Muhammad Khan Junejo: How Should We Remember Him?

Posted on March 16, 2010
Filed Under >Adil Najam, History, People, Politics
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Adil Najam

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.

25 responses to “Muhammad Khan Junejo: How Should We Remember Him?”

  1. Iwill be always loving you,
    My all te good thinkings and good wishes with you today and always……….

  2. fuzair says:

    M. K. Junejo was a personally decent man who, given the limits of his power, tried to do the best job he could. He turned out to be anything but a doormat for Zia: appointing Aslam Beg as VCOAS (Zia wanted, IIRC, Zahid Ali Akbar), insisting on a proper inquiry into the Ojhri Camp blast (which would have implicated the ISI and probably Akhtar Abdur Rehman), etc.

    A far better man than any of the ‘elected’ PMs that followed him; far superior to the likes of Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto.

  3. Jamshed says:

    I still remember the horrors of Ojri Camp.No one who lived through that day can ever forget it.
    Did Junejo take a stand on Ojri Camp ? If he did,he redeemed himself.

  4. Mansoor Malik says:

    Wonderful video to remind us the contribution of Mr.Junejo in not only checkmating the ruthless dictator Gen Zia known as the Lota General amongst his peers but also giving space to the populist leadership of Ms Benazir Bhutto in re-establishing her footings in her beloved country, Pakistan after several years of her exile abroad. Mr. Gillani, the current Prime Minister, may have learnt a bit or two of decency in politics thru his brushing with Mr.Junejo.All in all, Mr Junejo’s contribution in establishing civilian control over khakis should be duly acknowledged.

  5. Qaiser Ali says:

    Junejo was really irrelevant to our history

    shareef or not, nothing wold have been different had it been someone else

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