Malik Amir Mohammad Khan

Nawab of Kalabagh Malik Amir Muhammad Khan (1910-1967), Ex-Governor West Pakistan

Malik Amir Mohammad Khan (died 1967) also known as Nawab of Kalabagh[1] (Urduنواب کالا باغ) was a prominent feudal lord, politician and the seventh nawab of Kalabagh state, in Mianwali District of north western PunjabPakistan. He belonged to the Awan tribe of ancient repute. He was crowned as Nawab of Kalabagh after the death of his father Malik Ata Muhammad Khan in 1924. He also served as Governor of West Pakistan. He belongs to the nobility of the sword as his ancestors were Nawabs for nearly 900 years.



History of Kalabagh

Kalabagh, on the bank of Indus River, was a state ruled by the Nawabs for nearly 900 years, since the time of Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni. During the British Raj Kalabagh was not made a princely state by the British. It was a jagir that had been ruled by the Nawabs since 1100, while most of the other states were mere inventions of the British.

The state was captured by his ancestors who were Awan of Arabs origin. He was very proud of his Awan origin. He always maintained that he was descended from an individual named Qutb Shah, a ruler of Herat and a general in the army of Mahmud of Ghazni, who himself was a Hashemitedescendant of the Prophet Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law, Ali (but by a wife other than the Prophet's daughter, Fatimah). As Sir Lepel Henry Griffin states:

'All branches of the tribe (Awans) are unanimous in stating that they originally came from neighourhood of ghazni to India, and all trace their genealogy to Hazrat Ali the son-in-law of the Prophet. Kutab Shah, who came from Ghazni with Sultan Mahmud, was the common ancestor of the Awans…….It was only in the Rawalpindi, Jhelum and Shahpur districts that they became of any political importance……. In Shahpur District the Awans held the hilly country to the north west, Jalar, Naoshera and Sukesar, where the head of the tribe still resides.

—From ''Sir Lepel H. Griffin, The Panjab Chiefs' (1865 Edition) p.570-571.


It is asserted that Qutb Shah and six of his sons accompanied and assisted Mahmud in his early eleventh century conquests of what today forms parts of Afghanistan, Pakistan andNorthern India. It is claimed that in recognition of their services and valour, Mahmud bestowed upon Qutb Shah and his sons (who, according to tribal traditions, settled primarily in theSalt Range) the title of Awan, meaning "helper".[3]

Right: Jackie Kennedy in Pakistan with President Mohammad Ayub Khan and the Nawab of Kalabagh, 1962

Family Tree

Malik Sarkhru Khan
Malik Muhammad Azam Khan
Malik Allah Yar Khan
Khan Bahadur Muzzafar Khan
(Died 1885)
Khan Buhadur Yar Muhammad Khan
Khan Buhadar Malik Atta Muhammad Khan
Malik Amir Mohammad Khan

The Nawab

He was appointed Chairman Pakistan Industrial Development Corporation with the rank of a Central Minister in 1959, and subsequently Governor of West Pakistan on 12 April 1960 by Pakistan President General Ayub Khan. Both Nawab Amir Mohammad Khan and Sandhurst trained General Wajid Ali Khan Burki were instrumental in Ayub Khan's Rise to power, until today the three families retain adjoining houses in Islamabad.

An autonomous and harsh ruler with great administrative capabilities, the Nawab remained Governor of West Pakistan till September 18, 1966.[4] He was an Aitchison College and thenOxford graduate. His role during the Indo-Pak war of 1965 is praised as he kept the law and order, controlled the prices, trafficking of the raw material and prevented the smuggling.

He has also been described as a man of principles and traditions. He liked to remain in the national dress and his cabinet members tried to please him by doing so. He once declined to shake hands with the British Queen Elizabeth II on her visit to Pakistan. Ayub Khan asked him to receive her at Airport but he didn't do that.

Nawab (left) with presidentAyub Khan (right)

On 26 November 1967 he was found murdered under mysterious circumstances.


His son Malik Muzaffar Khan won the National Assembly seat from NW-44, Mianwali-I in December 1970 elections. His other son Malik Allah Yar also remained the member of Majlis-e-Shoora during General Zia-ul-Haq's military regime. His grandson Malik Amad Khan won the National Assembly seat from NA-71 Mianwali-I , in February 2008 elections as an independent candidate. His granddaughter, Sumaira Malik, is still a member of the National Assembly. It is said that his grand son Malik Sherjeel Tufail Awan will be the next Sardar. Sherjeel is the son of his youngest son, Malik Tufail Awan who has served Pakistan Air Force for 25 years and retired as Vice Chief of Air Staff.

See also


Siysat ke Firauns, (Pharaohs of Politics)


  1. ^ Nawab of Kalabagh is a title of ruler of State of Kalabagh in Mianwali District of north western Punjab, Pakistan.
  2. ^ The Panjab Chiefs: Historical and Biographical Notices of the Principal Families in the Lahore and Rawalpindi Divisions of the Panjab, Volume 2, Lepel Henry Griffin
  3. ^ Gazetteer of the Jhelum District, 1904 & Punjab Census Report, 1911
  4. ^ Pakistani provinces
Political offices
Preceded by
Akhter Husain
Governor of West Pakistan
1960 – 1966
Succeeded by
Gen (R) Muhammad Musa