Gohar Ayub Khan

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Gohar Ayub Khan
گوہر ایوب خان
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
25 February 1997 – 7 August 1998
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
Preceded by Sahabzada Yaqub Khan (Acting)
Succeeded by Sartaj Aziz
Speaker of the National Assembly
In office
4 November 1990 – 17 October 1993
Deputy Nawaz Khokhar
Preceded by Malik Meraj Khalid
Succeeded by Yousaf Raza Gillani
Personal details
Born (1937-01-15) 15 January 1937 (age 77)
Rehana, British Raj
(now Pakistan)
Political party Pakistan Muslim League (Before 1977)
Independence Movement (1977–1985)
Pakistan Muslim League-
Functional
(1985–1988)
Pakistan Muslim League-
Nawaz
(1988–present)
Other political
affiliations
Islamic Democratic Alliance (1988–1990)
Alma mater Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
Military service
Nickname(s) Kapitan
Allegiance  Pakistan
Service/branch  Pakistan Army
Years of service 1959-1962
Rank US-O3 insignia.svg Captain
Unit Pakistan Army Corps of Signals
Battles/wars 1958 Pakistani coup d'état

Gohar Ayub Khan (Urdu; Hindko: گوہر ایوب خان; 15 January 1937), is a veteran politician, business oligarch, retired army officer, and conservative figure of the Pakistan Muslim League, who held ministerial positions during the administration of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Gohar Ayub Khan hailed from the village of Rehana, located in the Haripur District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Gohar Ayub Khan is the son of former President Field Marshal Ayub Khan and played an influential role in sustaining his father's presidential rule after the 1965 presidential elections. Educated at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, after graduation Gohar Ayub Khan was given a commission in Pakistan Army in 1959. During his military service he served as his father's aide-de-camp, travelling with him on several foreign trips. Upon his resignation in 1962 with the rank of Captain, he established a business conglomerate and entered in politics in 1974.

He first contested the 1977 general elections through the Independence Movement platform, but later joined the Islamic Democratic Alliance (IDA) in 1988. After the 1990 general elections he was appointed as the fourteenth Speaker of the National Assembly. He became the 20th Minister of Foreign Affairs after securing his seat with a heavy margin in the 1997 general elections. Later he shifted to the energy department, serving as Minister for Water and Power beginning 7 August 1998. His term abruptly ended on 12 October 1999 by General Pervez Musharraf, and he subsequently retired from national politics.

Early life and military career[edit]

Gohar Ayub Khan was born in the village of Rehana, a subdivision of Haripur District in the British controlled North-West Frontier Province of the British Indian Empire, into a military family on 15 January 1937.[1] Although a Hindko speaker, Gohar Ayub is ethnically a Pashtun (or Pathan) of the Tareen tribe. His father, Ayub Khan, was a senior commanding officer in the British Army and later ascended to staff and field operational assignments in the Pakistan Army. Ayub Khan subsequently became President of Pakistan through a bloodless military coup that commenced in 1958.

Gohar Ayub was sent to study at the military-controlled Army Burn Hall College and eventually moved on to attend St. Mary's Academy private school in Rawalpindi.[2] Gohar Ayub joined the Pakistan Army in 1947, and trained at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in the United Kingdom.[2] Upon his return from the UK, he began serving active duty with the Pakistan Army and started to work on staff appointments. In 1958 he began to serve as his father's aide-de-camp, travelling with him on several foreign trips throughout Europe, the Americas, the Soviet Union and Asia.[2] He did not rise beyond the rank of Captain during his time in the army, despite his father's support.[1] In his army records, there are allegations of professional and behavioral misconduct.[1]

Gohar Ayub was prematurely given retirement in 1962 by the Army's Promotion Branch, despite his father's efforts to stop the investigations against his son. After his retirement he and his father-in-law, General (retired) Habibullah Khan established a private industrial firm, the Universal Insurance Co. Ltd.[1]

Politics[edit]

Business wealth and net worth[edit]

Gohar Ayub co-established an industrial firm under the business umbrella of Universal Insurance company Limited, founded by his father-in-law.[3] During a short span of time, Ayub Khan intensified pro-Western and pro-Capitalism policies, and Gohar Ayub emerged as a powerful business oligarch.[3] There is no evidence that suggests Gohar Ayub secured all these positions with the consent of his father.[3] In 1969, a Western commentator estimated Gohar Ayub's personal wealth at $4 million, while his family's wealth was put in the range of $10–20 million.[4]

Role in the 1965 presidential election[edit]

Gohar Ayub reportedly played an influential, but controversial, role in Karachi after his father's election in the allegedly rigged 1965 Presidential elections against Fatima Jinnah.[5] Gohar Ayub is said to have led a victory parade right into the heartland of opposition territory in Karachi. This move led to fierce clashes between rival political groups.[6][7] Gohar Ayub also faced criticism during that time on questions of family corruption and cronyism through his business links with his father-in-law.[5]

Speaker of the National Assembly[edit]

Gohar Ayub had been a long-standing member of the Pakistan Muslim League and was elected five times to the National Assembly from his home constituency. He first successfully contested a presidential election in March 1965 on a Muslim League platform. In 1977, he contested the National Assembly seat from Peshawar Jail and was elected on the ticket of Asghar Khan's Independence Movement party, defeating the candidate Akhtar Nawaz Khan of the Pakistan People's Party.

After successfully contesting the 1990 general elections, Gohar Ayub was appointed as the 14th Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan on 4 November 1990, remaining until 1993. He was succeeded by Yousaf Raza Gillani (later current Prime minister) after the 1993 general elections. Gohar Ayub also served as senior vice-president of the Pakistan Muslim League from 1990 to 1993. After his re-election in the 1993 general elections, Gohar Ayub became deputy leader of the opposition in the National Assembly.

Foreign affairs and water and power ministry[edit]

After securing a heavy mandate from his constituency, Gohar Ayub was appointed as the 20th Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1997 by Prime Minister Navaz Sharif. Gohar Ayub publicly backed Prime Minister Sharif in authorizing a nuclear testing programme in response to India's nuclear test on May 1998.[8] Although the prime minister was much more subdued, Gohar Ayub reportedly issued hostile statements and began to call for atomic tests in response to India.[8] He prematurely issued media reports to the media, which reportedly displeased the prime minister.[8]

On 7 August 1998, Gohar Ayub was replaced by economic minister Sartaj Aziz (who put forth efforts to make peace between India and Pakistan), and was reassigned as Minister for Water and Power, a position he filled until he was ousted and forced to resign on 12 October 1999 as a result of a military coup commenced by General Pervez Musharraf.

Gohar Ayub's relationship with Nawaz Sharif eventually became strained, causing Gohar Ayub to leave the Pakistan Muslim League in 1999. Gohar Ayub defected to the Pakistan Muslim League's splinter group in 2001. He was appointed as the first secretary general of the party. Unable to contest the 2002 election because of a graduation degree restriction introduced by Pervez Musharraf, Gohar Ayub instead endorsed and provide vital support to his family. His eldest son, Omar Ayub Khan, won his Haripur District seat, while his wife was elected MNA on the reserved women seats. To date, Gohar Ayub's strongest political opponent in his constituency has been former Chief Minister Raja Sikander Zaman.

Post-retirement and controversies[edit]

After his retirement from national politics in 2002, Gohar Ayub wrote Glimpses into the Corridors of Power and published his father's diary.[9] He opposed the proposal to rename the NWFP to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, while supporting the creation of a separate Hazara province.

Accusation against Sam Maneckshaw[edit]

In May 2007, Gohar Ayub claimed that retired Indian Army Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw had sold Army secrets to Pakistan during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 for 20,000 rupees. This was dismissed by the Indian defence establishment, who said "Gohar Khan is a madcap, with a history of making dubious claims and exaggerating. Don’t give credence to him."[10][11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Raman, B. "Campaign against Field Marshal Sam". South Asia Analysis Group. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c PR. "Gohar Ayub Khan". Mera Haripur. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c Rizvi, Hassan Askari (2000). The military and politics. Lahore, Pakistan: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2000. pp. 164–382. ISBN 9789693511482. 
  4. ^ Pick, Franz, World Currency report. April 1969
  5. ^ a b "Pakistan's Chief son is called Killer". 1965. Pakistan Peoples Party and New York Times Services. Associated Press. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  6. ^ A Sorry Beginning - Time
  7. ^ Mazari, Sherbaz 1999. A journey into disillusionment. Oxford University Press
  8. ^ a b c Sublette, Carey. "Initial Reactions". 30 March 2001. Nuclear Weapon Archive, 1998. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  9. ^ Khan, Ayub (26 April 2007) Diaries of Field Marshal Mohammad Ayub Khan, 1966-1972. OUP Pakistan ISBN 0-19-547442-2
  10. ^ "Military livid at Pak slur on Sam Bahadur". Times of India. 8 May 2007
  11. ^ "Revenge for Manekshaw's role in '71 war?". Times of India. 8th May. 2007
Political offices
Preceded by
Malik Meraj Khalid
Speaker of the National Assembly
1990–1993
Succeeded by
Yousaf Raza Gillani
Preceded by
Sahabzada Yaqub Khan
Acting
Minister of Foreign Affairs
1997–1998
Succeeded by
Sartaj Aziz