Mian Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo is a Pakistani politician who has been part of the country’s political landscape for well over thirty years. In May 2008, Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo left Pakistan Muslim League (Jinnah) and joined Pakistan Peoples Party.He has been appointed as the advisor to the Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani later upgraded to Federal Minister.
Speaker of Punjab Assembly
He was first elected, in 1985, the Speaker of the Provincial Assembly of Punjab, the largest province of Pakistan. Thrice elected for the same office.
Chief Misnister of Punjab
He secured the office of the Chief Minister of Punjab in 1993 on the PML (Junejo) ticket after a vote of no-confidence in the Punjab legislature against PML (Nawaz)’s serving chief minister Ghulam Haider Wayne.
A tug of war between Wattoo and Nawaz
After a tug of war between Wattoo and Nawaz Sharif, the then restored (by Supreme Court) Prime Minister of Pakistan and head of the Pakistan Muslim League (N), all assemblies were dissolved.
Chief Minsister of Punjab
After a fresh election, Wattoo was elected the Chief Minister of Punjab again on PML (Junejo) ticket, ruling a coalition comprising chiefly of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), PML (Junejo), minorities, and some independents.
Painted corrupt by the PPP, PML (N), he was removed from the office of Chief Minister only to be restored to office a year later in 1996 by the High Court. Corruption allegations and court proceedings were started against Wattoo by arch rival and then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of the PML(N), Mian Manzoor Wattoo was sentenced by an Accountability court to more than ten years in imprisonment besides being fined ten million rupees only later to be set aside by the courts in Pakistan.
Pakistan Muslim League (Jinnah)
It was in 1995 that Wattoo formed his own PML (Jinnah), when he parted ways with his cousin Hamid Nasir Chattha who wanted to be the president of PML (Junejo), which Wattoo was previously a part of. The differences cropped up in the same year when Wattoo was removed as the Punjab Chief Minister in the power struggle between the province (headed by PML (Junejo) and the center (headed by rival PPP), leading Arif Nakai another PML (Junejo) candidate to be the new Chief Minister.
Khurram Jahangir Wattoo
Amid mounting tensions within his district between his faction and his rival Syed Afzal Ali Gillani, his son Khurram Jahangir Wattoo was elected the Nazim of the populous tehsil of Dipalpur. Widely regarded as an astute politician, almost having never miscalculated any political situation besides trying to reconcile with his arch rival Mian Nawaz Sharif, Manzoor Wattoo was initially released on bail later to be exonerated of any wrongdoing. Earlier convictions were set aside and he was allowed to run for any public office.
Mergein Pakistan Muslim League (Jinnah) in PML (Q)
His daughter Rubina Shaheen Wattoo served as a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan for the PML(Q). He actively began taking part in politics and soon became a close ally of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf. Having merged his political party, Pakistan Muslim League (Jinnah), in to the ruling PML (Q) on presidential advice, he was made the Senior Vice President of the ruling party. His relations with the party’s leadership remained sour from the beginning, who tried at marginalizing Wattoo and anyone associated with his person.
Left the PML(Q)
Mian Manzoor Wattoo remained part of the ruling PML (Q) until November 2007, despite differences with the party leaders Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and the Punjab Chief Minister, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi who suffered heavily under Wattoo’s reign in Punjab in 1993-95.With the upcoming elections Mian Manzoor Wattoo left the PML(Q) due to differences in seat allocations for his constituencies and decided to run as an independent candidate along with the former local PML(Q) branch of Dipalpur.
Join Pakistan Peoples Party
Mian Manzoor Wattoo announced to join Pakistan Peoples Party on May 29, 2008 along with party members in Islamabad.
Federal Minister for Industries & Production
Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo served as Federal Minister for Industries & Production in the PPP government of Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani and in November 2009, his portfolio was changed and he became Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas.