Muhammad Ali Jinnah takes over as first Governor General of newly independent state.


Bank notes of India with overprints of Government of Pakistan - Such note continued till Pakistan started issuing its own notes


Jinnah dies on 11 Sep 1948


Captain Muhammad Sarwar embraces martyrdom and is awarded first Nishan-e-Haider


On 16 Oct 1951, Liaquat ALi Khan was assassinated while addressing a public rally in Rawalpindi by one Said Akbar (above) who was instantly killed.


Lahore Fort reopened to public on Nov 11 1949 - 96 years after closure by the British in 1853.


General Muhammad Ayub Khan replaced General Gracey on 17 January 1951 to become the first Pakistani Commander in Chief of Pakistan Army

1947 - 1958 The Birth and Turmoil

Arrival of Muhammad Ali Jinnah at Karachi

"...My guiding principle will be justice and complete impartiality, and I am sure that with your support and cooperation, I can look forward to Pakistan becoming one of the greatest nations of the world." So said the Quaid-e-Azam (the Great Leader) soon after assuming the reins of the newly born Pakistan as its first governor general.


The new state faced many challenges. About 8 million Muslim refugees migrated from India to Pakistan, whose resettlement became the biggest challenge. There were some provincial politicians who often defied the authority of the central government, and frequent communal riots. Therefore emergency was declared on 27 August 1958 and provinces were asked to absorb more refugees.

The heavy work load and surmounting problems were taking a heavy toll of Jinnah's already fragile health and before he could amicably resolved the problems threatening the newly born state, Jinnah died on 11 September 1948, leaving the country in a quagmire of political instability for years to come. Khawaja Nazim ud Din filled the vacuum.

The Status of Independent States: At the time of independence, there were 562 states, of which 14 shared border with Pakistan. As per Indian Independence Act (section 7) the British hold on all such states ceased with effect from 14 august 1947 and were allowed to join either of the two newly independent countries. Of the 14 states, 11 decided to join Pakistan. However the State of Junagadh was forcibly occupied by India on 8 November 1947. The people of Baltistan, who were majority Muslims, did not want to be under the Hindu Dogra rule and announced war of independence and by 14 August 1948, the are was free from Dogra rule after fierce clashes with Indian and Dogra army.

Status of Muslim Majority Kashmir: Kashmir was a Muslim majority state though under a Sikh ruler who had bought the state from the British. However its fate changed with the announcement of Radcliff Award, which accorded areas , specially of Muslim majority Gurdaspur to India - the only land route available to India with Kashmir. This clearly showed the mal intentions hidden in the Award and soon after the independence, Pakistan and the Muslims of Kashmir raised concern over this. From here on the struggle for Kashmir starts, and a bitter chapter opened in the relations of India and Pakistan, which despite three wars has not been able to be closed. A separate page has been added on the subject to bring to forth many technical and emotional aspects related to the issue. Read More ...

Problems in NWFP: When the 3rd June declaration of independence was announced, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and his elder brother Dr Khan Sahib (then Chief Minister NWFP) were not happy since they wanted NWFP to be declared independent and named as "Pakhtoonistan". Although Jinnah met Ghaffar Khan on 18 June 1947 to persuade him to accept the independence declaration according to which NWFP was to be merged into the newly formed state of Pakistan, but the latter refused. When Pakistan came into being, Muslim League was not in majority in NWFP. On 15 August 1947, Dr Khan and his cabinet refused to attend the Pakistan flag hoisting ceremony. Seeing the alienation of the Congress backed Dr Khan away from Pakistan, Jinnah dismissed his government on 22 August and Khan Abdul Qayyum Khan, a veteran politician of NWFP, to form the government.

The First Cabinet: The first cabinet of Pakistan, was sworn in on 15th August, which included: Liaquat Ali Khan (Prime Minister, also in charge of two ministries: Foreign Affairs & Commonwealth Relations, and Defense); I. I. Chundrigar (Commerce, Industries, and Works); Ghulam Mohammad (Finance); Abdur Rab Nishtar (Communications); Ghazanfar Ali Khan (Food, Agriculture, and Health); Jogendra Nath Mandal (Law and Labour); Fazlur Rahman (Interior, Information, and Education). Quaid-e-Azam also requested many competent British technocrats to stay: 3 out of the 4 governors were British - Sir Frederick Bourne (Governor, East Bengal), Sir Francis Mudie (Governor, West Punjab), and Sir George Cunningham (Governor, N.W.F.P.). Sir Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah (Governor, Sindh) was the only native governor, while Balochistan did not have a governor as it was a Governor-General's province. All chiefs of the armed forces were British too: General Sir Frank Messervey (Royal Pakistan Army), Air Vice-Marshal Perry-Keane (Royal Pakistan Air Force), and Admiral Jefford (Royal Pakistan Navy). The financial advisor to the Governor-General, Sir Archibald Rowland, was also a British.

The First Day: On 15th of August, Jinnah was sworn in as the first governor general of Pakistan, followed by the swearing in ceremony of his sworn in, along with the provincial governors. Later, he hoisted the national flag, and made a broadcast to the nation: "August 15 is the birthday of the independent and sovereign state of Pakistan. It marks the fulfillment of the destiny of the Muslim nation which made great sacrifices in the past few years to have its homeland." He also declared: "Our object should be peace within and peace without... We stand by the United Nations Charter and will gladly make our full contribution to the peace and prosperity of the world."

On February 28, 1948, the Finance Minister Ghulam Mohammad presented the country's first annual budget - an event that did not appear a certainty until a few days ago. The timely loan of 20 Crore Rupees by the Nizam of Hyderabad, and the release of Pakistan's share in the central assets by India through the late Gandhi's intervention saved Pakistan from going bankrupt in its very first months.

Much that Jinnah wanted to do for Pakistan, his ailing health did not allow him not more than 11 months to be with the fragile state of Pakistan. And on 11 September, 1948 he breathed his last in Karachi, when he was hurriedly flown in from Ziarat, nearby Quetta, where he was advised by the doctors to rest awhile. His funeral took place on a small hill on Bunder Road, near Guru Mandir, just outside the federal capital Karachi. Since Pakistan has still not been declared a republic by its Constituent Assembly, it retained it dominion status and the Governor-General was formally appointed by His Majesty, King George VI of England. and on September the 14th 1948,  a  royal decree was issued, which read, "His Majesty the King is pleased to appoint Khwaja Nazimuddin as Acting Governor-General of Pakistan in the vacancy occasioned by the sad demise of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah."

The Successive Governments

The first government of Pakistan was headed by Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan (above left) who established friendly relations with the United States when he visited United States in 1950. Khwaja Nazimuddin (above 2nd from left), who had succeeded Jinnah as governor-general, became prime minister after Liaquat's assassination. Ghulam Muhammad became governor-genera (above 3rd from left). When Nazimuddin attempted to limit the powers of the governor-general, Ghulam Muhammad dismissed Nazimuddin and replaced him with Muhammad Ali Bogra (above 4th from left). In 954, Bogra who had little support in the new assembly, was replaced by Chaudhri Muhammad Ali. At the same time, General Sikander Mirza (above 5th from left) became the fourth and last governor-general and later first president in 1956.

The new constituent assembly enacted a bill in October 1955, integrating the four West Pakistani provinces into one political and administrative unit, known as the One Unit. The assembly also produced Pakistan's first constitution, which was adopted on March 2, 1956. It also officially designated Pakistan an Islamic republic. According to its provisions, Mirza's title changed from governor-general to president and the prefixes of  "His Majesty and Royal" were removed from all names of all navel ships and forces' institutions, names and establishments. Royal Pakistan Air force was renamed as Pakistan air Force. The "crown" in armed forces ranks was changed to crescent and star.

Prime Minister Ali remained in office only until September 1956, when he was unable to retain his majority in the National Assembly and was succeeded by Hussain Shaheed Suhrawardy (above 6th from left). However, President Mirza forced Suhrawardy to resign after he discovered that the prime minister was planning to support Firoz Khan Noon, leader of the Republican Party, for the presidency in the country's first general elections, scheduled for January 1959.
The succeeding coalition government, headed by Ismail Ibrahim Chundrigar (above 7th from left) of the Muslim League, lasted only two months before it was replaced by a Republican Party cabinet under Noon. President Mirza, realizing he had no chance of being re-elected president, proclaimed martial law on October 7, 1958. He dismissed Noon's government, dissolved the National Assembly, and cancelled the scheduled general elections. General Muhammad Ayub Khan, commander in chief of the army, was named chief martial-law administrator. Twenty days later Ayub forced the president to resign and assumed the presidency himself.

Important Events 1947 -58

14 August '47: Pakistan attends 6th Universal Scouts Jamboree in France
15 August '47: Royal Pakistan Air Force's HQ established at Peshawar
15 August '47: First gazette of Pakistan printed 
15 August '47: First cabinet formed - Liaquat Ali Khan appointed first PM
22 August '47: Friday declared as half day
18 September '47: Karachi Stock Exchange established - with 5 companies value Rs. 371 million  
30 September '47: Pakistan becomes member of UNO - Afghanistan voted against
7 February '48: Pakistan and England agree commencement of move back of British soldier from 14 February onwards
23 January '48: Fisrt navel vessel "Dilawar" joins Pakistan Shipping Corporation
9 June '48: Pakistan attends London Olympics - Hockey team under Colonel Dara lost to UK in semis
26 November '48: First air crash of Pakistan - Pak Airways aircraft crashes near Vihari - 21 die
12 February '50: Foundation stone of Kotri Barrage by Khawaja Nazim-ud-Din
21 July '50: Trich Mir (41st highest peak) scaled by Norwegian Team, including one Pakistani
30 October '50: Peshawar University inaugurated by Liaquat Ali Khan
28 February '51: First population census - total population = 78,742,000
10 October '51: Natural gas found at Sui, Balochistan
28 December '51: Inauguration of Pakistan Ordnance Factories,Wah
1951: Completion of  107 miles long famous BRB (Banmban Wala Ravia Bedian) Link canal
2 October '52:
Foundation stone of TIP laid at Haripur
31 January '53: Commodore Hafiz Muhammad Siddique appointed first native navel chief
4 June '53: 8125 Meters high Nanga Parbat scaled by a German for the first time
31 July '54: K-2 scaled by Italian expedition
13 August '54: Hafeez Jalandhari sings his own written National Anthem on Radio Pakistan
8 September '54: Pakistan joins SEATO
7 October '54: Chaudhry Zafar Ali appointed first judge of International Court of Justice
22 November '54: Prime Minister M Ali Bogra announces formation of ONE UNIT
1954 - Manila Olympics Pakistan's Muhammad Din wins first gold for Pakistan
March '55: Hollywood MGM's film "Bhawani Junction"  shot at Lahore Railway station
18 April '55: Pakistan attends Bandung Conference (Indonesia)
31  July '55: First devaluation of Pak rupee: Re's value dropped from Rs. 3.30 per US $ to Rs.4.76
26 February '56: First constitution of Pakistan approved
9 January '57: Singing of National Anthem in schools made mandatory
15 January '57: Silver jubilee celebration of opening of Sukkur (Lloyd's) Barrage
2 February '57: Foundation stone of GUDDU barrage laid by President Sikander Mirza
22 April '57: Air Vice Marshal Asghar Khan becomes first native Chief of Air Staff
24 December '57: Photograph of Quaid -e-azam appears on the first Rs.100 currency note
5 March '58: First Dry Port of Pakistan inaugurated at Karachi by the President Sikander Mirza
24 April '58: WAPDA established
May'58: Pakistan wins 13 medals (5 gold,5 silver, 4 bronze) at Tokyo Asian games
22 August '58: Subedar M Iqbal of Pakistan army breaks world record in Hammer Throw (209.5 ft)
23 August '58: Pakistani swimmer Brojan Das sets world record of 10 Hours 35 Minutes of crossing the English Channel
7 September '58: Gwader port town purchased from Oman for 4 million British Pounds
7 October '58: President Sikander Mirza imposes Martial Law, appoints General M Ayub Khan as MLA
27 October '58: President Sikander Mirza removed and  General M Ayub Khan becomes President


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