Muhammad Ibrahim Khan (politician)

Bani-e-Kashmir Sardar Muhammad Ibrahim Khan
Sardar Muhammad Ibrahim Khan as the 32 years old, first President of Azad Kashmir in 1948
President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir
In office
25 August 1996  25 August 2001
Preceded by Abdul Rashid Abbasi (interim)
Succeeded by Sardar Muhammad Anwar Khan
In office
5 June 1975  30 October 1978
Preceded by Sardar Mohammad Abdul Qayyum Khan
Succeeded by Brigadier Muhammad Hayat Khan
In office
13 April 1957  30 April 1959
Preceded by Sardar Mohammad Abdul Qayyum Khan
Succeeded by Khurshid Hasan Khurshid
In office
24 October 1947  12 May 1950
Succeeded by Captain General Syed Ali Ahmed Shah
Personal details
Born (1915-04-10)April 10, 1915
Poonch, Jammu and Kashmir, Dogra
Died July 31, 2003(2003-07-31) (aged 88)[1]
Islamabad, Pakistan
Political party Muslim Conference, Jammu Kashmir Peoples Party
Spouse(s) Zaib-un-Nisa Khan
  • Sardar Javed Ibrahim Khan (Son)
  • Sardar Khalid Ibrahim Khan (Son)(MLA)
  • Uft-e-Huma (Daughter)
  • Sardar Farooq Ibrahim Khan (Son)
  • Noreen Farooq Khan (Daughter-In-Law)(MNA)

Sardar Muhammad Ibrahim Khan (April 10, 1915 July 31, 2003), also known as Bani-e-Kashmir ("Father of Kashmir") and Ghazi-e-Millat ("Hero of the Nation"), was the founder and first President of Azad Kashmir. In British India of 1946, he won the Jammu and Kashmir State Assembly election as a member of the Muslim Conference party and became a member of the Praja Sabha. In 1947, he instigated and organised the Poonch rebellion, with the help of Pakistan Army and the Muslim League, fighting against the state of Jammu and Kashmir.[2] He belonged to Sudhan tribe,[3] which traced its ancestry to the Sadduzai Afghans, settled in the Poonch district of Kashmir region.[4]

The Pakistani tribal invasion of Kashmir and the subsequent accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India led to the Indian defence of the state. After fighting the Indian Army for 15 months, Pakistan and the Azad Kashmir army accepted a United Nations-mediated ceasefire. Khan and his army were able to capture substantial portions of the three western districts of Kashmir, which were renamed Azad Kashmir.

Khan was appointed the first President of Azad Kashmir in 1948. He represented Kashmir in different capacities at the United Nations from 1948 to 1971. [2][5]

Early life and education

Sardar Muhammad Ibrahim Khan was born on April 10, 1915 in Kot Mattay Khan, a village in the Poonch District of Kashmir. He received his primary education in his village. He attended college and received a Bachelors of Arts degree in 1935 at Islamia College (Lahore) and sought higher education abroad in 1938. He obtained his LLB degree from the University of London in 1943. Khan then obtained a law degree from Lincoln's Inn, and started practicing law at Srinagar, Kashmir.

Professional & political career

In 1943, Khan was appointed as a public prosecutor in Mirpur.[2] He later worked at the State Advocate General office of Jammu and Kashmir. Then he left the government job to participate in the Kashmir liberation movement, and ran for and won the 1946 Jammu and Kashmir State Assembly elections. He went on to serve three more terms in office until he had to leave due to old age. He retired at the age of 87. He also established the Azad Muslim Conference.

Role in 1947 independence struggle

On 19 July 1947, Khan held a general assembly meeting at his residence where a resolution was unanimously passed for the State of Kashmir to join Pakistan. The Mahraja, Hari Singh, disapproved of his actions, and Khan left the state and went to Murree, Pakistan. In Murree, he gathered ammunition from private individuals and organizations. With several fellow Kashmiris, he launched a ‘Jihad’ against the Maharaja. On 24 October 1947, he defeated the forces of the Maharaja in the Poonch rebellion and founded the state of Azad Kashmir, which became a self-governing division of Pakistan.[2]

Role as President of Azad Kashmir

As the first President of Azad Kashmir, he was invited by the United Nations to brief the General assembly on the situation in Kashmir. Under the leadership of Khan, the annual session of the All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference was held at Kotli in 1954, and a resolution was passed for the establishment of a proper Legislative Assembly in Azad Kashmir. While he and his lieutenants continued to push for a legislative assembly, it wouldn't be until the presidency of General Yahya Khan that the Azad Kashmir Legislative Assembly would be formed. Khan was elected president of Azad Kashmir for the second time on April 13, 1957, and for the third time on June 5, 1975. Sardar Ibrahim was very close to Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and had formed the Azad Kashmir chapter of the Pakistan Peoples Party. In 1977, General Zia ul-Haq dissolved Bhutto's government, and offered to allow Khan to continue as president as long as he stopped supporting Bhutto. Khan refused to betray Bhutto, resulting in his termination as president through a proclamation issued by General Zia ul-Haq, the Chairman of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Council, on October 30, 1978. Khan, however, was re-elected again as the President of Azad Kashmir in August 1996. He remained in office until August 2001 and was the Azad Kashmir president four times in his lifetime.[1][2]

Death and legacy

Sardar Muhammad Ibrahim Khan died at his Islamabad, Pakistan home on 31 July 2003 after a long illness at age 88.[1] President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali paid tributes to him in their condolence messages.[1]

Political offices
Preceded by
Post Created
President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir
Succeeded by
Captain Syed Ali Ahmed Shah
Preceded by
Dost Muhammad Khosa
2nd term
Succeeded by
Khurshid Hassan Khurshid
Preceded by
Sardar Mohammad Abdul Qayyum Khan
3rd term
Succeeded by
Muhammad Hayat Khan
Preceded by
Sardar Sikandar Hayat Khan
4th term
Succeeded by
Sardar Muhammad Anwar Khan


  1. 1 2 3 4 Obituary and profile of Muhammad Ibrahim Khan, Dawn newspaper, Published 1 August 2003, Retrieved 5 June 2017
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Profile of Muhammad Ibrahim Khan, website, Retrieved 5 June 2017
  3. Schofield, Victoria (2003). Kashmir in Conflict: India, Pakistan and the Unending War. I.B.Tauris.
  4. Zaheer, Hasan (1998). The Times And Trial of the Rawalpindi Conspiracy, 1951: The First Coup Attempt in Pakistan. Oxford University Press. p. 78.
  5. Masood Khan elected AJK president, Dawn newspaper, Published 16 August 2016, Retrieved 5 June 2017

Further reading

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