Ahmedabad gave Pak a PM!

AHMEDABAD: Only time will tell if Ahmedabad gives the country a prime minister in 2014, but the city has already given a PM to Pakistan.

As India play Pakistan in a T-20 cricket match in Ahmedabad, few know that Ismail Ibrahim Chundrigar
who went on to become Pakistan's prime minister for a short period of two months, was born in Ahmedabad — his family used to live in Bhungli ni Pol of Panch Pipli area of Jamalpur.

Chundrigar was sent to Bombay for education. Armed with a degree in law, he returned in 1920 and joined Ahmedabad Bar.

A prominent lawyer, Mohammed Ali Jinnah identified his talent in the 1930s and asked him to help him formulate reaction of the Muslim League to the Government of India Act, 1935.

It was Jinnah who convinced him to shift to Bombay where he drafted the official Muslim League resolution. He was elected to the Bombay Legislative Assembly in 1938 and 1946, and was president of his party from 1940 to 1946.

Chundrigar was one of five members along with Liaqat Ali Khan to be nominated by Jinnah for interim Indian government in 1946, in which he was given portfolio of Commerce. After the partition, Chundrigar family left Ahmedabad, and he was part of the first cabinet in Pakistan holding the portfolio of trade and commerce. He also served as ambassador to Afghanistan and governor of North-West Frontier Province.

After Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy resigned as prime minister, Chundrigar took over with support from other parties, mainly Republican Party in October 1957. But, he had to quit the position soon due to political turmoil and resigned in December. Later he became leader of the opposition in Pakistan parliament.

City historian Rizwan Qadri says that some of Chundrigar's relatives stayed back in India and a few of them were employed with government departments. Later, they also migrated to the US.