- Akhter Husain
Akhter Husain (
Urdu: اختر حسین) , HPk, OBE, ( 01 March 1902- 15 July 1983) was an eminent senior statesman and civil servantof Pakistan. He was appointed Governor of West Pakistanin September 1957 succeeding Mushtaq Ahmed Gurmaniand then continued in office during the regime of General Muhammad Ayub Khan until April 1960.
Mr. Akhter Husain was born on
March 1 1902at Burhanpur(Central Province India) and received his early education from Hakimia High School, Burhanpur before proceeding to MAO College at Aligarh (see Aligarh Muslim University), graduating later from Allahbad University. He was selected for the prestigious Indian Civil Servicein 1924 and completed his education and training at St. John's College, Cambridge, England. Upon return from England, he was posted to serve in the province of Punjab in 1926. He served in various administrative positions in different districts of the province, before being appointed as Under Secretary in the Government of India in 1930. He returned to Provincial administration in 1936. Mr. Husain received a British Govt. award of O.B.E. for his ground breaking work of settlement in the district of Gurgaon in the Punjab in 1943. He was appointed Chief Secretary in the undivided Punjab in 1946, a position he occupied during and until the partition of India.
Pakistan Government Service
He continued to serve as the Chief Secretary of West Punjab in the newly formed State of Pakistan in 1947.
The years immediately following the creation of Pakistan were fraught with many problems not the least of which was the settlement of the influx of refugees from across the border from India. Mr. Akhter Husain was appointed as the Financial Commissioner in charge of the resettlement of refugees and the revenue and administrative issues involved therein. This massive project notwithstanding, he was appointed to various commissions and inquiry committees during this period, some of which require special mention here. He was appointed chairman of the committee for the implementation of Lord Boyd Orr’s recommendations on agricultural reforms, member of the Tenancy law inquiry committee, and as consultant of the reorganization of Karachi administration. In 1954 he was transferred to Karachi and took over charge as Secretary, Ministry of Defence in the Govt. of Pakistan. In the same year he was appointed as chairman of the One-Unit secretariat committee, and the following year as the Chairman of the Karachi Administration committee. He traveled to the United States with the prime minister’s delegation in 1957 and visited some defence facilities. On his way back to Pakistan he received the news, that by common consent of all political parties and the government, he had been appointed as the Governor of West Pakistan.
Mr Husain was appointed Governor in September 1957 and remained in this position following the imposition of Martial law in Oct 1958. In the same year he was appointed Chairman of the Land Reforms Commission and provincial administration committee. In 1959 he was awarded the highest civil award of Hilal-e-Pakistan. He also laid the Pakistan Day Memorial foundation stone (now known as
Minar-e-Pakistan) in the then Minto Park in Lahore on the 23 March 1960.
In 1960 after his governorship, he was appointed as minister in the Presidential cabinet successively holding the portfolios of Information and Broadcasting and then Education and Kashmir Affairs. In order to hold these quasi-political positions, he retired from the Civil Service. He was also the recipient of the honorary degree of Doctor of Law from the University of the Punjab.He was subsequently appointed Chief Election Commissioner between 1962-1963. He also held the office of President of Anjuman-e-Tarriqi-Urdu (The organisation for the promotion and deveopment of the Urdu language) from 1962 -1983 and was Chairman of Pakistan Burmah Shell from 1968 until his death in 1983.
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