Malik Khizar Hayat Tiwana
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Malik Khizar Hayat Tiwana
Sir Khizar Tiwana
Malik Khizar Hayat Khan Tiwana.png
Premier of the Punjab

30 December 1942 - 2 March 1947
GovernorSir Bertrand Glancy
Sir Evan Meredith Jenkins
Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan
Governor rule
Personal details
Malik Khizar Hayat Tiwana

(1900-08-07)7 August 1900
Chak Muzaffarabad, Punjab, British India
Died20 January 1975(1975-01-20) (aged 74)
Butte City, California, U.S.
Political partyUnionist Party
RelativesShahzadi Umerzadi Tiwana (daughter)
Alma materAitchison College
Military service
Allegiance British India
Branch/serviceBritish Indian Army
Years of service1916-1923
Unit17th Cavalry
Battles/warsWorld War I
Third Anglo-Afghan War

Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Malik Khizar Hayat Tiwana KCSI, OBE (7 August 1900 - 20 January 1975) (Punjabi: ? ? ) was a Punjabi statesman, army officer, and landowner who served as the Unionist Premier of the Punjab between 1942 and 1947.


Early life

Khizar was born at Chak Muzaffarabad, in the district of Sargodha, Punjab in 1900. He was born into the Tiwana family of Shahpur and his father Sir Umar Hayat Khan was a wealthy landowner and soldier who was an elected member of the Council of the Secretary of State for India. He was educated at Aitchison College in Lahore.[1]

Military career

At the age of 16 he volunteered for war service and was commissioned to the 17th Cavalry as a temporary honorary second lieutenant in the Indian Land Forces on 17 April 1918.[2] In addition to his brief World War I service, Khizar also briefly served in the Third Anglo-Afghan War which followed, earning a mention in dispatches. He was advanced to honorary second lieutenant on 21 November 1919,[3] and was promoted to the honorary rank of captain on 17 April 1923.[4] Khizar thereafter assisted his father in the management of the family estates in the Punjab, taking responsibility for them while his father was in London. He was promoted to honorary Major on 17 April 1936[5] and was promoted to honorary lieutenant-colonel on 12 January 1943.[6]

Entry into politics

Khizar was elected to the Punjab Legislative Assembly in 1937. He immediately joined the cabinet of Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan as Minister of Public Works and Local Self Government.[7] Khizar lacked public speaking skills and administrative experience and obtained the position largely through his father's reputation and the standing of his family.[7] Despite this, he became a trusted member of the cabinet and was entrusted with the home portfolio responsible for dealing with the police and law and order.[7] At the outbreak of the Second World War he had been placed in charge of the Manpower Committee of the Punjab War Board and the Civil Defence Departments.[7] In 1940 he was responsible for handling the Unionist Party's dealings with the Allama Mashriqi and for arranging security at the All-India Muslim League sessions in Lahore.

His achievements included overseeing reform of the panchayat system by extending their administrative, fiscal and judicial functions, and ensuring improvements to infrastructure and irrigation networks.[8] He steadfastly supported the Unionist pro-agricultural policies, and sympathised with their endeavours to promote communal harmony.[8]

Premier of the Punjab

Malik Khizar Hayat Tiwana (right), Premier of the Punjab, with Sikh leader Master Tara Singh (centre), and Mohammad Ali Jinnah, leader of the All India Muslim League at the Simla Conference called by viceroy Lord Wavell in June 1945.

In 1942 Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan unexpectedly died creating a vacancy as Premier. The position was eyed by the three dominant Muslim factions, the Noon-Tiwana, Daultanas and the Hayats.[9] Khizar was unanimously selected as his successor on 23 January 1943.[9]

Khizar assumed control during the height of the Second World War. Many Punjabi soldiers had been killed, others returned maimed, and demobilised soldiers were not being immediately allotted parcels of land in the canal colonies. To feed Bengalis suffering the Bengal famine of 1943, the central government in Delhi instructed Khizar's government to introduce rationing in the Punjab and fix grain prices which in turn affected landowner's financially.[10] A war weariness descended over the Punjab, and food shortages, fixed prices, and their support for conscription, damaged attitudes towards Khizar's government from rich and poor Muslim alike.[10]

Like Sikandar, Khizar was staunchly opposed to the idea of Pakistan, yet unlike his predecessor was less willing to compromise or bow to Jinnah's dictation.[11] Jinnah increasingly sought to enforce the Sikandar-Jinnah pact and wield influence over the government claiming that as the Muslims of the Unionist party also belonged to the Muslim League, the Punjab government was a League government and should submit to directives of the Muslim League leadership.[11] In April 1944 Jinnah demanded that the name of the Unionist Party be changed to the Muslim League Coalition Party.[12] Khizar rebuffed these demands asserting that his government was a coalition with Hindus and Sikhs, rather than a Muslim League government[11] Tension with Jinnah simmered until Khizar was expelled from the Muslim League later that year.[11] This opened a rift within the Unionist Party, with Muslim members now forced to choose between Khizar and the Muslim League.[11] Following this clash, the Muslim League waged an increasing vitriolic campaign against him, denouncing him as a 'quisling' and 'kafir'. Mock funerals were held outside his official residence and he was greeted wherever he went with black flags of protest.[13]

Khizar suffered a further blow in January 1945 with the death of Sir Chhottu Ram. Ram was the leader of the Hindu Jats in south eastern Punjab, a pillar of the Unionist Party and greatly respected by Muslims in the province.[11] Jinnah increased the pressure on Khizar at the Simla Conference of 1945. Convened by the Viceroy of India Lord Wavell, the conference was to put together an interim government in India following the war. Jinnah insisted that any Muslim nominee to the government must be selected by the Muslim League, as only they spoke for the entirety of Muslims in India. This was seen as an attempt to undermine the influence of the Unionist Party, and its ability to represent its Muslim constituency.[11] In September 1945, Sir Feroz Khan Noon, a member of the Noon-Tiwana faction, resigned from the Unionist party and urged Khizar and other Unionists to join the Muslim League.[9] Noon had previously been a key ally for Khizar, assuring him that he would help heal his rift with Jinnah and urging him to not divide the Punjabi Muslims - the heart of Muslim India.[14] Noon's defection opened the gates for further defections from the party. Other defectors included Sikandar's son, Shaukat Hayat Khan and Mumtaz Daultana, who both realigned their families support towards the Muslim League.

At the Indian provincial elections of 1946, the Muslim League won seventy nine seats to the Punjab Assembly, and reduced the Unionists to just ten. Despite this crushing defeat for Khizar and the Unionists, the Muslim League were unable to form a government as they lacked an absolute majority. Khizar struck a deal with the Congress Party and Akali Dal and was invited to form a coalition government. His cabinet included Sir Muzaffar Ali Khan Qizilbash, Bhim Sen Sachar and Baldev Singh.[15] The coalition proved a disaster, as for the first time a predominately non-Muslim government held power. From the outset the Muslim League organised a programme of civil disobedience and disruption to the province.[16] The Muslim League argued it was an example of Hindu connivance to defeat the interests of the Muslim community.[17] Khizar was portrayed as a traitor, clinging to power and office without regard for the interests of the Muslims.[17]

Khizar remained opposed to partition to the end. He refused to accept the two-nation theory, and believed that a Muslim majority government in the Punjab would be an important guarantee of the rights of Muslims in a minority province.[16] As a last ditch attempt to avoid partition, Khizar attempted to convince the British to accept his proposal for an independent Punjabi state, a separate entity to both India and Pakistan.[18]

He was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Star of India in the 1946 New Year Honours[19] and was a member of the Indian delegation to the Paris Peace Conference in the summer of 1946. Due to the boycotts engulfing the Punjab, he resigned as Premier on 2 March 1947. Sir Evan Jenkins, as Governor of the Punjab assumed direct control of the Punjab until the day of partition, 14 August 1947.[16]

Later life

He retired from politics following his resignation, and lived for a time in Simla and Delhi following independence. He returned to the Kalra Estate in the newly created Pakistan in October 1949.[20]

In 1951, Mumtaz Daultana targeted those who were against the Pakistan movement by proposing a law confiscating without redress, all land grants issued during the premiership of Khizar.[21] In Tiwana's hometown of Shahpur, this would amount to 10,000 acres. Alarmed by these measures, Khizar appealed to the British government without success.[21] In 1954, Daultana would confiscate all the private canals owned by Khizar under the guise of the Punjab Minor Canals Bill.[21]

He died in Butte City, California, on 20 January 1975.[22]


  1. ^ Ian Talbot, Khizr Tiwana, the Punjab Unionist Party and the Partition of India, Routledge, 16 December 2013, p. i.
  2. ^ London Gazette, 15 November 1918
  3. ^ London Gazette, 10 February 1920
  4. ^ London Gazette, 19 September 1924
  5. ^ London Gazette, 19 June 1936
  6. ^ London Gazette, 12 January 1943
  7. ^ a b c d Ian Talbot, Khizr Tiwana, the Punjab Unionist Party and the Partition of India, Routledge, 16 December 2013, p. 70.
  8. ^ a b Ian Talbot, Khizr Tiwana, the Punjab Unionist Party and the Partition of India, Routledge, 16 December 2013, p. 76.
  9. ^ a b c Ayesha Jalal, The Sole Spokesman: Jinnah, the Muslim League and the Demand for Pakistan, Cambridge University Press, 1994.
  10. ^ a b Mehtab Ali Shah, The Foreign Policy of Pakistan: Ethnic Impacts on Diplomacy 1971-1994, I.B. Tauris, 15 November 1997, p. 131.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g Penderel Moon, Divide and Quit, University of California Press, 1962, p. 39.
  12. ^ Hardy, The Muslims of British India, CUP Archive, 7 December 1972, p. 234.
  13. ^ Ian Talbot, Khizr Tiwana, the Punjab Unionist Party and the Partition of India, Routledge, 16 December 2013.
  14. ^ Firoz Khan Noon to Khizar Hayat Khan, 21 August 1945, SHC/Punjab vol. IV, 15.
  15. ^ J. Henry Korson, Contemporary Problems of Pakistan, Brill Archive, 1974, p. 20.
  16. ^ a b c J. Henry Korson, Contemporary Problems of Pakistan, Brill Archive, 1974, p. 19.
  17. ^ a b Penderel Moon, Divide and Quit, University of California Press, 1962, p. 72.
  18. ^ Pashaura Singh, Louis E. Fenech, The Oxford Handbook of Sikh Studies, OUP Oxford, 27 March 2014, p. 486.
  19. ^ "No. 37407". The London Gazette. 28 December 1945. p. 7.
  20. ^
  21. ^ a b c Roger D. Long, Gurharpal Singh, Yunas Samad, Ian Talbot, State and Nation-Building in Pakistan: Beyond Islam and Security, Routledge, 8 October 2015, p. 27.
  22. ^

Further reading

  • Khizr Tiwana, Ian Talbot, Oxford University Press, c 2002

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