Liaquat Ali Khan

Other names: 

Nawabzada Muhammad Liaquat Ali Khan

Liaqat Ali Khan


St Catherine's College Oxford, OX1 3UJ
United Kingdom
51° 45' 20.7288" N, 1° 14' 39.0624" W
Exeter College Oxford, OX1 3DP
United Kingdom
51° 45' 13.5612" N, 1° 15' 22.626" W
Date of birth: 
01 Oct 1895
City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Date of death: 
16 Oct 1951
Location of death: 
Rawalpindi, Pakistan
Date of 1st arrival in Britain: 
01 Sep 1919
Precise 1st arrival date unknown: 
Dates of time spent in Britain: 

1919-22, 1933


Muhammad Liaquat Ali Khan was born on 1 October 1895 to father Nawab Rustam Ali Khan and mother Mahmuda Begum of Rajour in Karnal, Punjab. In 1910, he enrolled in the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College at Aligarh, then went on to college, from which he graduated in 1918. Shortly thereafter he returned to Karnal to marry his cousin Jehangira Begum, with whom he had a son, Wilayat, in 1919. Later in September 1919, he sailed for England where he enrolled at St. Catherine's College, Oxford, in January 1920. 

It was in Oxford he started taking an interest in politics, and he participated in the Oxford Union and debated with the Oxford Majlis, of which he was elected treasurer. It was also in Oxford that he came into contact with other people who were to play a role in Indian politics: Shoaib Qureshi, M. C. Chagla and Abdur Rehman Siddiqui, and the future historian brothers, Muhammad Habib and Muhammad Mujib. Other acquaintances included P. N. Sapru, the son of Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru, and K. P. S. Menon. He moved to Exeter College, Oxford, from where he attained a BA degree in Jurisprudence in June 1921, before he went to London to the Inner Temple and was called to the Bar in January 1922. He then toured several countries on the European continent before returning to India in late 1922.

Liaquat joined the All-India Muslim League in 1923. He was elected for the Legislative Council in 1926 and had a successful career in the next decade. In 1931, Liaquat became the Deputy President of the Legislative Council and gained more power. In 1933 in London, he testified before the Joint Statutory Commission which had come out of the Round Table Conferences. Liaquat had already met Mohammed Ali Jinnah in 1924 but they were to become close friends and political allies in the 1930s. Jinnah had spoken at the Round Table Conference in London and settled there afterwards. When Liaquat visited in 1933, he urged Jinnah to return to India and lead the Muslims there. Jinnah returned in 1935 and asked Liaquat to become the General-Secretary of the Muslim League in April 1936. In 1941 Liaquat was elected to the Legislative Assembly of India. In 1946, Jinnah nominated Liaquat to be the first Indian Finance Member and after independence in 1947, Jinnah appointed Liaquat the first Prime Minister of Pakistan.

On 16 October 1951, Liaquat was scheduled to address the public in the city of Rawalpindi. He said one sentence before he was shot in the chest by Said Akbar. His last words are said to have been: 'May God protect Pakistan'.


N. B. Bonarjee (at Oxford), M. C. Chagla, Muhammad Habib, Muhammad Ismail, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, Sardar Amir Azam Khan, K. P. S. Menon, Muhammad Mujib, Shoaib Qureshi, P. N. Sapru, Abdur Rehman Siddiqui, Lord Wavell.

Published works: 

United Provinces Legislative Council Proceedings, 37 (1928)

Pakistan: The Heart of Asia ([S. I.]: Harvard University Press, 1950)

(with M. Rafique Afzal) Speeches and Statements of Quaid-i-Millat Liaquat Ali Khan (1941-51)  (Lahore: Lahore Research Society of Pakistan, 1967)

Secondary works: 

Ahmad, Ziauddin (ed.), Quaid-i-Millat Liaquat Ali Khan: Leader and Statesman (Karachi: the Oriental Academy, 1970) 

Ahmad, Ziauddin, Shaheed-e-Millat Liaquat Ali Khan: Builder of Pakistan (Karachi: Royal Book Company, 1990)

Akhtar, Jamna Das, Political Conspiracies in Pakistan: Liaquat Ali's Murder to Ayub Khan's Exit (Delhi: Punjabi Pustak Bhandar, 1969)

Allana, G., 'Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan', in Our Freedom Fighters, 1562-1947: Twenty-One Great Lives (Karachi: Paradise Subscription Agency, 1969), pp. 281-94.

Amin, Shahid M., Pakistan's Foreign Policy: A Reappraisal (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000)

Chattopadhyay, Raghabendra, Indian National Congress and the Indian Bourgeoisie: Liaquat Ali Khan's Budget of 1947-48 (Calcutta: Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, 1986) 

Fazeel, Ali Ahmed, 'With Pakistan's First Prime Minister', Sun, Karachi, 16 October 1975

Jinnah, Mahomed Ali, Gandhi, Mahatma, and Rajagopalachari, C., Jinnah-Gandhi Talks, September, 1944: Text of Correspondence and Other Relevant Documents, foreword by Liaquat Ali Khan (Delhi: Central Office, All India Muslim League, 1944)

Kazmi, Muhammad Raza, Liaquat Ali Khan: His Life and Work (Karachi: Pakistan Study Centre, University of Karachi, 1997)

Khan, Liaquat Ali, Long, Roger D., and Wolpert, Stanley, 'Dear Mr Jinnah': Selected Correspondence and Speeches of Liaquat Ali Khan, 1937-1947 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004)

Kha, Sardar Amir Azam, 'Quaid-i-Millat', Pakistan Standard, Karachi, 16 October 1955 

Liaquat Ali Khan, Ra'ana, and Douglas, F. D., Challenge and Change: Speeches (Karachi: All Pakistan Women's Association, 1979)

Masroor, Mehr Nigar, Ra'ana Liaquat Ali Khan: A Biography (Karachi: All Pakistan Woman's Association, 1980)

Miles, Kay, Liaquat: The Man of Destiny (Karachi: All Pakistan Women's Association, c. 1953)

Omar, Kaleem, 'The American Press on Liaquat', The News, 22 October 2000

Pakistan, Pakistan Today: A Souvenir of the Visit to the United States of America of the Honourable Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan, and Begum Liaquat Ali Khan, May, 1950 (Washington, D.C., 1950) .

Shushtari, Zayn Al-Abidin, Fath-ul-Mujahideen: A Treatise on the Rules and Regulations of Tipu Sultan's Army and His Principles of Strategy, with a foreword by Liaquat Ali Khan (Karachi: Urdu Academy Sind, 1950)


Menon, K. P. S., 'Days at Oxford', in Ziauddin Ahmad (ed.) Quaid-i-Millat Liaquat Ali Khan: Leader and Statesman (Karachi: the Oriental Academy, 1970), pp. 102-4 at p. 104.


K. P. S. Menon recounts his memories of Liaquat Ali Khan as a student at Oxford in the 1920s.


He was a man who seemed to have reserves of strength, who was content to bide his time. He would not play to the gallery, whether at the Oxford Union or the Indian Majlis. He did attend both regularly and took part in the debates occasionally, but he did not pose as a super-patriot or indulge in violent and meaningless talk. In his own quiet way he took part in the multifarious activites of the University; he enjoyed punting and was an accomplished tennis player. Above all, he was a good host, and I retain pleasant memories of his parties, where good conversation flowed as gently and freely as good wine.

Archive source: 

National Archives of Pakistan, Islamabad

National Archives of India, Delhi

India Office Files, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras