It has been 69 years since the first Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan, was assassinated during a speech in Rawalpindi.
On 16 October 1951, Liaquat Ali Khan was scheduled to address the public in the city of Rawalpindi. He said one sentence before he was shot in the chest. His last words are said to have been: "May God protect Pakistan".
Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan widely known as Quaid-e-Millat (Leader of the Nation) and Shaheed-e-Millat (Martyr of the Nation), was a Pakistani politician who was one of the leading founding fathers of Pakistan.
A statesman, lawyer, and political theorist, he became the first Prime Minister of Pakistan, he also held cabinet portfolio as the first foreign, defense, and the frontier regions minister from 1947 until his assassination in 1951. Before the partition, Khan briefly tenured as the first finance minister in the interim government led by its Governor-General Mountbatten.
First Prime Minister Khan was born in Karnal and educated at the Aligarh Muslim University in India, and then at Oxford University in the United Kingdom.
He was a democratic political theorist who promoted Parliamentarism in India. After first being invited by the Congress Party, he opted for the Muslim League led by influential Mohammad Ali Jinnah who was advocating the eradication of the injustices and ill-treatment meted out to Indian Muslims by the British government.
He pursued his role in the independence movements of India and Pakistan while serving as the first Finance Minister in the interim government of the British Indian Empire, before the independence and partition of India in 1947.
Liaquat Ali Khan assisted Jinnah in campaigning for the creation of a separate state for Indian Muslims. Khan's credentials secured him the appointment of Pakistan's first Prime Minister, Ali Khan's foreign policy sided with the United States and the West.
However, his foreign policy was determined to be a part of the Non-Aligned Movement. Facing internal political unrest, his government survived an attempted coup by nationalists, leftists, and communists spearheaded by segments of the army. Nonetheless, his influence grew further after Jinnah's death, and he was responsible for promulgating the Objectives Resolution. In 1951, at a political rally in Rawalpindi, Ali Khan was assassinated by a hired assassin, Afghan militant Said Babrak.