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Sat 16 December 2017

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Foreign Office on Pakistan’s internal politics



FO response to sacking of PM Nizamuddin and appointment of Muhammad Ali. "The general bias of the new Cabinet is definitely anti-mullah.

On 17th April 1953 the Governor General ordered the resignation of Prime Minister Nazimuddin. The events leading up to this action and during this time are detailed in telegrams sent from High Commissioner in Pakistan to Commonwealth Relations Office. "Country is faced with major political and constitutional issues. I got the impression from Nazimuddin that he and his colleagues were not too sure where they stood constitutionally’. New government headed by Mohammed Al. Governor General backed him and explained his action thus: ‘Nazimuddin though "nice" and "very religious" had neither the intellectual capacity nor the personal authority for his post".

A further report discusses the problems of Nazimuddin’s government - cabinet divided and inept when it came to dealing with the grave economic situation, food shortages and law and order problem. Mohammed Ali , the Bengali Muslim Leaguer and formerly Pakistan’s Ambassador in Washington is the new Prime Minster as backed by Governor General . - British reaction to the new Government is positive: "new arrangements are very satisfactory from the point of view of mullah influence. Mullahs have lost their strongest supporters in Nazmuddin, Nishtar and Mahmoud Husain, . Fazlur Rahman is also alleged to be sympathetic to them. Brohi is definitely anti. Zafrullah has been retained. It has been noticed that the new prime minister in his broadcast last night said nothing about an Islamic constitution or the like and only used the word Islamic once."

Zafrullah in conversation with the High Commissioner: "‘the general bias of new Cabinet is definitely anti-mullah. Zafrullah thinks they may well make determined attack on provisions in B.P.C.’s report for panel of mullahs to advise legislation". - UK High Commissioner concludes: "I would feel that the whole attitude of this new team, from which the mullah influence has been almost entirely eliminated may be one very much more receptive to us and possibly easier to handle". File includes biographical notes on the members of the new cabinet, including Zafrullah Khan.

PRO File: PREM 11 1519


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