Farooq Leghari

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Sardar Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari
Farooq leghari.jpg
8th President of Pakistan
In office
14 November 1993 – 2 December 1997
Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto
Malik Meraj Khalid (Acting)
Nawaz Sharif
Preceded by Wasim Sajjad (Acting)
Succeeded by Wasim Sajjad (Acting)
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
19 October 1993 – 14 November 1993
Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto
Preceded by Abdul Sattar (Acting)
Succeeded by Aseff Ahmad Ali
Personal details
Born (1940-05-29)29 May 1940
Choti Zareen, Punjab, British India
(now in Punjab, Pakistan)
Died 20 October 2010(2010-10-20) (aged 70)
Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan
Political party Pakistan Peoples Party (Before 1997)
Millat Party (1997–2004)
Pakistan Muslim League-
Children Jamal Leghari
Faryal Leghari, Awais Leghari
Alma mater Forman Christian College
Kingston University
Religion Islam

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

Educated at the FC College University in Pakistan, and the Oxford University in United Kingdom, he served in the civil bureaucracy and served on political assignments in East-Pakistan in the 1960s until 1970. Generally an apolitical and socialist oriented, Leghari party worker of the Pakistan Peoples Party in the 1970s and was finally named as the presidential candidate by Benazir Bhutto due to his apolitical vision. He was merely a constitutional and ceremonial figurehead in the Benazir's government; whilst Benazir exercised her authority while running her government. Surprisingly, he dismissed his leader's government after being convinced of Benazir Bhutto and her spouse Asif Ali Zardari's involvement in younger brother's death as well as an economic default was reached at that time.

After dismissing, his political ideology clashed with conservative Prime minister Nawaz Sharif, and his intervention to support to Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah's matter finally led the resignation of his presidency after being forced by the conservatives and persuaded by the Pakistan Armed Forces in 1997. His relations with Benazir Bhutto too deteriorated which led him to provide his support for dissident group opposing both PPP and PML in May 2004. Since then he stayed away from national politics and died from a long heart illness at the Combined Military Hospital in Rawalpindi on 20 October 2010.

Early life[edit]

Farooq Ahmed Khan Leghari was born in Choti Zareen, a village of Dera Ghazi Khan District, Punjab on 2 May 1940 during the British Raj in a Saraiki-speaking Baloch family and died on 20 October 2010 due to a cardiac arrest. He was born into a political family that has been active in politics in that part of the world since the pre-colonial days. His father Muhammad Khan Leghari and grandfather Nawab Muhmammad Jamal Khan Leghari had both been ministers in the Government. Leghari was the major landowner in the area and owned approximately 2,500 acres (10 km2) of land. After the death of Farooq Khan Leghari his son Jamal Khan Leghari became the 23rd Chief of Leghari tribe.


After his initial schooling at Aitchison College, Lahore (where he was the Head Boy and was declared the Best Leaving Student of 1957) Leghari graduated with honours from the famous institute of Forman Christian College University, Lahore, Punjab (Pakistan) where again he was among the best students. From there he went on to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) at Oxford University, Great Britain.

After returning to Pakistan he joined the Civil Service and served for some time in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). On the death of his father he resigned from the service and came back from East Pakistan to look after the affairs of his tribe. He was the head (Tumandar) of the Leghari tribe.

Pakistan Peoples Party[edit]

He joined the Pakistan Peoples Party, and was made leader of the party upon the imprisonment of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. He was put under house-arrest several times during the military regime of General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq.

President of Pakistan[edit]

In 1993, with the express support of the Pakistan Peoples Party, Leghari ran for the office of President and won the election against Wasim Sajjad. In November 1996, utilising his powers under Article 58 2(b) of the Constitution of Pakistan,[1] he dismissed the Peoples' Party Government of Benazir Bhutto on charges of corruption, lawlessness and extra judicial killings. One thing that was not mentioned in the order according to his statement was that there had been a fabrication of the declared Foreign Reserves of Pakistan which was showing an amount of up to 600 million whereas in real, it was 300 million. The discrepancy was said to be caused by the corruption of the government of PPP. This was a violation of International Law and he claimed that if any international organisations were to find out about this, all banks would pull out all loans given to Pakistan and would have gone into instant default.

Following the word of the Constitution of Pakistan he held elections for the National Assembly in 1997. The elections were won by the Pakistan Muslim League and Nawaz Sharif was elected Prime Minister. A decisive majority in the lower house of parliament led the Sharif Government to remove the controversial 8th amendment from the constitution of Pakistan. Farooq Leghari resigned due to differences with the next Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif as he was allegedly asked by him to fire the current chief justice. But as this was against his morals, Leghari resigned and so was unable to complete his 5-year term as President of Pakistan.

Formation of Millat Party and coalition with PML-Q[edit]

Instead of retiring from politics, Leghari went on to create his own political party, the Millat Party, which entered into a coalition of seven parties, known as the National Alliance, to participate in the general elections of 2002. The National Alliance, emerged as the 3rd largest group in the parliament and won 13 seats in the National Assembly. He entered in a coalition with the majority party to form the government. Thereafter his son Awais Leghari was made a federal minister for Telecom and IT and another of his deputies Yar Mohammad Rind was also made a member in the Federal cabinet. Later Mohammad Ali Durrani and his niece Sumaira Malik from his party were also inducted into the Federal Cabinet.

Part of ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Q)[edit]

With National Alliance being merged with the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Q) in May 2004 to form united Pakistan Muslim League, Farooq Leghari also became the member of the newly constituted party, with his son Awais Leghari being one of its senior vice presidents.

His elder son Jamal Leghari has recently been elected to the Senate of Pakistan. His daughter Faryal Leghari is an analyst and researcher in Security & Terrorism Studies at the Gulf Research Center in Dubai.


Leghari died on 20 October 2010 in Rawalpindi due to a heart related illness.[2] He was undergoing surgery at the Combined Military Hospital, Rawalpindi at the time of his death. Initial reports claimed that he was ill for some time, owing to complications with his heart.[3]


External links[edit]

Preceded by
Sardar Muhammad Khan Leghari
Chief of Leghari Tribe Succeeded by
Jamal Leghari
Political offices
Preceded by
Abdul Sattar
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Aseff Ahmad Ali
Preceded by
Wasim Sajjad
President of Pakistan
Succeeded by
Wasim Sajjad