Mr. Makhdoom Yousuf Raza Gilani is the former prime minister of Pakistan. He was the 26th Prime Minister of Pakistan. He was previously Speaker of the National Assembly (1993-1997) and a Federal Minister (1985-1986, 1989-1990). Mr. Gilani is Vice-Chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).
He was nominated as Prime Minister by the PPP, with the support of its coalition partners, Pakistan Muslim League (N), Awami National Party, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement, on 22 March 2008. He took the oath of office from the then President, Pervez Musharraf on 25 March 2008. Gilani is the first elected Prime Minister of Pakistan from the Saraiki-speaking belt
Gilani was born in Karachi. 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. Gilani is married and has four sons, one daughter, and one grandson. His eldest son, Syed Makhdoom Abdul Qadir Gilani, started his own political career from Multan, and in 2008 he married the granddaughter of Pir Pagara, an influential political figure of Sindh. His three other sons — Ali Qasim, Ali Musa and Ali Haider are currently studying abroad. His daughter is named Fiza.
Gilani holds a Master’s degree in journalism from the Punjab University. Born on June 9, 1952 in Karachi, Makhdoom Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani studied at Forman Christian College in Lahore and La Salle High School, Multan.
Gilani began his long political career in 1978 when he won the local bodies election held by the than president Zia-ul-Haq.
In 1983 he defeated Fakhar Imam. who was also minister for local bodies in Zia-ul-Haq’s government, and became chairman of Local bodies Multan after the defeat the Minister also resigned from his minister-ship. In 1985 non party elections Yousuf Raza Gilani he won and became member of General Zia-ul-Haq’s Pakistan Muslim league he took over the charges of Ministry of Housing and Ministry of Railways in Junejo’s government.
Just few days before the suspension of Junejo Government Yousuf Raza Gilani left the government and went to Shaheed Banazir Bhutto and requested membership in Pakistan Peoples Party.
Later When Ziaul-Haq Died in plane crash and Banazir Bhutto became the prime minister she made Yousuf raza Gilani as Minister of Tourism from March 1989 to January 1990 and later as Minister of Housing and Works from January to August 1990.
In 1993 he won the elections and became the Speaker National Assembly while keeping his party affiliation as vice chairman PPP during this time he became angry with the interior ministry which created some differences between him and Prime minister Banazir Bhutto but it not taken seriously and he still remained part of PPP.
Mr. Yousuf Raza Gilani had been with PPP for a long time and after his affiliation he had not left the party according to him General Pervez Musharraf tried to agree him to leave PPP but when he refused General Musharraf formed a case against him that he had appointed 600 people from Multan by misusing his powers as speaker National Assembly.
Mr. Yousaf Raza Gilani remained in the Adiala Jail for 5 years before being the prime minister after the 2007 Elections. In interviews, he recalls the time served in jail as a learning experience, where he got chance to reflect on his life and hone his ability to take firm decisions.
A well-read and soft-spoken Gillani is known as a good administrator with a firm decision-making capability.
He could not contest the 2002 elections for being in jail. He was released from Adiala jail on October 7, 2006. He also wrote a book Chah-e-Yousuf se Sada! (Cry from the Yusuf’s Well) while in jail.
His entry into politics was from the platform of Muslim League during General Zia-ul-Haq’s martial law in 1978 and was inducted in to party’s Central Working Committee.
During the government of Prime Minister Muhammad Khan Junejo, Gilani served as Minister of Housing and Works from April 1985 to January 1986 and Railways Minister from January 1986 to December 1986.
First public speech as Prime MinisterOn July 19, 2008 at 11:06pm (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 down-slide and, above all, inflation and unemployment in the country.
2008 assassination attempt Gilani escaped an assassination attempt on September 3, 2008 ,when unidentified gunmen fired shots at his motorcade near the garrison city of Rawalpindi, officials said. The shooting occurred shortly after Gilani 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 Gilani 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 Gilani’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 December 27 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 two bullets in an attack near Islamabad on September 3, 2008; Bashir said that Gillani was unharmed. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.
Visit to Turkey
Following image was taken after receiving the medal of Democracy from Turkish prime minister Abdullah Gul, both first ladies are also standing.