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Ali, Chowdhury Mohammad


Ali, Chowdhury Mohammad (1905-1983) bureaucrat, politician, Prime Minister of Pakistan. Born on 15 July 1905 at Jullundur (now in East Punjab), Muhammad Ali had his early education in Lahore, and in 1927 he obtained his MSc degree in Chemistry from the Punjab University.

He served for some time as Lecturer in Chemistry in the Islamia College, Lahore. Later on he joined the Indian Audit and Accounts Service in 1928 and was deputed as Accountant-General to Bahawalpur State in 1932. Muhammad Ali was the under-secretary of the Finance Department in 1934, and was appointed as private secretary to the Finance Minister, Sir James Grigg in 1936. He served as deputy financial adviser (1939), joint financial adviser of the Military Finance and additional financial adviser of the Department of Supply (1943). He was appointed financial adviser of War and Supply in 1945 and member of the two-member Steering Committee of Partition Council, which was responsible for setting up of Pakistan's administrative structure, in June 1947.

After the partition, Mohammad Ali was appointed chief secretary of the Government of Pakistan, an office which he held till 23 October 1951. In October 1953, Mohammad Ali left the government service and joined the cabinet of Mohammad Ali of Bogra as finance minister, a position which he held for four years. He was elected a member of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan in June 1955. In August 1955, Chowdhury Mohammad Ali was called upon to become Prime Minister of Pakistan succeeding Mohammad Ali of Bogra. He was removed from his position on 12 September 1956.

In 1957, Chowdhury Mohammad Ali launched a new movement under the banner of Tehrik Istikham-i-Pakistan (Movement for the Preservation of Pakistan) which, in 1958, merged with the Nizam-i-Islam. He was elected president of the party. Following the promulgation of martial law in October 1958, Ali assumed the role of an elder statesman and remained active in opposition politics throughout Ayub Khan's presidency. He played a vital role in organizing the combined opposition party in 1964, which nominated Fatima Jinnah as a candidate in the presidential election held in January 1965. When the Army intervened again on 25 March 1969, Chowdhury Mohammad Ali decided to retire from politics. He died in Lahore in 1983. [Abu Jafar]