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Pakistan Timeline: 1947-1956

Aug 14, 1947

India is divided into two independent states – Pakistan and Bharat.

Oct 27, 1947

Indian troops are airlifted to Srinagar – beginning of Indian occupation of Jammu and Kashmir.

Mar 21, 1948

Jinnah declares Urdu to be the national language of Pakistan in Dhaka, East Pakistan.

Sep 11, 1948

M. A. Jinnah, the father of the nation and the Governor General of Pakistan dies. The Chief Minister of East Pakistan, Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din becomes the new Governor General.

Mar 1949

Prominent Bengali politician, Maulana Abdul Hameed Khan Bhashani establishes Awami Muslim League in Dhaka, East Pakistan. Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rehman becomes one of the Assistant General Secretaries of the party.

Oct 16, 1951

Nawabzada Liaqat Ali Khan, the Prime Minister of Pakistan is assassinated during his speech in a political gathering in Rawalpindi. Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din becomes the Prime Minister while Ghulam Muhammad, a public servant “somehow” becomes the Governor General.

Jan 26, 1952

The committee formed by the Constituent Assembly to formulates the guiding principles of the Constitution, presents its recommendations. One of the recommendations is that Urdu would be the only national language of Pakistan. This enrages people in East Pakistan.

Jan 30, 1952

Strong protests are held in Dhaka, East Pakistan against making Urdu the only national language of the country. The Bengali population perceives it as another attempt of West Pakistan to establish its cultural hegemony over the Bengali people.

Feb 21, 1952

Processions are held in East Pakistan and clashes between police and protestants result in killing of three students and injuring several others. Later, monuments are created to commemorate the sacrifice of the martyrs. These monuments soon become social symbols, especially for political activities and movements.

Apr 17, 1953

The Governor General Ghulam Muhammad dismisses the Prime Minister, Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din without taking any vote of confidence from the Parliament. Ghulam Muhammad appoints Muhammad Ali Bogra, the Ambassador to USA, as the Prime Minister of the country. Bogra having not much political influence in East Pakistan, soon became a “puppet” in the hands of Ghulam Muhammad.

Apr 1953

Awami Muslim League is renamed as Awami League

Sep 1953

Maulvi Fazl-e-Haq establishes his own political party in Dhaka called Krishak Sramik Party.

Mar 8 – 11, 1954

Elections for the Constituent Assembly are held in East Pakistan. These are the first elections after independence. Awami League, Krishak Sramik Party and few other parties form a United Front (Jugtu Front) against the Muslim League. Recognizing Bengali as national language and provincial autonomy are among the key points of the Front’s election charter. The Muslim League which is in power at the time wins only 9 seats in the elections. The Chief Minister, Noor-ul-Amin loses the contest against a student - candidate of the Front.

Mar 30, 1954

The United Front is invited to form government. Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rehman becomes a Minister

May 30, 1954

The Governor General dismisses the United Front government because the Chief Minister Fazl-ul-Haq had allegedly given a “rebellious” statement at Calcutta Airport a few days back. Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rehman is house-arrested. Governor’s Rule is imposed in the province (East Bengal).

Oct 24, 1954

The Governor General Ghulam Muhammad dissolves the Constituent Assembly. Muhammad Ali Bogra forms new government “without parliament” and appoints Ayub Khan, the Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army as Defence Minister.

Apr 15, 1955

A new Constituent Assembly is formed, comprising 180 members from provincial legislatures.

Jun 1955

Governor’s Rule is lifted from East Pakistan. Krishak Sramik Party cooperates with the Muslim League in the Center and forms government in East Pakistan. Awami League forms part of the opposition.

Aug 6, 1955

Ghulam Muhammad exits from the political scene and Sikander Mirza who is a “non-political” figure, is sworn in as the new Governor General. Sikander Mirza appoints Chaudhry Muhammad Ali, a Muslim League nominee, as Prime Minister instead of Suharwardy, an Awami League candidate.

Sep 7, 1955

Awami League’s Ata-ur-Rehman criticizes the Muslim League in the Constituent Assembly: “…they view East Pakistan, its culture, its language, its literature or anything pertaining to it with contempt … the leaders of Muslim League do not view us as equals but as their subject and themselves as rulers.”

Oct 14, 1955

All the western provinces are merged to form one unit called West Pakistan.

Feb 29, 1956

The Constituent Assembly ratifies the first Constitution of Pakistan. The constitution provides for equal representation in the parliament of both provinces (East and West Pakistan) through the principle of “Parity”. Pakistan is declared as a “Republic” and the role of Governor General is replaced with that of President. Bengali is also recognized as national language

Mar 23, 1956

The new Constitution is enforced

Aug 20, 1956

Krishak Sramik Party government is forced to resign. Instead Awami League aligns with a party of a Hindu Leader G. K. Das to form government, with Ata-ur-Rehman as its Chief Minister.

Sep 8, 1956

Chaudhry Muhammad Ali resigns from the central government.

Sep 12. 1956

Hussain Shaheed Suharwardy becomes the new Prime Minister (verify role here). He enjoys support of the Rupublican Party that was formed with the auspices of Sikander Mirza.


  1. Main Nay Dhaka Doobtay Daikha by Siddique Salik

1947-1956 1957-1966 1967-1976 1977-1986 1987-1996

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"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

[George Santayana]