Awami League (Pakistan)

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Awami League
عوامی لیگ
Bengali nameআওয়ামী লীগ
FounderHuseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy
Founded23 June 1949 (1949-06-23)
Dissolved26 March 1971 (1971-03-26)
Split fromMuslim League
Succeeded byBangladesh Awami League
NewspaperDaily Ittefaq

Awami League (Urdu: عوامی لیگ; Bengali: আওয়ামী লীগ) was a Pakistani political party founded by Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy in February 1950. Pir of Manki Sharif and Khan Ghulam Mohammad Khan from the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) joined it soon afterwards.[1][2]


In East Pakistan, East Pakistan Awami Muslim League (Bengali: পূর্ব পাকিস্তান আওয়ামী মুসলিম লীগ) was founded by Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani and Yar Mohammad Khan in June 1949.[2] It was established as the Bengali alternative to the Urdu dominated Muslim League in Pakistan and over centralization of the government. The party quickly gained massive popular support in East Bengal.[3] In the 1954 provincial election in Bengal, the party won 143 seats. The United Front of East Pakistan led by Haq, Bhasani and Surahwardhy the party won a total of 223 seats, soundly defeating the Muslim League with 10 seats.[4]

In 1950, Iftikhar Mamdot, who was dismissed from the premiership of Punjab, formed a party called Jinnah Muslim League. The two parties merged to form Jinnah Awami Muslim League prior to the provincial elections in 1951.[5] In the Punjab provincial election in 1951, the Jinnah Awami Muslim League polled 18.3 percent votes and won 32 seats.[5] In the NWFP, it won 4 seats.[1]

Subsequently, the two parties merged in 1959 and used the name All Pakistan Awami Muslim League.[6] The party later dropped All Pakistan and named the party Awami Muslim League in East Pakistan. Later, the party evolved under the leadership of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (himself a former aide to Suharwardy) and was named the Awami League .[3] After long arduous consultations and negotiations by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman with the west Pakistan establishment of remaining united as a single nation without bloodshed eventually led the forces of Bangladesh nationalism in the struggle against West Pakistan's military, socio economic and political control, and the civil establishment.[3]

After Operation Searchlight, In a radio address on the evening of March 26, Yahya Khan, the then president of Pakistan, declared the Awami League treasonous and banned the party. In addition to this, the government seized the bank accounts of the Awami League.[7]


President[8][9] Elected
(National Council; NC)
In Office Term length
Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani NC: 1949, 53, 55 23 June 1949 – 27 July 1956 7 years, 34 days
Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy (acting) 27 July 1956 – 10 October 1957 1 year, 75 days
Abdur Rashid Tarkabagish NC: 1957, 64 10 October 1957 – 25 January 1966 8 years, 107 days
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman NC: 1966, 70 25 January 1966 – 26 March 1971 5 years, 60 days

General Secretary[edit]

Name Assumed office Left office Ref
Shamsul Huq 1949 1953 [10]
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman 1953 1966 [11]
Tajuddin Ahmad 1966 1972 [11]

State leaders[edit]

Flag of the Prime Minister of Pakistan.svg
Prime Minister of Pakistan
Name Term in office
Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy 1956–1957
Flag of Pakistan.svg
Chief Minister of East Pakistan
Name Term in office
Ataur Rahman Khan 1956–1958

Electoral history[edit]

Pakistan National Assembly elections

Election Party leader Votes % Seats +/– Position Government Notes
1970 Sheikh Mujibur Rahman 12,937,162 39.2%
160 / 300
Increase 160 Increase 1st Opposition After the 1970 election it was blocked from governing by the West Pakistan

East Pakistan Provincial Assembly elections

Election Votes % Seats +/– Position Government Notes
143 / 237
Increase 143 Increase 1st Government
1970 12,937,162 73.2%
288 / 300
Increase 45 Steady 1st Opposition After the 1970 election it was blocked from governing by the West Pakistan


  1. ^ a b Kamran, Early phase of electoral politics in Pakistan 2009, p. 269.
  2. ^ a b Chowdhury, Moulana Bhashani Leader of the Toiling Masses 2012, p. 72.
  3. ^ a b c Abu Zafar Shamsddin, Atmasriti (Self-memories) -1st part, Dhaka, 2011.
  4. ^ Kamran, Early phase of electoral politics in Pakistan 2009, p. 277–278.
  5. ^ a b Kamran, Early phase of electoral politics in Pakistan 2009, p. 264.
  6. ^ Kamran, Early phase of electoral politics in Pakistan 2009, p. 274.
  7. ^ Chowdhury, pp. 58.
  8. ^ "AL holds 20th council with Sheikh Hasina as longest-serving president". Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha. 21 October 2016. Archived from the original on 7 November 2016. Retrieved 6 November 2016.
  9. ^ কতটুকু এগিয়েছে আওয়ামী লীগ. Prothom Alo (Opinion) (in Bengali). 23 June 2016. Archived from the original on 31 December 2017.
  10. ^ "Bangladesh Awami League, a pioneer in practicing democracy within party". Bangladesh Awami League. 23 July 2009. Archived from the original on 17 June 2010. Retrieved 31 October 2010.
  11. ^ a b "Bangladesh Awami League Constitution". Bangladesh Awami League. Archived from the original on 24 January 2020. Retrieved 24 January 2020.