Ghulam Ishaq Khan - Prominent Pakistani banker and economist


Ghulam Ishaq Khan

Prominent Pakistani banker and economist

Ghulam Ishaq Khan was a Pakistani bureaucrat who served as the country's seventh President from 1988 until his resignation in 1993. He founded the Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute, which bears his name.

Ghulam Ishaq, who was raised in Bannu graduated from Peshawar University and joined the Indian Civil Service before deciding to move to Pakistan after the country's independence in 1947. President Ayub Khan appointed Ghulam Ishaq as the first chairman of the Water and Power Development Authority in 1961, and he also served as Finance Secretary from 1966 to 1970. President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto appointed him Governor of the State Bank a year later, and he became Defence Secretary in 1975, assisting Pakistan's atomic bomb program. President Zia-ul-Haq appointed him Finance Minister in 1977, and he oversaw the country's highest GDP growth average. Ghulam Ishaq, who was elected Senate Chairman in 1985, was elevated to the presidency following Zia's death in an air crash on August 17, 1988. On December 13, he was elected president as the consensus candidate of the Islami Jamhoori Ittihad and the Pakistan People's Party.


Ghulam Ishaq Khan was born on January 20, 1915, in Ismail Khel, a rural locality on the outskirts of Bannu District, both villages in the British Indian Empire's North-West Frontier Province, now Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan. He belonged to the Bangash Pashtun ethnic group. His son-in-law, former federal minister Anwar Saifullah Khan, is still active in politics, as is another son-in-law, former Sindh minister, and advisor Irfanullah Khan Marwat. One of his granddaughters married Haroon Bilour of the ANP, and another to Omar Ayub Khan, grandson of former military dictator Ayub Khan and son of politician Gohar Ayub Khan.

Following his education in Bannu, Khan attended Islamia College before transferring to Peshawar University. He earned a BSc in both Chemistry and Botany. Khan, who had been looking for a job at a university, joined the Indian Civil Service in 1941, serving in various provincial assignments on behalf of British India. Khan chose Pakistan after its independence in 1947 and was assigned to the bureaucracy of the provincial government of North-West Frontier Province in 1947. As secretary of the irrigation department, he took over the provincial secretariat, a position he held until 1955.

Public service

Khan was appointed Home Secretary in the Sindh provincial government in 1956 but was later appointed Secretary of Development and Irrigation by the Sindh government. In 1958, he was promoted to the federal government level and assigned to the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) secretariat control, an appointment approved by President Ayub Khan. Khan had been a member of the Water and Power Development Authority's (WAPDA) Board of Governors since 1958, before being appointed Chairman in 1961. As Chairman, he was instrumental in the construction and financial development of the Mangla and Warsak dams.

In 1966, Khan resigned as chairman to become the Federal Finance Secretary to the Government of Pakistan, a position he relinquished to incoming Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1970. Following Pakistan's defeat by India in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, Khan was tasked with overseeing all retail and commercial services for the nation's battered economy. In 1971, Bhutto appointed him Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, where he was tasked with formulating and implementing monetary and credit policy in accordance with government policy with a socialist slant. In the latter role, he questioned the wisdom of many of the economic policies of then-Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who was eager to intensify his nationalization and socialist influence in the financial institutions, despite the economy's slowdown.

Minister of Finance (1977-85)

After Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was deposed in a staged coup in 1977, Khan was instrumental in stabilizing Chief of Army Staff General Zia-ul-Haq in Bhutto's capacity. Following a meeting with the military leadership at the JS HQ, Khan reportedly stated that "this action was going to harm the country, but since it couldn't be reversed, they should do their best to salvage whatever they could." General Zia-ul-Haq, who was acting as Chief Martial Law The administrator at the time immediately appointed him as Finance Minister (CMLA). Khan was given authority over the Planning Commission, Economic Coordination Committee, and Executive Committee of the Space Research Council by assembling a team of economic experts and technocrats. Khan worked to regain control of the national economy while utilizing the shattered private sector. In 1977, Khan supported General Haq's bid for President of Pakistan, who tightened the country's grip on martial law.

Khan supported the implementation of economic Islamization in the 1980s by introducing a risk-free interest rate system and establishing corporatization in the industrial sector. Khan oversaw revenue collection and gave the state-owned enterprises (SOEs) a modern face after they were nationalized in the 1970s. His policies and economic expertise eventually resulted in an increase in GDP and GNP growth, assisting Pakistan's economy to become one of the fastest-growing in South Asia.

He kept his ties with the nuclear society and prioritized nuclear deterrence by channeling financial funds for the development of atomic bomb projects. Khan granted the Bank of Credit and Commerce International tax exemption (BCCI). Khan, along with attendees General Zahid Ali (E-in-C), General KM Arif (COAS), AVM MJ O'Brian (AOC), and Munir Ahmad was among the invited secret dignitaries who witnessed the first Cold fission test, Kirana-I, in 1983. (Chair PAEC). Khan backed President Zia's referendum on Islamization in 1984.

Following the non-partisan general elections held in 1985, Khan was succeeded by an economist, Mahbub ul Haq. Khan has decided to run as an independent in the upcoming indirect senate elections. In 1985, he was appointed Chairman of the Senate, a position he held until 1988.

Following the controversial and mysterious aviation accident in Bahawalpur, Khan appeared on national television and announced General Zia-ul-death. Haq's According to Pakistan's Constitution, Khan was the second in line of succession to the President of Pakistan. In 1988, however, General Mirza Aslam Beg called for general elections. Khan served as acting President until the elections, in accordance with the Constitution's succession rules. After reaching an agreement with the leftist Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Khan ran for president on a PPP platform. In the elections, Khan received 608 votes while competing against four other candidates; he was also backed by the conservative IDA led by Nawaz Sharif. He became Pakistan's oldest president at the time he took office.

He renegotiated for the presidency with the PPP but dropped out in favor of Farooq Leghari in the 1993 general elections. He left national politics and avoided contact with the international and domestic news media. He died on October 27, 2006, following a bout with pneumonia.

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Unknown said…
Mr.khan had a diverse range of occupations throughout his life which showed how much knowledge he must have had.
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