Liaquat Ali Khan was Pakistan’s first Prime Minister. But, little do we know about him. He was a powerhouse of future thought and brilliance. This is why Good Morning Pakistan brings you a feature on Liaquat Ali Khan.
Liaquat Ali Khan was not only a patriot, but also a statesman, lawyer, and political theorist. He became and served as the first Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Alongside that, he held cabinet portfolio as the first foreign, defense, and the frontier region minister from 1947. He kept office until he was assassinated in 1951. Pakistan has struggled to keep a good prime minister since.
Pakistan’s first Prime Minister
As Prime Minister, he built the first and foremost educational foundation, science and technology division and dedicated learning units for researchers and scientists at multiple spots in Pakistan.
He knew that strong science and technology can help the foreign policy of Pakistan. This was atleast 65 years ago. And looking back, hasn’t it?
In 1947, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah invited a physicist Rafi Muhammad Chaudhry to Pakistan. At the same time, Liaquat Ali Khan called upon chemist Salimuzzaman Siddiqui. They awarded them citizenship. These two were then appointed as government science advisers in 1950.
Meanwhile, another person was invited to Pakistan. A physicist and mathematician Raziuddin Siddiqui. The idea was to secure such educational research institutes. These could help in developing strong war defense programs.
Pakistan formed during the Cold War between two global superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union. It was a tough socio-political climate to govern in. There were socialists in West-Pakistan and, the communists in East Pakistan.
The Socialists were lead by a Marxist leader Faiz Ahmad Faiz. This was tough competition for the Muslim League. In East Pakistan, the Muslim League was challenged by the Pakistan Communist Party due to a mass protest.
Liaquat Ali Khan’s Economic Policy
Later in 1947, the Prime Minister and his secretary proposed the idea of Five-Year Plans. This helped put Pakistan’s economic system into formal writing. The economic system to rule Pakistan: a young developing nation was based on an investment and development model. The capitalist grounds were chosen to help the country build its way up through its homegrown commerce and industry.
Although we were on a path of becoming a capitalist state, the initial plan was to have a planned economic system. This would have been a unique set up. It would have been ruled under the directives of the private sector and consortium industries in 1948. This could have been a genius way to work up a country’s assets, refine policy and promote businesses in an ethical and systematic way.
But, the economic planning began started to collapse because of irregular, confused and short staffing.
Yet, under extreme conditions, Liaquat Ali Khan formed the National Bank in November 1949. Followed by the inauguration of a paper currency mill in Karachi.
Unlike what was happening in India, Pakistan’s economy was planned, but also an open free market economy. It was designed to be the best of both worlds, using the wealth of the rich to create opportunities for the poor. This could have worked and still can if we find geniuses like him.
Read Also: Pakistan‘s Labor Laws for Dummies.