Shoukat Ali Laleka (Urdu: شوکت علی لالیکا; 1 January 1961 – 8 September 2023) was a prominent figure in Pakistan’s political landscape. As a member of various political parties and groups over the years, his contributions spanned decades and impacted the political direction of the Punjab region.
Born on 1 January 1961 in Bahawalnagar, Shoukat Ali Laleka embarked on his political journey that would see him hold several significant positions throughout his life.
- In the 1990 Pakistani general election, Laleka was elected to the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab representing the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI) from PP-226 (Bahawalnagar-II). With a tally of 21,077 votes, he defeated an independent candidate, Muhammad Tariq Amin Hotiana.
- The 1993 general election saw Laleka contesting from the same constituency, PP-226 (Bahawalnagar-II), but as an independent candidate. Despite receiving 37 votes, he lost to Noor Muhammad Ghaffari from the Pakistan Muslim League (N) (PML-N). In the same election cycle, he also aimed for a seat in the National Assembly of Pakistan from NA-144 (Bahawalnagar-I). However, he fell short, garnering 502 votes and losing to Mian Abdul Sattar Laleka of the PML-N.
- The 1997 general election witnessed Laleka’s triumphant return to the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab, this time under the banner of the PML-N from PP-226 (Bahawalnagar-II). Securing 27,467 votes, he bested Mian Manzoor Ahmed Mohal from the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).
- In the 2013 Punjab provincial election, Laleka continued his streak of victories. Running again as a PML-N candidate, he received 38,673 votes from PP-278 (Bahawalnagar-II), overshadowing an independent candidate, Syed Nazar Mehmood Shah.
- The 2018 Punjab provincial election saw Laleka making a shift. He ran as an independent from PP-238 (Bahawalnagar-II) and was re-elected. Post-election, he joined the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
- On 12 September 2018, Laleka found a spot in the provincial Punjab cabinet led by Chief Minister Usman Buzdar. A day later, on 13 September 2018, he took up the role of Provincial Minister of Punjab for Zakat and Ushr, a position he held until April 2022.
Tragedy struck on 8 September 2023 when Shoukat Ali Laleka met with a severe traffic accident en route to Islamabad. Initially rushed to a Lahore hospital, he succumbed to his injuries at the age of 62. The accident also claimed the life of his wife.
Shoukat Ali Laleka‘s legacy is that of a committed politician who navigated the tumultuous waters of Pakistani politics with dedication and vigor.