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Mushahid Hussain Syed
Mushahid Hussain Sayed filing his nomination papers for the Presidency of Pakistan
|Member of the Senate of Pakistan|
|Prime Minister||Nawaz Sharif|
|Ministry of Information and Media Broadcasting|
17 February 1997 – 12 October 1999
|Prime Minister||Nawaz Sharif|
|Preceded by||Tasneem Qureshi|
|Succeeded by||MGen Rashid Qureshi|
|Ministry of Telecommunications|
6 November 1990 – 18 April 1993
|President||Ghulam Ishaq Khan|
|Prime Minister||Nawaz Sharif|
|Preceded by||Samina Khalid Ghurki|
|Succeeded by||Rana Shaukat Mehmood|
|Born||Mushahid Hussain Syed
Sialkot, Punjab Province, West-Pakistan
|Political party||Pakistan Muslim League (Q-Wing)|
|Pakistan Muslim League (N)|
|Alma mater||Forman Christian College
General Musharraf Government
|Committees||Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas (FORKANA)|
Mushahid Hussain Syed (Urdu: مشاہد حسین سید; b. 1953) is a Pakistani politician who serves as a member of the Senate and the Chairman of Senate’s Committee on Defence, in office since 2012. Previously, he served as a member of the Federal Cabinet.
Born in Sialkot, Punjab, Syed received his B.A from the Forman Christian College followed by an M.A from the School of Foreign Service at the Georgetown University. In 1982, Syed became the editor of The Muslim, a conservative English daily and remained so until 1987 when he was succeeded by Maleeha Lodhi. Syed served as a Special Assistant to Prime Minister Sharif between 1990 and 1993, and in 1997 was elected to the Senate as a member of the ruling Muslim League.
Syed went on to serve as the Information Minister until the 1999 coup d'état, when he was imprisoned for over a year, during which he was named as a prisoner of conscience. Syed later defected to splinter group of Muslim League which supported General Musharraf and 2003 was re-elected to the Senate as a member of the PMLQ. He was the second runner-up during the 2008 presidential election. Syed was elected to the Senate for his third non-consective term in 2012 and currently heads the Senate’s Standing Committee on Defence.
Syed was born in Sialkot in Punjab, Pakistan to Pakistan Army Colonel Amjad Hussain Sayed and Sameen Sayed, both of his parents where involved in the Pakistan Movement. Syed is the third oldest of four children.
Syed studied at the Forman Christian College University in Lahore, from where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts. Syed moved the United States, where he studied at the School of Foreign Service at the Georgetown University, receiving his Master of Science in Foreign Service. During his time at Georgetown, he worked as an intern at the United States Congress during the summer of 1974.
On return to Pakistan, Syed joined the Pakistan Administrative Staff College where he worked to train staff training to join the Foreign Service of Pakistan. He then moved to Punjab University, as an lecturer teaching international relations. He was fired from the university for his opposition to martial law in October 1979.
Syed joined the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad, a right-wing coalition which won the 1990 elections. Syed was inducted to the Cabinet of Pakistan as a special assistant by Nawaz Sharif, and broadly assisted the government on Foreign Affairs particularly on Central Asia, he remained so until 1993. In February 1997, he was added to the cabinet as an Advisor to the Prime Minister Sharif on Tourism, Culture, Sports and Youth Affairs. In March 1997, Syed was elected to the Senate as a member of the Pakistan Muslim League (N) and was elevated to as the Information Minister of Pakistan. He also apperared as a guest on the Face the Nation on CBS News in 1998.
During the 1999 coup d'état, Syed's house in the Ministers' Enclave, Islamabad was charged by the Pakistan Army. He was arrested for 440 days, during which he was placed under solitary confinement for three months, during which he was only allowed to read the Quran. He was declared by Amnesty International as a prisoner of conscience. He was once again elected to the Senate in 2003, as a member of the Pakistan Muslim League (Q), a party which backed General Musharraf. Writing for Dawn, M Ziauddin claimed that he filled for "nomination papers for the Senate elections reportedly with a letter of recommendation from Washington, D.C." Syed eventually became a vocal supporter of Musharraf, even backing Musharraf's decision not to resign as the Army Chief. In In 2001, Syed was tasked as a special emissary of Musharraf to lead negotiations with Nawab Akbar Bugti, which eventually failed.
In 2008, Syed was nominated by PML-Q as its presidential candidate 2008 presidential election which he lost, receiving 44 of 700 votes. In 2012, Syed won the senate run from Islamabad as a candidate of PML-Q. Syed came under criticism as the least tax paying lawmaker in Pakistan, paying on 84 cents in income tax in 2012. On June 4, 2012, Syed was unanimously elected as the Senate Defence Committee chairman. On October, 2016, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appointed Syed and Shezra Mansab Khan, MP, as Special Envoy on 2016 Kashmir unrest. During which Syed addressed sessions at the Atlantic Council, where he termed the violation of the Indus Waters Treaty as "as an act of war." On January 3, 2017, PML-Q replaced Syed with Tariq Bashir Cheema as party's secretary general. According to The News International, Syed's “tacit alignment” towards the ruling PML-N was the primary reason of him being replaced.
Syed is the author of several books, the first of which was published in 1988 Pakistan and the Changing Regional Scenario: Reflections of a Journalist, a second one in 1991 titled "Pakistan's Politics: The Zia Years," a third one published in 1993, Pakistan: Problems of Governance. On October 1, 2009, Syed founded the Pakistan China Institute to promote bilateral China–Pakistan relations.
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- "Mushahid Hussain Syed elected as Senate Defence Committee chairman - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 2012-06-04. Retrieved 2017-02-19.
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