Mushahid Hussain

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Mushahid Hussain Syed
Mushahid Hussain Syed.jpg
Mushahid Hussain Sayed filing his nomination papers for the Presidency of Pakistan
Member of the Senate of Pakistan
Assumed office
President Mamnoon Hussain
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
Constituency Islamabad
Ministry of Information and Media Broadcasting
In office
17 February 1997 – 12 October 1999
President Rafique Tarrar
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
Preceded by Tasneem Qureshi
Succeeded by MGen Rashid Qureshi
Ministry of Telecommunications
In office
6 November 1990 – 18 April 1993
President Ghulam Ishaq Khan
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
Preceded by Samina Khalid Ghurki
Succeeded by Rana Shaukat Mehmood
Personal details
Born Mushahid Hussain Syed
Sialkot, Punjab Province, West-Pakistan
Citizenship  Pakistan
Nationality Pakistan
Political party Pakistan Muslim League (Q-Wing)
Other political
Pakistan Muslim League (N)
Residence Islamabad, ICT
Alma mater Forman Christian College
Georgetown University
Profession Journalist
Cabinet Nawaz Government
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.[1][2][3]

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.[4] 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.[5][6] 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.[7] He was the second runner-up during the 2008 presidential election.[8] Syed was elected to the Senate for his third non-consective term in 2012 and currently heads the Senate’s Standing Committee on Defence.[9]

Early life[edit]

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.[10]

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.[11]

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.

In 1982, Syed became the editor-in-chief of the now-defunct English daily The Muslim. During which he wrote syndicated column for both The Muslim and Hindustan Times.

Political career[edit]

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.[12] He also apperared as a guest on the Face the Nation on CBS News in 1998.[13]

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.[14] 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.[15] 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."[16] Syed eventually became a vocal supporter of Musharraf, even backing Musharraf's decision not to resign as the Army Chief.[17] In In 2001, Syed was tasked as a special emissary of Musharraf to lead negotiations with Nawab Akbar Bugti, which eventually failed.[18]

In 2008, Syed was nominated by PML-Q as its presidential candidate 2008 presidential election which he lost, receiving 44 of 700 votes.[19][20][21] 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.[22] On June 4, 2012, Syed was unanimously elected as the Senate Defence Committee chairman.[23] 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."[24] 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.[25]


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.


  1. ^ "Senate of Pakistan". Retrieved 2017-02-07. 
  2. ^ "Mushahid Hussain elected chairman of CPEC parliamentary committee - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 2015-09-15. Retrieved 2017-02-07. 
  3. ^ "Lecture by Senator Mushahid Hussain of Pakistan". Retrieved 2017-02-18. 
  4. ^ "Mushahid Hussain Sayed «  India Conference". Retrieved 2017-02-18. 
  5. ^ "Mushahid Hussain Syed". DAWN.COM. 2013-04-30. Retrieved 2017-02-07. 
  6. ^ "Mushahid Hussain". The Nation. Retrieved 2017-02-07. 
  7. ^ "DAWN - Features; February 28, 2003". DAWN.COM. 2003-02-28. Retrieved 2017-02-07. 
  8. ^ "All eyes on President Zardari: •An arduous journey from prison to presidency •Victory by 68pc". DAWN.COM. 2008-09-07. Retrieved 2017-02-07. 
  9. ^ "Sughra set to head Senate`s foreign affairs body". DAWN.COM. 2010-01-12. Retrieved 2017-02-07. 
  10. ^ "Mushahid Hussain's mother laid to rest". The Nation. Retrieved 2017-02-19. 
  11. ^ "Conference Speakers IDEAS 2012 Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed" (PDF). 
  12. ^ "Senate of Pakistan". Retrieved 2017-02-19. 
  13. ^ Kinzer, Stephen (1998-05-18). "NUCLEAR ANXIETY: THE NEIGHBOR; Pakistan Seems Mixed On Holding Nuclear Test". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-02-19. 
  14. ^ Hussain, Mushahid (2001-02-12). "In the Cage, in Search of Grace". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-02-19. 
  15. ^ Jaffrelot, Christophe (2015-01-01). The Pakistan Paradox: Instability and Resilience. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780190235185. 
  16. ^ "DAWN - Features; February 28, 2003". DAWN.COM. 2003-02-28. Retrieved 2017-02-19. 
  17. ^ "DAWN - Features; 06 January, 2005". DAWN.COM. 2005-01-06. Retrieved 2017-02-19. 
  18. ^ "Has the Rubicon Been Crossed? | Newsline". Newsline. Retrieved 2017-02-19. 
  19. ^ "Sweeps into presidency". The Nation. Retrieved 2017-02-19. 
  20. ^, Zardari Is Elected Pakistan’s President
  21. ^, Bhutto's widower wins presidency
  22. ^ Walsh, Declan (2012-12-12). "Most Pakistani Lawmakers Don't File Tax Returns, Study Finds". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-02-19. 
  23. ^ "Mushahid Hussain Syed elected as Senate Defence Committee chairman - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 2012-06-04. Retrieved 2017-02-19. 
  24. ^ "US-India relations reason for Pakistan's burgeoning ties with Russia: Mushahid Husain". DAWN.COM. 2016-10-08. Retrieved 2017-02-20. 
  25. ^ "Tariq Cheema nominated as PML-Q secretary general". The Nation. Retrieved 2017-02-20. 

External links[edit]