Hajji Sir Khawaja Nazimuddin, (July 19, 1894 - October 22, 1964) was the second Governor-General of Pakistan, and later the second Prime Minister of Pakistan as well.
He was born in Dacca, Bengal (now Dhaka, Bangladesh) into the family of the Nawabs of Dhaka. He received his education from Dunstable Grammar School in England, then Aligarh Muslim University, and later Trinity Hall, Cambridge until the mid-1930s. He was knighted in 1934.
After returning to British India, he became involved in politics in his native Bengal. Nazimuddin was initially the Education Minister, but climbed the ranks to become the Chief Minister of the province prior to independence. Sir Khawaja also became the head of the Muslim League in Eastern India
Upon the formation of Pakistan, he became an important part of the early government. After the early death of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Sir Khawaja succeeded him as the Governor-General of Pakistan. At this point in time, the position was largely ceremonial, and executive power rested with the Prime Minister. The first Prime Minister of Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan was assassinated in 1951, and Sir Khawaja stepped in to replace him.
During Sir Khawaja's time as Prime Minister, Pakistan saw a growing rift within the Muslim League, especially between Punjabi and Bengali groups, as those were the two largest ethnic groups of Pakistan, but were separated by India. On 21 February 1952, a demonstration in the Language movement demanding equal and official status to the Bengali language turned bloody, with many fatalities caused by police firings. During his time in office, a framework was begun for a constitution that would allow Pakistan to become a republic, and end its Dominion status. Progress was made, but Sir Khawaja's time as Prime Minister would be cut short in 1953.
In 1953, a religious movement began to agitate for the removal of the Ahmadi religious minority from power positions, and demanded a declaration of this minority as non-Muslims. Sir Khawaja resisted such pressures; but mass rioting broke out in the Punjab against both the government and followers of this religious minority. He responded by changing the governor of that province to Feroz Khan Noon, but the decision came late.
Ghulam Muhammad, the Governor-General, asked the Prime Minister to step down. Sir Khawaja refused, but Ghulam Muhammad got his way by invoking a reserve power that allowed him to dismiss the Prime Minister. The Chief Justice, Muhammad Munir, of the "Federal Court of Pakistan" (now named as the Supreme Court of Pakistan), did not rule on the legality of the dismissal, but instead forced new elections. The new prime-minister was another Bengali born statesman, Muhammad Ali Bogra.
The dismissal of Sir Khawaja, the Prime Minister, by the Governor-General, Muhammad, signalled a troubling trend in Pakistani political history.
Sir Khawaja died in 1964, aged 70. He was buried at Suhrawardy Udyan in his hometown of Dhaka.
He was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire (CIE) in 1926, and was knighted in 1934 by the King-Emperor George V, when he was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire (KCIE). However, he renounced his knighthood in 1946 due to his belief in independence from Britain.
The Nazimabad and North Nazimabad suburbs of Karachi and Nazimuddin Roads of Dhaka and Islamabad have been named in honour of Sir Khawaja Nazimuddin.