Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah: The Greatest Political Figure of Sindh

Sir Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah KCSI was an impressive Pakistani politician from Sindh province. He held several offices in Sindh including 1st Chief M.(1937–1938) and being re-elected as 5th Chief M.(1942–1947).

Sir Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah was born in the year of 1879 at Shikarpur city and received his education from Shikarpur High School, Sindh Madressah, Karachi, D. J. Sindh College, Karachi and Government Law College, Bombay.

After completing his LL.B. in the year of 1902, he initiated his legal practice in Hyderabad city Sindh. He started his public career as Vice President of the Hyderabad Municipality. Hidayatullah was also the first Non-official President of the Hyderabad District Board. In 1921 he became a Member of the Bombay Legislative Council. In the same year, he was appointed a Minister in the Bombay Government, an office which he occupied till the year of 1928 when he was made a Member of the Executive council of the Governor of Bombay. He served in this capacity till 1934. He received the title of Khan Bahadur from the British government, which also knighted him in the 1926 New Year Honours and further appointed him a Knight Commander of the Most Exalted Order of the Star of India (KCSI) in the 1933 Birthday Honours.

As a Minister, Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah was linked with the famous ‘Sukkur Barrage project’ which contributed so much to the prosperity of Sindh in later years. Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah, along with Khan Bahadur Muhammad Ayub Khuhro, Syed Miran Shah and Sir Shah Nawaz Bhutto, represented Sindh in the Round Table Conferences in London. They convinced the Chairman of the ‘Committee on Sindh’ that Sindh was not to be a deficit province and had sufficient revenue and administrative capability to be a full fledged province. Sindh was separated from Bombay and its first assembly came into being in the year of 1937.

After the separation of Sindh from Bombay, Sir Ghulam Hussain became the first Chief Minister and remained so until 1947 with two short breaks when Allah Bux Soomro and Mir Bande Ali Talpur had formed their Governments. Sir Ghulam Hussain became the Chief Minister of Sindh three times.

In the year of 1938, the Sindh Assembly approved a resolution demanding a separate homeland for the Muslims of India. In the year of 1943, the Sindh Government became the first Provincial Assembly of the sub-continent to pass an official resolution in favour of the creation of Pakistan. When the Muslim League in 1946 decided on a policy of renunciation of titles conferred by the British Government, Sir Ghulam renounced his British titles and honorifics.

After independence Sir Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah earned the unique distinction of being the only Pakistani Governor of a Province in Pakistan as all other Governors were British. This shows the faith and trust the Quaid-e-Azam laid in him.

Within a month of the passing away of the Quaid-e-Azam, Sir Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah the “Grand Old Man of Sindh” died in Karachi on the the day of October 4, 1948.

Career of Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah

Hidayatullah served as the Chief Minister of Sindh for two separate terms. The first term was April 28, 1937 to March 23, 1938. The second term was March 7, 1941 to October 14, 1947, and served the longest tenure that any chief minister has so far held. After the independence, he became the first Governor of Sindh from August 14, 1947 to Oct 4, 1948. He passed away in office.

 

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