Chaudhry Shujaat was born on January 27, 1946 in Gujrat and graduated from Forman Christian College, University of Punjab in 1967. His father, Chaudhry Zahoor Elahi, was a seasoned parliamentarian who played an important role in restoring democracy and human rights in Pakistan and was duly honored as the Prisoner of Conscience by Amnesty International. Chaudhry Shujaat entered politics after his father was assassinated on September 25, 1981.
Chaudhry Shujaat became member of the federal parliament (Majlis-e-Shoora) in 1981 and worked till 1985. Chaudhry Shujaat for the first time contested in the general election from Gujrat on both the National and Punjab Assemblies seats in 1985 but had to vacate his Punjab Assembly seat and become a member of the then Prime Minister Muhammad Khan Junejo cabinet as the Industries Minister. He also acted as the parliamentary party leader of the PML in the National Assembly. He was appointed the Information and Broadcasting Minister in the Junejo cabinet in 1986 and was appointed the Industries and Production Minister in 1987-88.
Chaudhry Shujaat was the interior minister in Nawaz Sharif first tenure. After losing the election from Gujrat in 1993, Chaudhry Shujaat became a member of Senate and the Chairman of the Senate standing committee on defence, production and aviation from 1993 to 1997. He won the general election again in 1997 by defeating PPP candidate Ahmad Mukhtar. Nawaz Sharif appointed him the interior minister in his cabinet and was elected the Punjab PML-Nawaz president in 1997.
After the Nawaz Sharif government was sacked on October 12, 1999, several PML-N dissidents formed a group under Mian Muhammad Azhar leadership. Earlier, Chaudhry Shujaat did not join any group but after Nawaz Sharif exile, he also joined Mian Azhar and formed the PML (QA) in March 2001. In the general election of October 2002, Chaudhry Shujaat was elected the National Assembly member from Bhakkar and Gujrat but later vacated his Bhakkar seat and acted as the PML-QA parliamentary party leader in the National Assembly. After Mian Azhar resignation, Chaudhry Shujaat was elected the president of PML (QA) on January 2003. He was elected as Prime Minister on June 30, 2004, four days after Zafarullah Khan Jamali tendered his resignation from the premiership.
This article was last updated on Friday, October 08, 2004