LAHORE: Even if he is imprisoned on contempt of court charges, not much horror should ‘greet’ Pakistan’s 16th Prime Minister, Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, because he has already spent 2,065 days during his 34-year long political career behind bars, which is 573 days more than his 1,492- day stint as head of government till Thursday (today).
Turning 60 on June 9, Gilani was arrested on February 11, 2001 by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and subsequently jailed by a military court on charges of misusing his authority while performing his official duties as Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan.
Premier Gilani was accused of hiring up to 600 people from his political constituency and hence inflicting an annual loss of Rs30 million on the national exchequer. He was released on October 7, 2006 from Rawalpindi’s infamous Adiala Jail, where noted American Hollywood actor and stuntman— Erik Aude—-was also imprisoned around the same time between 2002 and 2004 for alleged drug trafficking.
Serving as prime minister of the country since March 24, 2008, Gilani was ranked as the 38th most powerful person on Earth in 2009 by Forbes magazine, an esteemed American publishing and media outlet.