Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad
|Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad
|President of Awami Muslim League|
|Minister for Railways|
25 April 2006 – 15 November 2007
|Prime Minister||Shaukat Aziz|
|Preceded by||Saleemur Rahman Akhoond|
|Succeeded by||Ghulam Ahmad Bilour|
|Minister for Information and Broadcasting|
21 November 2002 – 20 May 2006
|Prime Minister||Shaukat Aziz|
|Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan|
1 June 2013
18 November 2002 – 18 November 2007
21 March 1985 – 12 October 1999
6 November 1950 |
Rawalpindi, Punjab Province, Pakistan
|Political party||Awami Muslim League|
|Pakistan Muslim League (Q)|
|Alma mater||Punjab University
LLB and MA
Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad (Urdu: شيخ رشيداحمد, born 6 November 1950), is a Pakistani politician and the current leader of the Awami Muslim League. Ahmed has been an elected member of the National Assembly of Pakistan since 1985 from Rawalpindi constituency.
Born in Rawalpindi, was educated at the Polytechnic College and the Gordon College, later attending the University of Lahore. Ahmed has served as a member of the federal cabinet, in various positions, between 1992 and 1997. He first served as Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting from 2002 to 2006 and then as Federal Minister for Railways from 2006 to 2007. In 2008, he founded his own political party after losing his traditional seat from Rawalpindi.
Early life and education
He received his early education in from Polytechnic College and graduated from Gordon College. He completed his Bachelor of Laws at the University of Punjab. Ahmed was a leader of the student union at Gordon College.
For the 2002 Pakistani general election, PML-N refused to allot ticket to Ahmed for running in the election. Ahmed was re-elected in the 2002 election as the member of the National Assembly for the sixth time from NA-55 (Rawalpindi) as independent candidate.
Since Ahmad was considered a close aide of Pervez Musharraf therefore during his sixth tenure as member of the National Assembly, he was appointed as Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting in the Zafarullah Khan Jamali cabinet in November 2002.
He also served as Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly of Pakistan.
In the 2008 Pakistani general election, Ahmed ran for the seat of National Assembly on a Pakistan Muslim League-Q ticket however, lost the election for the first time from both of his Rawalpindi constituencies, NA-55 and NA-56 to PML-N. There were rumours that Ahmed had fled to Spain following the defeat. However, these allegations were later discovered to be false. In an interview, Ahmed said defeat in the election was due to raid on Lal Masjid and that "he had promised to quit politics after 2008 elections but his defeat had changed his mind."
In February 2010, while Ahmed was preparing to run for the seat of National Assembly in by-election in NA-55, Rawalpindi, he was attacked by unknown gunmen at his election office in Rawalpindi. It was believed Taliban militants were behind the attack which injured Ahmed and killed three others known to be his bodyguards. Ahmed earlier supported President Musharraf's military operation against the militants in Federally Administered Tribal Areas and the Siege of Lal Masjid and has been on the hit list of militants. He was defeated in the by-elections by a wide margin.
In the 2013 Pakistani general election, Ahmed made an electoral alliance with Imran Khan to support each other in their respective constituencies in the election. It was reported that Ahmed has requested for a merger between his party and the PTI however PTI decided not to go for an alliance with any political party.
In public circles, he is known for making witty remarks and political predictions. He is also known for switching political allegiances from one party to another.
In July 2017, he was chosen by the PTI as a candidate for the post of Prime Ministership of Pakistan, following the resignation of outgoing Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif after Panama Papers case decision. He secured 33 votes in the 342 seat parliament and was unsuccessful.
In 2005, India Today reported that Yasin Malik claimed that Ahmed had run a jihadi camp at Fateh Jung in Punjab, where around 3,500 jihadis were trained. Ahmed denied running such a camp. Later it was reported that Yasin Malik retracted his statements and denied he had ever said that Ahmed running camps.
In 2005, during Ahmed tenure as Minister for Information, he applied for permit to travel to Srinagar, in his personal capacity to visit the graves of his grandparents and meet his relatives in Jammu & Kashmir. However Indian denied Ahmed's request to travel to Srinagar.
In 2004, Ahmed during his tenure as Minister for Information was replaced with Shaukat Aziz as minister-in-waiting who would receive then visiting Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee after Indian foreign ministry's objection to the nomination of Ahmad as minister-in-waiting.
In 2012, Ahmed was detained at Houston airport concerning his links with Lashkar-e-Taiba and with Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, an alleged mastermind of 2008 Mumbai attacks. He was released after five hours of interrogation after official protest from Pakistani Ambassador in United States.
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