Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy

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Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy was born on September 8, 1892 into an illustrious Muslim family from Midnapore in West Bengal, India. Suhrawardy’s mother was the first Muslim woman to pass the senior Cambridge examination. He graduated with honors in Science from St. Caviares College. In 1913, he obtained masters degree in Arabic from Calcutta University. Suhrawardy received BCL degree from Oxford University and was called to the Bar from Grey’s Inn in 1918.

In 1920, Suhrawardy married Begum Niaz Fatima.

In 1921, he was elected to the Bengal Legislative assembly. For a brief period, he served as secretary, Calcutta Khilafat Committee. In 1923 he was appointed deputy leader of Swaraj party. Next year he was elected deputy mayor of Calcutta. In 1936 he became the General Secretary of the Bengal provincial Muslim League. After the 1937 elections, Suhrawardy was appointed Minister for Labor and Commerce. After serving briefly in the Fazlul Haq’s ministry, he joined Khawaja Nazimuddin’s ministry in 1943 as Civil Supplies Minister.

After the 1946 elections, Suhrawardy formed government in Bengal, the only Muslim League government in the Sub-continent. In 1949, he formed East Pakistan Awami Muslim League, and in 1953 he renamed it as ‘Awami League’.

Suhrawardy along with A. K. Fazlul Haq and Maulana Bhashani established United Front in 1953 in Dhaka, which won the 1954 general elections. The same year he joined Muhammad Ali Bogra’s ministry as Law Minister. However, with the change of government in 1955, Suhrawardy took charge of the leadership of opposition.

H. S. Suhrawardy became the fifth Prime Minister of Pakistan on September 12, 1956. During his tenure, he tried to remove economic disparity between the two wings. Suhrawardy resigned from premiership in October 1957, due to president’s refusal to convene a meeting of parliament to seek a vote of confidence.

Ailing from heart disease for a long time, Suhrawardy succumbed to death on December 5, 1963.

 

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