Shuja Khanzada

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Shuja Khanzada
شجاع خانزاده
Shuja Khanzada.jpg
Khanzada as Captain of PAVO Cavalry, 1969
Home Minister of Punjab
In office
14 October 2014 – 16 August 2015
Appointed byShehbaz Sharif
Environment Protection Minister of Punjab
In office
10 June 2013 – 16 August 2015
Appointed byShehbaz Sharif
Personal details
Born(1943-08-28)28 August 1943
Shadikhan, Punjab Province, British India
Died16 August 2015(2015-08-16) (aged 71)
Shadikhan, Punjab, Pakistan
Cause of deathAssassination
ChildrenJahangir Khanzada (son)
Alma materIslamia College
AwardsMedal of Good Conduct Tamgha-e-Basalat.png Tamgha-e-Basalat
Military service
Allegiance Pakistan
Branch/service Pakistan Army
Years of service1967–1994
RankOF-5 Pakistan Army.svg Colonel
Unit13th Lancers
Battles/warsIndo-Pakistani War of 1971
Siachen conflict

Shuja Khanzada (Urdu: شجاع خانزاده‎‎; 28 August 1943 – 16 August 2015) was a Pakistani politician and Pakistan Army colonel, who served as the Home Minister of Punjab from 2014 until his assassination on 16 August 2015.[1]

As an army officer, Khanzada fought in the 1971 Indo-Pakistani war, before partaking in the Siachen conflict in 1983. Retiring from the military, Khanzada entered politics in 1996. He was elected to the Punjab Provincial Assembly thrice, in 2002, 2008, and 2013; the latter as a PML (N) candidate from his native constituency in Attock.[1][2] Appointed Home Minister in 2014, Khanzada spearheaded the campaign against terrorism and sectarian militancy in Punjab.

On 16 August 2015, Khanzada was assassinated in a suicide attack at his political office in Shadikhan, Attock. The militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) claimed responsibility for the attack, in retaliation for the killing of LeJ chief Malik Ishaq during Khanzada's tenure.[3][4] A number of his family members had been killed in a suicide attack on a funeral near Mardan, two years earlier.[5]

Early life[edit]

Khanzada was born in an agriculturist Pathan family belonging to the Yousafzai clan in Shadikhan, Attock.[1] The Khanzada family of Attock were long involved in politics.[6] His grandfather Captain Ajab Khan was a member of the Indian Legislative Assembly (in British India) and his uncle Taj Muhammad Khanzada was a member of the National Assembly and Punjab Provincial Assembly from the 1950s to the late 1990s.[1] He matriculated at the Public School Nowshera, followed by FSc. and graduation from the Islamia College in Peshawar with a bachelor's degree in arts in 1966.[7] In 1967, he was commissioned into the Pakistan Army.[1] Khanzada was married and had three children. His son, Jahangir Khanzada, succeeded him as a member of the provincial assembly in by-elections on 6 October 2015 from the family's native constituency of PP-16, following Shuja's assassination.[1] Three of his cousins died in the Mardan funeral bombing in 2013.[8] Another family member, Major Javed Alam Khanzada was a senior bureaucrat in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.[8]

Military career[edit]

During his military career, Khanzada fought in the 1971 Indo-Pakistani war, served as an instructor in 1974–1978 and 1982–1983, and commanded the 13th Lancers in 1983–85.[1] He was also present at the Siachen Glacier in 1983.[1] In 1988, he was awarded the Tamgha-e-Basalat for his services.[1] In 1992–1994, he was posted as a military attaché at the Pakistani embassy in Washington, D.C.[1] He was also a field officer of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), working for the intelligence agency for over a decade from the 1980s to the mid 1990s, during which he specialised on affairs related to Balochistan and Afghanistan.[9]

Political career[edit]

Following his retirement from the military, Khanzada entered politics in 1996. For some time, he was affiliated with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf as a founding member, before joining the Pakistan Muslim League (Q).[10] He was elected as a member of the Provincial Assembly of Punjab from 2002 to 2007 as a PML (Q) legislator. He served as a special advisor to the Chief Minister and held a ministry portfolio. He was elected to the provincial assembly again in 2008 as an independent candidate, and in the 2013 elections as a PML (N) member, from his native Constituency PP-16.[1][2] Khanzada was appointed Punjab Environment Protection Minister on 10 June 2013.[11][12]

Home Minister[edit]

Khanzada was assigned the additional charge of the Home Ministry by the Pakistan Muslim League (N) provincial government on 14 October 2014, in a cabinet reshuffle.[13]

Death and legacy[edit]

On 16 August 2015, Khanzada's home office in Shadikhan was attacked in a suicide blast, killing him and at least 21 other people, including a cousin.[14][15] According to a preliminary investigation, the attack may have been retaliation for the killing of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi militant leader Malik Ishaq by the Punjab Police during Khanzada's term in office. The attack was strongly condemned throughout the country, including by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif.[3] The Lahore City District Government announced that a major new road inaugurated in Lahore, connecting Karim Block and Jinnah Hospital, would be named after Shuja Khanzada.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Shuja Khanzada". Punjab Assembly. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Shuja Khanzada Shaheed – Once a soldier, always a soldier". Dunya News. 17 August 2015. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Khanzada attack in retaliation of LeJ chief's killing: sources". Express Tribune. 16 August 2015. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  4. ^ "Punjab minister Shuja Khanzada killed in Pakistan blast". BBC News. 16 August 2015. Retrieved 17 August 2015.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Politics runs in the family". Dawn. 24 December 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  7. ^ "Shuja Khanzada". Provincial Assembly of the Punjab. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  8. ^ a b "PESHAWAR: Former secretary commits suicide". Dawn. 9 December 2004. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  9. ^ "How Gen. Kakar blew up plans to roll back the nuclear program". South Asia Tribune. 1999. Retrieved 17 August 2015.
  10. ^ "Punjab Home Minister Shuja Khanzada killed in Attock suicide blast". The Express Tribune. 16 August 2015. Retrieved 17 August 2015.
  11. ^ "Anti-dengue drive: Two shops sealed, cases registered against owners". The Express Tribune. 16 August 2013. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  12. ^ "Chief Minister assigns portfolios to the Ministers". Punjab Portal. Government of Punjab, Pakistan. 10 June 2013. Archived from the original on 22 August 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  13. ^ Kashif, Hussain (14 October 2014). "Rana Mashood removed as Punjab law minister". Daily Times (Pakistan). Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  14. ^ Ali, Sarfraz (16 August 2015). "Death toll rises to 19 in suicide attack at Punjab Interior Minister Shuja Khanzada's political office in Attock". Daily Pakistan. Retrieved 17 August 2015. At least nineteen people have been killed ... UPDATE: Deputy Superintendent of Police Hazro, Sayyed Shouqat Ali Shah also martyred in this incident ... UPDATE: Col (retd) Shuja Khanzada has been killed in the attack.
  15. ^ "Late Khanzada's cousin succumbs to wounds". Daily Times. 18 August 2015. Archived from the original on 19 August 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  16. ^ "Lahore road to be named after Shuja Khanzada". The Express Tribune. 19 August 2015. Retrieved 20 August 2015.