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Abdul Qayyum Khan

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Title: Abdul Qayyum Khan  
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Subject: Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sardar Abdur Rashid Khan, All-India Muslim League, Mohammad Ibrahim Khan Jhagra
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Abdul Qayyum Khan

Abdul Qayyum Khan
Personal details
Born (1901-06-16)June 16, 1901
Chitral, Chitral State
Died September 22, 1981(1981-09-22) (aged 80)
Peshawar NWFP now Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, Pakistan
Political party All-India Muslim League.
Alma mater Government College University, London School of Economics, Lincoln Inn
Religion Islam

Abdul Qayyum Khan (Urdu: عبدالقیوم خان‎) (16 July 1901 – 22 October 1981) was a major figure in Pakistan politics, in particular in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province where he served as deputy speaker, Chief Minister and Minister in the Central Government and as Federal Interior Minister.

Early life

Khan's father, Khan Abdul Hakim, was a Tehsildar in the North-West Frontier Province of British India now Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Qayyum Khan, a barrister by profession, was of Kashmiri origin.One of his brothers, Abdul Hamid Khan, was a prime minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and other Khan Abdul Rauf Khan was a renowned Lawyer.Abdul Qayum Khan was one of the eminent lawyers of N.W.F.P.During his professional career he conducted some very important cases. He used to practice in criminal law. Mirza Shams ul Haq was his most trustworthy colleague, who remained always close to him during profession and politics. Abdul Qayum was also assisted in his chambers by Muhammad Nazirullah Khan advocate, who later served as a provincial Secretary General and senior vice president of Pakistan Muslim League.

Political career

Formerly a member of the Indian National Congress, Khan Abdul Qayyum Khan had served as an elected member of the Central Legislative Assembly (1937–38) as well as the deputy leader of the Congress in the Assembly. He once claimed to be an ardent admirer of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, so much so that he authored a book: Gold and Guns, in which he praised the leadership of Bacha Khan and his political vision and mission.[1] However, he later embittered Jinnah against him by warning him that Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan was plotting his assassination.[2][3]

He joined the Muslim League in the mid-1940s and became a key figure in the Pakistan movement in N.W.F.P now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. An honest man, but a strict ruler, he was known for his development work in the province, especially for the construction of Peshawar University, primary education, hydro-electric projects like the Warsak dam and his deep dislike as well as brutal suppression of the Khudai Khidmatgar movement.[4] His role in ordering the Babra Sharif massacre is one which he faces much criticism for, that in combination with the brutal crackdown against his former colleagues in the Congress party earned him their lasting hatred. He led the Muslim League to a landslide victory in the controversial 1951 elections, despite opposition from the Khudai Khidmatgar movement and opposition from Federally backed fellow Muslim league opponents like Yusuf Khattak.[5]

He served as Central Minister for Industries, Food and Agriculture Minister in 1953.

Arrested by the Ayub Khan regime, he was disqualified from politics and imprisoned for two years before finally being released.

Contesting the 1970 elections from three seats as leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Qayyum faction he won two National Assembly seats one provincial seat and in 1973 entered into alliance with the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) after East Pakistan broke away in the Bangladesh Liberation War.

Appointed Federal interior Minister by Zulfiqar Bhutto he served in that post till the 1977 elections when his party suffered a near total rout. After Zia-ul-Haqs assumption of power, Qayyum Khan tried to unify all the disparate Muslim League factions. His efforts were inconclusive and he died on 22 October 1981.[6]

He was always opposed by Khan Habibullah Khan; they were lifelong rivals since they were young class-mates at Islamia College, Peshawar.

See also


  1. ^ Qaiyum, Abdul, Gold and Guns on the Pathan Frontier, Bombay, 1945
  2. ^ M.S. Korejo (1993) The Frontier Gandhi, his place in history. Karachi : Oxford University Press.
  3. ^ Azad, Abulkalam (1960) India wins freedom. New York, Longmans, Green.
  4. ^ Jalal, Ayesha(1991)The State of Martial Rule: The Origins of Pakistan's Political Economy of Defence. Lahore. Vanguard
  5. ^ Afzal, M. Rafique (2002). Political Parties in Pakistan: 1947–1958,Vol.1. Islamabad, National Institute of Historical and Cultural Research.
  6. ^ Abdul Qayyum Khan, Served As Pakistani Interior Minister New York Times Published: October 24, 1981. Retrieved 4–11–08

Further reading

  • Hassan, Syed Minhaj-ul. NWFP Administration under Abdul Qaiyum Khan, 1947–53.
  • Qaiyum, Abdul, Gold and Guns on the Pathan Frontier, Bombay, 1945
Political offices
Preceded by
Khan Abdul Jabbar Khan
Chief Minister of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
Succeeded by
Sardar Abdur Rashid Khan
Preceded by
Interior Minister of Pakistan
Succeeded by
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
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