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Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari (English IPA: fɑrukʰ æɦmæd ləɡhərɪ̈) (Balochi, Punjabi, Urdu: سردار فاروق احمد خان لغاری‎; 29 May 1940 – 20 October 2010), was a Pakistani politician who served as the eighth President of Pakistan from 14 November 1993 until resigning on 2 December 1997. He is the first Baloch to have been elected as President.

Farooq Leghari
فاروق لیغاری
8th President of Pakistan
In office
14 November 1993 – 2 December 1997
Prime MinisterBenazir Bhutto
Malik Meraj Khalid (Acting)
Nawaz Sharif
Preceded byWasim Sajjad (Acting)
Succeeded byWasim Sajjad (Acting)
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
19 October 1993 – 14 November 1993
Prime MinisterBenazir Bhutto
Preceded byAbdul Sattar (Acting)
Succeeded byAseff Ahmad Ali
Minister for Water and Power
In office
28 December 1988 – 6 August 1990
Prime MinisterBenazir Bhutto
Preceded byWazir Ahmad Jogezai
Succeeded byShahzada Muhammad Yousaf
Personal details
Sardar Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari

(1940-05-29)29 May 1940
Choti Zareen, British India (now Pakistan)
Died20 October 2010(2010-10-20) (aged 70)
Rawalpindi, Pakistan
Resting placeChoti Zareen,Dera Ghazi Khan,Pakistan
Political partyPakistan People's Party (Before 1997)
Millat Party (1997–2002)
Pakistan Muslim League (Q) (2002–2010)
EducationForman Christian College
St Catherine's College, Oxford

Born into a Baloch tribal and influential feudal family, Leghari was educated at the Forman Christian College in Pakistan, and St Catherine's College, Oxford in United Kingdom. Upon return from the UK, he started his career as a civil servant prior to joining the politics in 1973 and tenured as Senator representing the Balochistan on Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) platform from 1975 to 1977. In 1980s, he led demonstrations aimed against President Zia-ul-Haq's administration and successfully ran in general elections held in 1988. From 1990 to 1993, he worked under Benazir Bhutto as her deputy Leader of the Opposition and participated in general elections held in 1993.

His credential and reputation eventually led him secure nomination for the presidency by Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and elected as President in 1993. However, he began receiving criticism over the controversial appointments of Senior Justices of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and was implicated in Mehran Bank scandal. Differences began to emerge with Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on policy issues in 1995 and he surprisingly dismissed his leader's government in 1996. His political ambitions later clashed with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his intervention to retain Justice Sajjad Ali Shah as Chief Justice finally led to his resignation in 1997. He remained active in politics and joined the PML(Q) in 2004. Leghari died from a long heart illness at the Combined Military Hospital in Rawalpindi on 20 October 2010.


Farooq Leghari was born on 2 May 1940 in Choti Zareen, a village located in Dera Ghazi Khan District, Punjab, British India.[1] The prefix Sardar, a title of nobility, added before his name that indicated the Tumandar (Chief) of his Leghari Tribe.:455[1] Leghari's family was a Saraiki-speaking Baloch and known for its wealth that has served as hereditary chiefs and has been remain active in politics since the times of British Rule of India.[2][3] His father, Nawab Muhammad Khan 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 Pakistan Movement and was confined as a political prisoner in 1946. After the partition of India, his father served as minister in the provincial government of Punjab from 1949 until 1955.[4][5]

Farooq Leghari was initially schooled at the famed Aitchison College in Lahore and graduated in 1957.[4] He went onto attend the Forman Christian College University where he gained BA with Honours in Economics in 1960.[6][7] He went to United Kingdom to attend the St Catherine's College, Oxford where he received master's degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE).[7]

Leghari was an avid and competitive sportsman and played tennis backhand and became a regular on the polo field.[4] In 1974, he represented Pakistan as shooter in 7th Asian Games held in Tehran, Iran.[4] Farooq Leghari was the major landowner in the country and owned approximately 40,500 acres (164 km2) of land.[4] After the death of Farooq Khan Leghari his son Jamal Khan Leghari became the 23rd Chief of Leghari tribe.[4]

Civil service and politicsEdit

Upon returning to Pakistan, he joined the Central Superior Services (CSS) in 1964 and worked as civil servant in East Pakistan before posting back to Pakistan.[3][6] In 1973, he resigned from the civil service and joined the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) on the invitation of Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.[3] In 1975, he was elected as Senator that represented Balochistan on PPP platform and participated in general elections held in 1977 on DG Khan constituency.[8] He was appointed as Minister of Defence Production and was appointed Secretary-General of the PPP in 1978.[3]

In 1980s, he became known as a leading figure of presiding mass demonstrations against President Zia-ul-Haq's administration and was imprisonment several times by Police.[8] Leghari participated well in general elections held in 1988 on DG Khan's constituency.[6] He was appointed as Minister for Water and Power under Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.[6] His term was abruptly ended by President Ghulam Ishaq Khan he dismissed Prime Minister Bhutto and successfully defended his constituency in general elections held in 1990.[6] He served as Deputy Leader of the Opposition under Benazir Bhutto, serving in opposition against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.[6]

In 1993, he witnessed the resignations of President Ghulam Ishaq Khan and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and joined the caretaker cabinet of caretaker Prime Minister Moeenuddin Ahmad Qureshi as Finance Minister.[9] During this period, he presided over the 21st Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers held in Karachi from 25–29 April 1993.[9] He successfully participated well in general elections held in 1993 and retained his seat in the National Assembly as he was the only PPP member from Dera Ghazi Khan.[6]

Leghari was named and appointed as Foreign Minister by Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on 13 November 1993 but soon win the nomination for presidency by Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.[10]

President of PakistanEdit

His credentials and "clean reputation" as opposed to politicians accused of mass corruption and white collar crimes won him the support from Prime Minister Bhutto and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).[11] He accepted the nomination and ran in the presidential elections against Wasim Sajjad, the Acting President and PML(N) nominee by Nawaz Sharif.[11]

As a result of indirect voting, Leghari received 274 votes in his favour against 168 votes for Wasim Sajjad.[11] On 13 November 1993, Sardar Farooq Leghari was appointed as the President of Pakistan for a term of five years.[11] He vowed to repeal the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan and expressed his support for Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. However, no bill was ever presented to repeal the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution.[11] The law and order situation in the country worsen, especially in Karachi where the police operation resulted in various and unaccountable deaths.[12]

In 1994–95, a major scandal was revealed by the sting operation led by the FIA that gained national attention.[11] Known as the Mehrangate, Leghari's and Bhutto's name was implicated in the corruption scandal in news media.[13][14] However, the PPP forcefully suppressed the FIA's investigations and judicial inquires as well as media coverage.[14] Leghari supported the Bhutto administration's internal and foreign policies and staunchly backed Prime Minister Bhutto's initiatives at the national level.[3] Leghari met with Indian Prime Minister Narasimha Rao and Queen Elizabeth when she paid a state visit to Pakistan during his tenure as president.[3]

His political relations with Benazir Bhutto drifted apart over on policy issues concerning the internal politics and judicial nominations for the Supreme Court of Pakistan in 1996.[15] In 1993, Leghari confirmed the nomination of Justice Sajjad Ali Shah as Chief Justice of Pakistan who was known to be closer to the PPP's ideology.:244[15] In 1994, Prime Minister Bhutto nominated 20 senior judges for the appointment to the Supreme Court; of which, 13 had political relations with the PPP. Some of the nominated judges had not been practised judges and controversial reputations in the law circles.:244[15] The PPP government began pressuring Chief Justice Shah to dissuade him from taking up to appeals against the nominations. President Leghari backed Chief Justice Shah over the appointment and confirmations that created problems with the Prime Minister Bhutto who saw this as a conspiracy being hatch by the Chief Justice Shah.:244[15] Notoriety over the confirmations of additional judges in the High Courts further maligned Leghari's image as the appointments were seen as "inappropriate."[11]

The situation with Prime Minister Bhutto further escalated when President Leghari raised issue of senior ministers' involvement in corruption and Asif Ali Zardari's appointment as Investment Minister. Leghari also suspected Benazir Bhutto and Asif Zardari involvement in controversial murder of Murtaza Bhutto that occurred in 1996, despite Prime Minister Bhutto hinted Leghari's involvement. :245[15] On October–November 1996, there were several meetings between President Leghari and Prime Minister Bhutto to resolve the issue but the two sides used the intelligence community against each other.:245[15] The economic recession further escalated the situation and President Leghari surprisingly dismissed the Benazir's administration using the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution on charges of corruption, economic recession, lawlessness and extra judicial killings.:245–247[15][16]

Resignation and post-presidencyEdit

A caretaker set-up was formed under Acting Prime Minister Malik Meraj Khalid and general elections were held in 1997 that witnessed the return of Nawaz Sharif with a heavy mandate in all over the country. Prime Minister Sharif decisively removed the Eighth Amendment by approving the Thirteenth Amendment and oversaw its complete effect that ultimately made President Leghari as figurehead.[17] Leghari seek the nomination for the second term but the chances of his re-election were diminished due to PPP's dilution in the Parliament.[3]

Problems between Chief Justice Shah and Prime Minister Sharif further escalated when Chief Justice Shah decided to listen to appeals against the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendment bills and the PML(N) partisan attacked the Shah's court in 1997.[17] President Leghari tried intervened in the matter in support of Chief Justice Shah but this only made it worse for Leghari when Prime Minister Sharif decided to bring the impeachment movement against President Leghari.:80[18] On 2 December 1997, President Leghari resigned from the presidency to avoid the possible impeachment which also resulted in the resignation of the Chief Justice Shah, also the same year.:80–81[18]

His post-presidency marked with his active involvement in politics when he found the Millat Party which entered into a coalition of seven parties, known as the National Alliance, to participate in the general elections held in 2002.[3] The National Alliance won enough seats in the National Assembly to form government as a coalition with the PML(Q) that was supported by President Pervez Musharraf.[19] In 2004, he left his own party and joined the PML(Q) and supported his son, Awais Leghari, becoming the cabinet member. His elder son, Jamal Leghari, was elected as member of Senate on PML(Q) platform.[19]

In 2003, Leghari reportedly marked that he dismissed the Prime Minister Bhutto once the rules of conducts were violated while responding to the criticism by the PPP.[19]


Farooq Leghari briefly fought a heart illness since 2000s and initial reports claimed that he was ill for some time, owing to complications with his heart.[20] Farooq Leghari died on 20 October 2010 in Rawalpindi due to a heart related illness and he was undergoing surgery at the Combined Military Hospital in Rawalpindi at the time of his death.[21][22]

Residents of Dera Ghazi Khan and political dignatries had attended his funeral services and he was laid to rest in Choti Zareen, DG Khan District, Punjab, Pakistan on 21 October 2010.[23]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Bhattacharya, Brigadier Samir. NOTHING BUT!. Partridge Publishing. ISBN 9781482817324. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  2. ^ BBC Pakistan (20 October 2010). "Former Pakistani President Farooq Leghari dies". BBC News. BBC Pakistan Bureau. BBC Pakistan Bureau. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "Sardar Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari | Former President of Pakistan & Head of Millat Party". Story of Pakistan. Story of Pakistan. 1 June 2003.
  4. ^ a b c d e f The National staff (30 October 2010). "Farooq Ahmad Khan: Bhutto's pick, until he sacked her | The National". The National Pakistan. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  5. ^ "Sardar Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari". Pakistan Herald. Archived from the original on 9 September 2015. Retrieved 8 October 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Ismaeel, Tariq (21 October 2010). "Hundreds mourn as Leghari is laid to rest – The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. Tribune Express, Pakistan. Tribune Express, Pakistan. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Sardar Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari, Former President of Pakistan Ex-MNA fron NA-172 D.G.Khan-II". Sardar Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari, Former President of Pakistan Ex-MNA fron NA-172 D.G.Khan-II. Archived from the original on 10 May 2016. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
  8. ^ a b Dawn Editorial (21 October 2010). "Farooq Leghari; A Bio sketch". Pakistan: Dawn Editorial. Dawn. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  9. ^ a b Sethi, Ehtisham Ali (20 October 2010). "HIDDEN TRUTH: SARDAR FAAROOQ LAGHARI IN HISTORY". HIDDEN TRUTH. Sethi. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  10. ^ Team, Freedom House Survey. Freedom in the World: The Annual Survey of Political Rights and Civil Liberties, 1992–1993. University Press of America. p. 443. ISBN 9780932088819. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g Story of Pakistan, Presidency elections (1 June 2003). "Sardar Farooq Legahri Becomes President of Pakistan". Story of Pakistan, Presidency elections. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  12. ^ Burki, Shahid Javed. Historical Dictionary of Pakistan. Rowman & Littlefield, Burki. ISBN 9781442241480. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  13. ^ Manan, Abdul (10 March 2012). "As Mehrangate is heard, PPP, PML-N trade barbs – The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. The Express Tribune 2012. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  14. ^ a b Malik, I. State and Civil Society in Pakistan: Politics of Authority, Ideology and Ethnicity. Springer. ISBN 9780230376298.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g Rizvi, H. Military, State and Society in Pakistan. Springer, Rizvi. ISBN 9780230599048. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  16. ^ President Leghari's Order of 5 November 1996
  17. ^ a b Oberst, Robert C.; Malik, Yogendra K.; Kennedy, Charles; Kapur, Ashok. Government and Politics in South Asia. Westview Press. ISBN 0813348803. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  18. ^ a b Aziz, Mazhar. Military Control in Pakistan: The Parallel State. Routledge, Aziz. ISBN 9781134074105. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  19. ^ a b c "Benazir violated rules: Leghari". Dawn newspapers, 2003. Dawn newspapers, 2003. 28 December 2003. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  20. ^ "former president Farooq Leghari passes away". The Express Tribune. 20 October 2010.
  21. ^ Staff Writer (20 October 2010). "Former president Leghari is no more – The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  22. ^ "Former president Farooq Laghari passes away". Geo TV. 20 October 2010. Archived from the original on 22 October 2010.
  23. ^ Ismaeel, Tariq (21 October 2010). "Hundreds mourn as Leghari is laid to rest – The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. The Express Tribune, Tariq. The Express Tribune, Tariq. Retrieved 9 October 2016.

External linksEdit