The Munna Bhai of Pakistani Politics: Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed

The Munna Bhai of Pakistani Politics: Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed

Born on November 6, 1950, in Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Sheikh Rasheed has been many things. He is a government official, TV celebrity, an open figure, and the author of the starting point of Pothwari.  

In 1985 he was chosen as a national legislator, and after that, he was elected seven times in the national assembly. During his political career, which lasted more than two years, he worked as a government officer for work and labor.  

He was a trusted man of prime minister Nawaz Sharif, but later, he resigned from his party, PML(n), and joined the military-sponsored Pakistan Muslim League (Q). During his five-year tenure (from 2002 till 2007), he finally lost his primary votes in 2008 to Javed Hashmi and then to Malik Shakeel Awan. After his downfall, he started his own political party known as Awami Muslim League to get his seat back from Rawalpindi in 2013.  

Education   

His primary schooling was done in his birth city, Rawalpindi, which is sometimes referred to as his home ground. He then studied at Christian High School, and after graduation, he joined the Government Polytechnic institute. He then went to Gardon College as he wanted to study law. After spending a year there, he decided to go to Punjab University and got his LLB degree from there in 1973. He then got his post-graduate degree in Political Sciences from the Univerisity of Punjab in 1979. Then he got his master of arts degree in Political sciences in 1982 after he summited his political science project to a well-known university of Punjab.   

Governmental Involvement   

He started his political involvements in the 1980s when he became a pioneer in Municipal Corporation Rawalpindi. He performed well in PML(N) platforms, challenging the oppositions in the general polls. In 1985 he was the only individual from the national assembly. He took part in the 1988 elections and 1990 elections on the IDA platform. He then again got his seat in his home ground Rawalpindi from PML-N in general elections of 1993.   

Due to the issue of Kashmir, he floated away from his main party. He did this, despite being so close to Nawaz Sharif and his party PML(n).   

Sheikh Rasheed was very keen about his community and his seat in his home town, Rawalpindi. Therefore, he kept running for the city of Rawalpindi in the general elections in every election. Even though he got linked to the splinter groups, this did not stop him from running for Rawalpindi’s seat and community.   

Railway Departments   

Sheikh Rasheed, since 2001 has been a lot into martial science and political science. Sheikh Rasheed was one of the very close consultants of General Pervaiz Musharaf. He was head of state during his battle of armed actions in FATA. After his pledge in 2002, he was chosen as the minister of information. He took particular commands under the advice and consultation of General Pervez Musharraf. Musharaf guided him to safeguard the strategies that the martial government had attempted to impose. Later, on the demand of Musharaf, Sheikh Rasheed was made the minister of Railways in 2006.  

Political Career  

In February 2008, the downfall of Sheikh Rasheed started when he badly lost Rawalpindi’s general elections, losing two of his critical seats NA 55 and NA 56. After the defeat of Sheikh Rasheed, there were rumors about him that he had flown to Spain. However, these accusations and allegations were later proved to be false. After his downfall, he declared the establishment of his new party known as the Awami Muslim League. This was established in June of 2008. 

On February 8 of the year 2008, gunshots were fired at his car outside the workplace of his party, Awami Muslim League, in Rawalpindi. After this attack, Sheikh Rasheed was severely wounded, and three of the guards who were with him during this attack, unfortunately, died afterwards.   

In August 2012, Imran Khan, the leader of Pakistan Tehreek e Insaaf (PTI) and Sheikh Rasheed, decided to participate in elections via Seat alteration. Through this, he was able to get back his seat in Rawalpindi NA 55 from the hands of PML-N. In the elections of 2013, Sheikh Rasheed gathered 90000 ballots from Rawalpindi, and his well-known opponent in Rawalpindi from PML-N was able to collect only 22000 votes.   

This showed the abilities and qualities of Sheikh Rasheed were well-known where he was born and raised. It also showed how he is still loved and respected by the people of Rawalpindi. He is still quite popular among them. 

This also depicted his faith in the community of Rawalpindi. Sheikh Rasheed later promised his city and its people that he would work to improve Rawalpindi, like he had done before, in 2002. Sheikh Rasheed then made a group of three well-known people in the National Assembly of Pakistan, proving it one of the most famous oppositions in Pakistan’s history. 

Sheikh Rasheed had been the victim of criticism from time to time. Notably, during his time as the Railway Minister, he has received his fair share of criticism. Many railway incidents have come up under his administration. Consequently, he became the victim of people’s fury.  

Public on social media, also sometimes joke about him being a rolling stone, as he has changed many political parties.

One might be curious to know that how long will Sheikh Rasheed lasts as a member of PTI? Perhaps, as long as the party rules.

About Mukarma Jawad

Founder and Operational Director at Taleem-ED. Writer, and Education & Youth Activist, based in Pakistan.

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