Sardar Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari
Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari was born at D. G. Khan on May 29, 1940. He comes from a family that has served as hereditary chiefs of the Leghari Tribe, and has been active in politics. His father, Nawab Muhammad Khan Leghari, and his grandfather, Nawab Jamal Khan Leghari, both were progressive leaders who introduced their Tribe to modern ideas. His father took prominent part in the Independence Movement and was confined as a political prisoner in 1946. After Independence, his father served as Minister in the Punjab Government from 1949 to 1955.
Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari did his graduation from Aitchison College, Lahore, and earned M. A. P. P. E. from Oxford University in 1963. In the same year, he joined the Civil Service of Pakistan and worked in various fields and Secretariat positions from 1964 to 1973. He left the Civil Service in 1973 on the invitation of Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto to join the P. P. P. In 1975, Farooq Leghari was elected Senator. In the 1977 election, he won the National Assembly seat from his ancestral constituency in Dera Ghazi Khan and was appointed Federal Minister for Production. In 1978, he was appointed Secretary General of the P. P. P. and participated in the struggle for the restoration of democracy. He remained Secretary General till 1983 and underwent four years of imprisonment during the Martial Law. Farooq Leghari was elected member of both National and Punjab Assembly in the 1988 elections, and was appointed Federal Minister for Water and Power from December 1989 up to August 1990. In October 1990 elections, he was re-elected member of the National Assembly and became Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly.
In the caretaker Cabinet in 1993, Farooq Leghari held the portfolio of the Federal Minister for Finance. During this period he presided over the 21st Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers held in Karachi from April 25 to 29,1993. In the October 1993 general elections, he won the National Assembly seat and was appointed Federal Foreign Minister. Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari was elected President of Pakistan on November 13, 1993, and took oath the same day for a term of five years.
In February 1997, Mian Nawaz Sharif, a major political opponent of Farooq Leghari, was elected as the Prime Minister. With the passing of the Thirteenth Amendment, a direct collision course with the Prime Minster was set. Due to the dilution of Pakistan Peoples Party’s role in the assemblies, chances of Leghari’s reelection as President in 1998 had also become bleak. On December 2, 1997, Farooq Leghari resigned as the President of Pakistan.
Instead of leading a retired life after his resignation from the office of President, Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari entered the political arena by forming his own political party, the Millat Party, on August 14, 1998, in Lahore. His party contested the 2002 election by joining the National Alliance. The National Alliance consisted of seven parties, which included National Peoples Party, National Awami Party, Sindh National Front, Sindh Democratic Alliance, Nizam-i-Mustafa Party, Baluchistan National Party and the Millat Party. Ghulam Mustafa Khan Jatoi led the National Alliance as the Chairman. Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari himself contested the elections from Dera Ghazi Khan and Chicha Watni and won from both seats.
The National Alliance was however unable to secure any major position in the elections. In the National Assembly they won 13 seats. In the Provincial Assembly elections they won 12 seats in Sindh, 12 in Punjab and five seats in Balochistan. They were, however, unable to secure any seats in the N. W. F. P. Province.
Despite the fact that the Millat Party and the National Alliance were unable to secure a large number of seats in the present elections, it is viewed that Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari and his Millat Party will play a key role in the new political set up.
This article was last updated on Sunday, June 01, 2003