Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri

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Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri
Mahmud kasuri.jpg
23rd Foreign Minister of Pakistan [[Foreign Minister of Pakistan]]
In office
23 November 2002 – 15 November 2007
President Pervez Musharraf
Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz
Preceded by Abdul Sattar
Succeeded by Inam-ul-Haq
Personal details
Born Mian Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri
(1941-06-18) 18 June 1941 (age 73)
Lahore, British India
Citizenship Pakistan
Nationality Pakistani
Political party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf
Alma mater Punjab University
Government College University
Cambridge University
Oxford University
Sorbonne University
University of Nice
Religion Islam

Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri (Urdu: خورشيد محمود قصورى; b. 18 June 1941), is a Pakistani senior foreign service statesman, politician, and diplomat who as the Minister of Foreign Affairs from November 2002 until November 2007.

Hailing from a political family, Kasuri joined the Foreign service in the 1960s, and played a crucial role in the foreign politics of East-Pakistan in the 1970s where he became noted for his diplomatic skills, although he became aware of atrocities committed by Pakistan's authorities. In the 1970s–80s, Kasuri also served in the Foreign ministry as a director of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe Affairs. His political activism started in the 1980s through the MRD alliance led by Benazir Bhutto, while continuing his foreign service assignments in the USSR. He was brought into international arena and political fame by Shaukat Aziz in 2004, and was a noted for his diplomatic skills to serve for his country. In foreign politics, he helped normalise relations with Israel, Russia, India, and the European Union, and putting forward the neutral policies towards other countries. He unsuccessfully contested in a 2008 general elections and subsequently developed serious disagreements with his party's leadership, leading the events to join him the PTI in 2011.

Apart from his statesmanship, he had tenured as a professor at the University of Paris and University of Nice in France, and in 2008, he assumed the professorship as a professor of political science as well as the executive directorship of the Beaconhouse National University (BNU).[1] He is a senior member of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and its candidate for National Assembly form Kasur.[2]

Ancestral roots[edit]

Khurshid Kasuri comes from a traditional political family of Punjab Province that has been active in politics since the times of British India. His grandfather, Abdul Qadir Kasuri, was a religious figure and was also a provisional leader of the Congress Party. His father Mahmud Ali Kasuri, also continued his ties with Congress Party until 1940 when his father was subsequently sentenced to four months in imprisonment. Mahmud Kasuri later joined the socialist party and went on to serve in the government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. His father was one of the few politicians in the country to give up high office on a point of principle when he resigned as Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs and Deputy Leader of the National Assembly due to differences on political and constitutional matters with Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Mian Mahmud Ali Kasuri's contribution towards the framing of the original 1973 Constitution is widely acknowledged.

Khurshid's younger brother, Bakhtiar Mahmud Kasuri, is also a politician.

Early life[edit]

Education and academics[edit]

Kasuri completed his high school in Lahore, and got accepted at the Government College University but later took a transfer to the Punjab University where he earned BA with Honors in international relations, in 1961.[3] Throughout his academic career he had a uniformly excellent record, which culminated earning first position in the B.A E(Hons) examination of the Punjab University in 1961.[3]

After completing his education at home, he proceeded abroad for higher studies and completed a tripos in Law from Cambridge University. After Cambridge, he was admitted to Oxford University for post-graduate work in Public Administration and Political Science.[4] In 1963–67, he moved to Paris to attend Sorbonne University where he enrolled in Department of History where he took courses on French history, but took a transfer to University of Nice where he earned double BA with Cum laude in French history and Literature .[4] He was called to the Bar from Gray's Inn, London.[4] On a lecture tour of the United States, he lectured at leading American Universities in their South Asian and Political Science Faculties.[3] He was also the author of a report for the Government of Pakistan on how Pakistan studies could be promoted at American Universities; large parts of his report were implemented by the government.[3]


Foreign diplomacy[edit]

Immediately on his return from abroad, Kasuri joined the Foreign Service, and took up the first diplomatic assignment in East-Pakistan. There, he completed an assessment report on events on leading up the civil disobedience in contingent. In 1971, he was subsequently sent to United Kingdom, Soviet Union, and United States to on official assignments to work on a framework to find out peaceful solution for the East Pakistan crises. In 1972, Kasuri was called by the Pakistan Government to join the diplomatic delegation of Pakistan to United Nations. After 1972, Kasuri joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where he served as deputy director of the directorate-general for the Soviet and East European Affairs. He played extremely vital role to alleviate the USSR-Pakistan relations. He assisted Bhutto to acquire the steel mills from the Soviet Union, and technical assistance to complete the industrial programmes in the country. In 1974, he accompanied Bhutto to meet with Alexei Kosygin in Moscow, where he helped develop closer economic relations between two countries.

In 1990, he again joined the foreign ministry, and guided Pakistan Muslim League on foreign policies issues.[5] In 1996, he presided the party delegation and visited People's Republic of China (PRC).[5] This delegation was invited by the Communist Party of China (CPC) and was received by the top leadership of the CPC.[5] He has also attended the Inter-Parliamentary Union conferences held in Seoul and in Cairo in 1997 as a chairman of the Pakistan Parliamentary Delegations. In 1998, he publicly endorsed for Prime minister Navaz Sharif's decision for atomic tests (See: Chagai-I and Chagai-II) and was appointed as Prime Minister's Special Envoy (PMSE) to present his country's point of view, while backing the rationale of country's nuclear response.[5] He subsequently visited many countries to gather the support for country's nuclear testing programme, including Russia, United States, Canada, China, France, United Kingdom, and other important countries in the world.[5]

Political activism[edit]

Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri with Donald Rumsfeld, 2003

He briefly left the Foreign Office (FO) in 1981 and joined the Independence Movement to step in the national politics. He was quickly elevated as the Secretary-General of the Tehrik-e-Istiqlal (lit. Independence Movement). He was subsequently arrested on innumerable occasions during his long struggle for the democracy. After the military government of Zia-ul-Haq went back on its promise to hold general elections in the country, leading political parties got together under the banner of the Movement for Restoration of Democracy (MRD) for the purpose of holding general elections, restoration of fundamental rights of the citizens, removal of restrictions placed on the free functioning of the press and the establishment of an independent judiciary. He was arrested on numerous occasions for taking part in a movement launched by the political parties in February 1981 for the achievement of the above objectives.

In 1983, he departed from the country in opposition response to Zia's purge, and started his academic career in France. He briefly return in 1988 after the mysterious death of Zia-ul-Haq in a plan crash and joined the Foreign service office after being request by his peers. He took first public participation in 1993 general elections on a Pakistan Muslim League (PML) platoform, and was a provisional vice-president of PML, and successfully defended his constituency, NA-106: Kasur (now NA-142) in the 1997 general elections.[6] He was subsequently appointed as Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information and Media Development (PSCIMD) and was also a senior member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Relations (PSCFR).

Kasuri speaking at the 40th Munich Security Conference.

In 1999, after the 1999 military coup d'état, Kasuri have had severe confrontation with Javed Hashmi who was presiding the PML in absence of Sharif, and defected to the dissident group headed by Shuja'at Hussain in 2001. He successfully contested in 2002 general elections from a NA-142: Kasur.[7]

Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri was one of the few members of the Pakistan Muslim League who always expressed his views on all the national issues frankly and fearlessly regardless of whether the government of the day liked his views or not. In 1997, he publicly called for the issue of the impeachment of the former President Farook Ahmad Leghari, and raised objections on the Fourteenth Amendment and Fifteenth Amendment; he expressed very strongly and issued sever statements on the constitutional changes. He lobbied against the Fifteen Amendment, particularly as originally presented, was strongly objected to by him. It was primarily due to his efforts and his colleagues lobbying that the Sharif's government had to make an amendment in the Fifteenth Amendment, which contained provisions, which were highly detrimental to the federal and democratic structure of the Constitution. Kasuri put immense effort to stop the bill becoming into the law in its original shape that he threatened Prime Minister Sharif to resign from the party and his constituency unless the bill was amended, and notably resigned from the party, though resignation was torn up by Sharif in a stormy meeting of the Parliamentary party.

Foreign minister[edit]

On 23 November 2004, Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali nominated Kasuri to be country's Minister of Foreign Affairs.[8] His nomination was not objected by the opposition parties, and secured the unanimous votes for his nomination in the parliament. On 9:30am PST, 23 November 2004, he assumed the charge of foreign ministry and announced that the new government's first priority is to normalise relations with India.[8] He directed Pakistan's foreign policy more on neutral ground base and quoted: "We want to improve relations with India and wish peace and prosperity for the people of India."[9]

2008 election[edit]

In the February 2008 parliamentary election, Kasuri ran for a National Assembly seat from NA 140 Kasur III, where he was defeated by the PPP candidate, Sardar Asif Ahmed Ali[10]

Academia and professorship[edit]

In 2008, Kasuri accepted the professorship at the Beaconhouse National University and assumed the curriculum to teach the political science, as well as the executive member of the board of directors of the university.[1] In 2012, he lectured on the topics involving in the Peace and conflict studies at the "Centre of Peace and Progress" where he lectured with Jaswant Singh and met with Governor of West Bengal N.K. Narayan.[11]


  1. ^ a b BNU. "Professors and Directors of BNU". Beaconhouse University Press Release. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d Pakistan Herald. "Details of Khurshid Mahmood Kasur". Pakistan Herald. Pakistan Herald. Retrieved 29 August 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c Staff. "Mian Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri". Pakistan Leader Consortium. Retrieved 29 August 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Alvi, Ahmed Hassan (25 November 2002). "Kasuri: from lawyer to foreign minister". Dawn News Archives, Monday, 25 November 2002. Dawn News Bureau. Retrieved 29 August 2012. 
  6. ^ National Assembly of Pakistan 24 February 2008
  7. ^ Dawn Herald Election 2008 24 February 2008
  8. ^ a b Hassan, Ahmed; Faraz Hashmi (23 November 2002). "Jamali discusses cabinet with Musharraf: Some ministers may be retained". Dawn News Archives, 11/2002 (in English (Pakistan)). Dawn Newspapers Bureau. p. 1. Retrieved 29 August 2012. 
  9. ^ Qudssia Akhlaque (XI-15/2002). "Better ties with India on top of agenda: FM spells out priorities". Dawn News Archives, 2002/11/25/. Retrieved 29 August 2012.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  10. ^ Geo Tv 24 February 2008
  11. ^ Our correspondent (2 May 2012). "Kasuri holds parleys with NK Narayanan". The Daily News. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Abdul Sattar
Foreign Minister of Pakistan
Succeeded by