Akhter Husain

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Akhter Husain
اختر حسین

2nd Governor of West Pakistan
In office
September 1957 12 April 1960
President Iskander Mirza
Muhammad Ayub Khan
Preceded by Mushtaq Ahmed Gurmani
Succeeded by Amir Mohammad Khan
Personal details
Born1 August 1902
Burhanpur, Madhya Pradesh, British India (Now India)
Died15 July 1983 (aged 81)

Akhter Husain (Urdu: اختر حسین), HPk, OBE , (1 August 1902 – 15 July 1983) was an eminent senior statesman and civil servant of Pakistan. He was appointed Governor of West Pakistan in September 1957 succeeding Mushtaq Ahmed Gurmani and then continued in this office during the regime of General Muhammad Ayub Khan until April 1960. [1]


Early life

Akhter Husain was born on 1 August 1902 at Burhanpur (Central Province India) and received his early education from Hakimia High School, Burhanpur before proceeding to MAO College at Aligarh [2] (which later became Aligarh Muslim University), graduating later from Allahbad University. He was selected for the prestigious Indian Civil Service in 1924 [3] and completed his education and training at St. John's College, Cambridge, England. Upon return from England, he was posted to serve in the province of Punjab in 1926. He served in various administrative positions in different districts of the province, before being appointed as Under Secretary in the Government of India in 1930. He returned to Provincial administration in 1936. Akhter Husain received a British government award of Order of the British Empire (OBE) on 1 January 1944 for his groundbreaking work of settlement in the district of Gurgaon in Punjab in 1943. He was appointed Chief Secretary in the undivided Punjab in 1946, a position he occupied during the partition of British India. [3] [4]

Pakistan Government Service

He continued to serve as the Chief Secretary of West Punjab in the newly formed Dominion of Pakistan in 1947.[ citation needed ]

The years immediately following the creation of Pakistan were fraught with many problems not the least of which was the settlement of the influx of refugees from across the border from India. Mr. Akhter Husain was appointed as the Financial Commissioner in charge of the resettlement of refugees and the revenue and administrative issues involved therein. This massive project notwithstanding, he was appointed to various commissions and inquiry committees during this period, some of which require special mention here. He was appointed chairman of the committee for the implementation of Lord Boyd Orr's recommendations on agricultural reforms, member of the Tenancy Law Inquiry Committee, and as consultant of the reorganization of Karachi administration. In 1954, he was transferred to Karachi and took over charge as Secretary, Ministry of Defence in the Government of Pakistan. In the same year, he was appointed as chairman of the One-Unit secretariat committee, and the following year as the Chairman of the Karachi Administration Committee. He travelled to the United States with the prime minister's delegation in 1957 and visited some defence facilities. On his way back to Pakistan, he received the news that by common consent of all political parties and the government, he had been appointed as the Governor of West Pakistan.[ citation needed ]


Akhter Husain was appointed Governor on 28 August 1957 and remained in this position following the imposition of Martial law in Oct 1958. In the same year he was appointed Chairman of the Land Reforms Commission and provincial administration committee. In 1958, he was awarded the highest civil award of Hilal-i-Pakistan. He also laid the Pakistan Day Memorial's foundation stone (now known as Minar-e-Pakistan) in the then Minto Park in Lahore on 23 March 1960. [5]

Later years

In 1960 after his governorship, he was appointed as minister in the Presidential cabinet successively holding the portfolios of Information and Broadcasting and then Education and Kashmir Affairs. In order to hold these quasi-political positions, he retired from the Civil Service. He was also the recipient of the honorary degree of Doctor of Law from the University of the Punjab. He was subsequently appointed Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan and served in that position between 1962-1964. He also held the office of President of Anjuman-i Taraqqi-i Urdu (The organisation for the promotion and development of the Urdu language) from 1962–1983 and was Chairman of Pakistan Burmah Shell from 1968 until his death in 1983.

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  1. Shahid Javed Burki. "Historical Dictionary of Pakistan (Profile of Akhter Husain)". Rowman & Littlefield on GoogleBooks. Retrieved 6 March 2018.
  2. "Prominent Alumni Aligarh Muslim University" (PDF).
  3. 1 2 "Hall of Fame: The ICS served Pakistan well". Dawn (newspaper). 4 September 2011. Retrieved 6 March 2018.
  4. Ahmed, Ishtiaq. The Punjab Bloodied, Partitioned and Cleansed: Unravelling the 1947 Tragedy through Secret British Reports and First-Person Accounts. OUP Pakistan(29 Mar 2012). pp. 102, 125, 222, 226, 534. ISBN   9780199064700.
  5. "Minar-e-Pakistan www.walledcitylahore.gop.pk". Archived from the original on 27 April 2014. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
Political offices
Preceded by
Mushtaq Ahmed Gurmani
Governor of West Pakistan
1957 1960
Succeeded by
Amir Mohammad Khan
Nawab of Kalabagh