Begum Rana Liaquat Ali Khan

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Begum Rana Liaquat Ali Khan was one of the leading woman and prominent figure in the Pakistan moment along with her husband who not only witness the creation of Pakistan but also give her services to new born Pakistan. She was the radical lady with new thoughts and ideas who always become ready to give her 100% whatever the situation was.

Begum Rana Liaquat Ali Khan born in Almora in India to a British Army’s senior officer, whose Brahmin family was recent convert to Christianity in 1887. Her real name was Sheila Irene pant. She passed her matriculation from native school. She got her B.A Economics and B.T in Religion studies in 1927. Later she obtained double M.S.c in Economics and Sociology with Honors in 1929 . She began her career as a teacher in the Gokhale Memorial School after completing the Teachers Diploma Course from the Diocesan College, Calcutta. After her Master’s degree, Rana was appointed as Professor of Economics in the Indraprastha College University, of New Delhi in 1931.

Pant met Liaqat Ali Khan when he came there to deliver a lecture on Law and Justice at the Indraprastha College University in 1931. In December 1932, she got married to Liaquat Ali Khan after embracing Islam. She changed her name from Sheila Irene Pant to Rana Liaquat Ali Khan. With her husband, Raana strongly opposed the Simon Commission. While as Professor of Economics, Rana immensely mobilized students from her college and went to Legislative Assembly to hear her husband’s debate carrying play cards of “Simon Go Home”. With Liaquat Ali Khan winning the debate, became an instant hero with her friends. She later sold him a ticket to a stage show to raise funds for flood relief in Bihar. Rana proved to be Liaquat Ali Khan’s constant partner and companion. She became politically involved with her husband and played a major role in Pakistan Movement. She became a defining moment in Pakistan’s history when she accompanied her husband to London, United Kingdom in May 1933. There, she and Khan met with Jinnah at Hamstead Heath residence and successfully convinced Jinnah to return to British Indian Empire to resume the Leadership of All India Muslim League. Jinnah returned to India, and Rana was appointed as executive member of Muslim League and Chairperson of Economic Division of the Party.

After the creation of Pakistan, she became the First Lady of the country. As First Lady, she initiate reforms for woman and child development, social progress of woman and played a major role for woman’s part in Pakistan’s politics. After the assassination of her husband Liaquat Ali Khan in 1951, Begum Rana continued her services for the social and economic benefit of women of Pakistan till her death in 1990. One of the daunting challenges for her was to organize health services for woman and children migrating from India to Pakistan.

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