Sikander Hyat Khan was an Indian Muslim political leader in the province of Punjab, when India was a part of the British Empire. He was the leader of the Unionist Party, an all-Punjab political party formed to represent the concerns and issues of India's Muslims, however opposed to the political separatism and demand for Pakistan of the All India Muslim League, led by Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Khan led his party in the elections under the Government of India Act 1935 held in 1937. He governed the Punjab as Chief Minister in coalition with the Sikh Akali Dal and the Indian National Congress.He was widely respected by Punjab's Sikhs and Hindu communities. Khan had opposed the Quit India Movement of 1942 and backed the British during World War II. While politically cooperating with the British, Khan never gave up his desire for the independence of India and the unity of Punjab. Khan was a very popular Punjabi leader who fought for greater Muslim rights and representation while opposing Jinnah's demands for Pakistan. His death in 1942, historians agree, created a vacuum of leadership for Punjab's Muslims, which increased the popularity of Jinnah, and resulted in the 1946-47 communal violence that killed thousands of people. Punjab was partitioned in 1946, creating the heavily Muslim province of West Punjab, which became the largest and most populated province of Pakistan on August 14, 1947. However, Khan still remains a respected figure in both India and Pakistan.