OKARA, April 29: Mian Muhammad Yasin Khan Wattoo who died in a road accident on Monday, was born in 1929, in Jamal Kot village of Depalpur tehsil of Okara district.
After graduation in law, he joined active politics in 1956, contesting and winning a Sahiwal district council seat. In 1960, he was elected chairman of the Jamal Kot union council. Later, he was elected to the West Pakistan assembly. He also served as the provincial minister for education, as law minister and as minister incharge of local government and jails.
In 1971, he was elected the first vice-chairman of the Punjab Bar Council.
In 1975, he was nominated secretary general of the Pakistan People’s Party.
In 1977, he became the federal minister for education in Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s cabinet.
In the 1985 partyless elections he was elected an MNA and served as federal minister for finance and education in Muhammad Khan Junejo’s government.
In 1990, he was elected an MNA on a Pakistan Muslim League ticket and became the federal minister for petroleum and natural resources as well as chairman of the federal land commission.
In 1997, he was again elected as MNA on a PML ticket and made the federal minister for parliamentary affairs.
Mr Wattoo, who was a central vice-president of the PML, had recently been nominated chairman of the party’s manifesto committee.
Participation in the Saturday public meeting of the Alliance for Restoration of Democracy was his last political activity.
Throughout his long political career, Mr Wattoo remained an important leader, first in Sahiwal district and then in Okara (when it became a separate district).
When the news of his death was received, judicial work in Okara district and Depalpur tehsil courts was stopped as a token of respect to him.
Mr Wattoo was known as a forgiving person. Despite a rivalry with Mian Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo, which on occasions turned rather ugly, he frequently visited the ailing former chief minister at the Punjab Institute of Cardiology.
Among those offering condolances on his death were PML’s Mian Muhammad Zaman and Mian Muhammad Munir, Jamatt-i-Islami’s Capt Dr Liaqat Ali Kausar, former MNA Chaudhry Muhammad Saeed Majhiana, Pakistan People’s Party’s former Punjab president Rao Sikandar Iqbal, Rao Muhd Ajmal Khan and lawyers Chaudhry Faiz Ahmad Kamboh and Chaudhry Ali Ahmad Mujahid.