Khawaja Muhammad Asif

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MNA
Khawaja Muhammad Asif
Minister for Defence
Assumed office
27 November 2013
President Mamnoon Hussain
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
Preceded by Naveed Qamar
Minister for Water and Power
Assumed office
7 June 2013
President Mamnoon Hussain
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
Preceded by Ahmad Mukhtar
Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources
In office
31 March 2008 – 13 May 2008
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani
Succeeded by Asim Hussain
Minister for Sports
In office
31 March 2008 – 13 May 2008
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani
Chairman of the Privatization Commission of Pakistan
In office
18 February 1997 – 12 October 1999
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
Preceded by Naveed Qamar
Succeeded by Shaukat Aziz
Personal details
Born (1949-08-09) 9 August 1949 (age 67)[1]
Sialkot, Punjab, Pakistan
Citizenship Pakistan
Nationality  Pakistan
Political party Pakistan Muslim League (N)
Education BA
LLB[1]
Alma mater University of the Punjab, Lahore [1]
Profession banker[2]
Religion Islam

Khawaja Muhammad Asif (Urdu: خواجہ محمد آصف; born 9 August 1949)[1] is a Pakistani politician who is the current Minister of Defence and Minister of Water and Power in the third Sharif ministry.[3] A leader of Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), Asif previously briefly held the cabinet portfolios of the Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources in the Gillani ministry with an additional charge as Minister of Sports in 2008.[4] From 1997 to 1999, he served as the chairman of the Privatization Commission of Pakistan in the second Sharif's ministry with the status of a minister.[4]

He is an elected member of the National Assembly of Pakistan since 1993 representing constituency NA-110 (Sialkot).[4][5] From 1991 to 1993, he has also been a member of the Senate of Pakistan during the Sharif’s first ministry.[4][6]

Early life and education[edit]

Asif was born in Sialkot to Khawaja Muhammad Safdar, a politician and a parliamentarian.[2][7]

Asif attained his bachelor's degree from Government College Lahore, and an L.L.B. degree from the University Law College, Lahore.[1][8] He was a banker working in the Middle East before joining politics.[2]

Political career[edit]

Asif started his political career in 1991 after returning to Pakistan after living in the United Arab Emirates for many years. In 1991, for the first time he was elected as the member of the Senate of Pakistan on seat of PML-N only for three years.[4][6]

In Pakistani general election, 1993, for the first time he was elected as the member of National Assembly of Pakistan from constituency NA-110 (Sialkot).[4][6]

In Pakistani general election, 1997, he was re-elected as member of the National Assembly for the second time[6] and was later appointed as the chairman of the Privatization Commission of Pakistan with the status of a minister during Sharif’s second ministry.[4][6][9] His tenure was terminated in October 1999 after the 1999 Pakistani coup d'état in which then Chief of Army Staff, Pervez Musharraf, overthrew elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his existing elected government. National Accountability Bureau took Asif into its custody soon on corruption charges after the military takeover but later, he was released for the lack of any evidence against him.[10] Asif came closer to Nawaz Sharif during the Musharraf rule for keeping the PLN-N alive.[2]

In Pakistani general election, 2002, Asif was re-elected as the member of National Assembly for the third time.[6] After getting re-elected as member of the National Assembly in Pakistani general election, 2008 for the forth time,[4][6] he was briefly appointed as the Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources, as well as the Minister of Sports during the Gillani ministry, before his party pulled out of the Pakistan Peoples Party-led coalition government.[4]

In Pakistani general election, 2013, Asif was re-elected as the member of National Assembly for the fifth time.[5][6] In June 2013, he was appointed as the Minister of Water and Power as well Minister of Defence in November 2013 under Sharif's third ministry.[3] Asif's seat challenged by Usman Dar from PTI, alleging him for fake votes. On November 10, 2016 Supreme Court dismissed this petition.[11]

In 2013, Dawn reported that Asif enjoy strong support of his Kashmiri community from his home constituency, Sialkot[4] and considered close to Nawaz Sharif.[12]

Controversies[edit]

In June 2012, a petition admitted by the Supreme Court of Pakistan's registrar stated that Asif holds dual nationality, and hence, according to Pakistan's constitution, he is not eligible to hold public office in Pakistan. Following which the Federal Investigations Agency and the Supreme Court began an investigation pursuing inquiries of Asif's dual nationality charges. The court did not find him guilty of the charges petitioned against him; the petitioner who levelled the charges withdrew the accusations and issued a formal apology.[13]

In October 2012, Imran Khan filed a damages suit of Rs10 billion against Asif for leveling allegations against the Shaukat Khanam Memorial Trust after Asif hurled allegations of misusing charity funds and money laundering on Khan.[4][14] Asif also alleged that Khan was a fraud and collects money from Pakistani expatriates in the name of charity.[15]

In June 2016, Asif was subject to intense criticism over unpleasant comments against Shireen Mazari.[16][17]

In September 2016, in an interview with a local TV channel Asif said that Pakistan will use nuclear weapons against India if provoked. This threatening statement comes after rising tensions between India and Pakistan after the Uri attack and boycott of the 19th SAARC summit in Islamabad by India, Bangladesh and Bhutan.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Profile of Khawaja Muhammad Asif". Ministry of Water & Power. 17 October 2016. Retrieved 17 October 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d Ghumman, Khawar (7 June 2013). "Experience and loyalty count in the PML-N kitchen cabinet". DAWN.COM. Dawn. Retrieved 27 October 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "Additional charge: Khawaja Asif made defence minister - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 27 November 2013. Retrieved 8 October 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Khawaja Muhammad Asif". Dawn. 28 April 2013. Retrieved 8 October 2016. 
  5. ^ a b "NA-110 from Sialkot goes to Khwaja Muhammad Asif - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 12 May 2013. Retrieved 28 October 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h "Federal cabinet unveiled: Enter the ministers - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 8 June 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2016. 
  7. ^ Newspaper, From the (13 January 2011). "Medical college named after Khwaja Safdar". DAWN.COM. Dawn. Retrieved 28 October 2016. 
  8. ^ "Profile / Khawaja Asif". Senate of the Pakistan. Retrieved 19 October 2016. 
  9. ^ Jamil, Farah (7 June 2013). "26 member Cabinet to take oath today". Aaj News. Retrieved 31 October 2016. 
  10. ^ "Kashmiris, Arains to decide NA-110 winner". DAWN. 24 September 2002. Retrieved 8 October 2016. 
  11. ^ "SC dismisses PTI petition challenging Khawaja Asif's election as MNA - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 10 November 2016. Retrieved 30 November 2016. 
  12. ^ Ghumman, Khawar (1 March 2013). "PML-N lawmaker faces opposition within party". Dawn. Retrieved 17 October 2016. 
  13. ^ "SC suspends membership of three MPAs over dual nationality". Dawn. 13 June 2012. Retrieved 8 October 2016. 
  14. ^ Asad, Malik (4 December 2012). "Imran files damages suit against PML-N leader". Dawn. Retrieved 17 October 2016. 
  15. ^ "'Peace rally' was drama staged by PTI: Khawaja Asif". Dawn. 7 October 2012. Retrieved 17 October 2016. 
  16. ^ "Ruckus in NA as defence minister calls Shireen Mazari 'tractor trolley' - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 2016-06-08. Retrieved 2016-06-08. 
  17. ^ "Opposition walks out as defence minister refuses to name Mazari in apology over insulting comments - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 9 June 2016. Retrieved 8 October 2016. 
  18. ^ "Pakistan defence minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif threatens to unleash nukes against India - Times of India". The Times of India. TOI. 29 September 2016. Retrieved 8 October 2016. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Naveed Qamar
Chairman of the Privatization Commission of Pakistan
1997 – 1999
Succeeded by
Shaukat Aziz
Preceded by
Minister for Sports
2008 – 2008
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources
2008 - 2008
Succeeded by
Asim Hussain
Preceded by
Ahmad Mukhtar
Minister for Water and Power
2013
Incumbent
Preceded by
Naveed Qamar
Minister for Defence
2013
Incumbent