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Iskander Mirza-Political Career-Governor General and President of  Pakistan

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Governor General Iskander Mirza

Governor General Iskander Mirza

Governor General Iskander Mirza was born in Murshidabad, British India, on December 14, 1898. He was born into a noble Bengali family and was the great-grandson of Mir Jafar, the last Nawab of Bengal. 

Early Education 

He received his early education from Elphinstone College in Bombay. In 1918, he enrolled at Sandhurst Academy in England to receive military training. He was commissioned in the British Indian Army in 1920. In 1931, he was a deputy commissioner in the Northwest Frontier Province and a district officer in Tribal Areas. He was also a Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Defence. He was India’s most senior Muslim Civil Servant before the  division of India. 

Political Career

Iskander Mirza controlled the political scene of Pakistan by whatever means necessary. In his capacity as head of state, he was always involved in power politics and played the role of an intermediary. From 1948 to 1952, he served as first defence Secretary  of Pakistan. 

Iskander Mirza as Governor of East Pakistan

last Governor general of pakistan

Iskander Mirza as Governor of East Pakistan

In 1954 Governor-General Ghulam Muhammad  imposed the Governor rule in Bengal to control the law and order situation  and appointed Iskandar Mirza as governor of East Pakistan (Bengal). After taking over the province, he made it clear that he would use his powers and forces to make peace in Bengal.

Iskander Mirza dismissed the government of United front ( it was a party of East Pakistan which was led by A.K Fazlul Haq). His first act as governor was to arrest 319 people in the first week, including Mujib al Rahman. In 1955 he was appointed as Interior Minister by Muhammad Ali Bogra

Iskander Mirza as Governor General of  Pakistan

He became Fourth and last Governor-General of Pakistan on 7-August 1955 after Ghulam Muhammad.  became sick. His relation with Muhammad Ali Bogra started to decline and at end he dismissed the prime Minister Muhammad Ali Bogra.  After that he appointed Ch. Muhammad Ali as Prime Minister of Pakistan.  After the 1956 Constitution he became the first President of Pakistan.

Iskander Mirza as President Pakistan

first president of Pakistan

Iskandar Mirza as President Pakistan

He remained president of Pakistan from 23-March 1956-27-October 1958. He took advantage of the politicians’ weaknesses and pitted them against one another. He founded the Republican Party along with Ch. Muhammad Ali and Dr. Khan Sahib to counter the influence of the Muslim League. As a result of his tenure as head of state, four Prime Ministers were  replaced. This political instability damaged the country very badly. 

When Muslim league approved the no-confidence movement in  Assembly against prime Minister Ch. Muhammad Ali, he made collation with Awami League and made Husyen Suhrawardy as Prime Minister.  

Husyen Suhrawardy  had totally opposite views from Iskander Mirza to govern the country. This thing led to increased conflict between them. At last Husyen Suhrawardy resigned and I.I Chundrigar replaced him. I.I  Chundrigar  remained Prime Minister for only two months. After that Feroz Khan was appointed as Prime Minister. 

 Iskander Mirza Imposed Martial law

Iskander Mirza imposed martial law

Iskander Mirza imposed martial law

In 1958 I.I. Chundrigar  and A.Q khan reorganized the Muslim league and started the demand of reelection. They also started to put pressure on Feroz khan and Iskander Mirza. Iskander Mirza began to fear for his power. Ayub khan and Iskandar Mirza helped each other to impose the First Martial Law in Pakistan.  

So on 7 October 1958 he abrogated the 1956 Constitution and imposed Martial law in all over the country. He appointed General Ayub Khan as Supreme Commander. He dismissed his own party government(Republic party). The government of Feroz khan and also the provisional assemblies dissolved. He announced the formation of a new Constitution for the country. 

Ayub Khan was sharper than Iskander Mirza and refused to play the role of a President’s puppet.

Iskander Mirza VS. Ayub Khan

The two men’s power battle quickly intensified as a result of the power-sharing. The Chief Martial Law Administrator, Ayub Khan, was not happy with him, and he was also a power lover. Iskander Mirza sought the cooperation of Ayub Khan’s enemies in the army and air force to protect himself. However, he was unable to succeed in this endeavor.

On 27-October 1958, Ayub Khan ordered Iskander Mirza to leave the country, declared himself president, and announced martial law. 

Iskander Mirza Death 

With the support of the Military Police, Ayub Khan arrested President Mirza on October 27, 1958. His exile in London continued until his death. Iskander Mirza death happend due to heart attack on November 12, 1969, in London, England.  Iskander Mirza death

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