Feroz Khan Noon

Sir Malik Feroz Khan Noon, KCSI, KCIE, OStJ (Urdu: ملک فیروز خان نون; 7 May 1893 – 9 December 1970),[1] best known as Feroze Khan, was a Pakistani politician who served as the seventh prime minister of Pakistan from 1957 until being removed when President Iskandar Ali Mirza imposed martial law with the 1958 Pakistani coup d'état.

Feroz Khan Noon
ملک فیروز خان نون
Feroz Khan Noon.jpg
7th Prime Minister of Pakistan
In office
16 December 1957 – 7 October 1958
PresidentIskander Mirza
Preceded byIbrahim Ismail Chundrigar
Succeeded byAyub Khan
Minister of Defence
In office
16 December 1957 – 7 October 1958
Prime MinisterHimself
Preceded byMumtaz Daultana
Succeeded byMuhammad Ayub Khuhro
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
12 September 1956 – 7 October 1958
Prime MinisterHuseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy
Preceded byHamidul Huq Choudhury
Succeeded byManzur Qadir
3rd Chief Minister of West Punjab
In office
3 April 1953 – 21 May 1955
Preceded byMumtaz Daultana
Succeeded byAbdul Hamid Khan Dasti
Governor of East Bengal
In office
31 March 1950 – 31 March 1953
Chief MinisterNurul Amin
Preceded byFrederick Chalmers Bourne
Succeeded byChaudhry Khaliquzzaman
Personal details
Malik Feroz Khan Noon

(1893-05-07)7 May 1893
Sargodha, Punjab, British India (now Punjab, Pakistan)
Died9 December 1970(1970-12-09) (aged 77)
Nurpur Noon, Punjab, Pakistan
Political partyRepublican
SpouseViqar un Nisa Noon
Alma materWadham College, Oxford (BA)

Trained as a barrister in England, Noon served as High Commissioner of India to the United Kingdom before serving as a military adviser, over issues pertaining to the British Indian Army, to Prime Minister Winston Churchill's war ministry from the India Office.[1]

Noon was one of the Founding Fathers of Pakistan who helped to negotiate and establish the Federation of Pakistan as a nation state on 14 August 1947, resulting from the successful constitutional movement led by Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

Early life and education in EnglandEdit

Feroz Khan Noon was born in the village of Hamoka, located in Khushab District, Punjab in the then British India on 7 May 1893.[2] He came from an aristocratic landowning family that were known for their wealth and reputation in social circles[3][4] and belonged to the Noon clan of Jat.[5]

After his initial schooling, Noon attended Aitchison College in Lahore before being sent to England in 1912.[6] The India Office arranged for him to stay with the family of a Reverend Lloyd in Ticknall, South Derbyshire. From there he applied to study at Oxford University, initially being rejected by Balliol College, he was then accepted by Wadham College. Noon stayed with Lloyd's family until 1913, and had a close relationship with them until going to Oxford.[1]

At Wadham College, Noon studied history and Farsi, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in history in 1916.[7] He was a keen soccer player and played collegiate field hockey for Isis Club.[1]

During his college years, Noon went to the United States in search of higher education at universities there but returned to Oxford.[7] He interacted with very few Indian students while at university, heeding his father's advice to learn English culture, and lacked time to attend any Indian cultural festivals because he was concentrating on his studies.[1]

In 1916, Noon moved to London to sit the law examination. He qualified as a barrister-at-law from the Inner Temple in 1917 before returning to India.[7]

Political careerEdit

Law practice and legislative career in IndiaEdit

After returning to India in September 1917, Noon began practising law at the District Court in Sargodha and later moved to the Lahore High Court, establishing his reputation in civil law until 1927.[7][6]

In 1920–21, Noon entered national politics and was elected to the Punjab Legislative Assembly on the platform of the Unionist Party. During this time, he formed a close acquaintance with Jogendra Singh.[8] From 1927 until 1931, he joined the cabinet of the Governor of Punjab, Malcolm Hailey and held the portfolio of provincial Ministry of Local Government until 1930.[9]

Between 1931 and 1936, Noon was in the cabinets of Governors Geoffrey Fitzhervey de Montmorency, Sir Sikandar Hyat, and Herbert William Emerson where he held provincial portfolios of Ministries of Health and Education.[10]

In December 1932, Noon was appointed as an Officer of the Venerable Order of Saint John.[11] In 1933, Noon was knighted in the 1933 New Year Honours List.[12] He was appointed as Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire (KCIE) in the 1937 Coronation Honours List[13] and appointed as Knight Commander of the Order of the Star of India (KCSI) in October 1941.[14]

Diplomatic career: World War II and Pakistan MovementEdit

In 1936, Noon resigned from his public service in Punjab when he was appointed as the High Commissioner of India to the United Kingdom.[10]

Over the issue of the Immigration Act of 1924 in the United States, the British Government directed Noon to Washington D.C. He was accompanied by Nevile Butler of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1941 to address issues of American exploration in Baluchistan, and the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status between the United States and the United Kingdom, in light of the Anglo-American Trade Agreement signed in 1938. Noon showed great reluctance to grant American petroleum companies access to Baluchistan due to the Indian government's difficulty maintaining control in remote areas adjacent to Iran and Afghanistan, especially when Indians were being barred from entering the United States.[15]

After the start of World War II in 1939, Noon, who had pro-British views, supported British efforts against the Axis powers, lobbying for deployment of the British Indian Army in Africa and the Middle East.[16] In 1940, he strongly supported Egyptian plans to establish the grand mosque in London.[17] During the height of the anti-British Quit India Movement in India, Noon played a crucial role by convincing Prime Minister Churchill of the support of Indian Muslims for continued British control there.[18]

In 1941, Noon left his diplomatic post when he was asked to join the Churchill cabinet, being appointed first as his military adviser from the Secretary of State for India of India Office on the affairs of the Indian Army.[19] Khan later joined the Viceroy's Executive Council's cabinet as a labour minister, and played a crucial role in advising against the Independence of India, without addressing the push of Muhammad Ali Jinnah and other leaders for the Muslim question.[20][21][clarification needed]

In 1944–45, Churchill appointed Noon to the War Department, leading his own department alongside Sir Arcot Ramasamy Mudaliar that provided representation for British India in the Pacific War Council.[22][23] In 1945, he was appointed as Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, attending the first UN session in San Francisco, California.[24]

In 1946, Noon joined the Muslim League, led by Jinnah.[25] He merged his faction of the Unionist Party into the Muslim League and garnered public support for the cause of Pakistan amidst opposition from Khizar Hayat Tiwana, who wanted to remain as Premier of the Indian Punjab.[26]

During the 1945 Indian general election, Noon's merging of the Unionist Party into the Muslim League played a decisive role. The Muslim League won by a landslide in the Punjab.[27]

Public service in PakistanEdit

Governorship of East Bengal and Chief Minister of PunjabEdit

In 1947, Noon retained his constituency and became a Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan (MNA) of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, following the establishment of Pakistan as a result of the Partition of India.[28]

In October 1947, Jinnah, now Governor-General of Pakistan, appointed Noon as a special envoy and dispatched him to Saudi Arabia and the Islamic world to introduce Pakistan and explain the reasons for its creation, to familiarize the Muslim countries with its internal problems, and to get moral and financial support from the brother countries. Noon performed the role assigned to him in a successful manner.

In 1950, Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan removed Feroz Noon from the Foreign Ministry, appointing him as the Governor of East Bengal. However, he was less interested in the politics of East Bengal and focused towards the provincial politics of Punjab in Pakistan, contesting with Mumtaz Daultana for the post of Chief Minister.[25] He had little interest in strengthening the political program of the Muslim League in Bengal and offered no political action when the popular Bengali Language Movement took place in 1950–51. On 25 July 1952, he returned to Punjab in Pakistan and left the post to Abdur Rahman Siddiqui, returning to his post on 10  November 1952.[29] Noon left Dhaka to become the Chief Minister of Punjab on 26 March 1953.[30]

After the 1953 religious riots in Lahore that resulted in Daultana's resignation, Noon finally achieved his goal when he convinced Prime Minister Khawaja Nazimuddin to appoint him as the third Chief Minister of Punjab.[31]

Foreign ministry in coalition administrationEdit

In 1955, Noon parted from the Muslim League when he helped to establish the Republican Party, supporting the cause of the One Unit programme that laid establishment[clarification needed] of West and East wings of Pakistan. He took over the presidency of the Republican Party, and joined the coalition of the three-party government composed of, the Awami League, the Muslim League, and the Republican Party that endorsed Iskander Mirza for the presidency. Noon had been ideologically very close to Mirza and was appointed in the coalition cabinet of Prime Minister Huseyn Suhrawardy.

In 1956–57, Noon attempted to hold talks with India over the Kashmir issue, and insurgency in Eastern India, but was unable to make any breakthrough.[32]

Prime Minister of Pakistan (1957–58)Edit

After the resignations of the Awami League's H.S. Suhrawardy and the Muslim League's I. I. Chundrigar, Noon was the last candidate from the three-party coalition government, and started his support for the premiership on a conservative-Republican Party agenda.[33]

Noon successfully forged an alliance with the Awami League, the National Awami Party, the Krishak Sramik Party, and the parliamentary groups in the National Assembly that allowed him to form the government as its Prime Minister.[citation needed]

Malik Feroz Khan in London.

Negotiation for GwadarEdit

On 16 December 1957, Noon took an oath from Chief Justice M. Munir and formed a coalition government.[citation needed] During this time, Noon entered into complicated but successful negotiations with the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman for the cession of Gwadar, which was taken into the Federation of Pakistan on 8 September 1958, for the price of US$3 million.[34][35]

Noon's ability to get Gwadar into the Federation, and settlement of political issues in the country generally, threatened President Mirza who saw him as an obstacle to Mirza obtaining absolute power.[citation needed] Noon tried to obtain a compromise with India regarding the Kashmir problem.[36]

In his memoirs, "From Memory", Noon writes, "With Gwadar in foreign hands, I had felt we were living in a house in which the back room with another door, was occupied by a stranger who could, at any time, sell us out to a power inimical to Pakistan…".[37][38] The wife of Feroz Khan Noon, Viqar-un-Nisa Noon, also played a large role in the accession of Gwadar to Pakistan. She visited London in 1956 to see the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and to lobby the British Parliament for their protectorate of Muscat and Oman to give custody of 'Gwadar Port' to Pakistan,[39] and get approval from the House of Lords.[40][41][42][43][44][38]

Noon had not endorsed the presidential re-election of Mirza as the three-party coalition had been negotiating their own president to replace Mirza in 1958.[45] At midnight on 7/8 October 1958, Mirza imposed martial law in a coup d'état against his own party's government, effectively dismissing his own appointed Prime Minister to usurp all political power into his own hands.[30]

Later and personal life, and deathEdit

After the 1958 Pakistani coup d'état, Noon retired from national politics and became a political writer. He authored five books on the history of India and issues pertaining to law and politics in Pakistan.

  • Wisdom From Fools (1940), short stories for children.[46]
  • Scented Dust (1941), a novel.[47]
  • India (1941)
  • Kashmir (1957)
  • From Memory (1966)

Noon was married to Viqar-un-Nisa Noon, an Austrian, who was a prominent politician and a social worker by profession. He died on 9 December 1970 in his ancestral village of Nurpur Noon, Sargodha District, where he is buried.[30]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e Open University. "Making Britain :Firoz Khan Noon". www.open.ac.uk. London, UK: Making Britain. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  2. ^ Poel, Jean van der (2007). Selections from the Smuts Papers: Volume VII, August 1945 – October 1950. Cambridge University Press. p. 427. ISBN 9780521033701.
  3. ^ Mandal, U. C. (1997). Bureaucracy Growth And Devel. New Delhi, India: Sarup & Sons. p. 96. ISBN 9788185431840.
  4. ^ Kamra, Sukeshi (2002). Bearing Witness: Partition, Independence, End of the Raj. University of Calgary Press. p. 393. ISBN 9781552380413.
  5. ^ "noon clan - Google Search". www.google.com. Retrieved 12 November 2022.
  6. ^ a b Churchill, Winston; Gilbert, Martin (1993). The Churchill War Papers: The ever-widening war, 1941. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 1094. ISBN 9780393019599.
  7. ^ a b c d Noon, (Sir Malik) Firoz Khan Noon (1966). From Memory. Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan: Ferozsons. pp. 72–74.
  8. ^ Malhotra, S. L. (1979). From civil disobedience to quit India: Gandhi and the freedom movement in Punjab and Haryana, 1932–1942. New Delhi, India: Publication Bureau, Panjab University. pp. 76–77.
  9. ^ Cell, John W.; Cell, John Whitson (22 August 2002). Hailey: A Study in British Imperialism, 1872-1969year=2002. Cambridge, Uk: Cambridge University Press. p. 141. ISBN 9780521521178.
  10. ^ a b Korson, J. Henry (1974). Contemporary Problems of Pakistan. U.S.: Brill Archive. p. 13. ISBN 9004039422.
  11. ^ London Gazette, 3 January 1933
  12. ^ London Gazette, 2 January 1933
  13. ^ London Gazette, 11 May 1937
  14. ^ London Gazette, 10 October 1941
  15. ^ Malik, Iftikhar H. (1991). Us-South Asian Relations 1940–47: American Attitudes Toward The Pakistan Movement. New York: Springer. pp. 39–49. ISBN 9781349212163.
  16. ^ Current Biography Yearbook. H. W. Wilson Co. 1958. ISBN 9780824201234.
  17. ^ Nasta, Susheila (2013). India in Britain: South Asian Networks and Connections, 1858–1950. London: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 89. ISBN 9780230392717.
  18. ^ Toye, Richard (2017). Winston Churchill: Politics, Strategy and Statecraft. Indiana, U.S.: Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 121. ISBN 9781474263863.
  19. ^ Venkataramani, M. S.; Shrivastava, B. K. (1983). Roosevelt, Gandhi, Churchill: America and the last phase of India's freedom struggle. New Delhi, India: Radiant Publishers. p. 335. ISBN 9780391019713.
  20. ^ Hess, Gary R. (1971). America encounters India, 1941–1947. Johns Hopkins Press. pp. 38–39. ISBN 9780801812583.
  21. ^ Hope, Ashley Guy (1968). America and Swaraj: The U.S. Role in Indian Independence. Public Affairs Press. pp. 58–59.
  22. ^ Ray, Jayanta Kumar (2007). Aspects of India's International Relations, 1700 to 2000: South Asia and the World. Mumbai, India: Pearson Education India. pp. 395–396. ISBN 9788131708347.
  23. ^ "CONCLUSIONS of a Meeting of the War Cabinet held at 10, Downing Street, S.W. 1, on Tuesday, 3rd April, 1945, at 11-30 am" (PDF). filestore.nationalarchives.gov.uk.
  24. ^ Lentz, Harris M. (2014). Heads of States and Governments Since 1945. Washington, DC: Routledge. p. 612. ISBN 9781134264902.
  25. ^ a b "Feroz Khan Noon" (PDF). Shodhganga.
  26. ^ Jalal, Ayesha (1994). The Sole Spokesman: Jinnah, the Muslim League and the Demand for Pakistan. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. pp. 144–145. ISBN 9780521458504.
  27. ^ Mohiuddin, Yasmeen Niaz (2007). Pakistan: A Global Studies Handbook. New York, U.S.: ABC-CLIO. p. 70. ISBN 9781851098019.
  28. ^ Lentz, Harris M. (2014). Heads of States and Governments Since 1945 (1st ed.). Washington, DC: Routledge. p. 612. ISBN 9781134264902.
  29. ^ "Siddiqui, Abdur Rahman". Banglapedia. Retrieved 14 November 2016.
  30. ^ a b c Jafar, Abu. "Noon, Malik Firoz Khan". Banglapedia. Retrieved 14 November 2016.
  31. ^ Mahmud, Syed (1958). A nation is born. Karachi, Pakistan: Feroz Printing Works. p. 26.
  32. ^ Pandey, Sudhakar (2015). Govind Ballabh Pant. Publications Division Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. p. 189. ISBN 9788123026466.
  33. ^ "Remembering Malik Feroz Khan Noon: Pakistan owes him Gwadar". www.linkedin.com. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  34. ^ Choudhry, Dr. Shabir (16 December 2016). "CPEC – A potential threat to turn Gilgit-Baltistan a battleground – II – Northlines". Northlines. London, UK: Northlines. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  35. ^ Sir), Firoz Khan Noon (Malik; Nūn, Fīroz K̲h̲ān̲ (1966). From Memory. Ferozsons. p. 282.
  36. ^ Salahuddin, Syed (15 May 2010). "Consensus on Kashmir". DAWN.COM. DAWN.COM. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  37. ^ Ranjan, Amit (20 November 2018). Partition of India: Postcolonial Legacies. ISBN 9780429750526.
  38. ^ a b Jones, Jeremy (10 March 2013). Oman, Culture and Diplomacy. ISBN 9780748674633.
  39. ^ "Gwadar, Victoria and Aga Khan". www.ourbeacon.com. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  40. ^ "r/pakistan – Viqar Ul Nisa, the woman who helped Pakistan obtain Gwadar (Info in comments)". reddit. 15 February 2019. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  41. ^ "Who do we thank for Gwadar?". Daily Times. 22 May 2018. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  42. ^ "Why did Oman sell Gwadar to Pakistan? – Quora". www.quora.com. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  43. ^ Dhillon, Ali Ahmad (17 January 2019). "Gwadar Ki Shaan, Begum Waqar Un Nisa Noon!". Daily Urdu Columns. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  44. ^ "Who do we thank for Gwadar?". Ismailimail. 25 May 2018. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  45. ^ Mazari, Sherbaz Khan (1999). A Journey to Disillusionment. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195790764. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  46. ^ Indian Information, Volume 15 (1944), Page 312
  47. ^ Current Biography Yearbook, 1958, Page 411

External linksEdit

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by High Commissioner for India
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Governor of East Bengal
Succeeded by
Preceded by Chief Minister of Punjab
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Preceded by Prime Minister of Pakistan
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of Defence
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