Makhdoom Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani (born 9 June 1952) is the 17th and current Prime Minister of Pakistan and Vice-Chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). He was previously Speaker of the National Assembly (1993–1997) and a Federal Minister (1985–1986, 1989–1990). He was nominated as Prime Minister by the PPP, with the support of its coalition partners, Pakistan Muslim League (N), Awami National Party, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement, on 22 March 2008. He took the oath of office from President Pervez Musharraf on 25 March 2008. Gilani is the first elected Prime Minister of Pakistan from the Saraiki-speaking belt. In 2009 Gillani was ranked as the 38th most powerful person in the world by Forbes following Prime Minister of Japan and Prime Minister of India

Family and education

Gillani was born in Karachi on 9 June 1952 . He belongs to an influential political family from Multan. His father was a descendant of Syed Musa Pak, a spiritual figure of the Qadiri Sufism order which traces its origins to Abdul-Qadir Gilani. Yousaf Raza's grandfather comes from Paktia Province, Afghanistan. Gilani did his intermediate from Forman Christian College.He attended Government College and obtained his B.A and M.A. in Journalism from University of the Punjab. Gillani is married and has four sons, one daughter, and one grandson. His eldest son, Syed Makhdoom Abdul Qadir Gillani, started his own political career from Multan, and in 2008 he married the granddaughter of Pir Pagara Shah Mardan Shah II, an influential political and religious leader of Sindh. His three other sons—Ali Qasim Gillani, Ali Musa Gillani and Ali Haider Gillani—are triplets and two of them are studying abroad while Ali Haider Gillani is studying at Lahore School of Economics, Lahore. Ali Musa Gillani is now usually seen with his father, these days. His daughter's name is Fiza Gillani. He is also famous for his scandalous affair with famous Pakistani Singer Naheed Akhtar in 1990s, with some rumors that he even married for some time after which she left singing.

Political Career

Gillani's political journey began during General Zia-ul-Haq's martial law in 1978. He joined the Central Working Committee of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML). He was also a cabinet member in the three-year government of Prime Minister Muhammad Khan Junejo, and served as Minister of Housing and Works from April 1985 to January 1986 and as Railways Minister from January 1986 to December 1986. After a short stint with the Muslim League, Gillani joined the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in 1988. In the Benazir Bhutto government of 1988-1990, he was Minister of Tourism from March 1989 to January 1990 and Minister of Housing and Works from January 1990 to August 1990. Later, under another Bhutto government, he became Speaker of the National Assembly in October 1993, serving in that post until February 1997. He has been elected various times as the Member of National Assembly from Multan. In the 2008 general election, he beat Pakistan Muslim League (Q) (PML-Q) leader Sikandar Hayat Bosan.


On 22 March 2008, the PPP nominated Gillani for the post of Prime Minister. PPP completed consultations with coalition partners about the Prime Minister and its allies endorsed the nomination. The formal announcement of the name of Prime Minister was expected to be made that night. On 22 March at 9:38 pm Islamabad, (1638 GMT), he was officially announced by PPP as its candidate for the premiership of the country. Many analysts said that they would not be surprised if Zardari succeeded Gillani after a few months. It was reported on 24 March 2008, that Zardari said he was not interested in the job of Prime Minister and that Gillani would serve until 2013 in the position. Speculation that Zardari might be gunning for the premiership grew stronger when he picked the less popular Gillani over Ameen Faheem, President of the PPP. Fahmida Mirza, the newly-elected Speaker of the Assembly, insists there is no plan to replace Gillani. She added, however, that if Gillani did not do a good job, all options were open On 24 March 2008, Gillani was elected as Prime Minister by Parliament, defeating his rival, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi of the PML-Q, by a score of 264 to 42. He was sworn in by Musharraf on the next day. On 29 March, he won a unanimous vote of confidence in Parliament. Gillani with Hillary Rodham Clinton On the same day, following the vote of confidence, Gillani announced the programme for the first 100 days of his administration. Some of the points he announced were:

  • Frontier Crimes Regulations and Industrial Relations Order repealed
  • A "truth and reconciliation commission" proposed
  • PM House budget cut by 40 percent
  • Special counters at airports for parliamentarians to be removed
  • No money to be spent on the renovation of government buildings and residences
  • A freedom of information law to be framed, while PEMRA will be made a subsidiary of the information ministry
  • Talks will be initiated with extremists who lay down arms and "adopt the path of peace"
  • A new package for tribal areas promised
  • Employment commission to be set up
  • Madressah authority to implement a uniform curriculum
  • One million housing units to be built annually for low-income groups
  • Irrigation channels to be bricklined.
  • A lifting of the bans on elected labor and students' unions

The first part of Gillani's Cabinet was sworn in on 31 March. Of the 24 ministers sworn in on this occasion, 11 were members of the PPP, nine were members of the Pakistan Muslim League (N) (PML-N), two were members of the Awami National Party, one was from Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, and one came from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Other appointments were expected to follow.

On 13 May 2008, the PML (N) ministers resigned from Gillani's government due to a disagreement related to the reinstatement of judges whom Musharraf removed from office in 2007. Zardari, hoping to preserve the coalition, told Gillani to reject the resignations.

At the close of 2008, Pakistan's The Financial Daily conducted a public poll on its website; respondants entered the names of their favourite personalities for the year, and Gillani was named among the top 50.

In April 2010 he announced the Pakistan national energy policy to deal with the severe electricity shortage facing Pakistan.