Muhammad Junejo

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Mohammad Khan Junejo
محمد خان جونیجو
Junejo as the prime minister of Pakistan in 1986
10th Prime Minister of Pakistan
In office
24 March 1985 – 29 May 1988
PresidentMuhammad Zia-ul-Haq
Preceded byZulfikar Ali Bhutto (1977)
Succeeded byBenazir Bhutto
Minister of Defence
In office
24 March 1985 – 29 May 1988
Minister of Interior
In office
15 April 1985 – 21 May 1985
Preceded byLt.Gen F.S. Khan Lodhi
Succeeded byAslam Khan
Minister of Railways
In office
5 July 1978 – 23 April 1979
Preceded byN. A. Qureshi
Succeeded byMajor-General Jamal Said Khan
In office
PresidentAyub Khan
Preceded byF.M. Khan
Succeeded byAdmiral S.M. Ahsan
Minister of Health, Communications and Labour
In office
President of Pakistan Muslim League
In office
23 March 1985 – 29 May 1988
Preceded byChaudhry Zahoor Elahi
Succeeded byPir Pagara
Personal details
Mohammad Khan Junejo

(1932-08-18)18 August 1932
Sindhri, Sind Division, Bombay Presidency, British India (Now, Sindh, Pakistan)
Died18 March 1993(1993-03-18) (aged 60)
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Cause of deathLeukemia
Resting placeSindhri in Mirpur Khas District, Sindh, Pakistan
Citizenship Pakistan
Political partyPakistan Muslim League
Other political
Pakistan Muslim League (J)
SpouseBegum Junejo
ChildrenAsad Junejo (son)
Alma materSt. Patrick's College
Plumpton College, United Kingdom

Muhammad Khan Junejo[a] (18 August 1932–18 March 1993) was a Pakistani politician and statesman who served as the tenth prime minister of Pakistan from 1985 to 1988 under president Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq.[1]

Junejo was an influential landowner and involved in the agricultural industry. He was educated in Karachi, where he attended the St. Patrick's College, and was trained as an agriculturist at Agricultural Institute near Hastings in the United Kingdom. He gained public notice when he joined the Ayub administration and subsequently held cabinet portfolio of railways, health, communications and labour from 1963–69.[2]

After participating in the 1985 elections, he was chosen to form the government on Pakistan Muslim League's platform, of which, he took over the party's presidency. His government was noted for its support of conservatism, austerity measures that reduced the government budget deficit, and repealing of the emergency laws which allowed the freedom of press and media in the country.[3] Despite strong resistance and fierce opposition from President Zia-ul-Haq, Junejo authorized his Foreign Minister Yakob Khan to sign and ratify the Geneva Accords in 1988. His relations with President Zia-ul-Haq further soured when he opened a parliamentary inquiry on the Ojhri Camp disaster in 1988.[4][5]

On 29 May 1988, Prime Minister Junejo was dismissed by President Zia who leveled charges on incompetency and economic stagflation and immediately called for new general elections. After the general elections held in 1988, he led his own faction while holding ceremonial party's presidency.[6]

Early life and education[edit]

Mohammad Khan Junejo belonged to a Sindhi Rajput Family.[7] He was born in Sindhri Tharparker in Mirpur Khas District, Sind, British India on 18 August 1932.[8][9] He hailed from an influential agriculturalist (Haji Alisher Shah) feudalist family in Sind that had a traditional conservative mindset.[10]

He was educated at the St. Patrick's High School in Karachi and later graduated from the St. Patrick's College.[11] He went to Hastings in England where he was trained as an agriculturist and earned a diploma to be certified in 1954.[12]

Junejo was an agriculturist and a farmer who cultivated the famed mangoes (the Sindhri) in his local village in the Mirpur Khas.[13] Junejo was a conservative Muslim and a dominant figure in his village, who had his wife living in the village for her entire life, and kept her out of public sight even when he was elected as Prime Minister and eventually moved to Prime Minister's Secretariat. Nothing or very little was known about his wife as he often traveled and visited other states with his elder daughter; he was married with five children.[14]

His public image was popular in politics for his driving of blue coloured Suzuki Mehran and, he popularly drove the Mehran in Islamabad despite the annoyance of President Zia who had a strong preference for Mercedes-Benz W126.[15]

Political career[edit]

Upon returning from the United Kingdom in 1954, he joined the Pakistan Muslim League (PML) and was elected as Mayor for Sanghar District and worked as a party worker for the Muslim League until 1963. He participated in elections and was elected for West-Pakistan legislative assembly and soon he joined the Ayub administration and subsequently held cabinet department of Health, Communications and Labour until 1965.[11]

He again successfully participated in the presidential elections in 1965, and was elevated as the Minister of Railways under the Ayub administration which he served until 1969.[12] From 1970–77, he was unable to defend his constituency from Sanghar but became closer to religious leader Pir Pagara, of which he later became his political missionary.[16]

In 1977, he was named as a caretaker cabinet minister when General Zia-ul-Haq, the chief of army staff, took over the civilian government led by Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. From 1977–79, he served as the Railway minister but later resigned in 1979.[17][18]

Prime Minister of Pakistan[edit]

In January 1985, President Zia-ul-Haq announced to hold nationwide general elections that would be based on non-partisanism– there have been political rumors that the U.S. President Ronald Reagan had a subsequent political role in such regards.[19]

Junejo was successful in defending his constituency from the Sanghar District and was known to be a religiopolitical missionary of Pir Pagara who had been leading his own political faction in Sindh. President Zia considered three names for the appointment of the Prime Minister that included: Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi, Liaquat Ali Jatoi and Junejo– all were from Sindh.[20] After consulting with Pir Pagara, President Zia hand-picked and appointed Junejo as Prime Minister through an invitation to form the civilian government in accordance to the revival of constitution.[21]

His mindset reflected a conservatism and was a powerful feudalist whom President Zia considered him to be ineffective in leading towards the decision-making processes.[22][23] and after securing votes in the Parliament through the Vote of Confidence (VoC), he met with President Zia and reportedly asking him about the ending of the martial law.[24]

The martial law was eventually lifted on his repeated instances and announced his cabinet which saw the ouster of many of President Zia's military members in the civilian cabinet. He kept two ministerial departments of defence and interior.

Prime Minister Junejo's social policies led to the political independence when he was appointed as the President of Pakistan Muslim League.[25] His policy also included the freedom of the press despite the opposition he faced with President Zia in this issue.[3] He gained popularity and significance for his daring stance and disagreement with President Zia over many issues that President Zia had been managing since his control over the government since 1977.[9]

On the economic front, he took the austerity measures and ultimately halted the Islamization of Economy ran under President Zia, which eventually put him at odds with President Zia.[26]

Political conflict with General Zia[edit]

In 1986–87, his political relations with President Zia began to deteriorate over the control over the foreign policy and boldly authorized his Foreign Minister Yakob Ali Khan to ratify the Geneva Accords that allowed the Russian retreat from Afghanistan.[27] In this regard, he had held a party conference that he invited the Communist Party and Pakistan Peoples Party to discuss to end the bloodshed in Afghanistan.[28] In 1987, he provided his political support and eventually used his prerogative to appoint Lieutenant-General Mirza Aslam Beg as vice-army chief, despite President Zia wanting Lieutenant-General Zahid Ali Akbar who was sent to DESTO.[29]

Prime Minister Junejo also stalled the fundamentalist legislation in an attempt to keep leverage on President Zia.[30] Following the massive explosion near the hidden Ojhri camp facility in Rawalpindi Cantonment that resulted in more than 100 lives lost, Prime Minister Junejo announced to call for a parliamentary inquiry to overlook the incident.[31][32]

On 28 May 1988, DG ISPR Brigadier Siddique Salik informed Prime Minister Junejo of President Zia holding the press conference the next day in this regards, terming it "very important." On 29 May 1988, President Zia appeared on PTV News and surprisingly announced to have dissolved the Parliament, using the Eighth Amendment.[33] Many investigative newspapers and political gossips pointed that it was the inquiry report on the "Ojhri Camp disaster" that implicated the military members in Zia's administration despite President Zia claiming of Junejo's Government had been dismissed because the law and order situation had broken down to an alarming extent and the government could not be run in accordance with the Constitution.[34][35]

During the general elections held in 1988, he was unsuccessful for defending his constituency but was elected for the National Assembly general elections held in 1990 and remained head of the PML.[9]

Later life and death[edit]

In 1993, he was diagnosed with leukemia and went to the United States for the treatment where he was treated at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, United States, where he died the same year.[12] He was brought and buried in his locality.[3]

His widow, Begum Junejo, died in Karachi on July 13, 2003, at the age of 60.[36]

Further reading[edit]

  • Singh, Ramindar (June 15, 1988). "Our conscience is clear: Pakistan PM Junejo - Interview". India Today.


  1. ^ Urdu: محمد خان جونیجو; Sindhi: محمد خان جوڻيجو


  1. ^ "New Straits Times - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved 2020-10-22.
  2. ^ Kadri, Syed Shameem Hussain (1990). Judges and Politics: Ghulam Mohammad to Ghulam Ishaq. Jang Publishers.
  3. ^ a b c Khalid, Hanif. "muhammad-khan-junejo". Gallery. Archived from the original on 31 July 2017. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  4. ^ Iqbal, Syed Jawaid (1988). Third World International. S. J. Iqbal. pp. 11–48.
  5. ^ Malik, Anas (2010-10-22). Political Survival in Pakistan: Beyond Ideology. Routledge. p. 98. ISBN 978-1-136-90419-6.
  6. ^ From SARC to SAARC: 1983-1989. South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation. 1988. p. 14.
  7. ^ Staff, Books Group (2010). Junejo Rajputs: Muhammad Khan Junejo, Jan Muhammad Junejo, Jam Sadiq Ali, Chakar Ali Khan Junejo. General Books LLC. ISBN 978-1-158-28465-8.
  8. ^ The Annual Obituary. St. Martin's. 1993. p. 241. ISBN 978-1-55862-320-0.
  9. ^ a b c "Muhammad Khan Junejo | Former Prime Minister of Pakistan and President of Pakistan Muslim League". Story Of Pakistan. Story Of Pakistan (biography). 1 June 2003. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  10. ^ Iqbal, Syed Jawaid (1988). Third World International. S. J. Iqbal. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  11. ^ a b Khan, Mohammad. "Muhammad Khan Junejo| Biography | Muhammad Khan Junejo biography". Urdu Biography. Archived from the original on 23 July 2017. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  12. ^ a b c Ahmed Rashid (19 March 1993). "Obituary: Muhammad Khan Junejo". Retrieved 4 May 2013.
  13. ^ Lamb, Christina (1991). Waiting for Allah: Pakistan's Struggle for Democracy. Viking. p. 42. ISBN 9780241130551.
  14. ^ Jūnejo, Muḥammad K̲h̲ān (1986). Prime Minister of Pakistan Mohammad Khan Junejo: Mar. 24-June 30, 1985. Directorate of Films & Publications, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of Pakistan.
  15. ^ Hanif 2012, p. 85.
  16. ^ Foreign Affairs Pakistan. Pakistan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 1986. p. 22.
  17. ^ "Obituary: Muhammad Khan Junejo". The Independent. 1993-03-19. Retrieved 2020-10-22.
  18. ^ Directorate 2012, p. 11.
  19. ^ The Political Parties of Pakistan. Royal Book Company. 2002. p. 47. ISBN 978-969-407-277-7.
  20. ^ Pakistan (1986). Mian Muhammad Yasin Khan Wattoo Finance Minister's Urdu Budget Speech 1986-87. pp. 86–87.
  21. ^ Lyons 2008, pp. 93.
  22. ^ May, Ronald James; Selochan, Viberto (2004). "Pakistan: The Civil-military relations in Praetorian state" (googlebooks). The Military and Democracy in Asia and the Pacific. ANU E Press. pp. 97–98. ISBN 9781920942007. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  23. ^ Haqqani, Husain (2015). Magnificent Delusions: Pakistan, the United States, and an Epic History of Misunderstanding. PublicAffairs. p. 268. ISBN 9781610394734. Retrieved 31 July 2017.[permanent dead link]
  24. ^ Anwar 2012, p. 27.
  25. ^ Lyon 2008, pp. 120.
  26. ^ Pakistan (1979). White Paper on the Performance of the Bhutto Regime. Government of Pakistan.
  27. ^ Lyon, Peter (2008). Conflict Between India and Pakistan: An Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1-57607-712-2.
  28. ^ Garfinkle, Adam; Pipes, Daniel (1991-10-31). Friendly Tyrants: An American Dilemma. Springer. p. 504. ISBN 978-1-349-21676-5.
  29. ^ Kiessling, Hein (2016). "Domestic Politics" (google books). Faith, Unity, Discipline: The Inter-Service-Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan. London U.K.: Oxford University Press. p. 320. ISBN 9781849045179. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  30. ^ Garfinkle, Adam; Pipes, Daniel (1991). "Pakistan and the United States" (google books). Friendly Tyrants: An American Dilemma. U.S.: Springer. pp. 504–508. ISBN 9781349216765. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  31. ^ Blood, Peter R. (1996). Pakistan: A Country Study. DIANE Publishing. p. 225. ISBN 978-0-7881-3631-3.
  32. ^ Directorate 2012, p. 8.
  33. ^ Kamal Siddiqi (14 April 1998). "Ojhri disaster saw the end of Junejo govt: Report". Indian Express. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
  34. ^ "Muhammad Khan Junejo Becomes Prime Minister". Story Of Pakistan. Muhammad Khan Junejo Becomes Prime Minister. 1 June 2003. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  35. ^ Sehri, Inam (2012). Judges and Generals of Pakistan Volume – I. Grosvenor House Publishing. ISBN 9781781480434. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  36. ^ "Junejo's widow laid to rest". Dawn. 2003-07-14. Archived from the original on 2019-11-25. Retrieved 2019-11-25.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Prime Minister of Pakistan
Succeeded by
Minister of Defence
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of the Interior
Succeeded by