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Abdur Rab Nishtar

Abdur Rab Nishtar
سردار عبد الرب نښتر
2nd Governor of West Punjab
In office
2 August 1949 – 24 November 1951
Monarch George VI
Governor-General Khawaja Nazimuddin
Malik Ghulam Muhammad
Preceded by Francis Mudie
Succeeded by Ibrahim Ismail Chundrigar
Personal details
Born Abdur Rab Nishtar
(1899-06-13)13 June 1899
Peshawar, British Raj
Died 14 February 1958(1958-02-14) (aged 58)
Karachi, West Pakistan
Nationality Pakistani
Political party Pakistan Muslim League
Alma mater Aligarh Muslim University
The University of the Punjab
Profession Politician

Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar (13 June 1899 – 14 February 1958; Pashto: سردار عبد الرب نښتر‎) was a Muslim League stalwart, Pakistan movement activist and later Pakistani politician.


  • Education 1
  • Political career 2
  • Federal Minister 3
  • Nomination for Prime Minister 4
  • Opposition Leader 5
  • Leader of Muslim League 6
  • Death 7
  • References 8
  • Bibliography 9
  • External links 10


Nishtar's ancestors belonged to a prominent Kakar Pashtun family of Zhob and settled in Peshawar. He completed his early education in mission school and later Sanatan Dharram High School in Mumbai. He graduated from Edwardes College[1] but later on completed his Bachelor of Arts degree from the Punjab University. He later went to Aligarh and received an LL.B with honours from Aligarh Muslim University (now in India) in 1925.

Political career

A man of deep religious convictions he also had a deep interest in Islamic mysticism, a fact which probably reflects the influence of his associate Maulana Ali. Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar remained member of Indian National Congress 1927–31, was elected Municipal Commissioner, Peshawar Municipal committee, successively from 1929–38, joined All-India Muslim League became a confidante of Pakistan's founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah. In 1932, Nishtar remained a member AIML Council, 1936, member NWFP legislative Assembly 1937–45, Finance Minister NWFP 1943–45, member AIML Working Committee, 1944–47, represented the AIML at Simla Tripartite Conference 1946.[2]

Ousted from provincial politics through the machinations of Abdul Qayyum Khan in 1946.[3] The last was an outcaste who was opposed to the Congress.[4] es, the Union of India and the Dominion of Pakistan.[5]

Federal Minister

After independence, Nishtar was appointed Minister for communication in Pakistan. After the dismissal of the Punjab Provincial government in 1949, Sardar Nishtar was appointed Governor of Punjab (the first Pakistani governor in Pakistan's history, till that time the British government still continued with previous English Governors). He effectively ran the Governorship for two years paving the way for restoration of an elected government in 1951.

Nomination for Prime Minister

Nishtar was considered a serious contender for the post of Prime Minister after Liaqat Ali Khan's assassination, his appointment was blocked by senior secularists liberal officials including future President Iskander Mirza because of Nishter's conservative and Islamic views.[2]

Opposition Leader

He subsequently fell out with the government over the dismissal of Khawaja Nazimuddin's government by Governor General Ghulam Muhammad. Refusing to be involved in what he perceived as an undemocratic act Nishtar went into opposition. In 1956, when the first constitution was adopted, Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar was elected president of the party against the wishes of President Iskandar Mirza and then prime minister Chaudhry Mohammad Ali who were backing Dr. Khan Sahib as West Pakistan chief minister while Nishtar wanted a League man for the office. But a big majority of the League leaders, including Nawab Mushtaq Ahmad Gurmani and Mumtaz Daultana, supported Iskander Mirza.

Leader of Muslim League

He subsequently took over the leadership of the Muslim League and the League was expected to do well in West Pakistan in the planned 1959 elections.


Abdur Rab Nishtar died on 14 February 1958 in Karachi. Nishtar Medical College, Nishtar Hospital in Multan; Nishtar Park and Nishtar Road in Karachi are named after him. He was buried at Mazar-e-Quaid.


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar: an appreciation DAWN 30 December 2006. Retrieved 10 February 2007
  3. ^ The Leader at
  4. ^ Robert Aura Smith, Divided India (Read Books, 2007), pp. 241–242
  5. ^ Rajmohan Gandhi, Patel: a Life, p. 416


Syed Mujawar Hussain Shah, Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar: A Political Biography (Lahore, Qadiria Books, 1985).

External links

  • Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar, Pioneers of Freedom site
  • OPF page
  • Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar- A Man for all Seasons
Political offices
Preceded by
Francis Mudie
Governor of Punjab
Succeeded by
I.I. Chundrigar
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