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Yousaf Raza Gillani (Makhdoom )

Yousaf Raza Gillani (Makhdoom )
 
 
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Profile

Yousuf Raza Gillani, served as the 16th Prime Minister of Pakistan from 25 March 2008 until being disqualified and ousted by the Supreme Court of Pakistan on 26 April 2012.

Yousaf Raza Gillani (Makhdoom Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani) was born in Karachi on 9 June 1952 . He belongs to an influential political family from Multan. His father was a descendant of Syed Musa Pak, a spiritual figure of the Qadiri Sufism order which traces its origins to Abdul-Qadir Gilani of the Gilan province of Iran. Yousaf Raza Gillani is Formanite as well as Ravian and Punjabian.

Education
Gillani did his intermediate from Forman Christian College.He attended Government College and obtained his B.A and M.A. in Journalism from University of the Punjab.

Family Life
Gillani is married and has four sons, one daughter, and one grandson.His eldest son, Syed Makhdoom 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. His three other sons—Ali Qasim Gillani, Ali Musa Gillani and Ali Haider Gillani—are triplets and two of them are studying abroad while Ali Haider Gillani is studying at Lahore School of Economics, Lahore. Ali Musa Gillani is now usually seen with his father, these days. His daughter's name is Fiza Gillani.

Political career
Gilani's political journey began during General Zia-ul-Haq's martial law in 1978. He joined the Central Working Committee of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML). He was also a cabinet member in the three-year government of Prime Minister Muhammad Khan Junejo, and served as Minister of Housing and Works from April 1985 to January 1986 and as Railways Minister from January 1986 to December 1986.After a short stint with the Muslim League, Gilani joined the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in 1988.In the Benazir Bhutto government of 1988-1990, he was Minister of Tourism from March 1989 to January 1990 and Minister of Housing and Works from January 1990 to August 1990. Later, under another Bhutto government, he became Speaker of the National Assembly in October 1993, serving in that post until February 1997.

Imprisonment
Yousaf Raza Gillani was arrested on 11th February 2001, under the auspices of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), an anti-corruption agency, set up by the military government in 1999, over charges that he misused his authority while he was Speaker of the National Assembly. 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 formed by 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 Musharraf-backed courts and subsequent prison sentence are 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.[citation needed] He was released on 7 October 2006 from Adiala Jail, after spending more than five years in captivity.

Election 2008
He has been elected various times as the Member of National Assembly from Multan. In the 2008 general election, he beat Pakistan Muslim League (Q) (PML-Q) leader Sikandar Hayat Bosan..

Prime Minister of Pakistan
On 22 March 2008, the PPP nominated Gillani for the post of Prime Minister. PPP completed consultations with coalition partners about the Prime Minister and its allies 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,he was officially announced by PPP as its candidate for the premiership of the country.On 24 March 2008, Gillani was elected as 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 the same day, following the vote of confidence, Gillani announced the programme for the first 100 days of his administration.

Energy Policy

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 inagurated 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.

On April 9, 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 11am.

Financial and Economic policy
The privatization and deregulation continues under his government. Gillani appointed Abdul Hafeez Shaikh as Economic and Finance minister, previously he served as the minister of privatization and investment in the government of General Pervez Musharraf and Shaukat Aziz. The nationalization policies were disbanded by Gillani's government instead moved the country on "capitalization mode". The state-owned corporations were set off to privatization menu and his government approved a new menu of privatization based on public private partnership (PPP) with transfer of management control and 26% shares of 21 state owned enterprises (SOEs). No timetable was given instead his government announced that the privatization process would be completed when international market would be feasible. During his first years of government, Gillani's government obtained unprecedented loans from International Monetary Fund which increased the level of poverty in the country.

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.

According to the calculation preformed by Transparency International (TI), Pakistan has lost an unbelievably high amount, more than Rs8,500 billion (Rs8.5 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.

Legal Challanges

The Memo Gate Scandal and subsequent conflicts

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 Pakistani 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 Osama bin Laden. He said that a senior Pakistani diplomat telephoned him with an urgent request early on 9 May, exactly a week after the raid against bin Laden.

Though the Pakistani Government subsequently rejected his claims, it triggered a storm in the country's political circles, especially between the civil government and the military. A judicial commission was subsequently appointed to investigate the matter.

Meanwhile, Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani's request to the apex court for an independent probe into the matter was accepted. The court rejected the government’s contention that the issue should be investigated by a parliamentary panel.

Tensions between the government and the military reached a peak after Gillani said the army and intelligence chiefs had acted in an “unconstitutional and illegal” manner by filing affidavits on the memo issue in the Supreme Court without getting the government’s approval. The military reacted within days through a strongly worded statement that said the premier’s remarks could have “grievous consequences”.

Gillani retaliated by sacking Defence Secretary Lt Gen (retired) Khalid Naeem Lodhi, a confidant of Kayani. He reiterated that the Defence Secretary was removed in accordance with the law as he had made a mistake by not following the government’s rules. He maintained that he was only answerable to the Parliament.

Disqualification petition

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 Gilani 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.

The Consitution of Pakistan's Article 63(1)(q) and Article 63(1)(F) states that "if a person even his or/her, spouse is defaulter of bank loan then he or/she is disqualified to be elected as Member of Parliament (MP).[66] Petitioner pointed out that apart from that in the Statement of Assets and Liabilities (SAL) as of 2007 investment in shares by her spouse, ownership of inherited assets and house in in the Defence Housing Authority, Lahore (DHA Lahore), have not been declared in their SAL submission list given to the Election Commission of Pakistan.[66] The court after hearing the petitioner has asked the Deputy Attorney General to assist the Court on next hearing date April 04, 2012.

Conviction on charges of Contempt of Court

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. Meanwhile, a defiant Yousuf Raza 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.

Subsequently the Prime Minister and his legal team decided not to file a petition against the conviction. The Prime Minister still maintains that he acted to defend the Constitution of Pakistan, which according to the Supreme Court amounted to contempt of court.

On 24 May 2012, the ruling 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 provisions of paragraph Article 63(g) or either Article 63(h) of the Constitution. 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 speaker's decision and cited: "..(...) The National Assembly Speaker Dr. Fehmida Mirza’s ruling pertaining to the disqualification reference was final and could not be challenged...()...".

Disqualified Prime Minister

After Speaker's ruling made public, the major opposition party in the parliament, the Pakistan Muslim League, and the non-elected party, the Pakistan Movement for Justice (PTI), filed two separate petition in the supreme court, challenging the National Assembly speaker dr. Fehmida Mirza’s ruling to save Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani from disqualification. The petitioners pointed out that Article 184(3) of the Constitution stands to "disqualified in light of the apex court’s verdict and that he should be barred from performing further duties as the prime minister.".

On June 6 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 June 14 2012. On June 15, 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 Eighteenth Amendment as it had been drastically changed; 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 June 17, 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 April 26 2012. The Supreme Court in its standing orders, said that the "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 April 26, 2012.

 

 
 
 
 
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