Government of India Act 1935

British Commonwealth of Nations (1931)

11 Dec 1931

The British Commonwealth of Nations was the result of the 1926 Balfour Declaration which stipulated that the relationship between Britain and her Dominions was equal in status. This stipulation was formalized officially in Section 4 of the Statute of Westminster in 1931. It stated: 'No Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom passed after the commencement of this Act shall extend, or be deemed to extend, to a Dominion as part of the law of that Dominion, unless it is expressly declared in that Act that that Dominion has requested, and consented to, the enactment thereof.' In section 1, 'Dominions' were specified as: 'the Dominion of Canada, the Commonwealth of Australia, the Dominion of New Zealand, the Union of South Africa, the Irish Free State and Newfoundland'. The main effect of the Statute was the establishment of legislative equality between these dominions and the United Kingdom.

Concerning the status of Great Britain and the Dominions, the Balfour Declaration stipulated: 'They are autonomous communities within the British empire, equal in status, in no way subordinate to one another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs, though united by a common allegiance to the Crown, and freely associated as members of the British Commonwealth of Nations.' The Balfour Declaration was one of the outcomes of the 1926 Imperial Conference in London. Section III concerns the special position of India: 'It will be noted that in the previous paragraphs we have made no mention of India. Our reason for limiting their scope to Great Britain and the Dominions is that the position of India in the Empire is already defined by the Government of India Act, 1919. We would, nevertheless, recall that by Resolution IX of the Imperial War Conference, 1917, due recognition was given to the important position held by India in the British Commonwealth. Where, in this Report, we have had occasion to consider the position of India, we have made particular reference to it.' India was included in the proposed Sub-Conference on Merchant Shipping Legislation. As a result of the Declaration, four basic characteristics of members of the Commonwealth were agreed: these were equality of status, autonomy in internal and external affairs, common allegiance to the Crown and the free association of the member states in the Commonwealth. Many of the recommendations of the Balfour Declaration became law in 1931.

Meanwhile, however, in the period between the Declaration of 1926 and the Statute of Westminster of 1931, British-Indian relations worsened, culminating in the failure of the Round Table Conferences (1930-1932). The Indian National Congress fought for Dominion status for India, the Simon Commission was boycotted and Gandhi launched a major civil disobedience movement. The strained Anglo-Indian relationship in this period left India out of the Statute of Westminster, 1931, and without Dominion status.

The London Declaration of 1949 ended the British Commonwealth of Nations. In order to accommodate constitutional changes in India, the members of the British Commonwealth of Nations declared: 'The Governments of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Pakistan and Ceylon, whose countries are united as members of the British Commonwealth of Nations and owe a common allegiance to the Crown, which is also the symbol of their free association, have considered the impending constitutional changes in India.

'The Government of India have informed the other Governments of the Commonwealth of the intention of the Indian people that under the new constitution which is about to be adopted India shall become a sovereign independent republic. The Government of India have however declared and affirmed India's desire to continue her full membership of the Commonwealth of Nations and her acceptance of The King as the symbol of the free association of its independent member nations and as such the Head of the Commonwealth. [...] Accordingly the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Pakistan and Ceylon hereby declare that they remain united as free and equal members of the Commonwealth of Nations, freely co-operating in pursuit of peace, liberty, and progress.'

Thus, with the London Declaration, the British Commonwealth of Nations officially ended and became the Commonwealth of Nations.

People involved: 

Leopold Amery (Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs), Stanley Baldwin (Prime Minister), Arthur Balfour (Lord President of the Council), Lord Birkenhead (Secretary of State), Stanley Bruce (Prime Minister of Australia), Maharaja of Burdwan (India) Austen Chamberlain (Foreign Secretary), Winston Churchill (Chancellor of the Exchequer), Gordon Coates (Prime Minister of New Zealand), W. T. Cosgrave (President of the Executive Council of the Irish Free State), Desmond FitzGerald (Minister for External Affairs of the Provisional Government of the Irish Free State), Nicolaas Christiaan Havenga (South Africa),  James Berry Munik Hertzog (Prime Minister of South Africa), Mackenzie King (Prime Minister of Canada),   W. S. Monroe (Newfoundland), Kevin O'Higgins (Vice President of the Executive Council of the Irish Free State).

Published works: 

'Declaration by the Commonwealth Prime Ministers, 28 April 1949', Parliamentary Debates, 1948-1949, no. 464, p. 370.

Secondary works: 

Amery, Leopold, My Political Life (London: Hutchinson, 1953) 

Currey, Charles Herbert, A Brief History of the British Commonwealth since Waterloo (Sydney; London: Angus & Robertson, 1954)

de Smith, S. A., 'The London Declaration of the Commonwealth Prime Ministers, April 28, 1949', The Modern Law Review 12 (1949), pp. 351-354

Kendle, John, The British Empire-Commonwealth, 1897-1931 (London: Frederick Warne, 1972)

Kitchen, Martin, The British Empire and Commonwealth: A Short History (Basingstoke: Macmilllan, 1996)

Levine, Philippa, The British Empire: Sunrise to Sunset (Harlow: Longman, 2007)

Lloyd, Trevor Owen, The British Empire, 1558-1995 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996)

McIntyre, William James, A Guide to the Contemporary Commonwealth (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2001)

Moore, Robin James, Making the New Commonwealth (Oxford: Clarendon, 1987)

Stockwell, Sarah, The British Empire: Themes and Perspectives (Oxford: Blackwell, 2008)

Wheare, Kenneth Clinton, The Statute of Westminster and Dominion Status (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1938)

Round Table Conferences, 1930-1932

12 Nov 1930
Event location: 



In response to the inadequacy of the Simon Report, the Labour Government, which had come to power under Ramsay MacDonald in 1929, decided to hold a series of Round Table Conferences in London.

The first Round Table Conference convened from 12 November 1930 to 19 January 1931. Prior to the Conference, M. K. Gandhi had initiated the Civil Disobedience Movement on behalf of the Indian National Congress. Consequently, since many of the Congress' leaders were in jail, Congress did not participate in the first conference, but representatives from all other Indian parties and a number of Princes did. The outcomes of the first Round Table Conference were minimal: India was to develop into a federation, safeguards regarding defence and finance were agreed and other departments were to be transferred. However, little was done to implement these recommendations and civil disobedience continued in India. The British Government realized that the Indian National Congress needed to be part of deciding the future of constitutional government in India.

Lord Irwin, the Viceroy, met with Gandhi to reach a compromise. On 5 March 1931 they agreed the folowing to pave the way for the Congress' participation in the second Round Table Conference: Congress would discontinue the Civil Disobedience Movement, it would participate in the second Round Table Conference, the Government would withdraw all ordinances issued to curb the Congress, the Government would withdraw all prosecutions relating to offenses not involving violence and the Government would release all persons undergoing sentences of imprisonment for their activities in the Civil Disobedience Movement.

The second Round Table Conference was held in London from 7 September 1931 to 1 December 1931 with the participation of Gandhi and the Indian National Congress. Two weeks before the Conference convened, the Labour government had been replaced by the Conservatives. At the conference, Gandhi claimed to represent all people of India. This view, however, was not shared by other delegates. In fact, the division between the many attending groups was one of the reasons why the outcomes of the second Round Table Conference were again no substantial results regarding India's constitutional future. Meanwhile, civil unrest had spread throughout India again, and upon return to India Gandhi was arrested along with other Congress leaders. A separate province of Sind was created and the interests of minorities were safeguarded by MacDonald's Communal Award.

The third Round Table Conference (17 November 1932 - 24 December 1932) was not attended by the Indian National Congress and Gandhi. Many other Indian leaders were also absent. Like the two first conferences, little was achieved. The recommendations were published in a White Paper in March 1933 and debated in Parliament afterwards. A Joint Select Committee was formed to analyse the recommendations and formulate a new Act for India. The Committee produced a draft Bill in February 1935 which was enforced as the Government of India Act of 1935 in July 1935.

Labour Government
People involved: 

 R. Z. Abbasy, C. P. Ramaswami Aiyer, Sir Sultan Ahmed, B. R. Ambedkar, Rai Bahadur Pandit Amar Nath Atal, Rai Bahadur Raja Oudh Narain Bisarya, Pandit Nanak Chand, Rao Bahadur Krishnama Chari, C. Y. Chintamani, Maulvi Fazl-i-Haq, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, A. H. Ghuznavi, K. V. Godbole, Khan Bahadur Hafiz Hidayat Husain, Wajahat Hussain, Nawab Liaqat Hyat-Khan, Sir Akbar Hydari, Mohammad Iqbal, Sir Mirza Ismail, M. R. Jayakar, Sir Cowasji Jehangir, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, N. M. Joshi, Maulana Muhammad Ali Joukar, Nawab Mahdi Yar Jung, Pandit Ramachandra Kak, N. C. Kelkar, Raja of Khallicote, Sir Aga Khan,Sahibzada Mumtaz Ali Khan of Malerkotla, Nawab Hamidullah Khan of Bhopal, Muhammad Zafrulla Khan, Shafaat Ahmed Khan, Mir Maqbul Mahmood, Sir Manubhai N. Mehta, Sir B. N. Mitra, B. S. Moonje, Diwan Bahadur Mudaliyar, Sarojini Naidu, Begum Shah Nawaz, K. C. Neogy, Major Pande, Rao Bahadur Pandit,  K. M. Panikkar, Sir Sukhdeo Prasad, Pandit P. N. Pathak, Rao Bahadur Sir A. P. Patro, Sir Prabhashankar Pattani, G. B. Pillai, B. I. Powar, S. Qureshi,  R. K. Ranadive, K. S. Ranjitsinhji of Nawanagar, Madhava Rao, Sayaji Rao, Raja of Sarila, Tej Bahadur Sapru, Srinivasa Sastri, C. N. Seddon, Muhammad Shafi,  Maharaja Bhupinder Singh, Maharaja Ganga Singh, Maharaja Hari Singh, Sardar Ujjal Singh, Yuvaraj Shri Digvijaya Sinhji of Limbdi, Sir Nripendra Nath Sircar, R. K. Sorabji, Rao Sahib D. A. Surve, Sir Purshotamdas Thakurdas, B. H. Zaidi.

R. A. Butler, Sir Hubert Carr, C. L. Corfield, J. C. C. Davidson, Sir Henry Gidney, Viscount Hailsham, C. G. Herbert, Sir Samuel Hoare, Lord Irwin, Mr. Gavin Jones, Lord Lothian, Ramsay MacDonald (Prime Minister), Lord Peel, Viscount Sankey, Sir Richard Chenevix-Trench, L. F. Rushbrook Williams, J. W. Young, Marquess of Zetland.

Published works: 

Indian Round Table Conference, 12th November, 1930 - 19th January, 1931: Proceedings of Sub-Committees (London: H. M. S. O., 1931)

Indian Round Table Conference, 12th November, 1930 - 19th January, 1931: Proceedings, Presented by the Secretary of State for India to Parliament by Command of His Majesty, January, 1931 (London: H. M. S. O., 1931)

Indian Round Table Conference, 12th November, 1930 - 19th January, 1931, Sub-Committees' Reports, Conference Resolution, and Prime Minister's Statement: Presented by the Secretary of State for India to Parliament by Command of His Majesty, January, 1931 (London: H. M. S. O., 1931)

Indian Round Table Conference, St. James's Palace: Delegates from the Indian States and British India (London, 1931)

Indian Round Table Conference, 12th November, 1930 - 19th January, 1931: The Question of Constituting Sind as a Separate Province (Karachi: Indus Publications, 1979) 

Indian Round Table Conference: 7th September - 1st December 1931: Statement Made by the Prime Minister to the Conference at the Conclusion of Its Second Session on the 1st December 1931 (London: H. M. S. O., 1931)

Indian Round Table Conference, Second Session, 7th September, 1931 - 1st December, 1931: Proceedings of Federal Structire Committee and Minorities Committee (London: H. M. S. O., 1932)

The Round Table Conference: India's Demand for Dominion Status: Speeches by the King, the Premier, the British Party Leaders and the Representatives of the Princes and People of India (Madras: G. A. Natesan & Co., 1931)

Indian Round Table Conference: Second Session, 7th September, 1931 - 1st December, 1931: Proceedings (London: H. M. S. O., 1932)

Indian Round Table Conference: 7th September - 1st December, 1931: Reports of Committees (London: 1932)

Indian Round Table Conference, Third Session, 17th November, 1932 - 24th December, 1932 (London: H. M. S. O., 1933)

Secondary works: 

Arora, K. C., Indian Nationalist Movement in Britain (New Delhi: Inter-India Publications, 1992)

Bridge, Carl, Holding India to the Empire: The British Conservative Party and the 1935 Constitution (New Delhi: Sterling Publishers, 1986) 

Goyal, P. K., Battle of India's Freedom Movement (Delhi: Vista International Publishing House, 2005)

Jinnah, Mohammed Ali, Quaid-i-Azam, Mohammad Ali Jinnah Speeches: Round Table Conference (1930-1932), Muhammad Ali Siddiqui (ed.) (Karachi: Quaid-i-Azam Academy, 1996)

Simon Report

07 Jun 1930
Event location: 

London, Bombay, Karachi, Quetta, Peshawar, Delhi, Lucknow, Patna, Calcutta, Rangoon, Madras, Nagpur


The Indian Statutory Commission, commonly referred to as the Simon Commission after its chairman Sir John Allsebrook Simon, was sent to India in 1928 (February - March and October 1928 - April 1929) to study potential constitutional reform. In 1930, the Commission published its two-volume report, also known as the Simon Report.

The Simon Commission was dispatched to India in 1928 to review the the Government of India Act 1919. The Commission, appointed by Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, did not include any Indian delegates. As a result, the Indian National Congress and a faction of the Muslim League, led by Mohammed Ali Jinnah, decided to boycott the Commission. Upon arrival in Bombay on 3 February 1928, the Commission was met by protests. In London, the London Branch of the Indian National Congress planned a demonstration upon the return of the Commission.

The Simon Report was met with disappointment and condemnation throughout India. The Indian National Congress mistrusted the findings of the Commission and the Congress boycotted the Report. Gandhi subsequently started the Civil Disobedience Movement. Mohammed Ali Jinnah made it clear that the report was unacceptable to Hindus, Muslims and Indian nationalists. The Muslims considered the Report to be reactionary; the executive Board of the All-India Muslim Conference called the Report 'unacceptable'. Prominent members of the Legislative Assembly of India such as Mian Mohammed Shah Nawaz, Gaya Prasad Singh, Dr. Ziauddin and M. R. Jayakar criticized it as well. Even the Viceroy, Lord Irwin, made it clear that the Report stood no chance of public acceptance in India.

In London, the Workers' Welfare League of India and the London Branch of the Indian National Congress organized a demonstration against the Commission. Some 200 demonstrators marched from Trafalgar Square to Victoria Station; many of the demonstrators were removed by the police. Shapurji Saklatvala, who led the demonstration, raised the issue in Parliament but was informed that the Home Secretary, Joynson Hicks, had sanctioned this police operation.

In the wake of the Report, a series of Round Table Conferences were set up from 1930 to 1932. The outcome of the Commission and the Conferences was the Government of India Act 1935. The Act ended the dyarchy and direct elections were introduced for the first time. Sind was separated from Bombay, Orissa was separated from Bihar and Burma was separated from India. Provincial assemblies were to include more elected Indian representatives, who could lead majorities and form governments. However, governors retained discretionary powers regarding summoning of legislatures, giving assent to bills and administering certain special regions.

Sir John Simon
People involved: 

Clement Attlee, Edward Cadogan, George Lane-Fox, Vernon Hartshorn, Donald Howard, Harry Levy-Lawson, Sir John Allsebrook Simon.

Annie Besant, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, M. R. Jayakar, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, Mohammed Shah Nawaz, Jawaharlal Nehru, Motilal Nehru, Lala Rajpat Rai, Shapurji Saklatvala, Mian Gaya Prasad Singh, Dr. Ziauddin.

Published works: 

Documents Concerning the Origin and Purpose of the Indian Statutory Commission: Reprinted from a Statements Prepared for Presentation to Parliament, in Accordance with the Requirements of the 26th Section of the Government of India Act (5 and 6 Geo. V., chapter 61 (Worcester, MA; New York City: Carnegie Endownment for International Peace, Division of Intercourse and Education, 1930)

Indian Statutory Commission - Publications (1930)

Interim Report of the Indian Statutory Commission: Review of Growth of Education in British India (London: H. M. S. O., 1929)

Separation of Burma, Separation from Burma: Views of Burma's Future Through a British Report on the Constitutional Position of India, 1930 (Pekhon: Pekhon University Press, 2003)

Secondary works: 

Acharya, M. K., The Commission Boycott, or, Rights vs. Concessions: A Psychological Study (Madras: Sri Rama Press, 1928)

Ahmad, Waheed, 'Report of the Simon Commission: An Analysis of the Report and the Significance of Its Recommendations in the Constitutional Discussion Leading to the Enactment of the Government of India Act, 1935', Journal of the Research Society of Pakistan, 11 (1974)

Andrews, C. F., India and the Simon Report (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1930)

Arora, K. C., Indian Nationalist Movement in Britain, 1930-1949 (New Delhi: Inter-India Publications, 1992)

Bakshi, S. R., Simon Commission and Indian Nationalism (New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers, 1977)

Banerji, Sir Albion Rajkumar and Menon, V. K. Krishna, The Report and the Conference: Being an Study of the Simon Report (1930)

Besant, Annie Wood, The Simon Report (London: India Bookshop, for the Commonwealth of India League, 1930)

Bose, Subhas Chandra, The Indian Struggle, 1920-1942 (Calcutta: Netaji Research Bureau; Delhi; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997)

Bridge, Carl, Holding India to the Empire: The British Conservative Party and the 1935 Constitution (New Delhi: Sterling Publishers, 1986)

British Indian Association (India), Statement on the Recommendation of the Indian Statutory Commission, by the Landholders of India (Calcutta, 1930)

Brock, R. W., The Simon Report on India: An Abridgement (London: Dent, 1930)

Cadogan, Edward Cecil George, The India We Saw (London: John Murray, 1933)

The Commission [i.e. The Simon Commssion on Indian Statutory Reform] and After. By a Liberal (Bombay: D. B. Tarapolevala, 1928)

(Constitutional Reform) Communal Decisions, Cmd. 4147 (1932)

Daily Mail (1917-35)

Dhawan, Thakur Datta, Memorandum Submitted to the Indian Statutory Commission on Reforms in the North West Frontier, Based on the Resolution Passed at a Special Meeting of the Provincial Hindu Conference at Peshawar, on 27th March 1928 (Peshawar, 1928)

Durkal, Jayendraray Bhagavanlal, Indian Education: Case for Indianization of Education, Religious Instruction, Therapeutic View of Education: Being the Statement (Part II) Submitted to the Education Committee, The Indian Statutory Commission (Jurat: J. B. Durkal, 1928)

Edwardes, Michael, The Last Years of British India (London: Cassell, 1963)

Gangulee, Nagendranath, Notes on Indian Constitutional Reform, Incorporating Memorandum Submitted to the Indian Statutory Commission (Calcutta, 1930)

Gopal, Sarvepalli, The Viceroyalty of Lord Irwin, 1926-1931 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1957)

Government of India Acts, 1919 and 1935 

Husain, Azim, Fazl-i-Husain: A Political Biography (Bombay: Longmans, 1946)

India: The Commission and the Conference: A Reprint of Leading Articles from The Times on the Indian Question from the Return of the Statutory Commission from India to the Conclusion of the Round-Table Conference in London (London, 1931)

Indian Legislative Assembly Debates, 1921-35

Indian Round Table Conference, Proceedings, 1930-32

Joint Committee on Indian Constitutional Reform, Minutes of Evidence, 3 vols (London: 1934)

Joint Committee on Indian Constitutional Reform, Report (London: 1934)

Khaliquzzaman, Choudhry, Pathway to Pakistan (Lahore: Longmans, 1961)

Memoranda Submitted by the Government of India to the Indian Statutory Commission, Pts 6-7 (Rangoon, Burma: Superintendent, Govt. Print and Stationary, 1928)

Moghe, Krishnaji Balvant, The Indian States in Their Relations with the British Paramount Power and the Government of British India: The Butler Committee and the Statutory Commission on Indian Reforms (Bombay, 1928)

Nehru, Jawaharlal, An Autobiography: With Musings on Recent Events in India (London: John Lane, 1936)

Parliamentary Debates, 1917-35

Proposals for Indian Constitutional Reform, Cmd. 4268 (1933)

Ratcliffe, Samuel Kerkham, What the Simon Report Means (London: New Statesman, 1930)

Saklatvala, Sehri, The Fifth Commandment: A Biography of Shapurji Saklatvala (Salford: Miranda Press, 1991)

Setalvad, Chimanlal, Recollections & Reflections: An Autobiography (Bombay: Padma Publications, 1946)

Simon, Sir John Allsebrook, India and the Simon Report: A Talk (New York: Coward-MacCann, 1930)

Simon, Sir John Allsebrook, Retrospect: The Memoirs of Viscount Simon (London: Hutchinson, 1952)

Sitaramayya, B. Pattabhi, The History of The Indian National Congress, 1885-1935 (Madras, 1935)

Sivasvami Aiyar, Sir Paramanheri Sundaram, The Simon Commission Report Examined (1930)

Templewood, Samuel John Gurney Hoare, Nine Troubled Years (London: Collins, 1954)

Times (1917-1935)

Times of India, 20 June (1930)

Times of India, 25 June (1930)

Times of India, 26 June (1930)

Visram, Rozina, Asians in Britain: 400 Years of History (London: Pluto, 2001)

Wood, Edward Frederick Lindley (Earl of Halifax), Fulness of Days (London: Collins, 1957)

Wrench, Guy Theodore, In Defence of the Agrarian: A Criticism of the Simon Commission's Report and an Alternative Policy (Cawnpore: Country League, 1930)

Zetland, Lawrence John Lumley Dundas, Marquis of Zetland, 1876-1961, 'Essayez': The Memoirs of Lawrence, Second Marquess of Zetland (London: John Murray, 1956)

Archive source: 

Mss Eur C 152, Holifax Collection, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

Mss Eur E 240, Templewood Collection, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

Liaquat Ali Khan


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'.

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)


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.

Date of birth: 
01 Oct 1895

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


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.


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.

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)

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

City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
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 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

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