Malik Meraj Khalid (Urdu: ملک معراج خالد; 20 September 1915 – 13 June 2003), was a Pakistani left wing statesman and Marxist philosopher who served as Prime Minister of Pakistan in an acting capacity from November 1996 until February 1997. He was noted as being one of the original philosopher and founding personality of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).
Born in 1916 to a poor farming family in Punjab, British India, he graduated from the and graduated in Law from Punjab university law College Lahore in 1942 to start his legal practices by establishing his own law firm in 1948. Inspired by the communist literature published in Soviet Union, his initial public community work was aimed towards promoting the literacy in his native village. In 1967, he helped founded the PPP and ascended towards holding the highly important public offices. Responsible for administrating and maintaining the control of Punjab Province after the war with India in 1971, Meraj was succeeded law minister in 1974 and the Speaker of the National Assembly in two non-consecutive terms.
However, his tough and rigorous Hard Left ideas led to developing political differences with Benazir Bhutto in the 1990s and was sacked by Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in 1996 after levelling the accusations against Asif Zardari for the murder of Murtaza Bhutto. Disheartened by Benazir's decision, Meraj worked on to rallying the anti-Benazir Bhutto forces contributed to Nawaz Sharif and conservative's landslide 1997 victory in the parliamentary elections, but as prime minister Meraj continued to live his simple life and his Lahore home too remained as accessible as ever. In 2003, Meraj peacefully died in his resident in Lahore, and was buried with full state honour in a local cemetery.
|Malik Meraj Khalid|
|Prime Minister of Pakistan|
5 November 1996 – 17 February 1997
|Preceded by||Benazir Bhutto|
|Succeeded by||Muhammad Nawaz Sharif|
|Speaker of the National Assembly|
3 December 1988 – 4 November 1990
|Deputy||Ashraf Khatoon Abbasi|
|Preceded by||Hamid Nasir Chattha|
|Succeeded by||Gohar Ayub Khan|
27 March 1977 – 5 July 1977
|Preceded by||Sahibzada Farooq Ali|
|Succeeded by||Fakhar Imam|
|Law Minister of Pakistan|
13 November 1973 – 20 March 1977
|Preceded by||Meraj Muhammad Khan|
|Succeeded by||Abdul Hafiz Pirzada|
|Chief Minister of Punjab|
2 May 1972 – 12 November 1973
Ghulam Mustafa Khar|
|Preceded by||Abdul Hamid Khan Dasti|
|Succeeded by||Ghulam Mustafa Khar|
20 September 1915|
Kot Radha Kishan, Punjab, British Raj
(now in Punjab, Pakistan)
13 June 2003 (aged 87)|
Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Territory, Pakistan
|Political party||Pakistan Peoples Party|
|Alma mater||Islamia College|
Malik Meraj Khalid was born in Dera Chahal, a small village near [Burki] Distt. Lahore, to a poor and farming family. His early life saw his family hardship and survival in the feudalism spectrum where his family grew crops for a local feudal lord who paid less than the minimum wage set by the British Indian Empire government. However, Khalid did not abandoned the school, and despite the hardship, Khalid completed his high-school and later went on to work for feudal lord who agreed to finance his education.
He was educated at Islamia College, Lahore and gained LLB in 1944,from Punjab University Law College ,Lahore followed by Associate degree in public works. In 1948 he began to practice law. For the first time he elected to the Provincial Assembly of West Pakistan in 1965. In 1968 he joined the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and was appointed President of Lahore chapter. It was on the PPP ticket that he was successfully re-elected to the National Assembly in 1970.
Malik Meraj Khalid, famous for his gentleness and honesty was a favourite of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the flamboyant Prime Minister of Pakistan during the 1970s. It was he who played a major role in the political career of Meraj Khalid by first appointing him as his Minister for Food and Agriculture and Under-Developed Areas in December 1971. Afterwards he was appointed Chief of the Party's Parliamentary Affairs in November 1972, and Minister of Social Welfare, Local Government and Rural Development in 1975.
After the execution of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in April 1979, he was nominated member of the PPP's Central Committee but he eventually resigned from this position in January 1988. After once more successfully returning to the National Assembly in 1988, he was once again appointed as Speaker of the National Assembly in 1988. However, he lost the subsequent elections in 1990, and remained aloof from politics for sometime. During this period of solitude he kept on serving as the Rector of International Islamic University in Islamabad.
President Farooq Leghari, using the powers granted him by the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan, dismissed the government of Benazir Bhutto in November 1996, accusing it of corruption and politically motivated killings. Malik Meraj Khalid was asked to officiate the interim government before new elections.
Abdul Hamid Khan Dasti
| Chief Minister of Punjab
Ghulam Mustafa Khar
Sahibzada Farooq Ali
| Speaker of National Assembly
Hamid Nasir Chattha
| Speaker of National Assembly
Gohar Ayub Khan
| Prime Minister of Pakistan