Ghulam Ishaq Khan: Wikis


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Ghulam Ishaq Khan
غلام اسحاق خان

In office
17 August 1988 – 18 July 1993
Acting until 12 December 1988
Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto
Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi
Nawaz Sharif
Preceded by Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq
Succeeded by Wasim Sajjad

In office
1985 – 1988
President Zia-ul-Haq
Preceded by Khan Habibullah Khan
Succeeded by Wasim Sajjad

In office
5 July 1977 – 21 March 1985
Preceded by Abdul Hafiz Pirzada
Succeeded by Mahbub ul Haq

Born 20 January 1915(1915-01-20)
Bannu, British India
Died 27 October 2006 (aged 91)
Peshawar, Pakistan
Birth name Ghulam Ishaq Khan
Nationality Pakistani
Political party Independent
Alma mater Peshawar University (M.S.)
Occupation Politician
Profession Chemist and Economist
Religion Islam
Website Ghulam Ishaq Khan presidential library website

Ghulam Ishaq Khan (abbreviated as GIK) (Mr. Nuke) (Pashto: غلام اسحاق خان, Urdu: غلام اسحاق خان; January 20, 1915 – October 27, 2006) also known as Mr. Nuke, was President of Pakistan from August 17, 1988 until July 18, 1993.


Early life

Khan was born on January 20, 1915 in a small village Ismael Khel in the suburbs of Bannu District located in the North-West Frontier Province into a Pashtun family. He attended Peshawar University where he recieved his B.S. in chemistry, followed by his M.S. in chemistry. He was appointed to the prestigious Civil Service of Pakistan after independence in 1947.


Chairman of Water and Power Development Authority

After holding various regional posts, including being chairman of the West Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (1961-66), he was appointed to several positions in the central government—first as secretary, Ministry of Finance (1966-70) and later as governor of State Bank of Pakistan (1971-75). In the latter position, he questioned the wisdom of a number of the economic policies of then Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.

Tenure as Secretay of Defence

He was subsequently moved from the bank and made secretary general at the Ministry of Defence. Although an unusual post for a senior economics expert, it proved to be fortuitous in that it brought him into close contact with the senior officers of the armed forces. Among them was General Zia, who later ousted Bhutto and turned the management of the economy over to Ishaq Khan. During the martial law period (1977-85), Ishaq Khan's titles changed, but he was responsible for all important economic decisions. Among other things, he supported the Zia government's efforts to Islamize the economy by changes in the fiscal and banking systems.

President of Pakistan

In the 1985 elections, he won a Senate seat, shortly after which he was elected as Chairman of the Senate of Pakistan. Immediately after the death of Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq in 1988, Khan became acting President in accordance with the Constitutional rules of succession, and was formally elected to the position in December of that year. He held the position of President until 1993.

Appointment of Cheif of Armed Forces

Khan reportedly vetoed the appointment of former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Chief Hamid Gul as Army Chief appointing the moderately reformist general Asif Nawaz Khan Janjua instead. Khan's presidency also saw the resignation of General Rahimuddin Khan from the post of Governor of Sindh, due to differences between the two after Khan started restricting Rahimuddin's vast amount of legislative power.

Dismissing the Governments of Bhutto and Sharif

Khan's presidency was also marked by his use of Eighth Amendment reserve powers to check the government. While the Prime Minister is the Head of Government, Khan was able to dismiss the governments of both Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif on charges of corruption, mismanagement, and nepotism, thereby triggering new elections, which the incumbent parties lost. The second dismissal of government exacerbated institutional and political opposition to Khan, leading to his resignation in 1993.

Currency crisis

During the early 1990s, Khan's administration failed to arrest the 30 per cent fall in the value of the Pakistani Rupee from 21 to 30 to the US Dollar.

Pakistan's Atomic Program

Khan was one of the key players of Pakistan's nuclear program. Khan was one of the main financial supporter of the nuclear program. He also maintained close relationship with dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan. Ghulam Ishaq Khan, as President of Pakistan, established Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology to produced man power and to promote nuclear sciences. He also appointed dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan as the executive member of the University. After the retirement of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission's chairman Munir Ahmad Khan, Ghulam Ishaq Khan eventually become the head of Pakistan's atomic program. Under his leadership, the program periodically progressed.

When Prime Minister of Pakistan Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (late) started the Pakistan's nuclear weapon program; Khan, as then-defence minister of Pakistan, played an important and central role in Pakistan's nuclear weapon devices and the construction of nuclear test sites. He is reported to be present at the second cold test along with General Zahid Ali Akbar Khan General Khalid Mehmud Arif and Chairman of PAEC Munir Ahmad Khan[1].

Retirement and Death

Despite coming to an arrangement with the PPP government to be re-elected to the presidency after the 1993 elections, he was eventually dropped as a candidate in favour of Farooq Ahmed Khan Leghari. He subsequently retired from politics and avoided contact with the media. He died on 27 October 2006 after a bout of pneumonia.


"He would never hesitate to accept that he has served on minor posts as well before assuming key offices through sheer hard work," said his brother-in-law Shakatullah Khan.[2]

"Having remained close to former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, military dictator Ziaul Haq and serving as the president of Pakistan, he is considered to have played a pivotal role in implementing the country’s nuclear programme, prompting a US diplomat to call him Mr Nuke, his long-time associate and aide, Roedad Khan said."[2]

He has to his credit the establishment of Rs 2.2 billion Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology in Swabi, Topi, North-West Frontier Province.[2]

See also


External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Abdul Hafiz Pirzada
Finance Minister of Pakistan
1977 – 1985
Succeeded by
Mahbub ul Haq
Preceded by
Khan Habibullah Khan
Chairman of the Senate of Pakistan
1985 – 1988
Succeeded by
Wasim Sajjad
Preceded by
Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq
President of Pakistan
1988 – 1993
Succeeded by
Wasim Sajjad

Simple English

Ghulam Ishaq Khan (abbreviated as GIK) (Urdu/Pashto: غلام اسحاق خان) (January 20, 1915October 27, 2006) was President of Pakistan from August 17, 1988 until July 18, 1993.


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