Ahsan Iqbal

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Ahsan Iqbal
Urdu: احسن اقبال چودھری
Planning, Reforms, and Development Minister of Pakistan
Assumed office
22 June 2013
President Mamnoon Hussain
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
Preceded by Naveed Qamar
Constituency NA-117 (Narowal-III)
Education Minister of Pakistan
In office
1 April 2009 – 11 September 2009
Preceded by Javed Ashraf Qazi
Succeeded by Mir Hazar Bijrani
Chairman of the Planning Commission
In office
13 August 1998 – 12 October 1999
Preceded by Hafeez Pasha
Succeeded by Dr. Shahid Amjad Chaudhry
Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan from Narowal
Assumed office
18 February 2009
Preceded by Riffat Javed Kahloon
In office
6 October 1993 – 12 October 1999
Preceded by Shafaat A. Khan
Succeeded by Riffat Javed Kahloon
Personal details
Born Ahsan Iqbal Chaudhary
(1958-09-28) 28 September 1958 (age 56)
Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan
Citizenship  Pakistan
Nationality Pakistan
Political party Pakistan Muslim League
Residence Apa Nisar Fatima (mother)
Alma mater University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore
University of Pennsylvania
Cabinet Sharif ministry
Religion Islam

Ahsan Iqbal Chaudhary (Urdu: احسن اقبال چودھری; b 28 September 1958), known as Ahsan Iqbal, is a Pakistani politician, mechanical engineer, businessman, conservative intellectual, educationist, and the current Minister of Planning, National Reforms, and Development appointed to the office since June 2013.[1]

Prior to that, he previously tenured as the Education Minister of Pakistan in Gillani ministry for a short period of time.[2][3] He is noted as one of the highest member of the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N), of which he is the party's deputy secretary-general and has been elected from constituency NA-117 (Narowal-III) since 1993.[4]


Life and education[edit]

Ahsan Iqbal was born in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan, to a politically oriented family on 28 September 1958.[5] His parents were veteran activists of the Pakistan Movement; his mother, Nisar Fatima, was selected by General Zia ul Haq as MNA of the Parliament on [reserved seats] after non party general elections in 1985.[6] Nisar Fatima's father, Abdul Rehman Khan also a politician who served in the Punjab Legislative Assembly Jalandhar, Punjab in India, prior to the independence of Pakistan.[6] Mr Rehman was Ahrari and also worked with Red Shirts of Khan Gaffar Khan. Both of these parties were Congress allies and worked against the creation of Pakistan. Mother Nisar Fatima was however a Jamat-i-Islami loyalist. Her legislative credit includes the enactment of Blasphemy Law of Pakistan which she moved in the National Assembly. She also later moved Federal Sharia Court to get its judgement to have the death penalty as the only punishment for Blasphemy. His father however, lived a calm life and not much is known about him.

He attended the Cantt Public School in Karachi and PAF Public School in Sargodha where he matriculated from.[5] Upon graduating, he attended the Government College University (GCU) but made a transfer to University of Engineering and Technology (UET) to study engineering in 1976.[5] At UET, he was active in student politics, having been elected as President of the Students Union in 1980–81. In 1981, he graduated with a BSc in Mechanical engineering from UET.[5] Upon graduating, he went to work with a Millat Tractors Co.— a manufacturers of Massey Ferguson in Pakistan— joined as their chief mechanical engineer.[5] despite being a fresh graduate student without any experience.

In 1984, Iqbal resigned from Millat Tractors Co. to attend the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania for the MBA program; he earned MBA in 1986. Prior to that, Iqbal visited School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in 1989 (needs clarification. Clash/confusion of dates/events/study/work), and attended various events at University of Oxford in 1992 as well as Harvard University in 2004. He also visited other American top schools.

Career in national politics[edit]

Since 1980, he had been active in politics when he was elected as President of the Student Union on the platform of Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba (IJT) in UET Lahore.[1] Upon returning to Pakistan in 1988, Iqbal joined Pakistan Muslim League (PML) through his mother.[1] Prior to be his entry in national politics, Iqbal was a part of the turn around team of Ghee Corporation of Pakistan in 1986 before it was privatised and was made first managing director of the Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab by Nawaz Sharif until end of their government in 1990.[7] In 1993, he first contested for the Constituency NA-117 of Narowal and successfully defended the NA-117 in 1997.[7] In 1993, he served as Policy and Public Affairs Assistant to the Prime Minister of Pakistan. In 1997, he joined the Planning Commission where he appointed as chief coordinator of "Pakistan 2010 Programme" which he remained until 1999.[7] In addition, he was also the chairman of the Pakistan Engineering Council while chairing the National Steering Committees on Information Technology and TQM and Productivity.[7]

He lost his constituency in 2002 to Riffat Kahlon of PMLQ.[8][9][10] During this time, Ahsan worked on his business and for party's image and helped shape the new party programme of the PML(N).[7] Together with senior conservative leadership of the party, Iabal helped elaborating the party’s manifesto as he emphasized on the restoration of the judicial system of Pakistan, as a matter of principle and as a significant contribution in helping to make Pakistan strong as well.[1] In 2004, Iqbal went to Saudi Arabia to be served as senior adviser to Mecca city government for the Al-Madinah Al-Monawarah Digital Economy Project.[7]

In general elections held in 2008, Iqbal later successfully regained in 2008.[7] During the general elections held in 2013, Iqbal secured ~62.0% of the votes cast in his NA-117.[11] Iqbal easily defeated folk singer turned politician, Abrar ul Haq of the PTI in the race.[12]

Minister of Planning Development (2014–)[edit]

Iqbal had been affiliated with the Planning Commission since 1997 when joined the department in 1997 as chief coordinator of "Pakistan 2010 Programme" which he remained until 1999.[7] In 1998, he became Planning Commission's chairman till he chaired until 1999.[7] In 2013, Iqbal took the oath and was appointed Minister of Planning Development.[13]

Election history[edit]

National Assembly of Pakistan NA-117 (Narowal-III), 2013[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
PML (N) Ahsan Iqbal 95,481 61.7 3.2
PTI Abrar ul Haq 51,359 33.2 N/A
PPP Ch Anwar-ul-Haq 3,118 2.0 N/A
National Assembly of Pakistan NA-117 (Narowal-III), 2008[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
PML (N) Ahsan Iqbal 66,633 58.5 25.2
PML (Q) Riffat Javed Kahloon 36,231 31.8 -17.1
PPP Ibne Saeed Ch. 10,604 9.3 N/A
National Assembly of Pakistan NA-117 (Narowal-III), 2002[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
PML (Q) Riffat Javed Kahloon 49,367 48.9 N/A
PML (N) Ahsan Iqbal 33,698 33.3 -34.4
PPP Ch. Anwar-ul-Haq 16,075 15.9 N/A
National Assembly of Pakistan NA-90 Narowal-I, 1997[15]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
PML (N) Ahsan Iqbal 59,677 67.7 15.6
PML (J) Ch. Akhtar Ali Variyo 25,387 28.8 N/A
National Assembly of Pakistan NA-90 Narowal-I, 1993[15]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
PML (N) Ahsan Iqbal 54,893 52.1 N/A
PPP Ch. Shafaat Ahmad Khan 38,941 37.0 N/A


  1. ^ a b c d et. al. "Ahsan Iqbal". Pakistan Leaders Online. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  2. ^ Amir Wasim, "Parties finally clinch deal on key ministries" Dawn Newspaper, 29 March 2008
  3. ^ Sajjad Malik, "24-member federal cabinet takes oath" Daily Times, 1 April 2008
  4. ^ a b "NA-117 (NAROWAL-III) Result: Announced". Election Commission of Pakistan. Retrieved 23 May 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d e et.al. "Details of Ahsan Iqbal". Herald Pakistan. Herald Pakistan. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Dawn.Com. "Ahsal Iqbal, Dawn prfile". Dawn newspapers. Dawn newspapers. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i ECP. "Election database of Ahsan Iqbal". Election Commission of Pakistan. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  8. ^ Daily Times – Leading News Resource of Pakistan
  9. ^ DAWN.COM | Archive | Your Source of News on the World Wide Web
  10. ^ Daily Times – Leading News Resource of Pakistan
  11. ^ a b http://www2.ecp.gov.pk/vsite/ElectionResult/Search.aspx?constituency=NA&constituencyid=NA-117 Archived 26 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ http://www.na.gov.pk/en/profile.php?uid=785
  13. ^ Masood, Salman (7 June 2013). "U.S. Drone Strike Kills at Least 7 in Pakistan as New Prime Minister Announces Cabinet". New York Times. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  14. ^ http://www.ecp.gov.pk/docs/2002/national.pdf Archived 26 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ a b http://www.ecp.gov.pk/content/GElection/NA.zip Archived 26 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]