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Malik Ghulam Mohammad (1895-1956)

Born in Lahore in 1895, Malik Ghulam Mohammad belonged to a middle-class family of Kakazai tribe. Ghulam Mohammad joined the accounts services of India just after completing his graduation from Aligarh University. Primarily, he served in the Railway Board but then, during First World War, he was deputed on the control of general supplies and purchase. In 1945, he was one of the founders of Mohindra & Mohammad Company, which is now renamed as Mahindra & Mahindra, the largest SUV makers in India.

He served as a financial advisor to the Nizam of Hyderabad; he represented the Nawab of Bahawalpur in the first Round Table Conference. Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan, as Finance Minister in the interim Government, got his help in technical finance affairs while preparing the historical “Poor Man’s Budget.” Later on, Ghulam Mohammad himself was inducted as the Finance Minister in the Cabinet of newly created Pakistan in 1947. With vast experience, he helped the country tackle with the financial crises. He persuaded the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Nawab of Bahawalpur, due to his personal affiliation, to give financial support for the first budget of Pakistan. In 1949, one of his initiatives was that Pakistan should organize International Islamic Economic Conference in Karachi, in which Finance Ministers from all Muslim countries participated. Ghulam Mohammad, in his address to the Muslim delegates, launched the idea of the establishment of a Muslim economic block.

After the assassination of Liaquat Ali Khan, Ghulam Mohammad was elected as the third Governor General, by the cabinet, after Khawaja Nazimuddin resigned from the post of Governor General. After taking the charge of office, Ghulam Mohammad started dominating all the affairs of the country in order to curtail the powers of Prime Minister. When Khawaja Nazimuddin, with his cabinet, tried to counter Ghulam Mohammad’s undefined dominating authority, he dismissed the Governor General by using non-mandatory powers under the provisional constitution.

Ghulam Mohammad supported Mohammad Ali Bogra, the Ambassador of Pakistan to United States, to be elected as the next Prime Minister. Later on, he dissolved the legislative assembly of Pakistan, when it tried to denude the Governor General from his discretionary powers with the help of which he had dismissed the previous Prime Minister. His decision was challenged, by the president of legislative assembly, Molvi Tamizuddin, in the Sind High Court, the court abolished the action of Governor General, but the Supreme Court reversed the decision in favor of Governor General. Ghulam Mohammad had to go on two month’s leave due to the attack of paralysis. He nominated General Iskandar Mirza as acting Governor General, but Iskandar Mirza eventually removed Ghulam Mohammad from his authority. Ghulam Mohammad died in 1956.

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