Shahid Khaqan Abbasi
|Shahid Khaqan Abbasi
شاہد خا قا ن عبا سی
|Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources|
7 June 2013
|Prime Minister||Nawaz Sharif|
|Preceded by||Asim Hussain|
|Chairman of the Pakistan International Airlines|
27 December 1997 – 12 October 1999
|Preceded by||AVM Farooq Umar|
|Succeeded by||Saeed Ahmad|
December 27, 1958 |
Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
|Political party||Pakistan Muslim League (N)
|Alma mater||University of California, Los Angeles
George Washington University
|Profession||Electrical engineer, Entrepreneur|
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi (Urdu:شاہد خا قا ن عبا سی; b. 27 December 1958) PE FE, is a Pakistani politician, electrical engineer, conservative figure, businessman, entrepreneur, and the current Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources appointed since 7 June 2013.
Prior to that, he short-tenured as Minister for Commerce in 2008 in the Gillani ministry. Abbasi is an airline executive, having found and served as the CEO of the Airblue; in addition to that, he also served as Chairman and CEO of Pakistan International Airlines from 1997 to 1999.
Family background and education
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was born in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan, on 27 December 1958 to a military family. His father, Air Commodore Khaqan Abbasi, was a senior one-star rank officer in the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and a veteran of the Indo-Pakistan wars. Upon receiving an honorable retirement from PAF, Air Commodore Khaqan Abbasi successfully established an independent business venture and began taking part in the national politics on the Pakistan Muslim League platform. His father participated well in the general elections held in 1985 and became Minister of Defence Production in government of President Zia-ul-Haq. Khaqan Abbasi died while visiting the Ojhri Camp in 1988– a military accident that resulted in more than 100 deaths.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi attended various schools in the country due to his father's posting, and studied at the Lawrence College in Murree. In 1978, Abbasi went to the United States to attend the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to study Electrical Engineering. He attained BSc in Electrical engineering from UCLA where his main focused was on the electrical applications of the avionics. In 1985, he went to attend the George Washington University (GWU) where he gained MEng in Electrical engineering, and qualified for the PE certificate.
Graduating from the GWU, Abbasi worked for the various projects in the United States before moving to Saudi Arabia to perform engineering works for the energy projects in Saudi oil industry. Upon returning to Pakistan, Abbasi joined the senior engineering staff of the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) where he built several electric power transmission system in Murree, Kahuta, and Kotli districts. During this time, he began maintaining political relationship with the Pakistan Muslim League (N)'s regional leadership.
Chairman PIA and imprisonment
In late 1980s, Abbasi joined the PIA's Engineering department and later worked for the Precision Engineering Complex as senior electrical engineer. At PIA, he worked on his reputation as an administrator and engineer, and generally promoted at the corporate level of the PIA. After gaining PML(N)'s ticket, he participated well in elections held in fiscal period of 1988, 1990, 1993, and 1997. In each time, he maintained his ties with the PIA and gained influence in the corporate offices of the airline. From 1990 to 1993, he performed his duties as the chairman of National Assembly Standing Committee on Defence.
In 1997, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif approved the nomination paper of Abbasi to be appointed as the Chairman of the PIA. In 1999, he played a crucial role in leasing of the 5 Boeing 747-300 aircraft from American Cathay Pacific to replace its 747-200 fleet.
In 1999, his tenured was terminated by General Pervez Musharraf after staging a self-coup against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Charges were leveled up against Abbasi for denying the landing of the PIA plane at the Jinnah International Airport, Karachi on his way back from Sri Lanka on October 12, 1999. General Musharraf pressured Abbasi to provide a testimonial statement against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for hijacking case, but Abbasi refused to release the statement. Abbasi stood a military JAG court which announced a solitary confinement for two years before being acquitted of all charges in March 2001.
AirBlue and Politics
He founded and established AirBlue which he served its first CEO. He introduced the first E ticket policy in the country. In short period of time, AirBlue began a main competitor of the PIA in its race for international contracts.
In 2006, he began his political activities on the PML-N platform, of which he became its senior leader. He performed well on general elections held in 2008 and eventually became Commerce Minister in cabinet of Prime minister Yousaf Gillani; though his tenure was short.
Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources (2013-)
In 2013, Abbasi successfully competed for the NA-50 for Rawalpindi district on the PML-N platform against PPP and PTI. Abbasi secured ~134,439 votes with a percentile of 57.10%. In 2013, he was appointed as Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources by the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and took oath on 8 June 2013.
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- See Ojhri Camp military accident
- et,. al. "Shahid Khaqan Abbasi". Pakistan Herald. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
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- See history of the Pakistan International Airlines
- Alam, ed. by Aftab (2001). Pakistan's fourth military coup. Delhi: Raj. ISBN 978-8186208151.
- Bano, Sheher (April 28, 2008). "High-Tech flying". Dawn News. Dawn Newspapers. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
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