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Yousuf Raza Gelani

Yousaf Raza Gillani

Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani
یوسف رضا گیلانی
Prime Minister of Pakistan
Assumed office
25 March 2008
PresidentPervez Musharraf
Asif Ali Zardari
Preceded byMuhammad Mian Soomro
15th Speaker of National Assembly
In office
October 17, 1993 – February 16, 1997
Preceded byGohar Ayub Khan
Succeeded byElahi Bux Soomro
Personal details
Born9 June 1952 (age 59)
KarachiDominion of Pakistan
Political partyPakistan Peoples Party
Spouse(s)Fauzia Gillani[1]
Alma materForman Christian College University
Government College University
University of the Punjab
Makhdoom Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani (Urduمخدوم سیّد یوسف رضا گیلانی) (born 9 June 1952) is the 17th and current Prime Minister of Pakistan and Vice-Chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). He was previously Speaker of the National Assembly (1993–1997) and a Federal Minister (1985–1986, 1989–1990).
He was nominated as Prime Minister by the PPP, with the support of its coalition partners, Pakistan Muslim League (N),Awami National PartyJamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement, on 22 March 2008.[2] He took the oath of office from President Pervez Musharraf on 25 March 2008.[3] Gilani is the first elected Prime Minister of Pakistan from the Saraiki-speaking belt.[4] In 2009 Gillani was ranked as the 38th most powerful person in the world by Forbes.[5]



[edit]Family and education

Gillani was born in Karachi on 9 June 1952. He belongs to an influential political family from Multan. His father was a descendant of Syed Musa Pak, a spiritual figure of the QadiriSufism order which traces its origins to Abdul-Qadir Gilani. Yousaf Raza's grandfather comes from Paktia Province,Afghanistan. Gilani did his intermediate from Pakistan's famous University Forman Christian College University. He attendedGovernment College and obtained his B.A and M.A. in Journalismfrom University of the Punjab. Gillani is married and has four sons, one daughter, and one grandson.[6] His eldest son, Syed Makhdoom Abdul Qadir Gillani, started his own political career from Multan, and in 2008 he married the granddaughter of Pir Pagara Shah Mardan Shah II, an influential political and religious leader of Sindh. His three other sons Ali Qasim Gillani, Ali Musa Gillani and Ali Haider Gillani are triplets. Qasim Gillani is currently doing his undergraduate from Brunel University London whereas Musa Gillani completed his Masters from Queen Mary University of London in 2009. Ali Haider Gillani is studying at Lahore School of Economics, Lahore. Ali Musa Gillani after completing his studies is now actively participating in politics. Yousaf Raza Gillani's daughter's name is Fiza Gillani.
He is also famous for his scandalous affair with famous Pakistani Singer Naheed Akhtar in 1990s, with some rumors that he even married for some time after which she left singing.[7][8]

[edit]Political career

Gillani's political journey began during General Zia-ul-Haq's martial law in 1978. He joined the Central Working Committee of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML). He was elected MNA from Lodhran first time the seat now hold saddique baloch NA 154. He was also a cabinet member in the three-year government of Prime MinisterMuhammad Khan Junejo, and served as Minister of Housing and Works from April 1985 to January 1986 and as Railways Minister from January 1986 to December 1986.
After a short stint with the Muslim League, Gillani joined the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in 1988 due to differences with Nawaz Sharif. In the Benazir Bhutto government of 1988-1990, he was again elected MNA from other seat NA 152 now hold by Nawab liaqat ali, and he was Minister of Tourism from March 1989 to January 1990 and Minister of Housing and Works from January 1990 to August 1990. Later, under another Bhutto government, he became Speaker of the National Assembly in October 1993, serving in that post until February 1997. Gilani was defeated in 1997 by Sikander hayat Bosan of (PML-N) how was later a Minister in Shaukat Aziz cabinet. Gilani didnt contest the 2002 general election.
He has been elected various times as the Member of National Assembly from Multan. In the 2008 general election, he beat Pakistan Muslim League (Q) (PML-Q) leader Sikandar Hayat Bosan by a long margin.


Inaugurating a Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited Zonal Office at Muzzafarabad
Yousaf Raza Gillani was arrested on 11 February 2001, under the auspices of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), an anti-corruption agency, set up by the military government in 1999, over charges that he misused his authority while he was Speaker of the National Assembly. Specifically, he was accused of hiring up to 600 people from among his constituents and placing them on the government's payroll.[9] The NAB claimed that Gillani inflicted a loss of Rs 30 million annually on the national exchequer.[10] He was convicted by an anti-corruption court formed by Musharraf and spent nearly six years in prison.[11]
The legal proceedings were perceived by many as politically motivated; his party, the PPP, was in opposition to Musharraf, who had embarked on a campaign to coerce party members to switch sides. Thus his conviction by Musharraf-backed courts and subsequent prison sentence are seen as marks of loyalty within the PPP. His imprisonment was widely condemned by various individuals across the country, including Mushahid Hussain Syed, a senior leader of thePML-Q.[citation needed] He was released on 7 October 2006 from Adiala Jail, after spending more than five years in captivity.[12]

[edit]Prime Ministership

On 22 March 2008, the PPP nominated Gillani for the post of Prime Minister. PPP completed consultations with coalition partners about the Prime Minister and its allies endorsed the nomination. The formal announcement of the name of Prime Minister was expected to be made that night.
On 22 March at 9:38 pm Islamabad, (1638 GMT), he was officially announced by PPP as its candidate for the premiership of the country.
Many analysts said that they would not be surprised if Zardari succeeded Gillani after a few months. It was reported on 24 March 2008, that Zardari said he was not interested in the job of Prime Minister and that Gillani would serve until 2013 in the position. Speculation that Zardari might be gunning for the premiership grew stronger when he picked the less popular Gillani over Ameen Faheem, President of the PPP. Fahmida Mirza, the newly-elected Speaker of the Assembly, insists there is no plan to replace Gillani. She added, however, that if Gillani did not do a good job, all options were open.[13]
On 24 March 2008, Gillani was elected as Prime Minister by Parliament, defeating his rival, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi of the PML-Q, by a score of 264 to 42.[14] He was sworn in by Musharraf on the next day.[3] On 29 March, he won a unanimous vote of confidence in Parliament.[15]
Gillani with Hillary Clinton
On the same day, following the vote of confidence, Gillani announced the programme for the first 100 days of his administration. Some of the points he announced were:
  • Frontier Crimes Regulations and Industrial Relations Order repealed
  • PM House budget cut by 40 percent
  • No money to be spent on the renovation of government buildings and residences
  • Talks will be initiated with extremists who lay down arms and ‘adopt the path of peace’
  • A new package for tribal areas promised
  • Employment commission to be set up
  • Madressah authority to implement a uniform curriculum
  • One million housing units to be built annually for low-income groups
  • Irrigation channels to be bricklined.
  • Appointed Prof. Ghulam Hussain Saleem and Wazir Ibadat adviser to the Prime minister for Gilgit Baltistan Affairs.
The first part of Gillani's Cabinet was sworn in on 31 March. Of the 24 ministers sworn in on this occasion, 11 were members of the PPP, nine were members of the Pakistan Muslim League (N) (PML-N), two were members of the Awami National Party, one was from Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, and one came from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Other appointments were expected to follow.[17]
On 13 May 2008, the PML (N) ministers resigned from Gillani's government due to a disagreement related to the reinstatement of judges whom Musharraf removed from office in 2007. Zardari, hoping to preserve the coalition, told Gillani to reject the resignations.[18]
At the close of 2008, Pakistan's The Financial Daily conducted a public poll on its website; respondents entered the names of their favorite personalities for the year, and Gillani was named among the top 50.[19]
In April 2010 he announced the Pakistan national energy policy to deal with the severe electricity shortage facing Pakistan.[20]

[edit]First public speech as Prime Minister

Yousaf Raza Gillani at the World Economic Forum in 2008.
On 19 July 2008 at 11:06pm (Pakistan Standard Time), Gillani appeared on Pakistan Television (PTV) in his first address to the nation. The main points in his address were focused on the crisis offlour shortage, load-sheddingterrorism and extremism, restoration of judges, economic downslide and, above all, inflation andunemployment in the country.The speech was a disaster as a result of which prime minister looked confused on account of mismanagement by his staff.

[edit]2008 assassination attempt

Gillani escaped an assassination attempt on 3 September 2008,[21]when unidentified gunmen fired shots at his motorcade near the garrison city of Rawalpindi, officials said. The shooting occurred shortly after Gillani was returning from an official visit to the eastern city of Lahore. His motorcade was going to Islamabad from the high-security Chaklala military airbase in Rawalpindi. A spokesman for the Prime Minister's House said Gillani and members of his staff had escaped unhurt and were safe.He said police had been put on high alert and an investigation launched into the incident. The unidentified assailants fired at Gillani's motorcade on a highway. At least two shots hit the Prime Minister's bulletproof vehicle, TV channels quoted officials as saying. State-run PTV beamed footage of the damage caused by the bullets to the window of the driver's door of the vehicle. Reports said the incident occurred at a spot where former premier and PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif's motorcade was fired at on 27 December last year, shortly before Pakistan People's Party (PPP) chairperson Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in a suicide bombing in Rawalpindi.
According to Gillani's press secretary, Zahid Bashir, a car carrying Gillani was hit by ten bullets in an attack near Islamabad on 3 September 2008; Bashir said that Gillani was unharmed.[22] The Pakistani Talibanclaimed responsibility for the attack.[23]

[edit]Gillani's Role in Chief Justice restoration

During the political crisis of March 2009, Prime Minister Gillani is credited with playing a central role in convincing the President Asif Ali Zardari to restore Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. This, according to some analysts, has strengthened his role as Prime Minister.[24]

[edit]First Visit to Afghanistan

Since assuming office of the premier, Mr. Gillani was planning to visit the neighboring country Afghanistan, but some unresolved issues like absence of a joint platform to discuss bilateral issues, border conflicts, different views on war on terror etc. prevented the visit to Afghanistan. But finally Mr. Gillani visited Afghanistan with Chief of Army Staff GeneralAshfaq Pervez Kayani and ISI Director-General Lieutenant-General Ahmed Shuja Pasha. After successful dialogue, it was mutually decided to form a Reconciliation Committee headed by foreign ministers of both the countries. [25]

[edit]Foreign Honours

  • Turkey Presidental Medal