Today, March 16th, marks the death anniversary of former Pakistan Prime Minister Mohammad Khan Junejo who died on this date in 1993. It is not a date that is likely to be marked by much ceremony or rememberance.
Yet he was the Prime Minister of this country and some of his decisions helped shape some of the momentous twists and turns of our recent history. As Gen. Zia-ul-Haq’s chosen appointee, was never a person who held much ‘real’ power in the country. Yet, one could argue that he helped shape the calculus of power that was to follow his tumultuous tenure, including his eventual falling out with Gen. Zia-ul-Haq.
There are those who would argue that Mohammad Khan Junejo was yet one more puppet in hat has been one long putli tamasha. Others, however, would insist – with some admiration – that for all his faults he was an honorable man trying to seek an honorable path out of a dishonorable situation?
Which is it? Could it be both? Or, maybe, neither? What are we to make to Muhammad Khan Junejo? How should we remember him on this day?
P.S. Do watch the video above with some care. It is fascinating to see a much younger Aitizaz Ahsan analyzing the politics of the time. I also wonder who the young man who is standing behind then Prime Minister Junejo (at min. 5:04m on the video) might be? Is it, by any chance, a much younger (and now Prime Minister) Yousuf Raza Gillani? It well could be. Mr. Gillani was, after all, a member of the the Junejo (and, therefore, Zia) Cabinet – serving first as Minister of Housing and Works and later as Minister of Railways.
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