Makhdoom Muhammad Javed Hashmi is a political scientist, geo-strategist, statesman, and the central public figure of Pakistan. He was born on January 1, 1948 in Makhdoom Rashid, Multan. An agriculturist and intellectual by profession, Hashmi attended Punjab University where he took his B.Sc in Political Science in 1969, followed by M.Sc in 1971, and M.Phil in 1973, in the same academic discipline from the same institution. He turned to politics in 1985 and joined hands with Nawaz Sharif, who later became Prime minister. He was elected to the National Assembly and was the Minister of State for Youth Affairs. He served as Federal Minister for Health in Nawaz Sharif’s cabinet during his second term.
After the overthrow of the PML-N government in 1999 by Chief of Army Staff General Pervez Musharraf, Hashmi was thrown in Central Jail Rawalpindi, along with Nawaz Sharif and other members of his party on accusations made by General Pervez Musharraf's government. A democracy activist, Hashmi became one of the most vocal and open critic of the General Pervez Musharraf's military regime where he openly criticized General Musharraf's treatment of Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, policy on War on Terror and Musharraf's mishandling of Tribal areas which led to open the unannounced war in Pakistan.
On 29 October 2003, he was arrested from Parliament Building on charges of inciting mutiny made by General Pervez Musharraf. Earlier, in a press conference on 20 October 2003, he had read a letter that he received in mail, signed anonymously by some active military officers at Pakistan Army's Combatant Headquarter, known as The Generals Headquarter (GHQ), calling for an investigation into the corruption in the armed forces and criticizing the President and Chief of Army Staff General Pervez Musharraf, and his relationship with the American President George W. Bush. His trial was held in the central Adiala Jail instead of a district and sessions court at the Lahore High Court, which raised doubts among human rights groups about its fairness. On 12 April 2004, he was sentenced to 23 years in prison for inciting mutiny in the army, forgery, and defamation.
The verdict has widely been considered as a willful miscarriage of justice by the General Pervez Musharraf's Government. All opposition parties in Pakistan, including Pakistan Peoples Party and six party-Alliance Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), regarded the verdict to be politically motivated by the ruling junta with malicious intent, declaring him to be a political prisoner. In imprisonment he also wrote two books titled as "Haan, Main Baaghi Hoon!" (Yes, I am a 'Rebel!') and "takhta daar ke saaye tale" (Under the Stage's shadow). His book, "Yes, I am a 'Rebel'!", Hashmi clearly stated that he was jailed because he demanded a commission to be formed to investigate the Kargil issue, the restoration of democracy and opposed the Army’s role in politics, and Pakistan's geo-strategy policy in central Asia and Europe.
On 3 August 2007, a three-member bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan under Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry granted him bail after serving approximately three and a half years in prison. Javed Hashmi was released from the Central Jail Kotlakhpat in Lahore on 4 August 2007. He was again placed under arrest at the declaration of a state of emergency on 3 November 2007.
In the general elections of 2008, Javed Hashmi won a record three seats out of the four contested; he only lost out to Shah Mehmood Qureshi in his home city of Multan. Hashmi won National Assembly seats from Multan, Lahore and Rawalpindi beating PML-Q leader Shaikh Rasheed Ahmad in the latter one.
Despite winning 3 seats, Hashmi refused to take oath from President Musharraf and thus did not get a place in the federal cabinet. Hashmi was one of the few people who decided not to take oath as it was against his principle. Hashmi is considered a political heavyweight and is well respected throughout Pakistan. He is seen many times representing the views of his party the PML-N on various talk shows. Hashmi is an indisputable and respectable personality in Pakistani politics. He is a symbol of democratic struggle in Pakistan.
Makhdoom Hashmi joined Pakistan Tehreek Insaf (PTI), and was elected the party president in 2013 leadership election. In 2013 elections Hashmi won from two constituencies. He contested from Islamabad and Multan on PTI platform. However, he fell out of party's favour after opposing publicly the party's decision to hold mass protests against his former boss Nawaz Sharif in 2014, consequently resigning from both the party and the parliament. On 16 October 2014 he unsuccessfully contested to re-claim his home constituency as an independent candidate but backed by the ruling PML-N. He lost in a landslide to Amir Dogar, the PTI-backed independent candidate.