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Saturday, 6 September 2014

Muhammad Ali Bogra

Muhammad Ali Bogra

Prime Minister of Pakistan
In office
17 April 1953 – 12 August 1955
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor General Malik Ghulam Muhammad
Preceded by Khawaja Nazimuddin
Succeeded by Chaudhry Muhammad Ali
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
13 June 1962 – 23 January 1963
President Ayub Khan
Preceded by Manzur Qadir
Succeeded by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
In office
24 October 1954 – 12 August 1955
Preceded by Muhammad Zafarullah Khan
Succeeded by Hamidul Huq Choudhury
Minister of Defence
In office
17 April 1953 – 24 October 1954
Preceded by Khawaja Nazimuddin
Succeeded by Ayub Khan
Personal details
Born 19 October 1909
                Bogra, Bengal Presidency, British India
                (now in Bangladesh)
Died 23 January 1963 (aged 53)
                Dacca, East Pakistan, Pakistan
                (now Dhaka, Bangladesh)
Resting place Bogra, East Pakistan, Pakistan
                        (now in Bangladesh)
Political party Muslim League
Alma mater University of Calcutta

Nawabzada Mohammed Ali Bogra (Urdu: Bengali: মোহাম্মদ আলী বগ্‌রা محمد علی بوگرہ; ‎; October 19, 1909—January 23, 1963) was a well-known and notable Pakistani Foreign service officer of Bengali origin, serving as the third Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1953 until 1955, and prior to that, was also the Foreign Minister of Pakistan from 1954 to 1955.

Grew up in East-Pakistan and educated at the Calcutta University of India, Bogra was one of the core and principle Founding Fathers of current and modern state of Pakistan, responsible for leading the Muslim League in East Pakistan, in charge of party's foreign directorate. Bogra was the second Pakistan Ambassador to the United States, serving in two non-consecutive terms, and was also the second Bengali to have became the prime minister. His government too saw the civil unrest, problems with India, foreign challenges, economical distress, and Kashmir issue. His government also suffered with internal violence and threat of communism in East Pakistan and socialism in West Pakistan, that shrunk his credibility, leading the dismissal of his government.

Early life and Family

Born at Bogra to a Muslim family descended from the Nawabs of Bengal, he was a grandson of Nawab Bahadur Syed Nawab Ali Chowdhury and attended the University of Calcutta and followed his education with a career in politics.

Ali was married twice. He first married Hamida with whom he had two sons. In 1955, he married again to Aliya Saddy. His second marriage led to widespread protests by women activists in the country.

Political career

In 1937 he began to receive prominence when he was elected to the assembly of Bengal. He would move up within the government of Bengal, serving under Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy as the Health Minister and later Finance Minister.

Upon the formation of Pakistan in 1947, Bogra was elected to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan but after disagreement with Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the Governor-General, over the issue of the Bengali Language, he was sent abroad as an Ambassador and served in Burma, Canada, and eventually as a two-time Ambassador to the United States.

Bogra Formula

After taking charge as Prime Minister, Muhammad Ali Bogra declared that formulation of the Constitution was his primary target. He worked hard on this project and within six months of assuming power, came out with a constitutional formula. His constitutional proposal, known as the Bogra Formula, was presented before the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on October 7, 1953.

Main points of Bogra Formula

A Bicameral Legislature with equal representation for all the five provinces of the country in the Upper House. 50 seats were reserved for the Upper House.
The 300 seats for the Lower House were to be allocated to the provinces on the basis of proportionate representation.
165 seats were reserved for East Pakistan, 75 for Punjab, 19 for Sindh and Khairpur, 24 for N. W. F. P., tribal areas, and 17 for Baluchistan. Both the wings were to have 175 seats each in the two houses of the Legislative Assembly.
Both the houses were given equal power, and in case of a conflict between the two houses, the issue was to be presented before a joint session.
If the head of the state was from West Pakistan, the Prime Minister was to be from East Pakistan, and vice versa.
The two houses of the Legislative Assembly formed the Electoral College for the presidential elections and the President was to be elected for a term of 5 years.
Board of Ulema was replaced with the Supreme Court in deciding whether a law was in accordance with the basic teachings of the Holy Quran and Sunnah or not.

Reaction in East and West Pakistan

The Bogra Formula was appreciated by the masses of both East and west Pakistan. There was great enthusiasm amongst the people as they considered it as a plan that could bridge the gulf between the two wings of Pakistan and would act as a source of unity for the country. The proposal was discussed in the Constituent Assembly for 13 days, and a committee was set to draft the constitution on November 14, 1953. However, before the constitution could be finalized, Ghulam Muhammad, the then Governor General of Pakistan. dissolved the Assembly.

Prime minister

In 1953, he was selected by Governor General of Pakistan Ghulam Muhammad to replace Khawaja Nazimuddin as the Prime Minister. Bogra was a relatively unknown personality to the national political scene of that time. He was serving as Ambassador to the US when he was recalled to take the office of Prime Minister. As Prime Minister, he set out to form a constitution.

In order to complete this, he outlined his famous "Bogra Formula" that sought to form a bicameral legislature. An Upper House would have contained 50 seats, 10 from each province, i.e. with 10 from East Pakistan and 40 from West Pakistan. A Lower House would have contained 300 seats. The lower house seats would be determined by population of province, and East Pakistan would have 165 seats, while the four provinces of West Pakistan would have a combined 135 seats, but would be split among the provinces. A provision was also put in place that stated that if the President of Pakistan were from West Pakistan, then the Prime Minister would have to be from East Pakistan, and vice-versa. The plan was very popular, but was killed when Ghulam Muhammad dissolved the Pakistani Assembly later in 1953.

Resignation and death

Bogra was forced to resign in 1955 by the new Governor General, Iskander Mirza. He returned to his post as ambassador to the United States. In 1962 he became the foreign minister of Pakistan, until his death in 1963. He was buried in the family grave of Nawab Palace in his hometown of Bogra in present day Bangladesh.

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