Malik, AM

Malik, AM (1903-1977) ophthalmic physician, politician, diplomat, Governor of East Pakistan. Abdul Mottaleb Malik was born in the district of Chuadanga in 1903. He was educated in Bogra, Bankura and Kolkata. He also studied in the Bisvabharati University in West Bengal. He got higher degree in ophthalmology from Vienna in 1931.

AM Malik started his career as an eye surgeon in Kolkata. He became office bearer of several medical associations. He joined the Trade Union Movement in 1936. He was a member of the executive committee of All Pakistan Confederation of Labor. He was the president of the Indian Quartermaster's Union and Indian Sailors' Union, Kolkata. Dr. Malik was associated with the Press Employees Union, Dockers' Union, Port Commissioner's Union. He was the founder-secretary of All India Seafarers' Federation and vice president of the Bengal Provincial Trade Union Congress. He was a member of the executive committee of All India Trade Union Congress and after partition of India, the first president of All Pakistan Trade Union Federation.

Dr. Malik was elected a member of the Bengal Legislative Council in 1940 and 1946. Malik was additional chief whip in 1946. In 1947, he was appointed minister for Agriculture and Fisheries in the East Bengal cabinet. He became a minister in the central cabinet in 1949 and was in charge of the Ministry of Minority Affairs, and later in charge of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Works. He was also a member of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan. As a Labor Minister, Dr. Malik led the delegation to the International Labor Organisation (ILO) several times. He was elected chairman of the governing body of the ILO (1953-1954). He inaugurated various conferences held under the auspices of the ILO in Asia and Europe. He was appointed Ambassador of Pakistan to Switzerland in August 1955 in addition to his assignment as Ambassador to Austria and Yugoslavia. He was the Ambassador to the People's Republic of China (1958-1961) and the Philippines (1961-1965) and High Commissioner to Australia and New Zealand (1965-1966). Dr. Malik retired from diplomatic service in 1967. In August 1969 he was appointed Minister for Health, Labour, Works and Social Welfare, and continued in the position till February 1971. Later in July 1971 he, as special assistant to the President, was vested with the responsibility of supervision and coordination of relief and rehabilitation activities of the refugees.

During the War of Liberation of Bangladesh AM Malik was appointed Governor of East Pakistan on 31 August 1971 and took oath of office on 3 September. On 14 December 1971 the Governor House was partly damaged by the air raid of the Allied forces and on that very day AM Malik and the members of his cabinet resigned and took shelter in the Hotel Inter-continental (now Hotel Sheraton) which was declared as 'no war' zone by the International Red Cross. After the emergence of Bangladesh Dr. AM Malik was arrested and kept confined.

AM Malik died in 1977. [Abu Jafar]