LAHORE-Rana Aftab Ahmad Khan, a seasoned politician from Faisalabad, has taken over as PPP's 13th Punjab President following a notification of his appointment issued from Islamabad by PPP chief and President Asif Ali Zardari He has replaced Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the Foreign Minister, who served as party's Punjab President for two years. An overwhelming majority of PPP's central Executive Committee members from Punjab had earlier voted in favour of Rana Aftab in a meeting held at Islamabad a couple of weeks back. A law graduate from Punjab University, Rana has the honour of being elected as member Punjab Assembly for three Assembly terms. He also served as Punjab Minister for Planning and Development from 1993 to 1996 when Manzoor Wattoo was the then Punjab Chief Minister. Aftab made his debut in provincial politics in 1988, when he was elected member Punjab Assembly for the first time. He also served as Deputy Parliamentary leader of PPP in Punjab Assembly from 2005 to 2007, and was regarded as one of most vocal Opposition leader who boldly faced the ruling PML-Q in Punjab during Musharraf's rule. He was extremely unlucky to have lost 2008 general election on provincial seat from Faisalabad by a very small margin. Had he won that election, he would have surely found place in present Punjab Cabinet as Senior Minister in place of Raja Riaz. A member of party's central Executive Committee, Rana also served as PPP's Punjab General Secretary from 2001 to 2006 along with Qasim Zia who was then party's Punjab President. Late Benazir Bhutto appointed him party's divisional President of Faisalabad during ARD movement, as he led several protest rallies across the province for revival of democracy in the country. He kept this office for five years. Since inception of PPP in 1968, Rana Aftab is 13th PPP leader to head the party in Punjab. Before him, 12 senior party leaders have held this office during different tenures. Sheikh Muhammad Rashid was the first PPP President in Punjab who served from 1968-1972. He was succeeded by Mian Muhammad Afzal Wattoo, who held this office from 1972 to 1974. Former Caretaker Prime Minister of Pakistan Malik Meraj Khalid also served as party's Punjab President from 1974 to 1977. Sheikh Rafique Ahmad has the singular distinction of being PPP's Punjab President for eight long years-from 1977 to 1985, and so has Jehangir Badr who had two stints as party's Punjab president; first, from 1985 to 1988, and later, from 1991-1995. Rana Shaukat Mahmood served as PPP's Punjab President from 1988 to 1989, Fakhar Zaman from 1989-1991, Mushtaq Awan from 1995 to 1997, Rao Sikandar Iqbal from 1997-2001, Qasim Zia from 2001 to 2006 and Shah Mahmood Qureshi from November 2006 to October 29, 2008. While talking to The Nation on Thursday, Rana Aftab said he would galvanise the party in Punjab under the dynamic leadership of party chief Asif Ali Zardari. Meanwhile, Rana Aftab visited Data Darbar on Thursday evening alongwith local party leaders and laid floral wreath at the Mazar of the holy saint. Senior party leaders including Qasim Zia, Sajjad Bukhari, Farzana Raja, Aurangzeb Burki, Azizur Rehman Chan and Iqbal Sialvi have congratulated Rana Aftab over his appointment as new PPP chief in Punjab. Rana Aftab will hold a news conference at Lahore Press Club here on Friday (today) at 4 pm to spell out his priorities.