Sartaj Aziz

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Sartaj Aziz
Sartaj Aziz (cropped).jpg
National Security and Foreign Affairs Adviser
Incumbent
Assumed office
7 June 2013
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
Preceded by Mir Hazar Khan Khoso (Acting)
In office
7 August 1998 – 12 October 1999
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
Preceded by Gohar Ayub Khan
Succeeded by Abdul Sattar
Minister of Finance
In office
25 February 1997 – 6 August 1998
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
Preceded by Shahid Javed Burki (Acting)
Succeeded by Nawaz Sharif (Acting)
In office
26 May 1993 – 18 July 1993
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
Preceded by Farooq Leghari
Succeeded by Syed Babar Ali
In office
7 August 1990 – 18 April 1993
Prime Minister Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi (Acting)
Nawaz Sharif
Preceded by Ehsan-ul-Haq Piracha (Acting)
Succeeded by Farooq Leghari
Personal details
Born (1929-02-07) 7 February 1929 (age 85)
Mardan, British Raj
(now Pakistan)
Political party Pakistan Muslim League (N)
Alma mater University of the Punjab
Harvard University
Religion Islam

Sartaj Aziz (Urdu: سرتاج عزيز‎; b. 7 February 1929)TPk, is a Pakistani economist, statesman, strategist, and the current National Security Advisor (NSA) as well as key adviser on the foreign policy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. He is a veteran Pakistan Movement activist, and a former professor of macroeconomics at the Beaconhouse National University (BNU). Prior to that, he also served as Foreign Minister in a previous term of the Sharif government from 1990-1993 and as well as Finance Minister in 1997 until being reassigned as Foreign Minister in 1999.

Aziz is noted for driving the Pakistan's national economy on free-market economics principle and initiated the economic liberalization and privatization programmes. In addition, he served as an adviser to the Foreign ministry while he helped implementing the economic policy through Economic Coordination Committee (ECC). He is renowned for his peace activism and was the only senior minister opposing the decision of conducting nuclear tests in response to India, but later retraced his position in 2002. As of current, Aziz is serving as the vice-chancellor of the Beaconhouse National University (BNU) as well as the visiting professor of economics and management sciences.

Biography[edit]

Education and Pakistan Movement[edit]

Sartaj Aziz was born in 1929 in the Pashtun Kakakhel family in the Nowshera Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.[1] In the 1940s, Aziz was a young activist in the Muslim League-led Pakistan movement.[1] Aziz was educated at Islamia College of Lahore and then obtained a Bachelor's degree in Economics from the Punjab University in 1949.[2]

Aziz proceeded to join the civil service of the state of Pakistan in 1950. Later, he traveled to the United States and earned a Master's degree in Development economics from Harvard University in 1963.[2] Returning to work in the government, he attained the position of joint secretary in the Planning Commission of Pakistan in 1967. Aziz later worked in the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization from 1971 to 1975, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development from 1978 to 1984.[2]

Statesmanship[edit]

Indo-Pakistan conflicts[edit]

Sartaj Aziz joined the economic bureau of the Planning Commission in 1964, sitting in a bench where he attended the meeting with the Chairman of the Planning Commission, Economic minister Muhammad Shoaib, Foreign minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and the President Ayub Khan, to discuss the economical assessment of the Operation Gibraltar against India.[3] According the Aziz, Bhutto had gone on a populist Anti-Indian and Anti-American binge during the meeting. Bhutto succeeded the President on spellbinding the ruling general into thinking he was becoming a world statesman fawned upon by the enemies of the United States.[3] When authorising the Gibraltar, Deputy Chairman had famously told the President in the meeting, "Sir, I hope you realize that our foreign [p]olicy and our economic requirements are not fully consistent, in fact they are rapidly falling out of line".[3] Aziz vetoed the Gibraltar against India, fearing the economical turmoil that would jolted the country's economy, but was rebuffed by his senior bureaucrats.[3] In that meeting Bhutto convinced the President and the Economic minister that India would not attack Pakistan due to Kashmir as a disputed territory, and in Bhutto's mark: "Pakistan’s incursion into Indian-occupied Kashmir, at [A]khnoor, would not provide [India] with the justification for attacking Pakistan across the international boundary "because Kashmir was a disputed territory".[3] This theory proved wrong when India launched a full scale war against West-Pakistan in 1965.[3]

The war with India cost Pakistan an economical price, when Pakistan lost the half a billion dollars it had coming from the Consortium for Pakistan through the United States.[3] Ayub Khan could not suffer the aftermath and fall from the presidency after surrendering the presidential power of Army Commander General Yahya Khan in 1969.[3] Escalating the further crises, the country was floundered, losing East-Pakistan after India again attack Pakistan six years later, with the economy in great jeopardy without United States' assistance.[3]

Post war[edit]

Aziz did not join the government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto but was hostile towards the issue of nationalisation. Aziz criticised Bhutto for intensifying the government control of the privatised mega-corporations, citing that "Bhutto’s nationalization failed to make up for the "mismatch" between economic reality and policy formulation".[3] In protest, Aziz departed from Pakistan in 1971, joining the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization which he remained until 1975, and later joined the staff of the International Fund for Agricultural Development in 1978.

In 1984, Aziz joined the Military Government of President and Chief of Army Staff General Zia-ul-Haq in 1984 as Minister of state for Food, Agriculture and Cooperatives. He was elected to the Senate of Pakistan from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in 1985 elections and again in 1993 parliamentary elections.[1] From 1988 to 1994, he served as senator from the capital territory of Islamabad in 1988. Having joined the Pakistan Muslim League (N), Aziz was appointed the minister of finance, planning and economic affairs in the first Nawaz Sharif ministry from 1990 to 1993. In 1993, he was appointed the secretary general of the party.[1] Aziz was the proponent of privatisation of the major government-owned state corporations of Pakistan, and as Treasure minister, Aziz played a pivotal role in privatising the economy of Pakistan.

Finance minister (1997–98)[edit]

Main articles: Pokhran-II, Chagai-I and Chagai-II

After the PML (N)'s landslide victory in the 1997 parliamentary election, Aziz was re-appointed Treasure Minister, to lead the Ministry of Treasury, by Prime minister Nawaz Sharif where he continued his privatisation policies.[3] Aziz adopted the proposed economic theory theory of matching economic requirements with national strategy.[3] Aziz was tasked with intensifying country's economical system more dependent on investment, privatisation and the economical integrals penetrating through the matters of national security.[3]

Aziz was extremely upset and frustrated after learning the Indian' nuclear testing that took place in Pokhran Test Range of Indian Army in May 1998, through the media.[3] The India's tests naming Pokhran-II — s codename of series of nuclear tests in May 1998— Sartaj Aziz prepared his economical proposals, requests and recommendation before meeting with the Prime minister Nawaz Sharif. The meeting was chaired by the Prime minister with state-holders of all institutions (both scientific, military, civilians, and bureaucratic) attended the meeting calling for the suitable reply to India.[3] At this meeting, Sartaj Aziz was the only senior minister in Pakistan's government who counseled against Pakistan carrying out its own nuclear tests – codename Chagai-I and Chagai-II, on grounds of the possible devastating impact of any subsequent international sanctions on Pakistan owing to the prevailing economic recession and low foreign exchange reserves.[4][5] However, due to economical sanctions, Aziz briefly abandons his theory of matching economic requirements with national strategy.[3] In 2001, Aziz later publicly supported the government's stance on conducting the tests, calling it a "right decision" at that time.[3]

Foreign minister (1998–99)[edit]

Following a cabinet reshuffle in 1998, Aziz was appointed foreign minister but his term was cut short. During the 1999 Kargil War with India, Aziz travelled to the People's Republic of China to solicit support for Pakistan.[6] He also travelled to India to hold talks with his counterpart, the Minister of External Affairs Jaswant Singh, but the talks were regarded as a failure and unsuccessful in stemming the conflict.[7] Aziz claimed India had "overreacted", while India demanded that Pakistan stop the incursion into Indian-administered Kashmir.[8] Aziz also represented Pakistan at the Organisation of the Islamic Conference in Burkina Faso, held during the Kargil conflict.[9] Aziz later claimed in the media that Pakistan had achieved its aims in the Kargil conflict by "forcing the Kashmir dispute to the top of the global agenda." He is currently the Foreign Minister of Pakistan.[10]

Ash Carter meets with Sartaj Aziz, Sept. 16, 2013

His term ended abruptly after the Nawaz Sharif government was overthrown in a military coup by Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and Chief of Army Staff General Pervez Musharraf. Aziz ironically associated with the Pakistan's foreign policy after his removal and tacitly backed Pakistan's decision to conduct nuclear tests.[3] In a thesis written by Aziz in his book, "Between Dreams and Realities: Some Milestones in Pakistan’s History:

It was a big upset about what happened to the economy after the [atomic] tests, but was consoled that in 2002, India mobilized half a million troops on the border after an attack on its parliament in 2001, but was finally forced to withdraw the "due to the danger of a nuclear retaliation by Pakistan....

—Sartaj Aziz, defending Pakistan's decision to tests its nuclear capability in 1998[3]

National Security Adviser (2013-Present)[edit]

Aziz was appointed National Security and Foreign affairs Adviser to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif after his party was elected third time into the power in 2013.[11]

Peace activism[edit]

Aziz associated himself with the academic institutions and universities of Pakistan, lecturing on the issues of economics, public development, and global finance. During his term as Treasure minister, Aziz made an effort with neighbouring India to promote peace and harmony between two country, and during his lecture on economics reforms and development in South Asia at the Delhi University, Aziz stressed the importance of normalisation of relations between both countries. His leading peace activism efforts led India to declare Pakistan as Most favoured nation (MFN) in 1996, and won praise by Inder Kuman Gujral, Indian counterpart of his at that time.

Academia[edit]

Since 1998, Aziz remained associated with Quaid-e-Azam University where he occasionally lectured on Economics and philosophy where he also lectured on Pakistan's Foreign policy. Since 1990, Aziz authored four international books on economics and philosophy. In which, the most publicly known is the "Between dreams and realities: some milestones in Pakistan's history", which was published in 2009 by the University press.

Sartaj Aziz was forcefully quiet by his peers during the wave of 1999 military coup d'état which started and ended the massive arrests of his colleagues and government ministers of Nawaz Sharif. Since then, Aziz remained quiet and dedicated his life to work on economical issues. In 2001, Aziz joined the Department of Social Sciences of the Beaconhouse National University and served there as a professor of Economics. In 2009, Aziz was appointed and is currently tenuring as the Vice-Chancellor of the Beaconhouse National University in Lahore.

Awards[edit]

For his participation in the Pakistan movement, Aziz is the holder of the Sanad, Mujahid-e-Pakistan.[1] In 1959, he was awarded the Tamgha-e-Pakistan and the Sitara-e-Khidmat in 1967 for his work in central planning and economic development.[1]

Books[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Senate of Pakistan – Sartaj Aziz". Senate of Pakistan. Retrieved 2010-09-05. 
  2. ^ a b c Profile of National Security Adviser (Profile of National Security Adviser). "Profile of National Security Adviser". Profile of National Security Adviser. Retrieved 15 May 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Aziz, Sartaj (2009). Between Dreams and Realities: Some Milestones in Pakistan’s History. Karachi, Pakistan: Oxford University Press. p. 408. ISBN 978-0-19-547718-4. 
  4. ^ K. Bhushan, G. Katyal (2002). Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Warfare. APH Publishing. p. 204. ISBN 978-81-7648-312-4. 
  5. ^ Kalim Bahadur (1998). Democracy in Pakistan: Crises and Conflicts. Har-Anand Publications. p. 272. ISBN 978-81-241-0083-7. 
  6. ^ India's Nuclear Bomb: The Impact On Global Proliferation. University of California Press. 2002. pp. 478–79. ISBN 978-0-520-23210-5. 
  7. ^ Amit Baruah (2 July 1999). "An effective game plan". The Hindu. Retrieved 2010-09-05. 
  8. ^ Ranjit Dev Raj (16 June 1999). "No Meeting of Minds". Retrieved 2010-09-05. 
  9. ^ "Paradoxes in Pakistan – Frontline, Volume 16, Issue 14". Frontline – The Hindu. 3 July 1999. Retrieved 2010-09-05. 
  10. ^ Robert Wirsing (2003). Kashmir in the shadow of war: regional rivalries in a nuclear age. M.E. Sharpe. p. 248. ISBN 978-0-7656-1089-8. 
  11. ^ "Nawaz Sharif retains Pakistan's foreign affairs portfolio". The Economic Times. 8 June 2013. Retrieved 15 May 2014. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Ehsan-ul-Haq Piracha
Acting
Minister of Finance
1990–1993
Succeeded by
Farooq Leghari
Preceded by
Farooq Leghari
Minister of Finance
1993
Succeeded by
Syed Babar Ali
Preceded by
Shahid Javed Burki
Acting
Minister of Finance
1997–1998
Succeeded by
Nawaz Sharif
Acting
Preceded by
Gohar Ayub Khan
Minister of Foreign Affairs
1998–1999
Succeeded by
Abdul Sattar
Preceded by
Mir Hazar Khan Khoso
Acting
Adviser on the Foreign Affairs
2013–present
Serving with Tariq Fatemi
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Preceded by
Mahmud Ali Durrani
2008-2009
National Security Adviser
2013–present
Incumbent