FRONT-runner of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) in Balochistan Qasim Khan Suri played a vital role in laying the party’s foundation in the politically-neglected province.
Mr Suri — who has been at the forefront of PTI’s affairs in Quetta — worked effortlessly day and night to spread the party’s message in every nook and corner of the province. He went on to become PTI’s provincial chief twice and is currently the general secretary of the party’s Balochistan chapter.
Given the province’s peculiar politics, mainstream political parties have traditionally prioritised tribal chieftains over others in their parties to lead affairs in the province. PTI chief Imran Khan too was in search of a powerful Baloch chieftain for the provincial chief slot and he finally appointed Sardar Yar Mohammad Rind to replace Mr Suri.
Born in Quetta in January 1969, Mr Suri is the eldest among his siblings — three brothers and three sisters. After the demise of his father in 1997, he took over the medicine business of his father, and is currently the managing director of Muhammadi Traders of Pharmaceutical Distributor Est. He says his source of income is his business and agriculture.
Mr Suri attended Quetta Islamia School. Later, he joined the Federal Government College in 1988 and in 1990 he acquired a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Balochistan. From the same varsity, in 1992, he completed his Master’s degree in international relations.
Sources close to the Suri family told Dawn that the leader began his political career from the PTI’s platform. He claims that he has been associated with the PTI since 1996, the year in which the party was formed.
In 2013, he contested election for a National Assembly seat on a PTI ticket. But, he was defeated by Mehmood Khan Achakzai of the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party. In the July 25 polls, Mr Suri won the NA-265 (Quetta) seat. He claims that the objective of his life is “to establish a just society based on human values while continuously upholding the self-esteem of the nation”.
He is married with three children. The son of an Urdu speaking mother, Mr Suri is a Pakhtun. Suris belong to a sub-tribe of Khiljis.
Mr Suri is said to be one of Mr Khan’s close associates. Perhaps, it is due to his close ties with the party chief that he has been nominated for the post of National Assembly’s deputy speaker.
Published in Dawn, August 14th, 2018