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October 20, 2014
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Sardar Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari

Former President of Pakistan Ex-MNA fron NA-172 D.G.Khan-II Pakistan Muslim League


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(Hafiz Nouman Hafeez)Sardar Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari died at the age of 70 years and five months on Tuesday October 19, 2010 at the Armed forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC) Rawalpindi.

Born on May 29, 1940 at Choti Zereen in Dera Ghazi Khan district of the Punjab province, he comes from a political family that has been active in politics in this part of the world since the colonial days. His father Sardar Muhammad Khan Leghari and grandfather Nawab Sir Muhammad Jamal Khan Leghari had been ministers.

After his initial schooling at the ‘Eton’ of Pakistan, Aitchison College, Lahore, where he was the head boy and declared the best leaving student of 1957. He graduated with honours from the Forman Christian College, Lahore, where again he was amongst the best students. He received his Master degree in philosophy, politics & economics from Oxford University, UK, in 1963.

After returning to Pakistan he joined the Civil Service of Pakistan and served for sometime in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). On the death of his father, he resigned from service and came back to his roots to look after the tribal affairs of his tribe. He is the head (Sardar) of the Leghari tribe.

He joined the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and was made leader of the party upon the imprisonment of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. He was put under house-arrest several times during the military regime of General Muhammad Ziaul Haq.

A member of the Senate from 1975 to 1977, he was elected to the National Assembly in 1988, 1990 and 1993 general elections. He was deputy leader of the opposition in the National Assembly from 1990 to 1993.

As a federal minister, he held the portfolios of production in 1975, water and power in 1989-90 and finance followed by foreign affairs for brief periods in 1993 before his election as president of Pakistan. He ran for the office of the president as PPP candidate and won the election against Wasim Sajjad. He took oath as head of the state on November 14, 1993.

Exercising his powers as the president under Article 58(2)-b of the Constitution, he dismissed government of Benazir Bhutto on November 4, 1996 on charges of corruption, lawlessness and extra judicial killings and in accordance with the constitutional provision held general election in 1997.

The Pakistan Muslim League (PML) led by Nawaz Sharif won the elections and Sharif was elected prime minister. A thumping majority in the lower house of Parliament led the Sharif government to remove the controversial 8th constitutional amendment. Farooq Leghari saw this as a threat to his power and conspired with the-then Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Sajjad Ali Shah to sack the Sharif government. This led to an uprising against him and Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah and both Farooq Leghari and Sajjad Ali Shah were forced to resign. Leghari quit as the president on December 2, 1997.

After quitting as the president, Leghari founded his own Millat Party for his political survival. The Millat Party entered into a coalition of seven parties known as National Alliance (which opposed the Musharraf regime) to participate in the general elections of 2002. The National Alliance, however, failed to appear as a dominant force in the elections and won only 13 seats in the National Assembly, mostly his own family members.

Leghari deserted the National Alliance and allied his party with the same government to which he was opposed. He entered in a coalition with the majority party to form a government. As a share in the government, his son Awais Ahmed Leghari was made a federal minister for telecom and information technology and another of his deputies Yar Muhammad Rind was also inducted in the federal cabinet. Later Muhammad Ali Durrani and Leghari’s niece Sumaira Malik were also inducted in the federal cabinet from his party.

In the next Senate election, his elder son Jamal Leghari was elected to the Senate.

Besides two sons, he has two daughters and one of them Faryal Leghari is an assistant researcher at the Gulf Research Centre in Dubai.

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Sardar Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari

October 20, 2014- Former President of Pakistan Ex-MNA fron NA-172 D.G.Khan-II Pakistan Muslim League