Feroz Khan Noon

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Sir Malik Feroz Khan Noon (Urdu: ملک فیروز خان نون‎;  7 May 1893 – 9 December 1970[1]), KCSI, KCIE, OStJ, best known as Feroze Khan, was the seventh Prime Minister of Pakistan, appointed in this capacity on 16 December 1957 until being removed when President Iskandar Ali Mirza imposed martial law on 8 October 1958.

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 byI.I. Chundrigar
Succeeded byAyub Khan (de facto)
Nurul Amin (Appointed in 1971)
Minister of Defence
In office
16 December 1957 – 7 October 1958
DeputyAkhter Husain
(Secretary of Defence)
Preceded byMumtaz Daultana
Succeeded byAyub Khuhro
5th Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
12 September 1956 – 7 October 1958
DeputySikandar Ali Baig
(Foreign Secretary)
Preceded byHamidul Huq Choudhury
Succeeded byManzur Qadir
Chief Minister of Punjab
In office
3 April 1953 – 21 May 1955
Preceded byM. Daultana
Succeeded byA.H. Khan Dasti
Governor of East Bengal
In office
31 March 1950 – 31 March 1953
Chief MinisterNurul Amin
Preceded byFrederick Chalmers Bourne
Succeeded byChaudhry Khaliquzzaman
Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations
In office
1945 – September 1946
MonarchGeorge VI
Prime MinisterWinston Churchill
Preceded bySecretariat created
Succeeded bySamarendranath Sen
British Representative to the Pacific War Council
In office
MonarchGeorge VI
Prime MinisterWinston Churchill
Preceded byArcot Ramasamy Mudaliar
Succeeded byDigvijaysinhji Ranjitsinhji
Minister of Labour in Viceroy's Executive Council
In office
Preceded byB. N. Mitra
Succeeded byJagjivan Ram
High Commissioner of India to the United Kingdom
In office
1937 – 29 December 1941
ViceroyEarl of Willingdon
Preceded byB. N. Mitra
Succeeded byAzizul Haque
Provincial Minister of Local Government, Health, and Education
In office
President of the Republican Party
In office
1956 – 7 October 1958
Vice PresidentIskander Mirza
Preceded byParty established
Succeeded byParty disestablished
Personal details
Malik Feroze Khan Noon

(1893-05-07)7 May 1893
Hamoka, Khushab District Punjab, British India
(Present-day, Sargodha, Punjab in Pakistan)
Died9 December 1970(1970-12-09) (aged 77)
Nurpur Noon, Sargodha District, Punjab, Pakistan
Resting placeNurpur Noon cemetery,Sargodha
CitizenshipBritish Raj British India
Political partyMuslim League
(1921–57; 1962–70)
Republican Party
Spouse(s)Victoria Rikhy Noon
(m. 1945)
Alma materOxford University
(BA in Hist.)
AwardsOrder of the Indian Empire Ribbon.svgOrder of the Indian Empire
Ord.Stella.India.jpgOrder of the Star of India
Order of St John (UK) ribbon -vector.svgOrder of St. John

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

Khan was one of the Founding Fathers of Pakistan who helped to negotiate and establish the federation of a nation-state resulted in a successful constitutional movement led under Muhammad Ali Jinnah on 14 August 1947.


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 hailed from an elite aristocratic and landowning family that were known for their wealth and had reputation in social circles.[3].[4]

After his initial schooling, Noon attended Aitchison College in Lahore before being sent to England in 1912.[5] The India Office arranged for him to stay with the family of Reverend Lloyd in Ticknall, South Derbyshire. From there he applied to study at Oxford University, initially being rejected by Balliol College and 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 BA degree in History in 1916.[6] He was a keen football player and played collegiate 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.[6] He interacted with very few Indian students while at university, heeding his father's advice to learn English culture and lacking time to attend any Indian cultural festivals because of 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.[6]

Political careerEdit

Law practice and legislative career in IndiaEdit

After returning to India in September 1917, Khan 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.[6][5]

In 1920–21, Khan entered national politics and was elected for the Punjab Legislative Assembly on the platform of the Unionist Party. During this time, he formed close acquaintanceship with Jogendra Singh.[7] From 1927 until 1931, he joined the cabinet of Governor of Punjab, Malcolm Hailey and held the portfolio of provincial ministry of local government until 1930.[8]

Between 1931 and 1936, Khan was in the cabinets of Governors Geoffrey Fitzhervey de Montmorency, Sikandar Hyat, and Herbert William Emerson where he held provincial portfolios of ministries of health and education.[9]

In December 1932, Khan was appointed as an Officer of the Venerable Order of Saint John.[10] In 1933, Feroze Khan was knighted in the 1933 New Year Honours List.[11] He was appointed as Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire (KCIE) in the 1937 Coronation Honours List[12] and appointed as Knight Commander of the Order of the Star of India (KCIS) in October 1941.[13]

Diplomatic career: World War II and Pakistan MovementEdit

In 1936, Khan resigned from his public service in Punjab when he was appointed as the High Commissioner of India to the United Kingdom.[9]

Over the issue of Immigration Act of 1924 in the United States, the British government directed Khan to Washington D.C. where was accompanied by Nevile Butler of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1941 to address issue of American exploration in Baluchistan and the MFN status between the United States and the United Kingdom in light of the Anglo-American trade treaty signed in 1938. Khanshowed great reluctance to grant American petroleum companies the access to Baluchistan due to the Indian government's difficulty in maintaining control with remote areas adjacent with Iran and Afghanistan, especially when Indians were being barred from entering the United States.[14]

After the start of World War II in 1939, Khan, who had pro-British views, supported the British efforts against the Axis powers, lobbying for deployment of the British Indian Army in Africa and the Middle East.[15] In 1940, he strongly supported Egyptian plans to establish the grand mosque in London.[16] During the height of the anti-British movement in India, Khan played a crucial role by convincing Prime Minister Winston Churchill of the Indian Muslim support for continued British control there.[17]

In 1941, Khan 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.[18] 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.[19][20]

In 1944–45, Churchill appointed Khan in the War Department, leading his own department alongside with A. R. Mudaliar that provided representation for British India in the Pacific War Council.[21][22] In 1945, he was appointed as Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, attending the first session in San Francisco, California.[23]

In 1946, Khan joined the Muslim League, led by Jinnah.[citation needed] 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.[24]

During the 1945 general elections, Khan's merging of the Unionist Party into the Muslim League played a decisive role. The Muslim League won by a landslide in Punjab.[25]

Public service in PakistanEdit

Governorship of East Bengal and Chief Minister of PunjabEdit

In 1947, Feroze Khan retained his constituency and became MNA of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, following the establishment of Pakistan as a result of the Partition of India.[26]

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

In 1950, Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan removed from the Foreign ministry, appointing him as the Governor of East Bengal. However, he was less interested in politics of East Bengal, and had focused towards the provincial politics of Punjab in Pakistan, contesting with the Mumtaz Daultana for the post of Chief Ministership of Punjab.[citation needed] He had little interest in strengthening the political program of the Muslim League in Bengal and offered no political action when the popular language movement took place in 1950–51. On 25 July 1952, returned to Punjab in Pakistan and left the post to Abdur Rahman Siddiqui until returning to the post on 10 November 1952.[27] Feroz Khan left Dhaka to become the Chief Minister of Punjab on 26 March 1953.[28]

After the religious riots in Lahore that resulted in Daultana's resignation, Khan finally achieved his goal when he convinced Prime Minister Khawaja Nazimuddin to appoint him as the third Chief Minister of Punjab.[29]

Foreign ministry in Coalition administrationEdit

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

In 1956–57, Khan attempted to hold talks with India over the Kashmir issue and insurgency in Eastern India but was unable to make any breakthrough.[30]

Prime Minister of Pakistan (1957-58)Edit

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

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

On 16 December 1957, Khan took an oath from the Chief Justice M. Munir and formed a coalition government.[citation needed] During this time, Khan entered in complicated but successful negotiation with Muscat and Oman for the accession of Gwadar for the price of US$3 million (US$25,503,380.28 in current value), which was annexed into the federation of Pakistan on 8 September 1958.:282[6][31]

Khan's ability to annex the Gwadar into the federation and settlement of political issues in the country generally threatened President Mirza who had seen him as an obstacle in his way of obtaining absolute power.[citation needed] Khan tried to obtain a compromise with India regarding the Kashmir problem.[32]

Khan 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.[33] At midnight on 7/8 October 1958, Mirza imposed martial law against his own party's government, effectively dismissing his own appointed Prime Minister to usurp the political power in his own hand.[28]

Later and personal life, and deathEdit

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

  • Wisdom From Fools (1940), short stories for children.[34]
  • Scented Dust (1941), a novel.[35]
  • India (1941)
  • Kashmir (1957)
  • From Memory (1966)

Khan was married to Victoria Rikhy Noon, an Austrian, who was also a prominent politician and social worker. He died on 7 December 1970 in his ancestral village of Nurpur Noon, Sargodha District, where he is buried.[28]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e Open University. "Making Britain :Firoz Khan Noon | Making Britain". 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. ^ a b Churchill, Winston; Gilbert, Martin (1993). The Churchill War Papers: The ever-widening war, 1941. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 1094. ISBN 9780393019599.
  6. ^ a b c d e Noon, (Sir Malik) Firoz Khan Noon (1966). From Memory. Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan: Ferozsons. pp. 72–74.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ Cell, John W.; Cell, John Whitson. Hailey: A Study in British Imperialism, 1872-1969year=2002. Cambridge, Uk: Cambridge University Press. p. 141. ISBN 9780521521178.
  9. ^ a b Korson, J. Henry (1974). Contemporary Problems of Pakistan. U.S.: Brill Archive. p. 13. ISBN 9004039422.
  10. ^ London Gazette, 3 January 1933
  11. ^ London Gazette, 2 January 1933
  12. ^ London Gazette, 11 May 1937
  13. ^ London Gazette, 10 October 1941
  14. ^ Malik, Iftikhar H. (1991). Us-South Asian Relations 1940–47: American Attitudes Toward The Pakistan Movement. New York: Springer. pp. 39–49. ISBN 9781349212163.
  15. ^ Current Biography Yearbook. H. W. Wilson Co. 1958.
  16. ^ Nasta, Susheila (2013). India in Britain: South Asian Networks and Connections, 1858–1950. London: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 89. ISBN 9780230392717.
  17. ^ Toye, Richard (2017). Winston Churchill: Politics, Strategy and Statecraft. Indiana, U.S.: Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 121. ISBN 9781474263863.
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ Hess, Gary R. (1971). America encounters India, 1941–1947. Johns Hopkins Press. pp. 38–39. ISBN 9780801812583.
  20. ^ Hope, Ashley Guy (1968). America and Swaraj: The U.S. Role in Indian Independence. Public Affairs Press. pp. 58–59.
  21. ^ 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.
  22. ^ "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.
  23. ^ Lentz, Harris M. (2014). Heads of States and Governments Since 1945. Washington, DC: Routledge. p. 612. ISBN 9781134264902.
  24. ^ 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.
  25. ^ Mohiuddin, Yasmeen Niaz (2007). Pakistan: A Global Studies Handbook. New York, U.S.: ABC-CLIO. p. 70. ISBN 9781851098019.
  26. ^ Lentz, Harris M. (2014). Heads of States and Governments Since 1945 (1st ed.). Washington, DC: Routledge. p. 612. ISBN 9781134264902.
  27. ^ "Siddiqui, Abdur Rahman – Banglapedia". en.banglapedia.org. Retrieved 14 November 2016.
  28. ^ a b c Jafar, Abu. "Noon, Malik Firoz Khan". en.banglapedia.org. Banglapedia. Retrieved 14 November 2016.
  29. ^ Mahmud, Syed (1958). A nation is born. Karachi, Pakistan: Feroz Printing Works. p. 26.
  30. ^ Pandey, Sudhakar (2015). Govind Ballabh Pant. Publications Division Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. p. 189. ISBN 9788123026466.
  31. ^ 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.
  32. ^ Salahuddin, Syed (15 May 2010). "Consensus on Kashmir". DAWN.COM. DAWN.COM. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  33. ^ Mazari, Sherbaz Khan (1999). A Journey to Disillusionment. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195790764. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  34. ^ Indian Information, Volume 15 (1944), Page 312
  35. ^ Current Biography Yearbook, 1958, Page 411

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Frederick Chalmers Bourne
Governor of East Bengal
Succeeded by
Chaudhry Khaliquzzaman
Preceded by
Mumtaz Daultana
Chief Minister of Punjab
Succeeded by
Abdul Hamid Khan Dasti
Preceded by
Hamidul Huq Choudhury
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Manzur Qadir
Preceded by
Ibrahim Ismail Chundrigar
Prime Minister of Pakistan
Succeeded by
Nurul Amin
Preceded by
Mumtaz Daultana
Minister of Defence
Succeeded by
Muhammad Ayub Khuhro