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Mushahid Hussain Syed (Urdu: مشاہد حسین سید‬; b. 1953) is a Pakistani politician, and journalist who is currently the Pakistan Senator from the Islamabad Capital Territory on the platform of the Pakistan Muslim League (N), since 3 March 2018.[1][2][3]

Mushahid Hussain
Mushahid Hussain Syed.jpg
Mushahid Hussain in 2008
Pakistan Senator from Islamabad Capital Territory
Assumed office
3 March 2018
ConstituencyTechnocrat Seat
Minister of Information and Broadcasting
In office
17 February 1997 – 12 October 1999
Prime MinisterNawaz Sharif
Preceded byKhalid Kharal
Succeeded byMaj-Gen. Rashid Qureshi, PA
(DG of the ISPR)
Minister of Communications
In office
26 May 1993 – 18 July 1993
Prime MinisterNawaz Sharif
Preceded bySamina Khalid Ghurki
Succeeded byRana Shaukat Mehmood
Personal details
Mushahid Hussain Syed

1952 (age 66–67)
Sialkot, Punjab, Pakistan
Citizenship Pakistan
Political partyPakistan Muslim League (N)
Alma materF.C. College University
(BA in Journalism)
Georgetown University
(MS in Foreign Service)
ProfessionJournalist, politician,

A political journalist by profession, Hussain briefly served in the Sharif administrations in 1990s and is known for his political positions that reflects the national conservatism towards supporting the idea of civilian control of the military.[4] After playing a crucial role in the support of the decision-making towards the nuclear weapons-testing in response to India's in 1998, Hussain's tenure was abrupted by the staged martial law by Chairman joint chiefs Gen. Pervez Musharraf and was held in prison on treason conspiracy in 1999.[5][6] In 2003, he later defected to the forward block supporting the presidential campaign of Pervez Musharraf and was elected the Pakistan Senator of the Senate.

Despite his support for the PML(Q), the forward block supporting Musharraf for several years, Hussain remained sympathetics towards the PML(N) and eventually joined his original party after being ousted by the forward block in 2016.[7][8][9] He is known as a proponent for strengthening the foreign relations with China and Central Asia, having served the Chairman of the China-Pakistan Institute, a lobbying firm based in Islamabad.[10][6]



Early life and career in journalismEdit

Mushahid Hussain Syed was born in Sialkot, Punjab in Pakistan into a military family on 2 November 1952.[11] His father, Amjad Hussain Syed, was an army officer in the Pakistan Army, retiring with rank of army colonel; his mother, Sameen Sayed, was a social activist.[12] Hussain is the third oldest of four children, and both his parents were the activists in the Pakistan Movement prior to 1947.[13] His mother, Sameen, passed away at the age of 83 in 2010.[13]

After his matriculation from Lahore, Hussain went to attend the Forman Christian College University where he graduated with B.A. in Journalism in 1974.[11] During this time, he went to the United States under the Fulbright Program to attend the School of Foreign Service of the Georgetown University in Washington D.C. and graduated with the M.S. in Foreign Service, and briefly interned at the United States Congress.[14] While studying in the United States, he was President of the Pakistan Students Association and was awarded a Congressional Internship to work in the United States Congress.[14]

After completing his education, Hussain returned to Pakistan and joined the Directing Staff of the Administrative Staff College in Lahore to instruct courses on international relations to the civil servants prior to their joining of the Pakistan Foreign Service.[14] He also served as the visiting professor on the topics of international relations at the Punjab University but was terminated from his employment when he spoke on a rally to oppose the martial law government in October 1979.[15] After his termination, he begin writing syndicated political columns on conservatism and joined the English daily The Muslim, of which, he became its Editor-in-Chief in 1982.[15] He also joined The Hindustan Times where he wrote the syndicated column.[15]

In 1983, he joined the Non-Aligned News Agencies which he co-chaired in New Delhi.[15][11] In 1985–86, Hussain had established himself as a journalist and had enjoyed considerable fame when he wrote articles on politics and security.:228[16]

In 1988, he reportedly lost his job as a journalist when he published an interview in The Muslim on the issue of the country's covert atomic bomb program when President Zia-ul-Haq froze the funding of the news correspondent:227[16]


Hussain also written three political books covering the issues of civilian control of the military, geostrategy, and governance.[17]

  • Hussain, Mushahid (1988). Pakistan and the Changing Regional Scenario: Reflections of a Journalist. Islamabad, Pakistan: Progressive Publications. p. 339.
  • Hussain, Mushahid (1990). Pakistan's politics: the Zia years. Islamabad: Progressive Publishers. p. 293. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  • Hussain, Mushahid; Hussain, Akmal (1993). Pakistan: Problems of Governance. New Delhi, India: Konark Publishers and Centre for Policy Research. p. 193. Retrieved 26 May 2018.

Public service in PakistanEdit

Information minister in Sharif administrations and imprisonmentEdit

Hussain (left) discussing the Fair Trial bill at the RSIL meeting in 2017.

After covering the nationwide general elections held in 1990, Hussain joined the IDA government led by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and was inducted as an adviser on External Publicity and Foreign Affairs in the first administration, which he served until 1993.[11] He advised the Prime Minister Sharif on the issues relating to the foreign relations with the United States, India, and the geostrategy in Central Asia, and was later elevated as the Minister of Communications.:43[18] In 1994, he was appointed as the information secretary of the PML(N) while he continued to write columns and articles on the issue of national conservatism and security in country's major news and political correspondents.:264[19]

In 1997, he played a crucial role in the managing the public relations of the election campaign of Nawaz Sharif in general elections held in 1997, and reportedly quoted in favor of Nawaz Sharif: "Nawaz will be the Erbakan of Pakistan.":155[20] He participated and defended the NA-125 constituency based on Lahore and was elected as the member of national assembly on the platform of the Pakistan Muslim League (N) whereas joining the Prime Minister Sharif's second administration as the Information Minister in his cabinet.[12]

In 1998, when Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee ordered the nuclear tests in Rajasthan, Hussain was the first cabinet minister who spoke in the favor of conducting the reciprocated nuclear tests during the decision-making process.:contents[21][22] Hussain was reportedly known in the political circles as a "War hawk."[23] He repeatedly praised Prime Minister Sharif on various public convention of authorizing the nuclear testing program to counter the India's aggression in the region to ensure the mutual assured destruction to India in case of a war.[24] He later went onto speak on the CNN, Fox News, and the Face the Nation on CBS News to defend the decision to conduct nuclear tests.[25] In 1998, he supported the Prime Minister Sharif's relief of commission of Gen. Jehangir Karamat as the Chairman joint chiefs, which he viewed as vital for government's civilian control of the military at that time.[26]

About the Kargil war, he reportedly spoke in favor of the conflict and reportedly noted in the televised press conference: bitter fighting has "internationalized Kashmir", and hence was worth the loss of life suffered by the Pakistan Army as well as the Kashmiri freedom fighters involved.[23] In 1999, his tenure was abrupted when Chairman joint chiefs Gen. Pervez Musharraf staged a martial law against the elected civilian government, and placed him trial that sentenced him on a solitary confinement on a conspiracy of treason; he was declared as the prisoner of conscience.[27] In 2000–01, he voiced for the civilian control of the military and the called for the support for the democratic movements in an opined article which The Washington Post profiled him as: "Pakistan Keeps Gag on Former Spokesman."[15]

PML(Q)'s secretary and presidential campaign in 2008Edit

In 2003, Hussain agreed upon a deal with the Musharraf administration and joined the forward block, the PML(Q), led by Shujaat Hussain and ultimately ran for the senate elections held in 2002.[28] His decision to defect against the ethical morality lost the credibility that he had built over the several decades as a "respected journalist and disciplined politician",[29] and was received severe public criticism from news correspondents of defending the Musharraf's presidential campaign while serving as sitting army chief.[30][29]

His credibility was greatly questioned in an editorial written in Dawn, the political correspondent, where Ziauddin claimed that Hussain filled for "nomination papers for the Senate elections reportedly with a letter of recommendation from Washington, D.C."[31] In 2004, he joined the taskforce as the President Musharraf's special envoy to begin negotiate with the Baloch political leader Akbar Bugti, an ally of Benazir Bhutto, which eventually failed.[32] he further earned notoriety when he was part of the same government which was eventually implicated in the Bugti's killing.[12] After the resignation of President Pervez Musharraf, Hussain earned the nomination from the PML-Q to run his presidential campaign during the presidential election held in 2008.[33] Hussain eventually lost the presidential elections with the largest margin, receiving only 44 votes out of 700 from the Electoral College as opposed top Asif Zardari (409/700) and S.Z. Siddiqui (216/700).[34][35]

After elected as Pakistan Senator from Punjab in 2012, Hussain came under severe public criticism when it was reported that he only paid ₨. 82. (US¢ 0.82) in filing the tax returns, and was called as a tax evader by various news correspondents.[36][37]

On 4 June 2012, Hussain was unanimously elected as the Chairman of the Senate Defence Committee chairman.[38]

Rejoining PML(N) and Pakistan SenatorEdit

In October 2016, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appointed Hussain and Shizra Khan as the Prime Minister's Special Envoy on unrest in Kashmir and went to attend the Atlantic Council, where he termed the violation of the Indus Waters Treaty as "an act of war."[39] He viewed the initiation of the strategic corridor as a crucial and one of the largest political achievement of Prime Minister Sharif, and has risen a strong political voice in support Prime Minister Sharif's economic policy.[40]

On 3 January 2017, the PML-Q ousted Hussain from the party due to his "tacit alignment" and support for the PML(N)'s cause.[41] On 4 February 2018, he rejoined the PML(N) and spoke very high of Nawaz's services to the country.[42] In 2018, he was elected as the Pakistan Senator from Federally Administrated Triabal Areas on the platform of PML(N) after participating in the senator elections held in March 2018.[43]

Lobbyist and SinologyEdit

On 1 October 2009, Hussain founded the Pakistan China Institute to promote the bilateral relations with China.[44] He has consistently lobbied for strengthening the relations with China and the Central Asian republics.[15]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Senate of Pakistan". Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  2. ^ "Mushahid Hussain elected chairman of CPEC parliamentary committee - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 15 September 2015. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  3. ^ "Lecture by Senator Mushahid Hussain of Pakistan". Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  4. ^ "Mushahid Hussain Sayed «  India Conference". Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  5. ^ "Mushahid Hussain Syed". Dawn. 30 April 2013. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Mushahid Hussain". The Nation. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  7. ^ "DAWN - Features; February 28, 2003". Dawn. 28 February 2003. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  8. ^ "Sughra set to head Senate`s foreign affairs body". Dawn. 12 January 2010. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  9. ^ "All eyes on President Zardari: nAn arduous journey from prison to presidency and Victory by 68pc". Dawn. 7 September 2008. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  10. ^ "Mushahid Hussain Syed". Daawn. 30 April 2013. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  11. ^ a b c d Senate, Press release. "Mushahid Hussain Sayed". Senate Secretariat. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  12. ^ a b c "Mushahid Hussain Syed". Dawn. Dawn Newspaper, 2013. Dawn Newspaper. 30 April 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  13. ^ a b "Mushahid Hussain's mother laid to rest". The Nation. The Nation, 2018. The Nation. 22 November 2010. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  14. ^ a b c Shahid, Muhammad. "Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed". MH Syed. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  15. ^ a b c d e f "Pakistan Leaders Online: Mushahid Hussain Sayed". Pakistan leadersonline. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  16. ^ a b Khan, PA, Brig. Feroz (2012). Eating Grass: The Making of the Pakistani Bomb (google books) (1st ed.). Santa Ana, Calif. U.S.: Stanford University Press. p. 405. ISBN 9780804784801. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  17. ^ Authorship of Mushahid Hussain. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  18. ^ Strategic Studies. Institute of Strategic Studies. 1991.
  19. ^ Selections from National Press. Centre for South Asian Studies, Quaid-e-Azam Campus, University of the Punjab. 1995. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  20. ^ Nasr, Seyyed Vali Reza (2001). "§(Pakistan, 1977-97)" (google books). Islamic Leviathan: Islam and the Making of State Power. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198032960. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  21. ^ Roy, Kaushik (2017). The Nuclear Shadow over South Asia, 1947 to the Present. Routledge. ISBN 9781351884778. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  22. ^ Geo News (28 May 2010). "GEO Pakistan:US offered $5b against nuclear blasts: Nawaz". Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  23. ^ a b Husain, Irfan (14 August 1999). "The cost of Kargil". Dawn. Dawn Newspapers, 1999. Dawn Newspapers. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  24. ^ "PM Nawaz took bold decision to conduct nuclear tests in 1998: Mushahid". Associate Press. Business Recorder, 2018. Business Recorder. 28 May 2016. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  25. ^ Kinzer, Stephen (18 May 1998). "Nuclear Anxiety: The Neighbor – Pakistan Seems Mixed On Holding Nuclear Test". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  26. ^ Dugger, Celia W. (20 October 1998). "Pakistani Premier Prevails in Clash With General". The New York Times. The New York Times, Pakistan Bureau. The New York Times. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  27. ^ Hussain, Mushahid (12 February 2001). "In the Cage, in Search of Grace". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  28. ^ Ziauddin, M. (28 February 2003). "The best democracy money can buy". Dawn. Dawn Newspaper. Dawn Newspaper. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  29. ^ a b Siddiqui, A.R. (6 January 2005). "Politics and 'military factor'". Dawn Newspapers, 2005. Dawn Newspapers. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  30. ^ Jaffrelot, Christophe (1 January 2015). The Pakistan Paradox: Instability and Resilience. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780190235185.
  31. ^ "DAWN - Features; February 28, 2003". Dawn. 28 February 2003. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  32. ^ Hussain, Mushahid{ (4 October 2004). "Has the Rubicon Crossed?". Newsline Magazine. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  33. ^ Abrar, Maqbool Malik; Saeed, Zamir Sheikh; Ashfaq, Mohammad; Baloch, Bari; Hassan, Mubashir (7 September 2008). "Sweeps into presidency". The Nation. The Nation, 2008. The Nation. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  34. ^ Parlez, Jane; Masood, Salman (6 September 2008). "Bhutto's Widower Wins Pakistani Presidency". New York Times. New York Times. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  35. ^, Bhutto's widower wins presidency
  36. ^ Boone, Jon (12 December 2012). "Pakistan politicians engulfed by tax evasion storm". the Guardian. The Guardian. 2018. The Guardian. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  37. ^ Walsh, Declan (12 December 2012). "Most Pakistani Lawmakers Don't File Tax Returns, Study Finds". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  38. ^ "Mushahid Hussain Syed elected as Senate Defence Committee chairman - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 4 June 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  39. ^ "US-India relations reason for Pakistan's burgeoning ties with Russia: Mushahid Husain". Dawn. 8 October 2016. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  40. ^ (PCI), Pakistan-China Institute. "CPEC to bring an economic revolution in the country: Mushahid Hussain Sayed - CPEC Latest News".
  41. ^ "Tariq Cheema nominated as PML-Q secretary general". The Nation. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  42. ^ Ansari, Raeez (4 February 2018). "Senator Mushahid Hussain returns to PML-N fold after meeting Nawaz". Geo News. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  43. ^ Tahir, Zulqernain (5 February 2018). "PML-N and its 'explanations' for embracing Mushahid". Dawn. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  44. ^ (PCI), Pakistan-China Institute. "Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on CPEC | CPEC Official website". Retrieved 26 May 2018.

External linksEdit