By Dr. Saad Bashir
One of the oldest major hospitals in Karachi is the Liaquat National Hospital.
Soon after the creation of Pakistan the Red Cross Committee, which was chaired by Syed Wajid Ali, (one of the three illustrious sons of Syed Maratib Ali) raised about Rs. 800,000 through meena bazaars organized under the guidance of Begum Rana Liaquat Ali Khan.
The committee decided to establish a hospital in Karachi, Pakistan called “The National Hospital”. Mr. Ghulam Muhammad, the Governor General of Pakistan, laid the foundation stone of the hospital on February 23, 1953.
In memory of Liaquat Ali Khan, the first Prime Minister of Pakistan who was assassinated in 1951, the National Hospital was renamed as Liaquat National Hospital.
Syed Wajid Ali was selected as the president of a committee to oversee the functioning of the hospital.
The hospital was inaugurated by President Iskander Mirza on 16 October 1958 – the 7th anniversary of Liaquat Ali Khan’s martyrdom and 9 days after he had declared martial law and appointed General Ayub Khan to head the cabinet.
In the photographs below we can see the arrival of Iskander Mirza with Mrs Naheed Iskander Mirza with Ayub Khan.
The second shows Syed Wajid Ali giving the guests a tour of the hospital and the third shows the inauguration ceremony.