Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad

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Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad
Federal Minister for Railways
Assumed office
20 August 2018
PresidentMamnoon Hussain
Arif Alvi
Prime MinisterImran Khan
Preceded byRoshan Khursheed Bharucha (caretaker)
In office
25 April 2006 – 15 November 2007
PresidentPervez Musharraf
Prime MinisterShaukat Aziz
Preceded bySaleemur Rahman Akhoond
Succeeded byGhulam Ahmed Bilour
President of Awami Muslim League
Assumed office
June 2008
Minister for Information and Broadcasting
In office
21 November 2002 – 20 May 2006
PresidentPervez Musharraf
Prime MinisterShaukat Aziz
Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan
Assumed office
13 August 2018
ConstituencyNA-62 (Rawalpindi-VI)
In office
1 June 2013 – 31 May 2018
In office
16 November 2002 – 15 November 2007
ConstituencyNA-55 (Rawalpindi-VI)
In office
21 March 1985 – 12 October 1999
ConstituencyNA-38 Rawalpindi-III
Personal details
Born (1950-11-06) 6 November 1950 (age 68)[1]
Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan[2]
NationalityPakistani
Political partyAwami Muslim League
Alma materPunjab University
LLB and MA

Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad (Urdu: شیخ رشید احمد‎, born 6 November 1950), is a Pakistani politician who is the current Federal Minister for Railways, in office since 20 August 2018. Ahmed has been a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan since August 2018 and is the current leader of the Awami Muslim League. Previously, he was a member of the National Assembly between 1985 and May 2018.

Born in Rawalpindi, was educated at Gordon College and studied law in 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[edit]

Ahmed was born on 6 November 1950[3] in Babra Bazaar in Rawalpindi, Punjab.[1][4][2][2] According to another report, he was born on 17 February 1950.[5]

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.[4][2] Ahmed was a leader of the student union at Gordon College.[6]

Political career[edit]

Ahmed began his political career during his student years and was actively involved against the military regime of Ayub Khan.[2]

In the 1985 Pakistani general election which was held on non-party basis, he was elected as the member of the National Assembly for the first time[7] from Rawalpindi.[2]

In the 1988 Pakistani general election, he was re-elected as the member of the National Assembly[7] for the second time from Rawalpindi[2] on Islamic Democratic Alliance (IDA) ticket.

In the 1990 Pakistani general election, he was re-elected as the member of the National Assembly[7] for the third time from Rawalpindi[2] on IDA ticket.

In the 1993 Pakistani general election, he was re-elected as the member of the National Assembly[7] for the fourth time from Rawalpindi[2] on PML (N) ticket.

In the 1997 Pakistani general election, he was re-elected as the member of the National Assembly[7] for the fifth time from Rawalpindi.[2]

For the 2002 Pakistani general election, PML-N refused to allot ticket to Ahmed for running in the election.[8] Ahmed was re-elected in the 2002 election as the member of the National Assembly[7] for the sixth time from NA-55 (Rawalpindi)[2] as independent candidate.[9]

Later, he joined PML-Q.[10][11]

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.[10][11][12][2][13]

As minister for information, Ahmed, on public places, had assumed the role of the spokesman of Pervez Musharraf[14] and advocate of government of Zafarullah Khan Jamali.[8]

In May 2006, he was made Federal Minister for Railways.[10][2][15][16]

He also served as Leader of the Opposition[12] 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[9][7][17] from both of his Rawalpindi constituencies, NA-55 and NA-56 to PML-N.[14][18][2] There were rumours that Ahmed had fled to Spain following the defeat.[7] However, these allegations were later discovered to be false.[17] 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."[17]

He later left PML-Q where he was a senior vice-president and created his own political party Awami Muslim League (Pakistan) (AML)[10] and self-appointed himself as president of the party.[2][19]

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.[10] Ahmed earlier supported President Musharraf's military operation against the militants in Federally Administered Tribal Areas and the Siege of Lal Masjid[2][12] and has been on the hit list of militants.[10] He was defeated in the by-elections by a wide margin.[20]

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.[21][22][2] It was reported that Ahmed has requested for a merger between his party and the PTI[23] however PTI decided not to go for an alliance with any political party.[24]

He was re-elected as the member of the National Assembly for the seventh time from Rawalpindi.[21][21]

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.[2]

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.[25] He secured 33 votes in the 342 seat parliament and was unsuccessful.[26]

He was re-elected to the National Assembly as a candidate of AML from Constituency NA-62 (Rawalpindi-VI) in Pakistani general election, 2018.[27]

On 18 August, Imran Khan formally announced his federal cabinet structure and Ahmad was named as Minister for Railways.[28] On 20 August 2018, he was sworn in as Federal Minister for Railways in the federal cabinet of Prime Minister Imran Khan.[29]

Controversies[edit]

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.[30]

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.[31] Later it was reported that Yasin Malik retracted his statements and denied he had ever said that Ahmed running camps.[32][33]

In 2005, during Ahmed’s 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.[34] However Indian denied Ahmed's request to travel to Srinagar.[32]

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.[35][36]

In 2014, Ahmed was off-loaded from a Toronto bound PIA flight due to non-issuance of clearance by the Canadian authorities.[37]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Detail Information". 11 October 2007. Archived from the original on 11 October 2007. Retrieved 9 July 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r "Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad - Profile - DAWN.COM". Dawn. 14 August 2014. Archived from the original on 3 March 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  3. ^ "If elections are held on time…". www.thenews.com.pk. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed profile". Business Recorder. 10 March 2016. Archived from the original on 10 March 2016. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  5. ^ "Detail Information". www.pildat.org. PILDAT. Archived from the original on 19 April 2014. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  6. ^ "Educational institutions no longer centre of cultural activities". DAWN.COM. 8 February 2015. Archived from the original on 2 March 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h "The End of Musharraf?". Newsweek. 18 February 2008. Archived from the original on 15 March 2016. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  8. ^ a b "Rashid asked to defend military govt policies". DAWN.COM. 25 November 2002. Archived from the original on 3 March 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  9. ^ a b "As Pakistan goes to polls: Take a peek at some major NA constituencies". DAWN.COM. 10 May 2013. Archived from the original on 5 March 2017. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  10. ^ a b c d e f "Sheikh Rashid survives gun attack, three others killed". Dawn. 9 February 2010. Archived from the original on 28 March 2010. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  11. ^ a b "Jamali discusses cabinet with Musharraf: Some ministers may be retained". DAWN.COM. 23 November 2002. Archived from the original on 3 March 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  12. ^ a b c Masood, Salman (8 February 2010). "Former Pakistani Official Attacked in Rawalpindi". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 3 March 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  13. ^ "Jamali, cabinet take oath: PPP, PML-N abstain from ceremony". DAWN.COM. 24 November 2002. Archived from the original on 3 March 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  14. ^ a b "Heavyweights knocked out". DAWN.COM. 19 February 2008. Archived from the original on 3 March 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  15. ^ "Rashid accorded 'clean' welcome". DAWN.COM. 1 May 2006. Archived from the original on 3 March 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  16. ^ Masood, Salman (2 October 2007). "Maneuvering Before Vote in Pakistan". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 15 February 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  17. ^ a b c "Defeat due to raid on Lal Masjid: Rashid". The Nation. 29 February 2008. Archived from the original on 29 February 2008. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  18. ^ "PML-N's win in Pindi surprises PPPP and PML-Q". Daily Times. 20 February 2008. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  19. ^ "Sheikh Rashid quits PML-Q, forms Awami Muslim League: Withdrawal from election race". DAWN.COM. 2 June 2008. Archived from the original on 3 March 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  20. ^ "PUNJAB: The sheikh's domain". DAWN.COM. 11 May 2013. Archived from the original on 3 March 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  21. ^ a b c "A FEW WORDS : Sheikh Rashid, TV talk shows and the PTI — Dr Qaisar Rashid". Daily Times. 22 May 2013. Archived from the original on 14 June 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  22. ^ "Imran, Sheikh Rashid reaffirm seat adjustment in Rawalpindi - DAWN.COM". Dawn. 4 January 2014. Archived from the original on 4 January 2014. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  23. ^ "PTI head-hunting spree continues - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 2 December 2011. Archived from the original on 3 March 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  24. ^ "PTI agrees to electoral alliance with AML - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 8 August 2012. Archived from the original on 3 March 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  25. ^ "PTI names Sheikh Rashid for coveted slot - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 29 July 2017. Archived from the original on 31 July 2017. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  26. ^ "Pakistan elects Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as interim prime minister". Daily Pakistan Global. Archived from the original on 1 August 2017. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  27. ^ "Sheikh Rashid winning in NA-62". Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  28. ^ "PM Imran Khan finalises names of 21-member cabinet". DAWN.COM. 18 August 2018. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  29. ^ "16 ministers from PM Imran Khan's cabinet sworn in". DAWN.COM. 20 August 2018. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  30. ^ "Shaukat to play host to Vajpayee". DAWN.COM. 2 January 2004. Archived from the original on 3 March 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  31. ^ "Pak minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed suspected behind jehadi camp, peace process in jeopardy". India Today. 27 June 2005. Archived from the original on 3 March 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  32. ^ a b "India rejects Rashid's travel application". DAWN.COM. 25 June 2005. Archived from the original on 3 March 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  33. ^ "Did He Help Train 3,500 Militants?". Outook India. 27 June 2005. Archived from the original on 12 January 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  34. ^ "Rashid seeks permit for private Srinagar visit". DAWN.COM. 9 June 2005. Archived from the original on 3 March 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  35. ^ "Pak ex-minister detained in US trained Kashmir jihadis". Rediff. 29 June 2012. Archived from the original on 3 March 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  36. ^ "Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed briefly detained at Houston airport - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 28 June 2012. Archived from the original on 3 March 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  37. ^ Sheikh Rasheed offloaded Archived 13 May 2016 at the Wayback Machine.. Pakistantoday.com.pk (21 March 2014). Retrieved on 2016-05-11.

External links[edit]