Khedive (great prince) of Egypt.
Ismail Pasha became the governor of Egypt (1863 - 79) and was given the title of Khedive. His ambitious modernising programme bankrupted the country and led ultimately to the British occupation of Egypt.
Ismail Pasha paid for the construction of the Suez Canal, built nine hundred miles of railways, irrigated some 1,373,000 acres of hitherto uncultivable land, set up modern schools for boys and girls, and transformed Cairo into a modern city. Unfortunately, the cost of this ambitious programme made Egypt bankrupt, forced the country into debt, and gave Britain a pretext for establishing its military occupation in 1882 to safeguard the interest of the European shareholders.
Ismail Pasha had piled a debt of over $10,000,000 in order to annex Dafur (Sudan), and, therefore, he had to sell his Suez Canal shares in 1875 thus giving the Europeans a free hand to intervene in Egyptian affairs.
Ismail Pasha was forced by the British to abdicate, in 1879, in favour of his son, Tawfik Pasha, and he passed the rest of his life in exile. Ismail Pasha had wanted to make Egypt a modern independent state, instead, as a result of modernisation; it simply became a virtual British colony.
Compiled by:M. Nauman Khan / Ghulam Mohiuddin