Follow Us On:
Mir Zafrullah Khan Jamali (1944-2020)
Mir Zafrullah Khan Jamali is a former sports administrator who remained as Prime Minister of Pakistan from 2002 to 2004. He was born on January 1, 1944, in the village of Dera Murad Jamali which is in Nasirabad District of Balochistan. His family was educated and had been under the influence of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. His family members were very active during the Pakistan Movement and close associates of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
Mir Zafrullah Khan Jamali completed his high school education at Saint Francis Grammar School in Quetta. Then studied at the Lawrence College at Murree where he did O-level and later proceeded to Aitchison College in Lahore where finally completed the A-levels. Jamali applied to the Government College University where he got Bachelor’s degree (with honors) in Business Administration in 1963, followed by MA in British history from the Punjab University in 1965. He was also a “Blue” holder of Punjab University in university’s hockey in 1961-65 and also headed its team. In 1965, Jamali joined the national hockey team of Pakistan symbolized Pakistan as a hockey player at the international level.
Mir Zafrullah Khan Jamali joined active politics in 1970 and became an active member of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). In 1972, appointing a new government, Jamali was raised as the provincial Home minister and held departments of Food, Information and Parliamentary Affairs in the Balochistan’s provisional cabinet. After the 1977 parliamentary elections, he was again elected unopposed for the Balochistan Provincial Assembly and held the departments of Food, Information, Law, and Parliamentary Affairs.
After 1977, Jamali left the Peoples Party due to the party’s threatening attitude toward socialism and democratic socialist principles on the economy. In 1980, Jamali joined the military governorship of Lieutenant-General Rahimuddin Khan and subsequently rose to national prominence. Under the military governorship, Jamali led the department of real-state, township planning, and played a significant role in the country’s development of weapon-testing laboratories for national nuclear prevention. In 1981, Jamali was elevated in the cabinet but left due to differences with General Zia-ul-Haq. He linked with the Foreign Service of Pakistan since 1980 and presented and led Pakistan’s delegation to the United Nations in 1980 and again in 1991. In 1981, Jamali headed Pakistan’s delegation to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome, Italy. In 1982, Jamali chaired Pakistan’s delegation to the Islamic Agricultural Ministers Conference in Ankara, Turkey, and also led a 21-member delegation of the Parliament to the United States in 1982.
Jamali successfully contributed to the 1985 general elections and accepted for the Prime minister’s Secretariat. He competed for the seat of Prime Minister against Muhammad Khan Junejo and Ilahi Bux Soomro. However, Junejo won the slot due to his apolitical ideas and lack of understanding of the government operations, although it was proved to be a misunderstanding. Jamali took the oath from General Zia-ul-Haq and was appointed as the minister of the Ministry of Water and Power in the government of Prime minister Junejo.
In 1988, Jamali joined the right-wing conventional association, the Islamic Democratic Alliance (IDA), and was appointed as the Chief Minister of Balochistan in 1988. However, he lost the support of the Pakistan Peoples Party and was immediately succeeded by nationalist Akbar Bugti. He remained active in politics and joined the 1990 elections holding the chairmanship of Senate committee of economics, finance, and revenue services. In 1993, he joined the Pakistan Muslim League (PML) led by Nawaz Sharif as its senior vice president. In 1996, with the support of JUI-F, Jamali was again appointed as caretaker chief minister of Balochistan and secured his parliamentary seat in the 1997 general elections. As a parliamentary member, Jamali was the chairman of the senate committee sports and physical development. He remained a powerful and public vocal of Pakistan’s first nuclear tests authorized by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif but his relations with the Prime minister went cold. Problems with Nawaz Sharif arose in 1999 during the Kargil war and subsequently ended his support to the Prime minister after the 1999 coup d’état led by chief of army staff and Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Pervez Musharraf.
On 20 July 2002, Jamali joined the fragment and rebel group of Pakistan Muslim League, the Q Group as its Senior Executive President. In 2002, Jamali participated with full force in the 2002 general elections and secured his parliamentary seat with a heavy margin from Balochistan Province. Initially, he contested for the Prime minister’s Secretariat and won the support of his party members when his supporters from the Peoples Party and Muslim league defected to Q-Group to support him. In the first parliamentary session, Jamali won the bid of the Prime minister’s secretariat. This was the first general election to take place in Pakistan following the 1999 coup.
Soon after appointed as Prime minister, Jamali announced the new cabinet. His economic policies were primarily based on the Capitalism and free-economy principles, a plan devised by his economic minister Shaukat Aziz in 1999. His policies emphasized the Macroeconomics policies and approved the poverty-alleviation program, and pioneered the pro-poor policies by establishing industries and giving free-hands to the private sector to bring investment in the country. Major industries and state-owned corporations were opened to the private sector and the doors of investment opportunities were opened to individuals of the private corporations. His economic policies were extremely under the control of his economic minister Shaukat Aziz who supervised the success of the privatization program Jamali had approved earlier.
As Prime minister, Jamali formulated pro-American policies while on other hand, worked on enhancing the relations with Iran, China, and European Union. As for the first task, Jamali attempted to improve relations with the country’s neighbors by first directing an invitation to the President of Iran Mohammad Khatami who visited Pakistan in 2002 after immediately accepting the initiation. A high-level delegation, consisting of the Iranian cabinet, members of the Parliament, Iranian Vice-President, and President Khatami paid a three-day state visit in 2002. As in return, Jamali paid a state visit in 2003 where he held talks with economic cooperation, the security of the region, and better bilateral ties between Pakistan and Iran.
In October 2003, Jamali’s first foreign trip took place as Prime minister after visiting a state visit to the United States. He met with President of the United States George W. Bush in 2003 and vowed to support the United States on War on Terror. After negotiating with the United States, Jamali succeeded in securing an aid package from the United States to support the national economy and social reforms to reduce the level of suicide and to elevate the progress of the social growth in the country.
Despite being ideologically close to President Musharraf, and supported the political and economic policies based on Pro-United States economical system. On 26 June 2004, Jamali surprisingly announced his resignation on television channels after tendering a three-hour-long meeting with President Musharraf. There had been rumors in the country with Jamali straining relations with President Musharraf on executing the government policies.
In 2013, Jamali rejoined PMLN. He remained a member of National Assembly from 2013-2018. Before the 2018 general elections, he joined PTI. He died of a cardiac arrest on December 3, 2020 and was buried in his native village, Dera Murad Jamali.