Awais Leghari

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Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari (born on 22 March 1971), or Owais Leghari, is the former Federal Minister for Information Technology of the Government of Pakistan and is currently Member National Assembly and Chairman Foreign affairs Committee on behalf of the Pakistan Muslim league Nawaz party.

He comes from an Agriculturist political family of Dera Ghazi Khan, Punjab. His family is a land owner of the area and owns approximately 2,500 acres of land.

His father – Sardar Farooq Leghari – was a former President of Pakistan. His grandfather Nawabzada Muhammad Khan Leghari and great grandfather had both been ministers in the Pakistan government. Awais Leghari’s father was also the chief of the Leghari tribe. His father died in October 2010 after which Awais’ brother Jamal Leghari was crowned the 27th chief of the tribe.

Awais Leghari started his education at Aitchison College, Lahore. He passed Higher Senior Cambridge Examination in 1988. For higher studies he went to the University of Rochester in New York, USA. He graduated with honors in 1994 with economics (Game Theory) and political science as his majors.

Leghari entered politics in 1997 when he contested and won a provincial assembly seat from Rajanpur as an independent candidate. He joined the Millat Party soon after it was formed on August 14, 1998. Leghari contested the October 2002 elections and was elected from two seats, a National Assembly seat from Dera Ghazi Khan and a Punjab Assembly seat from Rajanpur. After the Millat Party and the Sindh Democratic Alliance merged with the ruling PML-Q in May 2002 to form a united Pakistan Muslim League, Awais Leghari became one of the senior vice presidents of the newly constituted party.

He was appointed the federal minister for Information Technology in the cabinet of Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali in 2002 and was very successful in the office. He is known for his policies that helped promote IT and cellular networks in the country. It was in his tenure that Pakistan won the GSM award,[1] which only Brazil had won in 2006 for its excellent IT policies. Leghari had been very successful in this ministry and after his tenure, the sector could not flourish as it did earlier. Thus, Pakistan has been left quite behind by other developing countries.

He lost the NA seat from Dera Ghazi Khan in 2008 by 250 votes, but after the untimely demise of his father; Farooq Leghari, he contested the by-election of NA-172 in March 2011 and won by a huge margin of more than 20,000 votes.

Awais Leghari joined the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in December 2011 along with his brother Jamal Leghari and 28 other PML-Q members. By May 2013, differences with other senior members of The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf made him leave the party.

He contested independently and won by a huge margin of over 20,000 votes against PPP-PML-N joint candidate Saifuddin Khosa. He then joined the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz. He is now Chairman Foreign Relations Committee of the Pakistan Parliamnet.

Besides agriculture, which is both his hobby and means of income, Leghari is fond of hunting and plays tennis. He is also active in providing interest-free loans, education and vocational training to the under privileged.

References[edit]

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