Swiveling his busy 16-mm. movie camera as he tours the U.S. this week: Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, 63, Western-minded Premier of Pakistan (pop. 80 million), the U.S.'s stoutest ally in South Asia:
Man in Politics. Born in 1893 in Bengal, British India, where his father, Sir Zahid Suhrawardy, was a Moslem high court judge, his mother a noted Moslem writer in a land where women usually live in obscurity. Moved up along the well-marked trail of well-off Indians to Oxford, won honors and a law degree. Politics-minded, he became a city councilman in Calcutta, a member for 24 years (1921-45) of the provincial legislative council of British-run Bengal; in 1946 he became provincial Chief Minister. Though a Moslem, he lined up with Gandhi, Nehru and other Indian leaders in the struggle for Indian independence. In 1946, when bitter Hindu-Moslem rivalry burst into bloody street fighting in Calcutta, Suhrawardy joined Mahatma Gandhi in perilous trips through the riot areas to preach and dramatize Hindu-Moslem good will, won a reputation as a courageous moderate.
Tke Expatriate. When, in 1947,
India got its independence and was partitioned into a secular new India and a Moslem Pakistan amid a Hindu-Moslem blood bath, Moslem Suhrawardy stayed anchored in India's Calcutta, offended because he was offered what he considered a lowly Cabinet job in Pakistan. No enthusiast for a theocratic Moslem state anyway, he made his home in India until India's tax collectors clamped down on his business, rugs and 1947 Buick.
Turned up in Pakistan in 1949, broke and all but friendless, was jeered at as a "Spy for India!" and "Disruptionist!" He cockily replied that he meant to be Prime Minister, gradually patched together a shaky coalition of dissident factions, told each what he thought they wanted to hear (including Nehru-type neutralism), won local elections in East Pakistan and recouped his personal prestige. One day last September Suhrawardy was called in by President Iskander Mirza (who more or less runs Pakistan with army and civil-service support), was installed as Premier of what Mirza calls "controlled democracy."
Tke Premier. In office, Suhrawardy quickly shed his Nehru neutralism and his old Indian sympathies; instead, he supported Pakistan's membership in the U.S.-sponsored Southeast Asia Treaty Organization and the British-sponsored .Baghdad Pact, won the plaudits of Moslem Firsters when the U.N. made its strongest-yet condemnation of Nehru on Kashmir. In the touchy situation after Suez, he spoke up firmly to doubting Moslems on behalf of the Eisenhower Doctrine.
Suhrawardy puts in twelve-hours-plus work a day, often holds court sprawling on side-by-side twin beds amid a litter of state papers and fly swatters, or riffles through his "Immediate Action" files with a radio or tape recorder blaring. Fun-loving Suhrawardy manages to give a party a week, rarely refuses a social invitation.