President Pervez Musharraf
Pervez Musharraf was born in Delhi in August 1943. His family emigrated to Pakistan during the partition of the India.
He began his military career in 1964. When Pakistan came close to war with India over Kashmir in 1998, Gen Musharraf was regularly seen briefing the media and making appearances on state television.
President Musharraf seized power in a bloodless coup in 1999. He has reintroduced parliamentary government, but the National Assembly was paralysed for months as the opposition refused to recognise the constitutional changes he had pushed through.
President Musharraf has frequently set out his vision of a modern, tolerant, democratic, Islamic Pakistan.
His moment of reckoning came on September 11, 2001 when Washington realised that it needed Pakistan on its side if it was to defeat the Taleban in neighbouring Afghanistan. The 'dictator' (after he ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif) became 'a close ally' of Washington and London.
In July 2001, Gen Musharraf held his first summit meeting with then Indian prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee at Agra. The summit, heralded as a watershed in Kashmir crisis, turned out to be a fiasco.
Recently, the Parliament empowered him through a bill to retain the twin posts he had said he would shed. In fact, in December 2003, in order to end the stand-off with the hard line Islamists, Gen Musharraf said he would step down as military head of the country by January 2005 and give up some of the powers he assumed after the coup.
Pakistan's Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, who is married with three children, was born and brought up in the southern city of Karachi, Pakistan's commercial capital.
A former private banker, credited with recent reforms of his country's economy, Mr Aziz, 55, joined the government of General Musharraf shortly after the Army chief's 1999 military coup.
The former Citibank executive was President Pervez Musharraf's choice for the top post. He replaced ailing Pakistan Muslim League leader, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, who was in temporary charge. Under his tenure, an economy, then in recession, now reports growth of 6.4 per cent a year. It was while campaigning for the by-elections that he survived an apparent assassination attempt on July 30 in Punjab province. His driver and eight others died in the suicide bomb attack.
PAST AND PRESENT LEADERS OF EMINENCE
Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah
Leader of the Nation Pakistan, one of the biggest Muslim states, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah united the Indian Muslims under the Muslim League banner and carved out a homeland for them.
Muhammad Ali Jinnah was born at Karachi on December 25, 1876. His father, Jinnah Poonja, belonged to a prosperous business community, Isma'ili Khojas of Kathiawar.
Muhammad Ali received his early education at the Sind Madrassa and later at the Mission School, Karachi. He went to England for further studies in 1892 at the age of 16. In 1896, Jinnah qualified for the Bar and in 1897 was called to the Bar.
Muhammad Ali Jinnah started his political career in 1906, when he attended the Calcutta session of the All-India National Congress as the private secretary of the president of the Congress.
Later in 1910, when he was elected to the Imperial Legislative Council, he sponsored the Waqf Validating Bill, which brought him in closer touch with the Muslim leaders. In March 1913, Jinnah joined the All-India Muslim League.
In 1917, the annual sessions of both the Congress and the League were held at Lucknow. At the League session, presided over by Muhammad Ali Jinnah, a joint scheme of reforms was adopted both by the Muslim League and the Congress, known as the Lucknow Pact.
On April 19, 1918, Jinnah married Ruttenbai. Their only daughter Dina was born a year later. In 1919, Jinnah resigned his membership of the Imperial Legislative Council as a protest against the "Rowlatt Act".
In December 1928, when the National Convention, called to consider the Nehru Report, turned down the amendment moved by Jinnah, he finally parted ways with the Congress.
In 1929, Jinnah gave his famous Fourteen Points. In 1934, he was elected as the permanent president of the Muslim League, which he reorganised on his return from England.
Muslim League held its annual session at Lahore in March 1940, which was presided over by Quaid-i-Azam. Here the demand for Pakistan was formally put forward, which was realised on August 14, 1947, with Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah as its first Governor General.
The establishment of Pakistan brought great responsibilities for Jinnah. The refugee problem and Kashmir were a real test for the Quaid. He established an independent currency and a state bank for Pakistan.
He selected Karachi as the federal capital. On September 11, 1948, he died after a protracted illness at Karachi. He was buried in Karachi amidst the entire nation mourning over an unpayable loss.
Liaquat Ali Khan, the first Prime Minister of Pakistan
Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan, the second son of Nawab Rustam Ali Khan, was born on October 1, 1896 in a well-to-do Kiani family of Karnal, India. In 1921, he obtained a degree in Law from Oxford and was called to Bar at Inner Temple in 1922.
On his return from England in 1923 Liaquat decided to enter politics. Liaquat Ali started his parliamentary career from the UP Legislative Assembly in 1926 as an independent candidate.
After independence, Quaid-i-Azam and Muslim League had no better option than Liaquat to be appointed at the head of Pakistani government. His efforts in signing Liaquat-Nehru pact on minorities in 1950 reduced tension between India and Pakistan.
On October 16, 1951, when Liaquat was expected to make some important announcement in a public meeting at Municipal Park, Rawalpindi, he was assassinated by Saad Akbar.
Liaquat Ali Khan was officially given the title of Shaheed-i-Millat but the question of who was behind his murder, is yet to be answered.
Sir Syed Ahmad Khan
Sir SyedAhmad Khan, an educational, political and religious reformer was the major formulator of the concept of the "Two-Nation Theory" among Muslims of India in the latter half of the 19th century.
During the 1860s, Syed Ahmad became an active public leader, journalist and orator as well as the founder of a series of schools and associations - all aimed at a cultural renaissance and a moral and social regeneration through adherence to the real Islamic values and reawakening the Muslims to modern thinking and education. On March 27, 1898, Sir Syed passed away.
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was born on January 5, 1928. He was the only son of Sir Shah Nawaz Bhutto.
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto completed his early education from Bombay's Cathedral High School. In 1947, he joined University of Southern California (USC), and later joined University of California at Berkeley in June 1949.
After completing his degree with honors in political science at Berkeley in June 1950, he was admitted to Oxford.
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto married Nusrat Isphahani on September 8, 1951. He was called to bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1953 and in the same year his first child, Benazir Bhutto was born on June 21. On his return to Pakistan, Bhutto started practicing law at Dingomal's.
In 1958, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto joined President Mirza's cabinet as Commerce minister. After Ayub Khan took over, Bhutto joined the cabinet as the youngest member. In 1963, he took over as Foreign Minister from Muhammad Ali Bogra.
His first major achievement was to conclude Sino-Pakistan boundary agreement on March 2, 1963.
In mid 1964, Bhutto helped convince Ayub of the wisdom of establishing closer economic and diplomatic links with Turkey and Iran.
The trio formed RCD later on. In June 1966, Bhutto left Ayub's cabinet over differences concerning Tashkent agreement.
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto launched Pakistan People's Party (PPP) after leaving the cabinet of Ayub Khan.
In the general elections held in December 1970, PPP won a large majority in West Pakistan but, but failed to reach an agreement with Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rehman, the majority winner from East Pakistan.
Following the 1971 war and the separation of East Pakistan, Yahya Khan resigned and Bhutto took over as President and Chief Martial Law Administrator on December 20, 1971.
On July 2, 1972, he signed Simla Agreement with India which paved way for the return of occupied lands and Pakistani POWs captured in East Pakistan in the 1971 war.
After the National Assembly passed the 1973 constitution, Bhutto was sworn-in as the Prime Minister of the country.
Following a political crisis in the country, Bhutto was imprisoned by General Zia-ul-Haq who imposed Martial Law on July 5, 1977.
On April 4, 1979, the former Prime Minister was hanged, after the Supreme Court upheld the death sentence passed by the Lahore High Court.
The High Court had given him death sentence in the case of murder of the father of a dissident PPP politician. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was buried in his ancestral village, at Garhi Khuda Baksh next to his father's grave.
Benazir Bhutto, the eldest child of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was born on June 21, 1953 in Karachi. In June 1973 Benazir graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Political Science.
She then joined Oxford University in the fall of 1973. Benazir Bhutto returned to Pakistan in June 1977. In July 1977, General Zia-ul-Haq imposed Martial Law.
During the Martial Law, Benazir spent almost five years in detention at various jails and ten months in solitary confinement.
She was allowed to proceed abroad on medical grounds in January 1984 after spending nearly six and half years in jail. She went into exile in England for two years.
On her return on April 10, 1986, she was welcomed everywhere in Pakistan. She kept a close touch with the Movement for Restoration of Democracy (MRD). On December 18, 1987, Benazir married Asif Ali Zardari at Karachi.
Meanwhile, Gulam Ishaque Khan took over as acting President after the death of General Zia, who died on 17th August 1988 in an air crash at Bahawalpur.
After a Supreme Court verdict in favour of the political parties, her PPP, without forming an alliance with any party, was able to win 94 out of the 207 seats in the National Assembly.
Benazir Bhutto was nominated as the Prime Minister on December 1, 1988 and Gulam Ishaq Khan was nominated the President of Pakistan.
Benazir Bhutto became the youngest Prime Minister at the age of thirty-five and the first Muslim woman to lead a Muslim nation in modern times.
Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif
Muhammad Nawaz Sharif was born in Lahore, on December 25, 1949. He is the eldest son of Muhammad Sharif, a joint owner of Ittefaq Group of Industries.
On May 31, 1988, he was appointed caretaker Chief Minister, after the dismissal of assemblies by General Zia. Nawaz Sharif was again elected as Chief Minister after the 1988 general elections. A massive uplift of Murree and Kahuta was done during his term as Chief Minister Punjab.
On November 6, 1990, Nawaz Sharif was sworn in as the Prime Minister of the country, after his alliance, IJI won the October 24, 1990 elections.
However, Nawaz Sharif could not complete his term of five years, and was dismissed by the President in April 1993. He was reinstated by the superior judiciary, but had to resign along with the President in July 1993.
Pakistan Muslim League again won the elections held in February 1997, and Mian Nawaz Sharif was re-elected as Prime Minister with an overwhelming majority.
After a series of constituitonal amendments, on October 12, 1999, the civilian government, headed by Mr. Sharif, was overthrown by a military coup.
The Kargil controversy, corruption charges, and the 'Plane Conspiracy' case are considered to be the main reasons for his ouster. After an extensive trial, Mr. Nawaz Sharif was charged and found guilty in the 'Plane Conspiracy' case.
On request of the Saudi Royal Family, the government of Pakistan exiled him to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where he now lives with his close family. Several cases of corruption against him are still pending decision in local courts.
Field Marshall Muhammad Ayub Khan
Muhammad Ayub Khan was born on May 14, 1907 in a village Rehana near Hripur, Hazara. Before appearing in the B.A. examination he was selected for Royal Military College in Sandhurst and he sailed for England in 1926.
After the completion of training, he got commissioned in the Indian Army in 1928. He fought at different fronts during the Second World War.
At the time of independence, Ayub Khan opted to join Pakistan Army. In 1951, he was raised to the status of a four star General and was appointed as the first local Commander in Chief of Pakistan Army.
First time Army was directly involved in the active politics of the country when Ayub Khan, the serving Commander in Chief, was inducted in federal cabinet led by Muhammad Ali Bogra in 1954 and was given the portfolio of Defence.
On October 7, 1958, Iskander Mirza with the help of Ayub Khan enforced first Martial Law in Pakistan and designated Ayub Khan as the Chief Martial Law Administrator.
Later, Ayub Khan snatched away all the powers of Iskander Mirza and assumed the charge as the President of Pakistan in addition to his role as Chief Martial Law Administrator. Later on he gave himself the rank of Field Marshall.
On June 8, 1962 Marshal law was lifted from Pakistan and the new Constitution was introduced.
Presidential elections were held in 1965. Combined Opposition Party nominated Fatima Jinnah as their candidate in the election but Ayub Khan managed to sweep the polls. Ayub Khan's era is known for the industrialization in the country.
Every thing was moving in the right direction for Ayub Khan till the start of Indo-Pakistan War of 1965.
Apparently the performance of Pakistani Army was good but the war resulted in the rapid decline of the country's economy. His critics also criticized his role at Tashkent Declaration.
By the end of 1968 the public resentment against the Ayub's regime touched the boiling point and anti Ayub movement was launched by urban middle class including students, teachers, lawyers, doctors, engineers etc.
Law and order broke down and Ayub was left with no other option but to step down. On March 25, 1969 he resigned and handed over the power to Commander in Chief of Pakistan Army, General Muhammad Yahya Khan.
General Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan
General Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan was born at Chakwal in February 1917. His father, Saadat Ali Khan, was actually from Peshawar.
He was appointed Commander-in-Chief of Pakistan Army in 1966 with the rank of General. In 1969, the president decided to hand over power to the Army Chief, General Yahya Khan.
Yahya Khan immediately after getting powers declared Martial Law in the country on March 25, 1969 and assumed the title of Chief Martial Law Administrator.
He terminated the Constitution and dissolved National and Provincial Assemblies and Governments. On March 31, he also became president of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
It goes to the credit of Yahya Khan that the first general elections in the history of Pakistan were held during his regime during December 1970.
After Bhutto and Mujeeb failed to reach an understanding about convening a session of the newly elected National Assembly, Yahya Khan used Army and paramilitary forces in East Pakistan to crush the political agitation.
This resulted in the beginning of the War between Pakistan and India in the winter of 1971.
Surrender of Pakistani forces without giving any resistance and the fall of Dacca made Yahya Khan the greatest villain in the country. He was left with no other option but to hand over the power to the leader of the most popular party of the remaining part of Pakistan, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, on December 20 1971. Later Bhutto placed Yahya Khan under house arrest in 1972.
General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq
Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq enforced Marshal Law for the third time in Pakistan. Second child and the eldest son of Muhammad Akram, a teacher in the Army, Zia-ul-Haq was born on August 12, 1924 at Jalundhar.
He did his B.A. Honors from St. Stephen College, Delhi. He was commissioned in the British Army in 1943 and served in Burma, Malaya and Indonesia during the Second World. At the time of Independence, Zia-ul-Haq opted to join Pakistan Army.
On April 1 1976, the then Prime Minister of Pakistan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, appointed Zia-ul-Haq as the Chief of the Army Staff. On July 5, 1977, he carried out a bloodless coup overthrowing Bhutto's government and enforced Marshal Law in the country.
After assuming power as Chief Martial Law Administrator, Zia-ul-Haq promised to hold National and Provincial Assembly elections in the next 90 days and to hand over power to the representatives of the nation. Later, he changed his plans.
With the retirement of Fazl Ellahi, Zia-ul-Haq also assumed the office of President of Pakistan on September 16, 1978. A referendum in December 1985 led to his election as president for the next five years.
He nominated Muhammad Khan Junejo as the Prime Minister and made certain amendments in the Constitution and got them endorsed from the Parliament before lifting the sate of emergency in the country.