Pakistani Prime Ministers Whose Tenures Were Cut Short [In Pictures]


Liaquat Ali Khan (1947 to 1951)

His tenure was cut short after he was assassinated in 1951 with alleged involvement from Afghan Monarch Zahir Shah and United States government. However these allegations have not been proved to date.

Al-Haj Khwaja Nazimuddin (1951 to 1953)

Nazimuddin was widely regarded as a weak government administrator. In the hopes for improving economy and internal security, he was asked to step down but he refused. He was dismissed shortly after under reserve powers granted in Government of India Act., 1935.

Mohammed Ali Bogra (1953 to 1955)

Mohammad Ali Bogra acted more of a diplomat than a politician who was unknown to the general public. He was forced to resign after having a confrontation with Governor-General Mirza on regional disparity.

Ch. Mohamad Ali (1955 to 1956)

Under Ch. M. Ali, the 1956 constitution was developed. Despite that success, Ali was unable to heal rifts within his political party, the Muslim League. Internal divisions led to the formation of a new party, the Republicans. As the situation deteriorated and the stakes grew higher, he resigned both from the position of prime minister and from the Muslim League.

Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy (1956 to 1957)

Within a year of assuming the government, Suhrawardy was in a middle confrontation with the business community and the private-sector in 1956. Soon after his appointment, the business community leaders met with the President Iskandar Mirza, to discuss the removal of Prime Minister Suhrawardy. Eventually, he was threatened which made him resign.


Ismail I. Chundrigar (1957 to 1957)

Being a nominated Prime Minister, Chundrigar held a weak position from the very beginning. Iskander Mirza exploited the differences between the parties and thus made Chundrigar an easy victim as he remained Prime Minister for only two months and therefore could not give any practical shape to his program.

Malik Firoz Khan Noon (1957 to 1958)

Firoz Khan was elected to Punjab legislative council in 1921. From 1927 to 1936 he served as the minister of Local Self-Government and later Education and Health minister. On 16th December 1957, he was elected Prime Minister of Pakistan. He held this post until 7th October 1958, when martial law was enforced for the first time in Pakistan’s history by Iskander Mirza which ensured Firoz’s downfall.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (1973 to 1977)

Bhutto’s legacy is something which is still talked and argued about. While he was hailed for his fearlessness and patriotism, Bhutto was roundly criticized for intimidating his political opponents. Since Bhutto never had good terms with the army, General Zia relieved Prime Minister Bhutto of power, holding him in detention for a month. On 3rd September, Bhutto was arrested on charges of authorizing the murder of a political opponent in March 1974. In 1978, Bhutto was declared not guilty of murder, but was still sentenced to death.

Muhammad Khan Junejo (1985 to 1988)

On 29th May 1988, President Zia made an appearance on PTV News and using the Eighth Amendment, he dissolved the Parliament. Although many experts believed that the decision was taken because of ‘Ojhri Camp Disaster’, President Zia still claimed that Junejo’s Government was dismissed because the law and order situation had broken down to an alarming extent and the government could not be run in accordance with the Constitution.

Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto (1988 to 1990)

When Mrs. Bhutto took charge, the Pakistani government was bankrupt, with Zia having borrowed at high interest rates to pay government wages and that restricted Benazir throughout her tenure. In April 1989, opposition parties organized a parliamentary no-confidence vote against Bhutto’s leadership, but it was defeated by 12 votes. Bhutto claimed that many National Assembly voters had been bribed to vote against her, with $10 million having been supplied for this by a Saudi Salafi cleric, Osama bin Laden, who sought to overthrow her government and replace it with an Islamic theocracy.

Mohammad Nawaz Sharif (1990 to 1993)

Nawaz Sharif followed Benazir and hoped for a different fate. However, issues with the president over the authority circled and a subsequent political stand off was instigated between president and Prime Minister. Finally, in July 1993, Sharif resigned under pressure from the Pakistan Armed Forces but negotiated a settlement that resulted in the removal of president Ghulam Ishaq Khan as well.

Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto (1993 to 1996)

On 20 July 1996, Qazi Hussain Ahmed of Jamaat-e-Islami announced to start protests against Mrs. Bhutto’s government alleging corruption. Qazi Hussain resigned from Senate on 27th September and announced to start long march against Benazir government. Protest started on 27th October 1996 by Jamaat e Islami and opposition parties. On 4th November 1996, Bhutto’s government was dismissed by President Leghari primarily because of corruption. Almost 10 years later, she was assassinated on 27th December 2007 when she came back to Pakistan after a long exile.

Mohammad Nawaz Sharif (1997 to 1999)

During this period, there were plenty of factors which played a major role in Nawaz Sharif’s downfall; one of the main factors was when he tried to replace General Musharraf with generals loyal to him and it resulted in a coup which saw Nawaz lose all power. Furthermore, the prosecution also accused Nawaz of evading federal taxes on the purchase of a helicopter worth US$1 million. The Lahore High Court ordered Nawaz Sharif to pay a fine of US$400,000 on grounds of tax evasion, and he was sentenced to 14 years of imprisonment.

Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali (2002 to 2004)

In 2004, Jamali abruptly announced his resignation on television after a three-hour meeting with Musharraf. There had been rumours of Jamali’s strained relationship with Musharraf on the execution of government policies. According to media reports, resignation became inevitable when Musharraf became unhappy with Jamali’s performance and his failure to strongly endorse Musharraf’s policies

Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani (2008 to 2012)

After the Speaker’s ruling was made public, the major opposition party in the parliament, the Pakistan Muslim League, and the non-elected party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), filed two separate petitions in the Supreme Court, challenging the National Assembly Speaker Dr. Fehmida Mirza’s ruling to save Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani from disqualification. The Supreme Court of Pakistan under Article 184(3) of the Constitution ruled that Gilani stands “disqualified in light of the apex court’s verdict and that he should be barred from performing further duties as the prime minister.”

Mohammad Nawaz Sharif (2013 to 2017)

On 23 August 2007, the Supreme Court of Pakistan ruled that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his brother, Shahbaz, were free to return. After their return, the Sharif brothers gained momentum in the world of politics and finally succeeded in 2013. However, they faced the wrath of karma when their corruption was again brought up by Imran Khan. The Panama Leaks resulted in countrywide protests and the Supreme Court accepted a petition which resulted in Nawaz Sharif’s eventual disqualification as PM over his dishonesty.

Note: The list mentions Prime Ministers who didn’t complete their 5-year terms after getting sworn into office. It excludes interim, caretaker PMs who were called in to fill in the rest of the term.