Pakistani MPs Delegation in China – 1956

Posted on January 19, 2009
Filed Under >Owais Mughal, Foreign Relations, People, Photo of the Day, Politics
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Owais Mughal

Following photo is courtesy of Associated Press. It was taken in Beijing in 1956 on the occasion of Pakistani members of parliament’s visit to China.

Clicking on the photo above will take you to its larger size image.

Two of the leaders marked with circles in this photo are Shaikh Mujeeb-ur-Rehman and Makhdoon Alamdar Hussain Gilani. Besides the historic value there is one more very interesting feature of this photo.

Interestingly Pakistan’s current PM Yousuf Gilani is the son of Makhdoom Alamdar and Bangladesh’s PM Shaikh Hasina Wajid is daughter of Shaikh Mujeeb-ur-Rehamn.

From Chinese side, Mao Zedong is present in the center of the photo. Second from left in front row standing is Zhou Enlai, PM of China. Left most person in front row standing is Chairman of National Peoples Congress, Peng Zhang.

The reason for sharing this photo here is that it is a snapshot of our history. Also noticeable is how a generation of politicians has changed hands in Pakistan and Bangladesh, with the current generation of leaders being direct descendents of the former ones.

ATP’s Other Similar Posts:

1. Beijing’s Pakistani Connections
2. Chinese Characters on Pakistani Transport
3. Made in China: samosa and paratha

13 Comments on “Pakistani MPs Delegation in China – 1956”

  1. January 19th, 2009 1:58 pm

    iska matlab hay hum log, as a nation, waheen kharray hain :(

  2. Aamir Ali says:
    January 19th, 2009 4:35 pm

    Looks like the Pak-China friendship has taken a long time to build up. Long live Pakistan and China and their friendship.

  3. Bloody Civilian says:
    January 19th, 2009 6:49 pm

    “Looks like the Pak-China friendship has taken a long time to build up. Long live Pakistan and China and their friendship.”

    if this is all you see in this picture, then no wonder pakistan’s troubles are far from over.

    jinnah’s pakistan died on 16 december 1971 (after a painful period of desease, that it was afflicted with soon after his death). a country borne out of a democratic and constitutional struggle, has had more than 3 decades of military rule. where the party winning at the ballot box in a free and fair elections cannot even set a foot inside parliament let alone be allowed to govern. It didn’t matter that you were a freedom fighter or a veteran parliamentarian, or you won 162 seats, if you were not from West Pakistan…

    if you are one of what Jinnah called “khhottay sikkay” or their descendents, you will virtually be guaranteed a seat in parliament. if you are one of the mullahs or their descendents who called jinnah ‘kafir e azam’, you will always have the military’s/agencies’ support if not actually a seat in parliament. thousands of East Pakistanis were massacred and raped and nobody in West Pakistan cared one bit. That is what this picture reminds me.

    how long would our friends tolerate it while we stay busy following a course which will fast turn us in to a liability even for them (remember china’s strong rebuke to pakistan during kargil?). long live pak-cheen dosti. Long live pakistan.

  4. Riaz Haq says:
    January 19th, 2009 7:01 pm

    This delegation probably deserves some credit along with successive leaders of China and Pakistan for the strong friendship the two nations enjoy in a volatile world.

    It also says something about the feudal/hereditary nature of leadership in Islamabad (and Dhaka) that differentiates industrialized China from feudal Pakistan (and Bangladesh).

  5. AF Ahmad says:
    January 19th, 2009 8:16 pm

    Looking at this picture made me realize what’s really meant by getting new blood in our political arena. The lack of which becomes obvious whenever we look at black and white images – or even coloured ones- from our past.

  6. Aamir Ali says:
    January 19th, 2009 8:31 pm

    @Bloody civilian

    This picture is from 1956, not 1958. If you want to go into 1971, it was Zulfiqar Bhutto who refused to accept the results of the 1970 elections, and told the Bengalis “idhr hum or udhre tum”. Don’t get into pointless rants against military rule every time you see a general.

    The current relationship of Pakistan and China began in the 1950′s and truly took off in the 1970′s, with Zhou Enlai among the strongest proponents of it. The point is that Pakistan’s strongest relationships were cultivated over decades, they did not happen overnight.

  7. YLH says:
    January 19th, 2009 9:44 pm

    Bloody civ,

    Excellent points.

    The rest,

    I wonder if these people could project into the future.

    Shaikh Mujib was once as great a patriot of Pakistan, as Jinnah himself had been of India.

    Whatever Mujeeb’s role as the president of Bangladesh …he must be respected by Pakistanis …and we would do well to remind ourselves that his 6 points were a mere restatement of the Lahore Resolution.

  8. Grace says:
    January 20th, 2009 3:47 pm

    An amusing story about Prime Minister Shaheed Suhrawardy’s visit to China in 1958, the first high level Pakistani visit. Amongst the delegates was Princess Abida Sultan of Bhopal. The Princess, a crack shot, stunt motor car driver and polo player, soon got bored with the “ladies” programme and asked to be taken to a small arms factory. Whilst there she did some target shooting with excellent results. The joke then went round, that it was then that the Chinese decided that they had better be on good terms with Pakistan. If this was an example of Pakistani women, what would the men be like !? Better be friends !

  9. Classof71 says:
    January 20th, 2009 3:53 pm

    I cannot let a post relevant to the politics of 1971 pass without a comment from me.

    Mujeeb was not any more a traitor than Ghulam Mustafa Khar who claimed he wanted to enter Pakistan on an Indian tank. Mr Khar has never denied this and only gets the benefit of the doubt as a Punjabi feudal which Mujeeb and Altaf Hussain are not. I am not saying that we should feel warmly towards Mujeeb. Mujeb was responsible for atrocities on the civilian Pakistani Muslims who were left behind by the Generals Tikka and Niazi.

    I am not an admirer of Mujeeb. Instead I am an admirer of Major Dalim ( and long for the day when Hasina Wajid will join Benazir Bhutto. Ameen.

    However, growing up in Karachi between 1992-9 I came to understand that if a politician/party is “unpatriotic” , they should not be allowed to contest elections let alone be allowed to contest free and fair elections, win those elections and then to be forced to turn against Pakistan under Z A Bhutto’s “idhar hum/udhar tum” politics of genocide and destruction backed by the brutal force of the Establishment machinery. 1971 is “azab-e-jaria” for Bhutto and his accomplices. As long as Pakistan remains divided and Pakistanis continue to suffer from 1971, God will write sins against Bhutto and hold him accountable.

    The never-published Hamoodur Rahman Commission (published by Pervez Musharraf?) recommended that the corrupt and incompetent military leadership should be held to account for 1971 ( which it never was). It should have also mentioned that the PPP old-guard (the idhar hum/ udhar tum ideologues) be punished.

    Treason is second nature to PPP leaders. The whole world knows that Aitzaz Ahsan when he was Home Minister in BB-1 betrayed the details of Khalistani operatives to India. Today he is revered as the moving spirit behind the movement for an independent judiciary.

    I agree that Justice Iftikhar Chaudhri’s cause is a noble and honourable one and that he is the only and undisputed Chief Justice of Pakistan.

    But I also sometimes think that we are the Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.

  10. bonobashi says:
    January 20th, 2009 6:40 pm


    Funnily enough, I am also class of 71, but saw the events from across another border, and even more funnily, from a completely different perspective. It was too close for comfort, even after these decades.

    I found your expression of admiration for a convicted murderer of unarmed men and women to be in very bad taste. Corrupt politicians are not unknown in South Asia, all parts of South Asia; one does not murder them in cold blood.

    Bouncing up and down on a discussion forum with such bloodthirsty statements is not impressive. I wonder whether you would care to repeat your sentiments in public in Dhaka.

    “But I also sometimes think that we are the Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.”

    You might encourage readers to take your parallel further on a rather more individual basis, and will have no one but yourself to blame. It is tempting.

  11. Gorki says:
    January 20th, 2009 11:35 pm

    @ Bonobashi and class of 71
    It is interesting to read the posts by class of

  12. January 24th, 2009 12:47 am

    A historic photo indeed. I wonder if Mujeeb went there to get some inspiration of Mao’s movement. :P

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