Muhammad Khan Junejo (August 18, 1932 – March 16, 1993)
was the tenth Prime Minister of Pakistan.
He was born
at Sindhri in Tharparkar of Sindh. He belongs
to Sindhi Muslim Rajput family of Junejo clan. Junejo
started his political career at the age of twenty one. In 1962, he was
elected as a Member of Provincial Assembly of West
Pakistan representing Sanghar. He was appointed Minister in the West Pakistan cabinet in July 1963 and held the
portfolios of Health, Basic Democracies and Local Government, Works,
Communications and Railways.
After partyless polls were held for the national and
provincial assemblies in 1985, Muhammad Khan Junejo was appointed Prime
Minister by General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq. To his credit, Junejo had stood
up to Zia on several issues during his term as prime minister, including the
issue of the signing of the Geneva Accords to end the fighting
in Soviet-occupied Afghanistan.
Prime Minister Junejo was famously known for driving
his Suzuki as Prime Minister. He advised the new Cabinet and the
Military to start using Pakistan-built Suzukis rather than foreign Imported
Mercedes. This reduced the budget expense and gained him admiration from the
General Zia ul-Haq did not want Pakistan to sign the Geneva Accords until
after the Soviet troops withdrew from Afghanistan but Junejo had
instructed his minister of state for foreign affairs to sign them anyway.
Zia was furious, but had bided his time before moving
against Junejo. That time came soon after the Ojhri Camp blasts of
April 1988. The Ojhri Camp ordinance depot in Rawalpindi was being used to supply
US-financed arms and ammunition to the Afghan mujahideen to fight the
Soviets. The government ordered an inquiry into the blasts. Junejo made a
statement in the National Assembly promising to place the findings of the
inquiry before the House. That was the last straw as far as Zia was concerned,
and Junejo was dismissed on May 29, 1988 by the President using discretionary
powers given under the 8th amendment. All Assemblies were immediately
dissolved, and mostly military cabinet members, most prominently Fazle
Haq and Rahimuddin Khan, were called to form an interim government.
Muhammad Khan Junejo was elected member of the National
Assembly in 1990 but died three years later of a serious illness
in 1993 and was buried in the village of Khan Sahab Din Muhammad
Junejo near Sindhri.