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Sunday, November 26, 2023

Who was Mamnoon Hussain and why do we care?

Mamnoon Hussain dies in Karachi on Wednesday after battling cancer. Although he served the country for 5 years, very little is known about him. Here is a look back at his life and achievements.

Former President of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain passes away at the age of 80 in Karachi. He was diagnosed with cancer last year in February and was undergoing treatment in a private hospital. He has left behind a widow and three sons.

Prominent political personalities including Maryam Nawaz Sharif and the current President Dr. Arif Alvi have offered their condolences to the family of the deceased.


Mamnoon Hussain was the 12th president of Pakistan and served from September 2013 to September 2018. At the time of his presidency, he was the second oldest president of Pakistan. He was succeeded by Dr. Arif Alvi in September 2018. Although Hussain was a relatively lesser-known figure, his loyalty to the former Prime Minister and the leader of PML-N Nawaz Sharif was widely known.

Mamnoon Hussain and Ayub Khan share an interesting distinction, as they are the only two presidents of Pakistan that have given the oath of office to five chief justices of Pakistan during their tenure.

Read more: Has “Mamnoon Hussain” become an “insult” in Pakistani lexicon?

Mamnoon Hussain’s background

Mamnoon Hussain was born on 23rd December 1940 in Agra and migrated with his family to Pakistan in 1949. After being homeschooled, Hussain completed his bachelor’s in Commerce from Karachi University. Followed by an MBA degree from the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Karachi in 1965.

His family owned a shoe business in Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) and after completing his education, he initially supported the family business before starting his own textile company. He was also one of the pioneers of fruit exporters in Pakistan.

Mamnoon joined politics in 1970 due to his close association with the politician-cum-businessman Abdul Khaliq Allahwala. He became a party worker for Pakistan Muslim League.

Read more: President Mamnoon comes to Nawaz’s rescue

Political association

Initially, an activist with reformist zeal in 1968, Mamnoon became joint secretary of the PML’s Karachi wing.

In 1997, he was named the president of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry, where he served for two years till 1999.

In June 1999, he became the Governor of Sindh, however, his tenure was short-lived as just four months later a military coup under the authority of Pervez Musharraf took over the charge of the country.

Read more: Reference being prepared against Justice Waqar who wanted Mr. Musharraf be hanged on D-Chowk

During Gen. Musharraf’s regime, there was a time when Hussain overlooked three positions in PML-N Sindh as the party was under persecution. He was also the advisor to the then-chief minister of Sindh Liaquat Jatoi.

In 2002, he contested in Elections from NA-250 however the attempt was unsuccessful.

Till 2013, he kept working for PML-N, and after their victory in the elections, Mamnoon Hussain was elected as the nominee for President. Hussain secured 432 votes against his rival Wajihuddin Ahmed who could only get 77 votes.

He was sworn in on 9 September 2013 in Aiwan-E-Sadar and served till September 2018. After completing his tenure as the president, Hussain remained inactive in politics and adopted a very low profile.

Read more: Mamnoon Hussain urges youth to reap the fruits of CPEC