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Malik Feroz Khan Noon

Malik Feroz Khan Noon belonged to one of the most influential landlord families of the Punjab. He was born in 1893. After receiving his early education from Athison College, Lahore he went to London from where he did his Masters in 1916. During his stay at London he also passed the exam of Bar at Law. On his return, Noon practiced law at Lahore High Court from 1917-1926. Then he joined politics and was appointed as Minister of Health and Education in the Punjab cabinet. He served as High Commissioner for India in London from 1936-1941. He was appointed as the member of the Viceroy’s Executive Council in 1941 and retained the position till 1945. Simultaneously, he held the position of the Defence Minister of India from 1942-1945. He was the first Indian to be raised to that prestigious position during the British rule.

In October 1947, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, with the desire to bring unity among the Muslim Ummah, sent Feroz Khan Noon as his special envoy to some countries of the Muslim World. This one-man delegation was the first official mission sent abroad by the Government of Pakistan. The aim of the mission was to introduce Pakistan, to explain the reasons of its creation, to familiarize the Muslim countries with its internal problems and to get the moral and material support from the brethren countries. Noon performed the role assigned to him in a successful manner. Keeping his political and administrative experience in consideration, Feroz Khan Noon was appointed as the Governor of East Pakistan. However, he himself was more interested in the politics of the Punjab. Along with Nawab of Mamdot and Mumtaz Daultana, he remained one of the main contenders for the Chief Ministership of the Punjab during late 40’s and early 50’s. He finally succeeded in achieving his aim in 1953 and remained Chief Minister of the province till 1955. In 1956, he assumed charge as Foreign Minister of Pakistan in Suhrawardy’s Cabinet

 

Malik Feroz Khan Noon and Begum Viqar-un-Nisa Noon with Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru

Being a close friend of Iskander Mirza, Feroz Khan Noon was the key pin in organizing the Republican Party in Punjab. He remained the President of the party and it was also on the platform of this party that Noon was elected as the Prime Minister of Pakistan, on December 16, 1957. Though President Iskander Mirza’s support played an important role in the establishment of Noon’s Ministry, but later on Mirza considered Noon as an obstacle in his way of obtaining absolute power. When Martial Law was enforced in the country on October 7, 1958, Noon’s tenure as Prime Minister automatically came to an end.

Apart from politics, Feroz Khan Noon also proved his capabilities in the field of academics. He wrote a total of five books, including his autobiography, ‘From Memory’. His wife, Viqar-un-Nisa Noon, though not originally from Pakistan, spent her entire life working for the betterment of people of Pakistan, proving herself to be a great social worker.