1940-2010: Sardar Farooq Leghari Passes Away

Posted on October 19, 2010
Filed Under >Adil Najam, People, Politics
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Adil Najam

Former President of Pakistan, Sardar Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari died in the early hours of Wednesday at the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology in Rawalpindi. He was 70 and a heart patient for some time.

Like Ghulam Ishaq Khan before him (here and here), had the Presidency ‘thrust’ upon him by circumstance and political machinations of others; however, his use of Presidential powers while in office left a deep and lasting impact on Pakistan politics. Impacts that Pakistan is still reeling from.

A one time civil servant, schooled at Aitchison College, Forman Christian College, Punjab University and Oxford University, Mr. Leghari was a Baluch Sardar and reportedly a major land owner with 10 square kilometers of land ownership.

Once a PPP stalwart and close confidant of Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, he would later turn against her and prove instrumental in her eventual fall from power. In fact, it was that closeness that elevated him to the Presidency in 1993 as he was considered loyal, dependable and reliable. In the end he proved to be anything but that for Ms. Bhutto and became a central actor in her removal from office as he removed his own party’s government under Article 58 2(b) on charges of corruption, lawlessness and extra judicial killings.

Here is a recent interview with Mr. Leghari:

Later he was himself forced to resign when Nawaz Sharif was Prime Minister. Later still he formed the Millat party, which eventually formed an alliance with PML-Q during Gen. Musharraf’s rule, during which his son Awais Leghari was a high profile Minister. Others from his close circle – including Mahmud Durrani and Sumaira Malik – were also key players in Gen. Musharraf’s government.

21 Comments on “1940-2010: Sardar Farooq Leghari Passes Away”

  1. Obaid says:
    October 19th, 2010 9:04 pm

    He may not have been a bad man, but what he did led to so many bad things. Both he and Ghulam Ishaq Khan are as much to blame as any for the mess we are in.

  2. Taimur says:
    October 19th, 2010 9:51 pm

    Sad to hear this, even though I was never a fan of his.

  3. Riaz Amjad says:
    October 19th, 2010 10:26 pm

    Let us not speak ill of the dead.

    I really think he did what he did out of conviction not malice

  4. M Khalil says:
    October 20th, 2010 12:10 am

    I wish he had resigned instead of succumbing to the establishment’s pressure to dismiss his party’s government.
    He never looked comfortable in PML having spent the major part of his political career in PPP.

  5. Rashid Ali says:
    October 20th, 2010 1:53 am

    Leghari was not the only one who had negative impact on Pakistani politics and national development. Many leaders from Auyb Khan onwards, who had abosolute power to dissolve parliment, left some positive but more negative impact on Pakistan that Pakistanis are still suffering. Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan, Z.A Bhutto, Zia ul Haq, Ishaq Khan, Leghari, Musharraf all among such leaders. Historians will have a hell of a job to determine which one of these leaders had most negative impact. Current crop of political leaders, who may not have absolute power to dissolve parliment, do have their fair share of on going negative impact.

  6. Gifts Pakistan says:
    October 20th, 2010 10:52 am

    Farooq Leghari was a great politician. I also belonged to his home city, D.G. Khan.

  7. khobar says:
    October 20th, 2010 11:06 am

    May Allah rest his soul in peace

    He was responsible for packing a government without which he was nothing. The repercussion of his action against BB resulted into the turbulent times for his party PPP.

  8. HarOON says:
    October 20th, 2010 12:00 pm

    I wonder what Leghari would do if he were President today? And what would we WANT him to do?

  9. October 20th, 2010 12:19 pm

    Some comments from the ATP Facebook Page:

    - “Inna Lillahe va inna aleihei rajiuoon”
    - “Al-fatiha”
    - “May his soul rest in eternal peace! A Good Man”
    - “Inna Lillahe va inna aleihei rajiuoon.
    May his soul rest in eternal peace”
    - “Inna Lillahe va inna aleihei rajiuoon”
    - “prayers sent to his family♥”
    - “INALAHE WA INALHE RAJIOON..may ALLah rest his soul”
    - “Inallahe wa inalhe rajioon.”
    - “He is in a better place no pain warmth love peace♥”
    - “ohh so sad”
    - “Allah may his soul in rest Ameen”
    - “A good human may his soul rest in peace…”
    - “He was very talented, a good human may his soul rest in peace ameen”
    - “may his soul rest in peace..AMEEN”
    - “Allah jannat main Jaggah day “

  10. Expat says:
    October 20th, 2010 12:26 pm

    All said and done, he was a feudal lord. A feudal lord, who did nothing for his own people despite being high profile federal minister during BB firt govt. and President in her second govt. What can be easily said about DG Khan (his home town) is that this is one of the most backward areas of Pakistan. What a shame on the family of Lagharis taht they remained in power with BB as well as Musharraf but did nothing for their people.

    Shame on Legharis

  11. Humanoid says:
    October 20th, 2010 1:00 pm

    You are exactly right. All these feudal’s are ruling their lands cause of their self inflicted backwardness. They easily blame the “center” when people complain and get votes as a result as some one “fighting for their cause”. The same story goes for Bugti’s, Jamali’s, Mengal’s and Marri’s, they had been on the top tier in ruling circles yet were not able to do a thing for their people, yet easily blamed all on “Punjab” or “establishment”
    Go to Larkana, and see how backwards it is, Pakistan had 3 high profile PM’s and Presidents from there!
    I remembered when he kicked BB Govt (not her fan) his statement was “Mulk ke waseeeh tar mufaad ki khatir ” and when he created an “unholy” allainace with PML-Q he said the same “Mulk ke waseeeh tar mufaad ki khatir” and I bet his grand son will say the same in 205o while partying his way out of Millat party “Mulk ke waseeeh tar mufaad”

    I will still condole his death, but he should have done better!

  12. Politico says:
    October 20th, 2010 1:22 pm

    Am surprised how many people think he was a ‘good’ man… he may have been, but his political impacts on Pakistan have been all bad. May God forgive him for his sins: personal as well as political.

  13. Ghiasuddin says:
    October 20th, 2010 1:46 pm

    Except for that presidentil power, he would not be known today… and without his supposed loyalty to BB he woudl never have been President!

  14. Sarah says:
    October 20th, 2010 2:49 pm

    “Inna Lillahe va inna elayhey rajaeoon” and may his soul rest in peace. This is a difficult time for “any” family, whether the dead person was good or bad, right or wrong, right winger or left winger, muslim or non muslim…we must share and respect a loss of life rather than start a blame game and point fingers….unfortunately, we have lost the basics of Islam.

  15. Sadiq says:
    October 20th, 2010 7:39 pm

    Sad to hear the news.

  16. Umar Shah says:
    October 20th, 2010 8:45 pm

    Adil sahab while this is not the forum to condole with the bereaved family, I hope they can overcome this sad but inevitable fact of life. With all due respect few things to remember about Sardar Leghari and his role in Pakistani politics:
    -Although Oxford educated he did nothing for his hometown and people or contribute towards increasing their literacy rate (one of lowest in Pakistan)
    -The only possibly good thing he did for Pakistan was to get rid of PPP government for very legitimate reasons (corruption, lawlessness and extra judicial killings) which not surprisingly are the gift of the current and 4th PPP govt. as well.
    -Loyalty shouldn’t mean turning a blind eye and ignoring these evils. Therefore dismissal of Benazir govt. shouldn’t be held against him.
    -In Pakistan’s parliamentary democracy a President shouldn’t belong to a party so the argument that he ousted his own party’s govt. doesn’t hold.
    -He was after all a proponent of Sardari system and its evils therefore he is responsible for the moral bankruptcy and political morass in Pakistan today.
    -Assuming that Presidency was thrust upon him would be bordering on naiveté given that for a Sardar that’s one leg up in the power play of Pakistani politics.

  17. Yasir Hasan says:
    October 21st, 2010 9:01 am

    He is among those people who had the potential and provided with opportunity in life to change the condition of people of his area and his country. However he didn’t do either. He was satisfied with having his son and relatives as ministers. Typical Pakistani politician who comes into politics for their benefits. May Allah grant us politicians who are willing to make a difference (in positive manner of course..:-) )… May his soul rest in peace though…

  18. Pervaiz Munir Alvi says:
    October 22nd, 2010 10:59 am

    A Baloch Sardar is dead and he will be replaced by another Aitchison College and Oxford trained Sardar son or grandson of his. In time he too will rise to power and become MPA, MNA, Minister, Prime Minister and President. The family holdings will grow larger and larger and someday someone will report that Sardar so and so, owner of twenty-kilometer square land in DG Khan is dead. And folks will say ‘Ina Lilla…..’. The children of peasant-slaves at Sardar’s land will be still peasant-slaves and folks will be saying ‘Ina Lilla……..

  19. Adnan Ahmad says:
    October 22nd, 2010 1:49 pm

    PMA, Good to see you here. Your comment is poetic. Now we have to locate MQ. hum se bhi dilfaraib hein gham roazgaar key.

  20. Ammar Khan says:
    November 26th, 2011 11:36 pm

    All of u liars and fools have u not done your history. First of all, this man spent 25 years with zuulfiqar and benazir bhutto and he was loved and respected by them.But when Mr zardari came along,he polluted benazirs image and did corruption on her name.When Farooq got to knw about this,he asked benazir to put an end to this or he will take action and as she did not after several warnings he had no choice but to use article 58-2(b). Also, he was forced to resign by nawaz sharif as he did not accept his offer of firing the chief justice for pursuing cases against him so nawaz fired him. After which nawaz stormed the supreme court.

  21. Ammar Khan says:
    November 26th, 2011 11:45 pm

    Liars all of u are liars this man made every single road that exists in his home town along with every single school and every single islamic center.Come there and ill show u myself. Also when u are president, u cannot only see your area but all of Pakistan. Coming to the PML-Q thing, just take a look at what Awais Leghari did for the IT Ministry.He revolutionized the it sector by privatizing PTCL and laid out all optical fibre cables in Pakistan. Also, he was the one who created policies for the it ministry because of which mobile figures have increased dramitically. In 2002 there were 8 million users Now there are more than 100 million

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