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Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri - Biography, Profile

Former Foreign Minister
Born: 18th June 1941
Profession: PML-Q
Affiliation(s): Others
Citizenship: Pakistani

Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri (Born 18 June 1941), is a Pakistani senior foreign service statesman, politician, and diplomat who as the Minister of Foreign Affairs from November 2002 until November 2007. Hailing from a political family, Kasuri joined the Foreign service in the 1960s, and played a crucial role in the foreign politics of East-Pakistan in the 1970s where he became noted for his diplomatic skills, although he became aware of atrocities committed by Pakistan's authorities. In the 1970s–80s, Kasuri also served in the Foreign ministry as a director of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe Affairs. His political activism started in the 1980s through the MRD alliance led by Benazir Bhutto, while continuing his foreign service assignments in the USSR. He was brought into international arena and political fame by Shaukat Aziz in 2004, and was a noted for his diplomatic skills to serve for his country. In foreign politics, he helped normalise relations with Israel, Russia, India, and the European Union, and putting forward the neutral policies towards other countries. He unsuccessfully contested in a 2008 general elections and subsequently developed serious disagreements with his party's leadership, leading the events to join him the PTI in 2011. Apart from his statesmanship, he had tenured as a professor at the University of Paris and University of Nice in France, and in 2008, he assumed the professorship as a professor of political science as well as the executive directorship of the Beaconhouse National University (BNU). He is a senior member of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and its candidate for National Assembly form Kasur.

Ancestral Roots :
Khurshid Kasuri comes from a traditional political family of Punjab Province that has been active in politics since the times of British India. His grandfather, Abdul Qadir Kasuri, was a religious figure and was also a provisional leader of the Congress Party. His father Mahmud Ali Kasuri, also continued his ties with Congress Party until 1940 when his father was subsequently sentenced to four months in imprisonment. Mahmud Kasuri later joined the socialist party and went on to serve in the government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. His father was one of the few politicians in the country to give up high office on a point of principle when he resigned as Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs and Deputy Leader of the National Assembly due to differences on political and constitutional matters with Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Mian Mahmud Ali Kasuri's contribution towards the framing of the original 1973 Constitution is widely acknowledged.
Khurshid's younger brother, Bakhtiar Mahmud Kasuri, is also a politician.

Education and Academics :
Kasuri completed his high school in Lahore, and got accepted at the Government College University but later took a transfer to the Punjab University where he earned BA with Honors in international relations, in 1961.Throughout his academic career he had a uniformly excellent record, which culminated earning first position in the B.A E(Hons) examination of the Punjab University in 1961. After completing his education at home, he proceeded abroad for higher studies and completed a tripos in Law from Cambridge University. After Cambridge, he was admitted to Oxford University for post-graduate work in Public Administration and Political Science. In 1963–67, he moved to Paris to attend Sorbonne University where he enrolled in Department of History where he took courses on French history, but took a transfer to University of Nice where he earned double BA with Cum laude in French history and Literature. He was called to the Bar from Gray's Inn, London.On a lecture tour of the United States, he lectured at leading American Universities in their South Asian and Political Science Faculties. He was also the author of a report for the Government of Pakistan on how Pakistan studies could be promoted at American Universities; large parts of his report were implemented by the government.

Foreign Diplomacy :
Immediately on his return from abroad, Kasuri joined the Foreign Service, and took up the first diplomatic assignment in East-Pakistan. There, he completed an assessment report on events on leading up the civil disobedience in contingent. In 1971, he was subsequently sent to United Kingdom, Soviet Union, and United States to on official assignments to work on a framework to find out peaceful solution for the East Pakistan crises. In 1972, Kasuri was called by the Pakistan Government to join the diplomatic delegation of Pakistan to United Nations. After 1972, Kasuri joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where he served as deputy director of the directorate-general for the Soviet and East European Affairs. He played extremely vital role to alleviate the USSR-Pakistan relations. He assisted Bhutto to acquire the steel mills from the Soviet Union, and technical assistance to complete the industrial programmes in the country. In 1974, he accompanied Bhutto to meet with Alexei Kosygin in Moscow, where he helped develop closer economic relations between two countries. In 1990, he again joined the foreign ministry, and guided Pakistan Muslim League on foreign policies issues. In 1996, he presided the party delegation and visited People's Republic of China (PRC). This delegation was invited by the Communist Party of China (CPC) and was received by the top leadership of the CPC. He has also attended the Inter-Parliamentary Union conferences held in Seoul and in Cairo in 1997 as a chairman of the Pakistan Parliamentary Delegations. In 1998, he publicly endorsed for Prime minister Navaz Sharif's decision for atomic tests (See: Chagai-I and Chagai-II) and was appointed as Prime Minister's Special Envoy (PMSE) to present his country's point of view, while backing the rationale of country's nuclear response. He subsequently visited many countries to gather the support for country's nuclear testing programme, including Russia, United States, Canada, China, France, United Kingdom, and other important countries in the world.

Political Activism :

He briefly left the Foreign Office (FO) in 1981 and joined the Independence Movement to step in the national politics. He was quickly elevated as the Secretary-General of the Tehrik-e-Istiqlal (lit. Independence Movement). He was subsequently arrested on innumerable occasions during his long struggle for the democracy. After the military government of Zia-ul-Haq went back on its promise to hold general elections in the country, leading political parties got together under the banner of the Movement for Restoration of Democracy (MRD) for the purpose of holding general elections, restoration of fundamental rights of the citizens, removal of restrictions placed on the free functioning of the press and the establishment of an independent judiciary. He was arrested on numerous occasions for taking part in a movement launched by the political parties in February 1981 for the achievement of the above objectives. In 1983, he departed from the country in opposition response to Zia's purge, and started his academic career in France. He briefly return in 1988 after the mysterious death of Zia-ul-Haq in a plan crash and joined the Foreign service office after being request by his peers. He took first public participation in 1993 general elections on a Pakistan Muslim League (PML) platoform, and was a provisional vice-president of PML, and successfully defended his constituency, NA-106: Kasur (now NA-142) in the 1997 general elections. He was subsequently appointed as Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information and Media Development (PSCIMD) and was also a senior member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Relations (PSCFR).

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