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Sir Shahnawaz Bhutto
By:K.I. Bajwa
Date: Monday, 14 June 2010, 10:10 am

Sir Shahnawaz Bhutto was a important politician of pre partition history of South Asia and also father of Late Prime Minister of Pakistan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

It is wrongly misunderstood that Bhuttos belong from Sindh, as Sir Shahnawaz Bhutto was born in Bhatto Kalan, a large village situated in present day Fatehabad District, near Sirsa city, in the state of Haryana, India. Bhuttos never let this fact go publicly because of political reasons as being a settler in Sindh it helped them to get support of Sindhi people. Shahnawz permanently settled in Pakistan only after partition in 1948.

Sir Shahnawz Bhutto, was a controversial figure. He belong to a poor family but for treachery in Punjab he became blue eyed boy for British rulers and got money and land for his services for British rulers at the time of freedom struggle. British Government also award him title of ‘Sir’ for his services. He had devious nature by which he got a lot of success in his life. In early 30’s of 20th century Shahnawz moved to Sindh and bought a large property in a small district Larkana.

Shahnawaz later entered the service of the Nawab of Junagadh on recommendation of British government. Shah Nawaz Bhutto in time became the Dewan (prime minister) of Junagadh state. He had anti Pakistani sentiments and also invited India to capture Junagadh beside its Nawab announced to Join Pakistan.

Interestingly, he later settled in Pakistan where he spend his later life in weakening Pakistan. Shah Nawaz Bhutto, soon become one of the wealthiest and most influential landowners of Sindh, Through his brother in law Brigadier Muhammad Mustafa Khan Bahadur, he was able to make good friendship with Governor General (later President) Iskander Mirza. Mirza, who had been a regular guest for the annual hunt in Larkana and always, stayed at Al-Murtaza (the Bhutto family home). In the winter of 1955-1956, Brigadier Mustafa brought General Ayub Khan along to Larkana for the hunt, and both of them enjoyed the hospitality of the Bhutto family. Here Shahnawaz introduced his son Z.A Bhutto to Ayub Khan, who later include him in his Cabinet and later Z.A.Bhutto become Dictator Ayub’s most trust worthy aide.

SIr Shahnawaz was married to Khursheed Begum. Khursheed Begum was formerly Lakhi Bai, born in a Hindu family. She converted to Islam before her marriage.

See below the copy of letter Sir Shahnawaz Bhutto sent to Indian Government to capture Junagarh.

Letter to Intervene

Dear Mr. Buch, After discussion with Mr. Samaldas Gandhi at Rajkot on October 1, Capt. Harvey Jones, senior member of Junagadh State Council, brought certain proposals for the consideration of the Council. The Council were prepared to accept them under protest but before a final decision could be communicated to Mr. Samaldas Gandhi it was thought necessary to ascertain the opinion of the leading members of the public. A meeting was therefore held this evening and the view of the leaders was unanimously expressed that instead of handing over the administration to the Indian Union through the so-called Provisional Government, it should be directly given over to the Indian Union, through the Regional Commissioner at Rajkot.

The Junagadh Government, therefore, has requested that in order to avoid bloodshed, hardship, loss of life and property and to preserve the dynasty, you should be approached to give your assistance to the administration particularly with a view to preserve law and order, which is threatened by aggressive elements from outside. This arrangement is sought pending an honourable settlement of the several issues involved in Junagadh's accession. We have already wired to His Excellency Lord Mountbatten, Mahatmaji, Prime and Deputy Prime Ministers of India, Hon'ble Abul Kalarn Azad and the Governor-General and Prime Minister of Pakistan.
I hope you will kindly respond to this request.

Yours sincerely,
Sd/S.N. Bhutto,
Dewan, Junagadh.