Shah Mehmood Qureshi

Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Hussain Qureshi  مخدوم شاہ محمود حسین قریشی‬‎; born 22 June 1956 is a Pakistani politician who is the current Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, in office since 20 August 2018. He has been a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan since August 2018 and currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, in office since December 2011.

Previously, he was a member of the National Assembly from 2002 to May 2018 and served as the Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2008 to 2011.

Born in Murree, Punjab, Qureshi studied at Aitchison College and received Bachelor of Arts degree from Forman Christian College and Master of Arts degree from Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. He remained a member of the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab for nine years from 1985 to 1993 and had served in provincial cabinet as Provincial Cabinet of Punjab, in various positions between 1988 and 1993. He served as the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs in the federal cabinet from 1993 to 1996 and later as the Mayor of Multan from 2000 to 2002.

Reportedly, Qureshi was a potential candidate for the Prime Minister of Pakistan in the coalition government headed by the PPP. However, Qureshi was instead given the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs in the cabinet of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani.

After taking charge of the office, Qureshi immediately made clear that he was committed to establishing peace in the region and that maintaining friendly ties with neighbouring India were amongst his top priorities. Qureshi went on his first visit as foreign minister to China in October 2008 with then Defence Minister of Pakistan Ahmad Mukhtar and then President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari.

In 2011, Qureshi faced criticism in Pakistan when it was discovered that his son, Zain H. Qureshi, was working as a Legislative Fellow in the office of Senator John Kerry

In February 2011, the Government of Pakistan reduced the number of cabinet seats[16] and during the transition, Qureshi was offered the position of Minister of Water and Power. He declined, saying that he was “not interested in water and power ministry in place of foreign affairs.”

In February 2011, he lost the portfolio of Foreign Minister following the Raymond Davis affair.

In November 2011, Qureshi resigned from the PPP where he had been for the past 20 years. He also quit his National Assembly membership saying that “I had joined the PPP under Benazir Bhutto’s leadership, and PPP was no longer a party of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto; it is now Zardari league. He said he did not want to be a part of Zardari league and announced to resign from the party membership.”

Qureshi is one of three prominent politicians from Multan District, the other two being the Yousaf Raza Gillani and Javed Hashmi (Multan II) and are considered political rivals to each other.

It was reported that Qureshi would re-join PML-N. However, in late November 2011, Qureshi announced joining the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) at a rally in Ghotki.On 4 December 2011, he was appointed as the first Vice Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf as its parliamentary leader in National Assembly of Pakistan. In 2016 intra-party elections, Qureshi was re-appointed as the Vice Chairman of PTI, which is considered one of the three senior most positions in the party. He was re-elected to the National Assembly from Multan in Pakistani general election, 2013 on the ticket of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.

He was re-elected to the National Assembly as a candidate of PTI from Constituency NA-156 (Multan-III) in Pakistani general election, 2018. Following his successful election, he emerged as PTI’s nominee for the office of Speaker of the National Assembly. Reportedly, Imran Khan convinced him to take the office because of his long parliamentary experience. However Qureshi showed reluctance to take the portfolio.

On 18 August, Imran Khan formally announced his federal cabinet structure and Qureshi was named as Minister for Foreign Affairs.On 20 August 2018, he was sworn in as Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs in the federal cabinet of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

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