Sardar Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari (born May 29, 1940) was President of Pakistan from November 14, 1993 until December 2, 1997. He was the first Balouch President of Pakistan.
Sardar Farooq Ahmed Khan Leghari was born in Choti Zareen, a village of Dera Ghazi Khan District, Punjab on May 29, 1940 during the British Raj. He comes from a political family that has been active in politics in this part of the world since the pre-colonial days. His father Sardar Muhammad Khan Leghari and grand father Nawab Sir Muhmammad Jamal Khan Leghari had both been ministers. Leghari is the major landowner who owns about 2500 acres of land.
After his initial schooling at Aitchison College, Lahore where he was the head boy and declared the Best Leaving Student of 1957. He graduated with honours from the Forman Christian College, Lahore, Punjab where again he was amongst the best students, he went on to study PPE at College Oxford University. After returning to Pakistan he joined the Civil Service and served for some time in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). On the death of his father he resigned from service and came back to his roots to look after the tribal affairs of his tribe.He is the head (Sardar) of the Leghari tribe.
Joining Pakistan Peoples Party
He joined the Pakistan Peoples Party, and was made leader of the party upon the imprisonment of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. He was put under house-arrest several times during the military regime of General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq.
President of Pakistan
In 1993, with the express support of the Pakistan Peoples Party he ran for the office of President and won the election against Wasim Sajjad.In November 1996, utilizing his powers under Article 58 2(b) of the Constitution of Pakistan, he dismissed the Peoples' Party Government of Benazir Bhutto on charges of corruption, lawlessness and extra judicial killings. Following the word of the Constitution of Pakistan he held elections for the National Assembly in 1997.The elections were won by the Pakistan Muslim League and Nawaz Sharif was elected Prime Minister. A decisive majority in the lower house of parliament led the Sharif Government to remove the controversial 8th amendment from the constitution of Pakistan. Leghari saw this as a threat to his power and conspired with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Sajjad Ali Shah, to sack the Sharif Government. This led to an uprising against him and Shah, forcing both to resign.
Formation of Millat Party and coalition with PML-Q
Instead of retiring from politics, he went on to create his own political party, the Millat Party, which entered into a coalition of seven parties, known as National Alliance, to participate in the general elections of 2002. The National Alliance, emerged as the 3rd largest group in the parliament and won 13 seats in the National Assembly. He entered in a coalition with the majority party to form the government, and his son Awais Leghari was made a federal minister for Telecom and IT, as a consequence, and another of his deputies Yar Mohammad Rind also was inducted in the Federal cabinet. Later Mohammad Ali Durrani and his niece Sumaira Malik from his party were inducted into the Federal Cabinet.
Part of ruling PML-Q
With National Alliance being merged with ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Q) in May 2004 to form united Pakistan Muslim League, Farooq Leghari also became the member of the newly constituted party, with his son Awais Leghari being one of its senior vice presidents.His elder son Jamal Leghari has recently been elected to the Senate of Pakistan. His daughter Faryal Leghari is an analyst and researcher in Security & Terrorism Studies at the Gulf Research Center in Dubai.