bahawalpur Institute for Nuclear Oncology (BINO)

Larkana Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Radiotherapy (LINAR)

Nuclear Medicine Oncology & Radiotherapy Institute (NORI)

Institute Of Nuclear Medicine Oncology & Radiotherapy (INOR)

Institute of Nuclear Medicine, Oncology and Radiotherapy

Pakistan–Philippines relations

Pakistan–Philippines relations refers to bilateral relations between Pakistan and the Philippines.


Suhrawardi or al-Suhrawardi (Persian: سهروردی‎) is a name that may refer to:

Shahab al-Din Suhrawardi (1155–1191), Iranian philosopher also known as Sohrevardi

The Suhrawardiyya order of Sufism

Abu al-Najib al-Suhrawardi (1097–1168), Iranian Sufi, founder of the Suhrawardiyya order

Shahab al-Din Abu Hafs Umar Suhrawardi (1144–1234), Persian Sufi, nephew of Abu al-Najib al-Suhrawardi

Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy (1892–1963), South Asian politician from East Bengal, Chief Minister of undivided Bengal and prime minister of Pakistan


Suhrawardy redirects here. For the Bengali politician and Prime Minister of Pakistan, see Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy. The well-known Shahab al-Din Yahya ibn Habash Suhrawardi "the Executed" (1153 - 1191CE), the founder of Illuminationism, is unconnected and unrelated.

The Suhrawardiyya (Arabic: سهروردية‎) is a Sufi order founded by the Sufi Diya al-din Abu 'n-Najib as-Suhrawardi (1097 – 1168 CE). It is a strictly Sunni order, guided by the Shafi`i school of Islamic law (madhhab), and, like many such orders, traces its spiritual genealogy (silsila) to Ali ibn Abi Talib through Junayd Baghdadi and al-Ghazali. It played an important role in the formation of a conservative ‘new piety’ and in the regulation of urban vocational and other groups, such as trades-guilds and youth clubs (see Futuwwa), particularly in Baghdad.

Suhrawardy Udyan

Suhrawardy Udyan (Bengali: সোহরাওয়ার্দী উদ্যান) formerly known as Ramna Race Course ground is a national memorial located in Dhaka, Bangladesh. It is named after Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy. Originally it served as the military club of the British soldiers stationed in Dhaka. It was then called the Ramna Race Course and later Ramna Gymkhana. After the end of colonial rule, the place – sometimes referred to as Dhaka Race Course – was used for legal horse racing on Sundays.

It is the resting place of three great national leaders, Sher-i-Bangla A.K. Fazlul Huq (1873–1962), Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy (1892–1963) and Khwaja Nazimuddin (1894–1964). Ramna Race Course was renamed after Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy. A Mughal structure namely the Dhaka Gate was built adjacent to the park area of Suhrawardy Udyan. The gate was built by Mir Jumla II in 1660s.

The Museum of Independence, Dhaka is situated within the park area. The museum depicts the history of the nation since Mughal tenure to independence in 1971.The museum was opened to public on 25 March 2015,the 45th Independence Day of Bangladesh.

United Bengal

United Bengal is a political ideology for a unified Bengali-speaking nation in South Asia. The ideology developed among Bengali nationalists after the first partition of Bengal in 1905. The British-ruled Bengal Presidency was divided into Western Bengal and Eastern Bengal and Assam to weaken the independence movement; after much protest Bengal was reunited in 1911.

The United Bengal proposal was the bid made by the Bengali Prime Minister Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy and nationalist leader Sarat Chandra Bose to found a united and independent nation-state of Bengal. The proposal was floated as an secular alternative to the partition of Bengal on communal lines. The initiative failed owing to British diplomacy and communal conflict between Muslims and Hindus that eventually led to the second partition of Bengal.

United Front (East Pakistan)

The United Front was a coalition of political parties in East Bengal which contested and won Pakistan's first provincial general election to the East Bengal Legislative Assembly. The coalition consisted of the Awami Muslim League, the Krishak Praja Party, the Ganatantri Dal (Democratic Party) and Nizam-e-Islam. The coalition was led by three major Bengali populist leaders- A K Fazlul Huq, Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy and Maulana Bhashani. The election resulted in a crushing defeat for the Muslim League. Veteran student leader of East Pakistan Khaleque Nawaz Khan defeated sitting Prime Minister of East Pakistan Mr. Nurul Amin in Nandail Constituency of Mymensingh district and created history in political arena. Nurul Amin's crushing defeat to a 27 years old young Turk of Jukto Front effectively eliminated the Muslim League from political landscape of the then East Pakistan. United Front parties securing a landslide victory and gaining 223 seats in the 309-member assembly. The Awami League emerged as the majority party, with 143 seats.A K Fazlul Huq of the Krishak Praja Party became Chief Minister of East Pakistan upon the victory of the United Front. The election propelled popular Bengali leaders into the Pakistani federal government, with leaders such as Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy and Abul Mansur Ahmed becoming key federal ministers. In the provincial government, young leaders such as Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Yusuf Ali Chowdhury and Khaleque Nawaz Khan rose to prominence.

The United Front demanded greater provincial autonomy for East Pakistan. It passed a landmark order for the establishment of the Bangla Academy in Dhaka. However, within months of assuming power, the newly elected government was dismissed by Governor-General Ghulam Muhammad, upon of accusations against A K Fazlul Huq of attempting secession. The dismissal of the United Front was a key turning point in aggravating East Pakistan's grievances in the Pakistani union, and lead Maulana Bhashani to openly call for separation and independence in 1957, in his Salaam, Pakistan (Farewell, Pakistan) speech.

Vera Alexandrovna Tiscenko Calder

Vera Alexandrovna Tiscenko (28 August 1902 – 13 October 1983) was a Russian actress of Polish descent and member of the Moscow Art Theatre who lived through four revolutions: the 1905 Russian Revolution, the Russian Revolution (1917), the Spanish Civil War, the Direct Action Day & Indian Independence Movement, and the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947 (also known as the First Kashmir War). In India, her divorce from her first husband, Eugene Tiscenko, has achieved the status of a constitutional precedent that has been deployed repeatedly by the Supreme Court of India. She was the second wife of Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy who was the last Chief Minister of United Bengal (April 1946- August 1947) and subsequently became the fifth Prime Minister of Pakistan (1956–1957).

Zahid Suhrawardy

Sir Zahid Suhrawardy (27 November 1870 – 2 January 1949), also known as Zahidur Rahman, was an Indian Bengali jurist who served a judge in the Calcutta High Court between 1921 and 1931. He was the father of Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, a former Prime Minister of Pakistan, and linguist Hasan Shaheed Suhrawardy.

In Memory
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