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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Pioneers of Freedom Series Nawab Sadiq Muhammad Khan Abbasi V. (1904-1966) 2013-10

Pioneers Of Freedom Series Nawab Sadiq Muhammad Khan Abbasi V (1904 – 1966) Commemorative Postage Stamp May 24, 2013:- General Nawab Sadiq Muhammad Khan Abbasi V 29, September 1904 – 24 May 1966) was the Nawab, and later Amir, of Bahawalpur State from 1907 to 1966. He became the Nawab on the death of his father, when he was only three years old. A Council of Regency, with Sir Rahim Bakhsh as its President, ruled on his behalf until 1924. The Nawab served as an officer with the Indian Army, fighting in the Third Afghan War (1919) and commanding forces in the Middle East during the Second World War. In August 1947, the Nawab received the title of Amir of Bahawalpur, acceding his State to the Dominion of Pakistan a month later. In 1955, the Amir was promoted to General in the Pakistan Army and merged his state into West Pakistan. He died in 1966, aged 61. Under his rule Bahawalpur State comprised an area larger than Denmark or Belgium. By 1947 Bahawalpur State’s institutions, largely set up by successive British advisors with support from the rulers, consisted of departments run by trained civil servants; there was a Ministerial Cabinet headed by a Prime Minister; the State Bank was the Bank of Bahawalpur with branches outside the State also, including Karachi; there was a high court and lower courts; a trained police force and an army commanded by officers trained at the Royal Indian Military Academy Dehra Dhoon. Nawab had a keen interest in education, which was free till A-level and the State’s Government provided scholarships of merit for higher education not only for its own citizens but also brilliant Muslim students of whole India. In 1951, the Nawab donated 450 acres in Bahawalpur for the construction of Sadiq Public School. Nawab was known for his relationship with the Quaid-i-Azam, Founder of Pakistan.
Early Life:- Sir Sadiq Muhammad Khan Abbasi was born at Doulat Khan, Bahawalpur on 29 September 1904, the only son and heir of Haji Nawab Muhammad Bahawal Khan Abbasi V, Nawab of the state of Bahawalpur. When only two and a helf, his father fell ill and died while at sea off the Adencoast, on 15 February 1907, leaving Sadiq as ruler of Bahawalpur. He was educated at Aitchision College, Lahore. At the age of 15, Sadiq fought in the Third Afghan War in 1919, was knighted in 1922 when he reached his majority and was invested with the throne two years later by Lord Reading. In 1929 he visited Egypt and was a guest of the King. Very fond of cars, he bought a Rolls Royce Phantom car, one of the two Cars on display at the Cairo Show. Here he contracted a marriage with an Ottoman princess, divorcing one of his previous wives. He signed the Muslim marriage certificate (Niqahu) on 6 October 1929. Sadiq valued education and cultural sophistication in women, but Princess Hamide Nermin Nezahat Sultan lacked these. She had receivd no formal education but was skilled in needlework and liked playing card games. She could read and write, but only in Turkish and French. Princess Hamide Nermin Nezahat Sultan was considered gentle, virtuous, and docile, that made her a suitable candidate for Sadiq. After the first meeting, Sadiq was extremely disappointed with his new bride. He found HIH Princess Hamide Nermin Nezahat Sultan humorless and boring. After two years, the marriage ended in divorce.
Ruler of Bahawalpur:- The Bahawalpur State under his rule was considered to be an important sovereign state in Sub Continent. The Bahawalpur State had a special privilege as it was larger than some states of the present time like Lebanon, Kuwait, Israel and Denmark in respect of area. Its population was two times more than the total population of United Arab Emirates. Its rulers also enjoyed special protocol and titles conferred by the British since 1866 as they were accorded 17 canons salute and had special access to the Viceroy  of British India Bahawalpur state also had a separate mint to cast coins for its public and the facility remained intact until 1940. The British Government extablished a Regency Council under the supervision of Maulvi Sir Rahim Bakhsh until the minor Nawab grew up as a young man. This Council was responsible for state administration. Special attention was paid to the education and upbringing of Nawab Sadiq Muhammad Khan (V). He started his education from Atchison College, Lahore and completed in England. He had an aptitude for military affairs and achieved several military titles, conferred on him by the British Empire. The Viceroy of India, Reading awarded total authority of the state administration to Nawab Sadiq Muhammad Khan (V) on March 8, 1924.
Sir Sadiq continued his military career in the British Indian Army, which he had begun as a Lieutenant in 1921; by 1932 he was a Major, by 1941 a Lieutenant Colonel, commanding troops in the Middle East during the Second World War. Since 1921, he had also been a Member of the Chamber of Princes, and since 1940, a member of the Indian Defance Council. Promoted to Major-General in 1946, the following year, on 15 August 1947, Sir Sadiq was promoted to the title of Amir of Bahawalpur. He accepted to the Dominion of Pakistan a month later.
Later Life and Death:- After Partition of Sub Continent Nawab proved to be very helpful and generous to the government of Pakistan. He gave seventy million rupees to the government and the salaries of all the government departments for one month were also drawn from the treasury of Bahawalpur State. He gifted his private property to the University of the Punjab, King Edward Medical College and the Mosque of Aitchison College, Lahore. At the time of partition all the princely states of the subcontinent were given a choice to join either Pakistan or India. For convincing Nawab to join India, Pandit Nehru went to him while he was in London and offered various incentives in this regard but he didn’t accept them. On 5th October 1947 he signed an agreement with the Government of Pakistan according to which Bahawalpur State joined Pakistan. Thus the State of Bahawalpur was the first state that joined Pakistan. The main factor was of course the Islamic sentiments of the Muslims who were in majority in the Bahawalpur State. Moreover, Nawab and Quaid-i-Azam were close friends and they had great respect for each other even before the creation of Pakistan. The Ameer of Bahawalpur Refugee Relief and Rehabilitation Fund was instituted in 1947 for providing a central organization for the relief of the refugees. The Quaid acknowledged the valuable contribution of the Bahawalpur State for the rehabilitation of the refugees.
Nawab Sadiq was a visionary and had clear strategies for the development of economy and human resource in his state. Sutlej valley projected was one of the greatest gift by NawabSir Sadiq Muhammad Khan Abbassi to the State of Bahawalpur. In 1921 Sectetary of the State suggested the Sultlej valley project. The great Sutlej Valley Project brought under plough a very large area of Cholistan desert. Nawab was liberal in grant of land and educational scholarships to Muslims from other parts of India which brought instant benefits to the state as well as the Indian population at large in their dark days of backwardness in British India.
In 1953, Sir Sadiq represented Pakistan at the installation of Faisal II of Iraq and at the coronation of Elizabeth II. In 1955 an accord was signed between Nawab sadiq Muhammad and Govornor General Ghulam Muhammad Malik according to which Bahawalpur State became the part of the province of West Pakistan and de facto Nawab began to receive yearly stipend of 32 lakh rupees, maintained the title of Nawab and protocol inside and outside Pakistan. In May 1966 Nawab Sadiq died in London which ended his 59 years long reign. His dead body was brought to Bahawalpur and was buried in his ancestral graveyard of Derawer Fort. His eldest son Haji Muhammad Abbas Khan Abbasi Bahadur succeeded his title of Nawab of Bahawalpur, but with none administrative power.

On Pioneers of Freedom Series Nawab Sadiq Muhammad Khan Abbasi V, Pakistan Post is issuing a commemorative postage stamp of Rs.8/- denomination on May 24, 2013.