Malik Ghulam Muhammad served as Governor-General of Pakistan from 1951 until 1955, shortly before his death in 1956. He is a Kakazai Pathan.
Born in Lahore, Punjab, British India, in 1895, Ghulam Muhammad attended Aligarh Muslim University, after which he worked in the accounting field. He helped during the formation of a company in 1945 known as Mahindra & Mohammed, which is now known as Mahindra & Mahindra and is the largest SUV maker in India. Later, after the partition of India, Mr. Ghulam Muhammad migrated to Pakistan and became that nation's first finance minister.
When Pakistan was formed in 1947, Ghulam Muhammad served as its first Finance Minister of Pakistan, owing to his experience in that sector. Suffering from bad health, Ghulam Muhammad was almost removed by Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan. After Liaquat's assassination in 1951, Khawaja Nazimuddin became Prime Minister of Pakistan and Ghulam Muhammad was made the Governor-General. From this position Ghulam Muhammad extended his control over Pakistan. Nazimuddin challenged Ghulam Muhammad's actions, but the latter exercised the reserve powers of the Governor-General's office, dismissing Nazimuddin's government in the aftermath of the Lahore riots of 1953, and effectively removing him from office. Muhammad Ali Bogra was installed as the new prime minister.
One of Ghulams major first duties was to represent Pakistan as Governor General at Queen Elizabeth II Coronation held in London in 1953. Ghualam was present in Westminster Abbey alongside the other major Dominion Governor Generals from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and Ceylon.
In 1954, the Assembly of Pakistan tried to change the constitution to establish checks on the Governor-General's powers. In response, Ghulam Muhammad dismissed the Assembly, an action that was challenged in the Supreme Court. Ghulam Muhammad emerged victorious when the Court upheld the dismissal in a split decision, despite the dissenting opinion written by the renowned Justice (later Chief Justice) A. R. Cornelius, and despite protests from the members of the Assembly. This action is now seen as the beginning of “viceregal” politics in Pakistan, in which the military and civil bureaucracy, not elected officials, govern the country and maintain substantial influence over society and the provinces.
Ghulam Muhammad's health deteriorated, and he took a leave of absence in 1955. The acting Governor-General, Iskander Mirza, dismissed him, and Ghulam Muhammad died the next year in 1956.