Punjab was ruled by 16 Lieutenant Governors from 1849 to 1924 and
seven governors from 1924 to 1947
LAHORE: Makhdoom Syed Ahmed Mahmood is the 34th Punjab Governor in 88 years since Sir William Malcolm Hailey was the first one to be appointed by the then British rulers of the sub-continent to serve as the constitutional head of this province from May 31, 1924 to August 9, 1928.
Some seven Governors, Sir William Malcolm Hailey (famous Hailey College of Commerce in Punjab University Lahore is named after him), Sir Geoffrey Fitzhervey de Montmorency, Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan, Sir Herbert William Emerson, Sir Henry Duffield Craik, Sir Bertrand James Glancy and Sir Evan Meredith Jenkins had served Punjab from 1924 till partition in 1947, chronicles of history reveal.
Three of these pre-partition Punjab Governors—Sir Geoffrey Fitzhervey de Montmorency, Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan and Sir Herbert William Emerson—had gone on to enjoy two tenures each in office.
The first governor of West Punjab (after the 1947 partition) was Sir Francis Mudie (1890-1976).
He was the last British Governor of Sindh and after the partition of India and Pakistan in August 1947, he had continued to serve as Governor of the West Punjab.
Overall, some six different Governors had ruled over West Punjab from August 15, 1947 to October 14, 1955.
In 1955, the province of West Punjab was dissolved and became the Punjab province.
In 1955, the post of Punjab Governor was consequently abolished and former Interior Minister, Mushtaq Ahmed Gurmani, was posted as the first Governor of West Pakistan.
Between October 14, 1955 and July 1, 1970, Punjab had formed part of the larger province of West Pakistan.
The six governors who ruled Punjab during the 1947 to 1955 period were Sir Francis Mudie, Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar, Ibrahim Ismail Chundrigar, Mian Aminuddin, Habib Ibrahim Rahimtoola and Mushtaq Ahmed Gurmani.
From July 1, 1970 till date, another 20 Governors have gone on to call shots in Punjab, taking the grand total to 33 Punjab Governors, with Makhdoom Syed Ahmed Mahmood being the 34th in this context.
Only Ghulam Mustafa Khar has had the honour of serving Punjab twice as its Governor since 1970.
Till date since 1970, some 12 of the 21 Punjab Governors have hailed from Pakistan People’s Party and late Salman Taseer remains the only unfortunate one to be assassinated in office.
On average, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has succeeded in getting its governors appointed here in Punjab every 3.5 years during the last 42 years.
Seven serving and retired generals were also entrusted with the task to act as Punjab Governors during the last 42 years, meaning thereby that every six years on average, a soldier somehow gets a chance to serve on this slot.
However, the likes of General Tikka Khan and General Raja Saroop Khan were nominated by the Pakistan People’s Party.
These 20 Punjab Governors (prior to appointment of Syed Ahmed Mahmood) are: Lt Gen Attiqur Rahman, Ghulam Mustafa Khar, Hanif Ramay, Nawab Sadiq Hussain Qureshi, Mohammad Abbas Abbasi, Aslam Riaz Hussain, Lt Gen Sawar Khan, Lt Gen Ghulam Jilani Khan, Makhdoom Sajjad Hussain Qureshi, Gen Tikka Khan, Mian Muhammad Azhar, Chaudhary Altaf Hussain, Lt Gen Raja Saroop Khan, Khawaja Tariq Rahim, Shahid Hamid, Zulfiqar Ali Khosa, Lt General Muhammad Safdar, Lt Gen Khalid Maqbool, Salmaan Taseer and Latif Khosa.
There have been a few occasions when Punjab was administratively controlled by Governors only. These were the times of the Martial Laws of 1958-1972 and 1977-1985, and Governor Rules of 1999-2002.
In the case of Punjab, there was direct governor rule in 1949-1951, when the provincial chief minister of that time was removed and assemblies were dissolved.
Interestingly, from 1849 to 1924, Punjab was ruled by as many as 16 Lieutenant Governors and many cities, educational institutions, hospitals and roads in Punjab (especially Lahore) are still named after many of them.
These 16 Lieutenant Governors include Sir John Laird Mair Lawrence (Lahore’s famous Lawrence Gardens, Lawrence Road and Lawrence College Ghora Galli in Murree are named after him), Sir Robert Montgomery (old name of Sahiwal city was Montgomery), Sir Donald Friell McLeod (Lahore’s renowned McLeod Road is named after him), Henry Marion Durand (Lahore’s Durand Road is named after him and so is the 2,640 kilometers long porous Pak-Afghan border), Sir Robert Henry Davies, Sir Robert Eyles Egerton (Lahore’s Egerton Road is named after him), Sir Charles Umpherston Aitchison (Lahore’s elite Aitchison College is named after him and Lady Aitchison Hospital of the city is named after his wife), Sir James Broadwood Lyall (Lyallpur is the old name of Faisalabad), Sir Dennis Fitzpatrick, Sir William Mackworth Young, Sir Charles Montgomery Rivaz, Sir Denzil Charles Jelf Ibbetson, Sir Thomas Gordon Walker, Sir Louis William Dane (Danepur Lane in GOR Lahore is named after him), James MacCrone Douie, Sir Michael Francis O’Dwyer and Sir Edward Douglas Maclagan (Lahore’s Maclagan Road is named after him).