Fazal Illahi Chaudhary



Designation: President
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Fazal Illahi Chaudhary - President of Pakistan during 1973 - 1978

Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry was born in the city of Gujrat in the Punjab province on January 1, 1904. He did his M. A. in Political Science in 1925 and took his degree of Law from the University of Punjab in 1927. After completing his education, he went back to Gujrat and started practicing Law. He took part in the election of Gujrat District Board and was elected unopposed..He studied at Aligarh University and later Punjab University from where he got a law degree, and went into practicing law.

Upon the independence of Pakistan, Chaudhry got involved in the new government, moving up to high ranking positions in the National Assembly. He would end up joining the Pakistan Peoples Party and would be made President in 1973, when the head of the PPP, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was made Prime Minister.

Chaudhry was largely a figurehead, and was the first President with less power than the Prime Minister. This was due to the new constitution of 1973 that gave power to the Prime Minister. Previously, the President had been the chief leader of Pakistan, having the power to appoint Prime Ministers.

He joined the Muslim League in 1942. In 1945, he was elected from Gujrat as the President of Muslim League. He took part in the 1946 elections on Muslim League's ticket and played an important role in propagating the ideas of Muslim League among the people of his area.

After Independence, he was given the post of Parliamentary Secretary. He was later appointed Minister for Education and Health. In 1951, he contested the elections of the Punjab Legislative Assembly on the Muslim League ticket and was elected as a member of the Punjab Assembly. In 1952, he represented Pakistan in the United Nations. In the 1956 elections, he was elected as member of the Assembly and later as the Speaker of the National Assembly. He remained as Speaker till 1958. In 1962, when Ayub Khan announced the elections, he was selected as the Deputy Opposition Leader of the House on the basis of his experience and knowledge about parliamentary proceedings. He joined the Convention Muslim League, and after the 1956 elections, he was elected as the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly.

He was elected as member of the National Assembly in 1970 on the ticket of Pakistan Peoples Party and was later elected as the Speaker of the National Assembly. After the 1973 Constitution, Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry was made the President of Pakistan for five years on August 14, 1973. On July 5, 1977, the army took over the reins of power in the country. Fazal Ilahi, however, completed his tenure as President of Pakistan. He resigned on September 16, 1978. He died on June 2, 1982.

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