|Name:||Yousaf Raza Gillani|
|Birth Day:||June 9, 1952|
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He attended Government College University and attained his B.A. in Journalism in 1970.
Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani was born on 9 June 1952 in Multan, Punjab, West-Pakistan. Gillani moved to Lahore, Punjab, attending the Forman Christian College University. He attended Government College University and obtained his B.A. in Journalism in 1970, and followed by an MA in Political journalism from the University of the Punjab in 1976. In an interview given to Vasatolah Khan of BBC Urdu, Gilani maintained that "if he had not pursue his career in the national politics, he would have been a civil engineer."
Yousaf Raza Gillani's political career started in the military government of President General Zia-ul-Haq in 1978, after he joined as a member of the Central Working Committee (CWC) of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML), alongside industrialist Nawaz Sharif. He soon left the PML, because of political differences with the PML's leadership. He was chosen by General Zia-ul-Haq as a nominee for public servant work in Multan. In 1983, Gillani became chairman of the Multan union council commonly known as District Mayor of Zila Nazim in Pakistan.
He first ran in non-partisan and technocratic 1985 general elections and was elected as the Member of the National Assembly (MNA) of Parliament from Lodhran, but was later affiliated with the Pakistan Peoples Party after developing serious political differences with the Pakistan Muslim League (PML), led by conservative leader Fida Khan. The constituency seat is currently held by Jehangir Khan Tareen . Gillani fell out with Prime minister Mohammad Junejo and was sidlined from the Pakistan Muslim League (PML) by the senior leadership. Later, he was ousted by Prime minister Junejo and was replaced by other members. According to Gillani's personal account, he went to Karachi to meet with Benazir Bhutto during the 1980s and presented his political experience, wanting to join the Peoples Party. After securing a party ticket and successfully running in the 1988 general elections, Gillani joined the first government of Prime minister Benazir Bhutto and became minister of the Ministry of Tourism (MoT) in March 1989 until January 1990. Later he became minister of Ministry of Housing and Work Force.
Gillani also retained his seat in the 1990 general elections by gaining more than 60 Thousand votes. He once again successfully ran in the 1993 general elections and took the oath of the office of Minister for Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development. However, he resigned from his ministry after being nominated by Benazir Bhutto for office of the Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan in 1993. He was the Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan until 1997 when the new general election in 1997 was held in the country. He was succeeded by Ilahi Bux of the Pakistan Muslim League-N on 2 February 1997.
Yousaf Raza Gillani was arrested on 11 February 2001 by the Military Police functioning under the military-controlled National Accountability Bureau (NAB)— an anti-corruption agency set up by the military government in 1999, over charges that he, along with other politicians, misused his authority while he was Speaker of the National Assembly in 1993–97. Specifically, he was accused of hiring up to 600 people from among his constituents and placing them on the government's payroll. The NAB claimed that Gillani inflicted a loss of Rs 30 million annually on the national exchequer. He was convicted by an anti-corruption court headed by an active-duty officer appointed by General Musharraf and spent nearly six years in prison.
The legal proceedings were perceived by many as politically motivated; his party, the PPP, was in opposition to Musharraf, who had embarked on a campaign to coerce party members to switch sides. Thus his conviction by General Musharraf-backed courts and subsequent prison sentence were seen as marks of loyalty within the PPP. His imprisonment was widely condemned by various individuals across the country, including Mushahid Hussain Syed, a senior leader of the PML-Q. He was released on 7 October 2006 from Adiala Jail, after spending more than five years in captivity. On 26 April 2012, Prime minister Gillani was convicted on the charges of Contempt of Court, becoming Pakistan's first Prime Minister to be convicted while holding office. He was sentenced to be held in custody till the rising of court, a symbolic sentence lasting 30 seconds.
Gillani is married to Fauzia Gillani, together they have four sons and one daughter, and five grandchildren. His eldest son, Abdul Qadir Gillani, started his own political career from Multan, and in 2008 he married the granddaughter of Pir Pagara Shah Mardan Shah II, an influential political and religious leader of Sindh. Abdul Qadir is alleged to have been involved in a corruption case over arrangements for pilgrims to Mecca and in a scandal at a state-owned insurance company. Gillani's three other sons Ali Qasim Gillani, Ali Musa Gillani and Ali Haider Gillani are triplets. Qasim Gillani is currently doing his undergraduate studies at Brunel University of London. Gillani's daughter Fiza Gillani is the Good-Will Ambassador of Women and has one son called Asfandyar Gillani. Musa Gillani completed his Masters at Queen Mary University of London in 2009 and was an MNA in his father's cabinet. Ali Haider Gillani studied at School of Economics in Lahore. Ali Musa Gillani after completing his studies is now actively participating in politics. Ali Musa was questioned by the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) agents over a scandal.
On 22 March 2008, after weeks of consideration, the elite members of the Central Executive Committee accepted the nomination of Gillani over populist Ameen Faheem for the post of prime minister. Meanwhile, the Pakistan Peoples Party completed consultations and negotiations with the other parties to form a coalition alliance and the alliance endorsed the nomination. The formal announcement of the name of prime minister was expected to be made that night.
On 22 March at 9:38 pm Islamabad, (16:38 GMT), Gillani was officially announced by the peoples party as its candidate for the premiership of the country. Many analysts said that they would not be surprised if Zardari succeeded Gillani after a few months. It was reported on 24 March 2008, that Zardari said he was not interested in the job of prime minister and that Gillani would serve until 2013 in the position. Speculation that Zardari might be gunning for the premiership grew stronger when he picked the less popular Gillani over Ameen Faheem, a much powerful member of the central executive committee. Fahmida Mirza, the newly elected Speaker of the Assembly, insisted there was no plan to replace Gillani. She added, however, that if Gillani did not do a good job, all options were open.
On 24 March 2008, Gillani was elected Prime Minister by Parliament, defeating his rival, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi of the PML-Q, by a score of 264 to 42. He was sworn in by Musharraf on the next day. On 29 March, he won a unanimous vote of confidence in Parliament.
On 13 May 2008, the PML (N) ministers resigned from Gillani's government due to a disagreement related to the reinstatement of judges whom Musharraf removed from office in 2007. Zardari, hoping to preserve the coalition, told Gillani to reject the resignations. At the close of 2008, Pakistan's The Financial Daily conducted a public poll on its website; respondents entered the names of their favourite personalities for the year, and Gillani was named among the top 50. Musharraf's foreign trips were cancelled, and Gilani decided to paid a state visit to China instead of Musharraf, to attend the ceremony of 2008 Beijing Olympics. A public movement led by the Peoples Party-Muslim league nexus, Musharraf dramatically resigned from the presidency after delivering an hour long farewell speech on 18 August 2008. Reacting upon Musharraf's removal, Gillani publicly called for national celebration, and marked Musharraf's resignation as "historic day." Nationwide celebration were held in the entire country. In a special sitting of parliament, Gillani quoted to his collective alliance, "Today we have buried dictatorship for ever."
On 19 July 2008 at 11:06 pm (Pakistan Standard Time), Gillani appeared on Pakistan Television (PTV) in his first address to the nation. The main points in his address were focused on the crisis of flour shortage, load-shedding, terrorism and extremism, restoration of judges, economic downslide and, above all, inflation and unemployment in the country.
Gillani escaped an assassination attempt on 3 September 2008, when unidentified gunmen fired shots at his motorcade near the garrison city of Rawalpindi, officials said. The shooting occurred shortly after Gillani was returning from an official visit to the eastern city of Lahore. His motorcade was going to Islamabad from the high-security Chaklala military airbase in Rawalpindi. A spokesman for the Prime Minister's House said Gillani and members of his staff had escaped unhurt and were safe. He said police had been put on high alert and an investigation launched into the incident. The unidentified assailants fired at Gillani's motorcade on a highway. At least two shots hit the Prime Minister's bulletproof vehicle, TV channels quoted officials as saying. State-run PTV beamed footage of the damage caused by the bullets to the window of the driver's door of the vehicle. Reports said the incident occurred at a spot where former premier and PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif's motorcade was fired at on 27 December last year, shortly before Pakistan People's Party (PPP) chairperson Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in a suicide bombing in Rawalpindi.
According to Gillani's press secretary, Zahid Bashir, a car carrying Gillani was hit by 10 bullets in an attack near Islamabad on 3 September 2008; Bashir said that Gillani was unharmed. The Pakistan-based Taliban group claimed responsibility for the attack.
Since 2008, his government and the Parliament has carried out major constitutional amendments intended to enhance and strengthen the parliamentary democracy in the country. In April 2010, the Parliament unanimously passed the XVIII Amendment which removed the presidential powers, limiting the role of presidency in the politics, and turned the political systemof Pakistan from a semi-presidential to a parliamentary republic. In December 2010, the XIX and XX amendments were passed which gave more power, responsibilities and strengthened the position of the office of prime minister.
Unlike the predecessor Aziz government's deployment, Gilani redeployed fresh combatant units of unified Pakistan Armed Forces to take on the militants hiding in country's tribal areas. A full-scale inter-services' operation, codename Black Thunderstorm, took place in Swat in April 2009, which resulted in a complete success, followed by successful infiltration and dismantling of militancy in other areas of Tribal belt. A final unified operation was commenced in 2009 under codename, Rah-e-Nijat, which brought the areas inflicted of terrorism back in the government control.
In April 2010, Gillani announced the energy policy to deal with the severe electricity shortage facing Pakistan. In 2010, Gillani went on to attend the Nuclear Security Summit held in Washington, D.C., where he issued a statement saying Pakistan would like to act as a provider and "participate in any non-discriminatory nuclear fuel cycle assurance mechanism. His government tightened the nuclear safety programme, and expanded the role of Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA). In 2012, Gillani attended the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit where he defended the right of Pakistan's access to nuclear technology for peaceful uses on a non-discriminatory basis. His government announced the approval the safeguards agreements of the two commercial civil nuclear power plants, and inaugurated the CHASNUPP-III nuclear power plant in Chasma. In 2012, Gillani gave approval of establishing two civilian nuclear power plant in Karachi to meet the future energy needs of financial and economical development.
After resuming the office, Gillani's foreign policy greatly relaxed the relationships with the United Kingdom, despite British counterpart's "harsh" comments on country's role in the war on terror in 2010. The comments brought hostility between two countries, though Gilani reconciled the matter with the British counterpart. In 2011, British Prime Minister David Cameron visited Pakistan and called for "fresh start" in relations with Pakistan as he offered £650m in aid and better security co-operation. In May 2012, Gilani paid back the trip to United Kingdom and held frank discussion with British counterpart to boost military and strategic ties and to increase bilateral trade, economic growth and development, cultural co-operation, security and education. At the end of trip, Cameron and Gillani launched a Trade and Investment Framework to set out the steps both governments will take to promote investment, support business and achieve the target of increasing bilateral trade to $2.5 billion by 2015.
According to the calculation performed by Transparency International (TI), Pakistan has lost an unbelievably high amount, more than Rs 8,500 billion (Rs 8.5 trillion or US$94 billion), in corruption, tax evasion and bad governance during the last four years of Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani's tenure. An adviser of TI acknowledged that "Pakistan does not need even a single penny from the outside world if it effectively checks the menace of corruption and ensures good governance". The Transparency International also noted that the four years of the present regime under Gilani had been the worst in terms of corruption and bad governance in the country's history. After the recognition of failure of privatisation programme, Gillani gave authorisation of controversial nationalisation programme after a cabinet meeting in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province on 15 December 2011. Under this programme, three major and giant corporations, Steel Mills, Pakistan Railway and Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), were brought down under the government ownership, in an attempt to restructure, and made profitable.
Gillani followed the cultural and television policy of Benazir Bhutto and in the light of Supreme Court verdict, Gillani ordered PEMRA to blackout of Indian television channels, though he ordered the restoration of religious channels. Gillani emphasised the role of Pakistan's media and encouraged the film, drama, and national performing art industry to promote national spirit in the country. In 2011, after the Secret Pakistan went on-air, Gillani ordered the blocking out of the BBC World and banned the channel in the country. Banning of BBC World deeply concerned the BBC authorities and the BBC executives immediately met with Gillani to resolve the issue. The BBC World was restored after BBC world ordered a full-fledged investigation into the matter.
In 2011 state of the union address at the Parliament, Gilani spoke highly of culture, stating the historical cultural facts and values of cultural legacy of the country. His state of the union address came in response to American secret raid that killed Osama bin Laden in May 2011. Gillani also participated and celebrated the 60th anniversary of the bilateral relations between Pakistan and China. During the state visit of Wen Jiabao in 2010, Gillani and Wen proceeded to sign the cultural relations agreements after inaugurating the Pakistan-China Friendship Centre, a centre of excellence of promoting the cultural relations of China and Pakistan.
On 22 December 2011, Gillani told an audience at the National Gallery that conspirators were plotting to bring down his government.
The Mumbai attack nearly pushed the two countries to the war-like situation; Gillani promoted to his counterpart to punished and brought the punish perpetrators of such heinous attack to justice. In 2011, Indian Prime minister Manmohan Singh described Gillani as "Man of Peace".
In 2011, the relations with United States suffered a major set back and resentment when the United States unilaterally conducted a secret offence (see: Neptune Spear) in Abbottabad, which resulted in successful execution of Usama Bin Laden. Immediately after learning the news, Gillani and President Zardari chaired a high level meeting with the senior military leadership in Islamabad. Gillani reportedly announced that: "We will not allow our soil to be used against any other country for terrorism and therefore, I think it's a great victory, it's a success and I congratulate the success of this operation." Later Gilani blamed the world for their failure to capture bin Laden. The relationship between Pakistan and the United States fell to a new low following the Salala Incident, with his government and the elite Pakistani military establishment reassessing their diplomatic, political, military and intelligence relationship with the United States.
All major NATO supply lines were immediately closed leaving the blockaded supply trucks vulnerable to attacks. On 26 November 2011, Gillani's government ordered the US to shut down and vacate the PAF Base Shamsi in the southwestern Balochistan province within a deadline of 15 days. On 10 December, the troops from the Frontier Corps took full control of the air force base as scheduled, and by 11 December all remaining American staff were evacuated. Prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani informed the cabinet that Pakistan was at a critical juncture in its relationship with the US and NATO and it was time to make some important decisions."Decisions regarding ties with the US and NATO will be made in the national interest." In December 2011, Gillani reportedly told the BBC interviewer that "his country does not trust the United States, and the feeling is mutual". Although, he did goaded that relations were important and maintained: "We are working together and still we don't trust each other... we should have more confidence in each other..".
In 2011, Prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani and Russian Prime minister (now President) Vladimir Putin held a frank discussion in a cordial atmosphere on 10th Heads of Government meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. Gilani successfully convinced Russia finance and invest in the large energy projects including Central Asia-South Asia 1000 (CASA-1000) to allow the international transition of the power generation from Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan to Pakistan. Russia has provided US$500 million for the CASA-1000 for the power transmission project. In 2011, both countries initiated the work on the framework n the proposed Free Trade Agreement and currency swap arrangement to boost bilateral trade and further strengthen their economic ties. On 4 March 2012, only few hours being re-elected, Gilani telephoned Putin and greeted him on his success in the election for the President of Russia, and quoted: "it was a testimony to the confidence the people of Russia had reposed in his leadership".
On 10 October 2011, US-based businessman Mansoor Ijaz wrote in an opinion piece in The Financial Times that he acted as an intermediary between the Pakistan Government and US administration, with the former requesting the help of the latter to avert a military coup in wake of the unilateral US raid that killed al-Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden. He said that a senior Pakistan diplomat telephoned him with an urgent request early on 9 May, exactly a week after the raid against bin Laden.
On 9 April 2012, Gillani chaired the second energy conference held in Lahore. As part of the federal government's energy conservation plan, Gillani had ordered that air-conditioners of the Prime Minister House and Prime Minister's Secretariat could not be switched on before 11 am. According to the government sources, Gillani's government has levelled up the nuclear energy programme up ~ 78% for two combined 664 MW commercial nuclear plants, C-3 and C-4 at Chashma Nuclear Power Complex to be completed at their record time. The ground work on Karachi Nuclear Power Complex was also laid in 2012 as part of his nuclear policy. Amid public rage and media pressure, the Gillani government also intensified its ground work on the Thar coal electric project that could develop another source of cheap electricity generation, despite the strong opposition by the planning commission.
On 18 June 2012, a strong and powerful public protest took place against the electricity shortage and load shedding, in Punjab Province. The offices of WAPDA corporations were destroyed, a fashion mall was looted while a completely gutted a three carriages of the train. After learning the news, Gillani summoned a national energy conference in Islamabad to take notice of power crisis. Gillani ordered his staff to double its effort to harness the electricity by any means of force after chairing the conference.
In January 2012, Prime minister Gillani announced the "economic sector have been achieved during the first six months of the current fiscal due to the prudent policies of the present government". In the parliament, Gillani pointed out that the fiscal deficit had come down from 9.4% to 7.6% and inflation that had reached 25% had been reduced to 9.7% during December 2011. In a policy statement, Gillani stated that the "country's GDP growth rate will be 4% basically due to the enhanced agricultural production and the web of taxation has been increased". The tax collection in 2011 was more 27% comparing to 2010. An unsuccessful attempt was carried out by Gillani's government to privatise the mega-state corporations, particularly the power sector; major nationalised industries such as WAPDA, IESCo, TESCo, PEPCo were proposed by the finance ministry to privatise the power distribution companies. Major worker's strike were initiated by the central labour unions, and after receiving much criticism, his government halted the privatisation programme of energy sector, and nationalised the remaining power sector industries due to public pressure.
On 1 June 2012, prime minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani claimed that the government was committed to resolving the energy crisis and achieving energy security for the country, adding that Pakistan's power sector was presently facing a wide demand-supply gap, which had necessitated the enhancement of generation capacity as well as related infrastructure.
In 2012, Gilani lastly paid a state visit to the United Kingdom and met with British counterpart David Cameron which opened a new chapter in friendship when both the countries decided to transform their bilateral relationship into an "Enhanced Strategic Partnership", covering trade and commerce, economic development, defence and security, culture, education and health. At the press conference with the British counterpart, Gillani termed the Pakistan-UK relationship as unique, warm and cordial and said it was based on shared values, history, culture and strong people-to-people contact.
In 2012, Gilani attempted to end the violence and bloodshed in Afghanistan after going to Qatar to meet the top Taliban leadership. Subsequently, Gilani discuss the representatives of Taliban and Qatari government to established an office there. Gillani also secured his place at the negotiations on Afghanistan's future.
In 2012, he notably called for "Asian Unity" during the attending session of the Boao Forum for Asia in China. Gilani backed the Chinese economic reform and defended a new transit trade agreement with Afghanistan and declaration of most-favoured nation status for India. Gilani called for the united regional co-operation for building the gas pipelines and communication as factors that, in his view, alters the regional situation radically. In 2010, relations with Germany was improved and Gilani succeeded in ratifying the free-trade agreement and the investment treaty to increase the German direct investment in the country. In May 2011, Gillani paid a three-day state visit to France to hold discussion on security co-operation and economic partnership. Gallani met with Nicolas Sarkozy and signed agreement on co-operation on energy, telecommunication, infrastructure development, banking, environment, waste management and defence.
The relations with Russia were pushed to level of intensity of bilateral relations, which he termed it as "New Momentum". In 2012, Gillani publicly greets Vladimir Putin for successfully contesting in Russian presidential elections.
On 29 March 2012, a civilian resident of Johar Town Lahore, Tariq Ahmed, filed a court petition in the Lahore High Court, seeking to hear the case of disqualification of Yousaf Raza Gillani. The plea was filed in the High Court in which the petitioner took the stance that "Fauzia Gillani— spouse of Prime Minister Gillani received loans of millions of rupees from the Agriculture Development Bank Ltd (ADB) and the National Bank of Pakistan for the two mega-corporation owned by the Gillani family of which Fauzia Gillani served both megacorporation's executive director. None of the loans of millions of rupees were paid back to the banks.
On 26 April 2012, Gillani was convicted on the charges of Contempt of Court, becoming Pakistan's first Prime Minister to be convicted while holding office. He was sentenced to be held in custody till the rising of court, a symbolic sentence lasting 30 seconds. The verdict was a short order and the full verdict of the court (over 70 pages) had been reserved, and was handed over after few days' time. Gillani's lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan announced that the Prime Minister shall file an appeal against the Supreme Court's verdict once the full verdict is handed over, despite opposition parties urgings. However, Gilani refused to step down.
On 28 May 2012, the issue of the disqualification of the Prime Minister was put to rest after a ruling by Speaker of the National Assembly Dr. Fehmida Mirza, to not to send the disqualification reference to the Election Commission of Pakistan.
On 24 May 2012, the Peoples Party directed the case to speaker of the National Assembly to review the case of Gillani, in light of the apex court's verdict. The speaker ruled out that, despite being convict, Gillani cannot be disqualified from the provisions of the paragraph Article 63(g) or either Article 63(h) of the Constitution. Following her rulings, the speaker also decided not to forwarded the reference against Gillani's disqualification to Election Commission. On 29 May, Gillani appeared in media and vigorously defended speaker's decision and quoted: "..(...) The National Assembly Speaker Dr. Fehmida Mirza’s ruling pertaining to the disqualification reference was final and could not be challenged...()...".
On 6 June 2012, the Supreme Court admitted the petitions and a three-member bench was formed to be headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry to hear the petitions. After hearing petitions by both sides, the notices were sent to prime minister, speaker of the national assembly, and other concerned offices to the case. The hearing of the petitions was subsequently adjourned to 14 June 2012. On 15 June, Gillani's lawyer senator Aitzaz Ahsan defended speaker's move, and argued that "the office of speaker was no more 'a post office' after the 18th Amendment as it had been drastically changed" and that "[the speaker] had used her quasi judicial powers and gave her ruling over the issue with due application of her mind". Ahsan maintained that the prime minister had accepted the conviction but not disqualification. On 17 June, Ahsan concluded that speaker's ruling was in accordance with parliamentary ethics and reiterated that the ruling in the contempt of court case did not refer to a disqualification of the prime minister. Mirza also submitted the written statement in which, she maintained that the court's ruling did not order that a reference on the issue should directly be sent to the Election Commission, and has had the constitutional authority to decide over the disqualification of a member of the assembly. Her written statement was discarded by the supreme court, and reserved the final decision of Gillani's qualification matter. At the end of the proceedings, the chief justice marked that the petitions had stated that a "convicted person" was representing the people; the prime minister represented the public and not a party. Minutes before adjourning the court, the chief justice quoted: "The fate of the people was in the hands of a man who had been convicted by the Supreme Court... (...)..".
Finally on 19 June 2012, the Supreme Court of Pakistan ousted and further disqualified Prime Minister Gillani citing the earlier conviction on 26 April 2012. The Supreme Court in its standing orders, said that "Gillani was ineligible to hold the Prime Minister's office after April 26th conviction" and all orders given by him till date would stand null and void. Consequently, the Election Commission issued the government notification with regards to the disqualification of Gillani. The country's election commission noted that, accepting the rulings of Supreme Court, Gillani was disqualified as a member of parliament with effect immediately from 26 April 2012.
On 9 May 2013, his son, Ali Haider Gilani, was kidnapped by several armed men in Multan in central Pakistan during an election rally. A group called the Al Mansuri Brigade kidnapped him. He spent three years in captivity, before being rescued in a joint operation between American-led NATO special forces and Afghan forces in May 2016.
Currently, Yousaf Raza Gillani is 69 years, 11 months and 13 days old. Yousaf Raza Gillani will celebrate 70th birthday on a Thursday 9th of June 2022.
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