Thursday, 9 June 2016

Who was the Creator of One Unit?

Iskander Mirza (A Bihari but a resident of Bengal) was one of the most senior bureaucratic ministers in Bogra's (Bengali) government and was extremely influential at that time.

Due to a long illness, Governor-General Ghulam Muhammad (Kakazai) went to two months of leave to the United Kingdom, leaving the office of Governor-General to Interior Minister Iskander Mirza.

On 7 August 1955, Iskander Mirza assumed the office of Governor-General. Immediately after taking the oath from Chief Justice of Pakistan at the apex Supreme Court of Pakistan, Iskander Mirza spoke to the nation on the radio. Owing to the continuing political instability, Iskander Mirza forced Prime Minister Bogra to resign from his office, dispatching him as Pakistan Ambassador to the United States in 1955.

Iskander Mirza was an outspoken supporter of the "One Unit Program"— a program of integrating the nations of West-Pakistan and East Pakistan's Bengali nation into one single nation. This program was a quite a success in East-Pakistan but, met with harsh criticism led by the nationalist movements.

While Iskander Mirza forcefully integrated West Pakistan into one province, this led the West Pakistani population to fiercely oppose his schemes.

The One Unit program collapsed after the Provinces of West Pakistan opposed integration in one provisional state. The provinces retained their current status; nationalists also forced Iskander Mirza to give state recognition of their languages, as well in the constitution.

Under the presidency of Iskander Mirza, he dismissed his elected Prime Ministers, including Suhrawardy, also a Bengali from East Pakistan.

After successfully promulgating the 1956 constitution, Major-General Iskandar Mirza became the first President of Pakistan. But his presidency saw great political instability, challenges in foreign policy, and the ousters of four prime ministers in two years. Major-General Iskandar Mirza finally imposed martial law in 1958 after suspending the constitution and dissolving democratic institutions, including the Pakistan Parliament.

Major-General Iskandar Mirza has the distinction of being the first to bring in military influence in national politics after he appointed his army chief as chief martial law administrator of the country.

Paternal great-grandfather of Iskander Mirza was Mir Jafar (popularly known to Indian and Pakistanis as Ghaddar-e-Abrar).

Mir Jafar had played an integral role, bringing down Siraj ud-Daulah of Bengal, with the British Empire serving as the informant and a leading provider of intelligence to British officer Robert Clive.