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GHULAM MUHAMMAD (1895-1955)

GHULAM MUHAMMAD (1895-1955) Ghulam Muhammad was born in the small state of Kaparthula, which is now a part of the Indian province of Punjab After a distinguished academic career that included graduation from Aligarh University, he joined the Indian Accounts Service in 1920 He was deputized for two years (1930-1932) to serve in the Bhopal State Service, from where he returned to follow a successful career in the government of India’s Finance and Supply Department In 1938, he was appointed to the Indian Legislative Assembly as an official member For four years, from 1942 to 1946, he held the office of minister of finance in the state government of Hyderabad In 1947, he was appointed minister of finance in the first cabinet to take office in Pakistan In 1951, when Liaqat Ali Khan was assassinated, Ghulam Muhammad engineered a bureaucratic solution to the deep political problem in which Pakistan suddenly found itself Khawaja Nazimuddin was appointed prime minister, while Ghulam Muhammad took Nazimuddin’s position as governor-general Once in this position, he brought back to it the power that Muhammad Ali Jinnah had wielded as the country’s first governor-general In April 1953, he dismissed Nazimuddin’s government on grounds of ineptitude, and a little over a year later he dissolved the First Constituent Assembly



These actions stretched the powers of the governor-general beyond the provision of the Constitution, thus plunging Pakistan into its first constitutional crisis In Tamizuddin vs the Government of Pakistan, the Supreme Court gave highly qualified support to the governorgeneral’s action The Supreme Court used the “doctrine of necessity” to justify the action of the governor-general but ordered him to reestablish the Constituent Assembly, which Ghulam Muhammad did by bringing in people who were more supportive of him Rapidly failing health and the ascendancy of General Iskander Mirza forced Ghulam Muhammad out of office in 1955 He resigned as Pakistan’s third governor-general on 6 October 1955

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