Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar
Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar was born on June 13, 1899 at Peshawar. He belonged to Kakar tribe. He completed his early education in mission school and later Sanatan Dharram High School in Peshawar. He dropped out of King Edward Medical College but later on completed his Bachelor of Arts degree from the Punjab University. He later went to Aligarh and received an LL.B with honors from Aligarh Muslim University in 1925. In College days, he joined Khilafat Movement In 1927.
A man of deep religious convictions he also had a deep interest in Islamic mysticism, a fact which probably reflects the influence of his associate Maulana Ali. Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar remained member of Indian National Congress 1927-31, was elected Municipal Commissioner, Peshawar Municipal committee, successively from 1929-38, joined All-India Muslim League became a confidante of Pakistan's founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah. In 1932, remained a member AIML Council, 1936, member NWFP legislative Assembly 1937-45, Finance Minister NWFP 1943-45, member AIML Working Committee, 1944-47, represented the AIML at Simla Tripartite Conference 1946.
Ousted from provincial politics through the machinations of Abdul Qayyum Khan in the 1946 provincial elections, in October 1946, Nishtar was one of the five men nominated by Jinnah on behalf of the Muslim League to join the Interim Government of India, and he subsequently took the Posts and Air portfolio. The other four nominated by the League were Liaquat Ali Khan, I. I. Chundrigar, Ghazanfar Ali Khan, and Jogindar Nath Mandal. The last was an Untouchable who was opposed to the Congress.
At the time of the independence, Nishtar, Jinnah, and Liaquat Ali Khan represented the Muslim League in the Division Council which divided the public assets of British India between the two new states, the Union of India and the Dominion of Pakistan.
After independence, Nishtar was appointed Minister for communication in Pakistan. After the dismissal of the Punjab Provincial government in 1949, Sardar Nishtar was appointed Governor of Punjab (the first Pakistani governor in Pakistan's history, till that time the British government still continued with previous English Governors). He effectively ran the Governorship for two years paving the way for restoration of an elected government in 1951.
Nishtar was considered a serious contender for the post of Prime Minister after Liaqat Ali Khan's assassination; his appointment was blocked by senior officials including future President Iskander Mirza because of his conservative views.
He subsequently fell out witb the government over the dismissal of Khawaja Nazimuddin's government by Governor General Ghulam Muhammad. Refusing to be involved in what he perceived as an undemocratic act Nishtar went into opposition. In 1956, when the first constitution was adopted, Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar was elected president of the party against the wishes of President Iskandar Mirza and then Prime Minister Chaudhry Mohammad Ali who were backing Dr. Khan Sahib as West Pakistan chief minister while Nishtar wanted a League man for the office. But a big majority of the League leaders, including Nawab Mushtaq Ahmad Gurmani and Mumtaz Daultana, supported Iskander Mirza.
He subsequently took over the leadership of the Muslim League and the League was expected to do well in West Pakistan in the planned 1959 elections.
He was also a gifted poet. His poetry reflects the highest human values and a sincere urge for social reforms.
Abdur Rab Nishtar died on February 14, 1958 in Karachi. Nishtar Medical College in Multan was laid to rest in the courtyard of Quaid-e-Azam's mausoleum. Nishtar Park and Nishtar Road in Karachi are named after him.