It was 61 years ago today that one of Pakistan’s founding fathers was assassinated. Liaquat Ali Khan was not just a founding father, but was also serving as Pakistan’s first prime minister, defence minister and minister of Commonwealth and Kashmir affairs when he was shot on October 16, 1951.
Mohammad Saeed Siddiqui, one of Khan’s close associates, fondly recalls the man and his contributions.
Siddiqui had met Khan as a student at Aligarh College and was enamored by his enigmatic personality and the art of public speaking.
“Quaid-e-Azam had discovered a gem for the nation in the form of Liaquat Ali Khan,” he said.
Despite being a nawab, Khan led an extremely simple life and silently embraced all responsibilities assigned to him during partition. Once the new homeland was formed, the leaders barely had tin roofs over their heads or stationery to work with, but that did not dampen their passion for their new homeland.
After he was appointed the prime minister, Khan managed to lift the new economy and presented three consecutive budgets.
“When Radio Pakistan announced Liaquat Ali Khan’s death, the words of his speech rang through my ears,” said Siddiqui. In his speech Khan had stated that he had no wealth or property, but he would lay down his life to safe guard the country. And he stayed true to his words.
“After Khan’s death, chaos ensued and there was a state of anarchy in the country that persists till present date,” Siddiqui stated.
In his book “Servants of God”, Chaudhary Zafrullah declared that whoever pushed the trigger of the gun that killed Liaquat Ali Khan is also responsible for killing democracy.