Khawaja Muhammad Asif

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Khawaja Muhammad Asif
Khawaja Muhammad Asif - December 2015 (cropped).jpg
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Assumed office
4 August 2017
President Mamnoon Hussain
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi
Preceded by Nawaz Sharif
Minister for Defence
In office
27 November 2013 – 28 July 2017
President Mamnoon Hussain
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
Preceded by Naveed Qamar
Succeeded by Khurram Dastgir Khan
Minister for Water and Power
In office
7 June 2013 – 28 July 2017
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
President Asif Ali Zardari
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani
Succeeded by Asim Hussain
Minister for Sports
In office
31 March 2008 – 13 May 2008
President Asif Ali Zardari
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani
Personal details
Born (1949-08-09) 9 August 1949 (age 68)
Sialkot, Punjab, Pakistan
Nationality Pakistani
Political party Pakistan Muslim League (N)
Parents Khawaja Muhammad Safdar (father)
Alma mater University of the Punjab, Lahore

Khawaja Muhammad Asif (Urdu: خواجہ محمد آصف‎; born 9 August 1949) is a Pakistani politician who is the current Minister for Foreign Affairs, in office since August 2017. A leader of Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), he previously simultaneously served as the Minister for Defence and Minister for Water and Power in the third Sharif ministry from 2013 to 2017.

Asif began his political career after getting elected to the Senate of Pakistan during the Sharif's first ministry in 1991. Since 1997, he had served as a member of the federal cabinet, in various positions. From 1997 to 1999, he was as the chairman of the Privatization Commission of Pakistan during the second government of Nawaz Sharif. He briefly held the cabinet portfolios of the Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources in the Gillani ministry in 2008, with an additional charge as Minister for Sports.

Asif has been an elected member of the National Assembly of Pakistan since 1993 representing Sialkot. In 2013, Asif was appointed as the Minister for Water and Power and Minister for Defence of Pakistan.

Early life and education[edit]

Asif was born on 9 August 1949[1] in Sialkot, Punjab,[2][3] to Khawaja Muhammad Safdar.[4][5]

He received his early education at Cadet College Hasan Abdal.[6] He attained his bachelor's degree from Government College Lahore, and an L.L.B. degree from the University Law College, Lahore.[3][7]

Asif is a banker by profession and has worked in the different banks of the United Arab Emirates where he lived for several years until 1999.[8][9]

He has a son and three daughters.[9]

Political career[edit]

Asif started his political career in 1991[1] after returning to Pakistan after living in the United Arab Emirates for many years following the death of his father. 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.[8][10]

He was elected to the National Assembly of Pakistan from constituency NA-110 (Sialkot) in Pakistani general election, 1993 for the first time.[8][10]

He was re-elected to the National Assembly for the second time in Pakistani general election, 1997[10] and was appointed as the chairman of the Privatization Commission of Pakistan with the status of a minister during Sharif's second ministry.[8][10][11] 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.[12] Asif came closer to Nawaz Sharif during the Musharraf rule for keeping the PML-N alive.[4]

In Pakistani general election, 2002, Asif was re-elected as the member of National Assembly for the third time.[10] After getting re-elected as member of the National Assembly in Pakistani general election, 2008 for the fourth time,[8][10] 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.[8]

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 Pakistani general election, 2013, Asif was re-elected as the member of National Assembly for the fifth time.[14][10] In June 2013, he was appointed as the Minister of Water and Power and later given additional portfolio of Minister of Defence in November 2013 under Sharif's third ministry.[15][16] Asif's seat challenged by Usman Dar from PTI, alleging him for fake votes. On 10 November 2016 Supreme Court dismissed this petition.[17]

In 2013, Dawn reported that Asif enjoyed the strong support of his Kashmiri community from his home constituency, Sialkot[8] and was considered close to Nawaz Sharif.[18]

He had ceased to hold ministerial office in July 2017 when the federal cabinet was disbanded following the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif after Panama Papers case decision.[19] Following the election of Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as Prime Minister of Pakistan, Asif was inducted into the federal cabinet of Abbasi and was appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs for the first time.[20][21] Earlier, Pakistan had no Minister for Foreign Affairs since the PML (N) came to power in May 2013[20] as former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif himself held the cabinet portfolio of foreign affairs.[22] Asif's appointment was termed controversial by Daily Times[23] for being undiplomatic.[24] However The News welcomed his appointment.[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Who is Khawaja Asif? Meet Pakistan’s first foreign minister since 2013". The Financial Express. 5 August 2017. Retrieved 5 August 2017. 
  2. ^ "Detail Information". 11 October 2007. Retrieved 9 July 2017. 
  3. ^ a b "Profile of Khawaja Muhammad Asif". Ministry of Water & Power. 17 October 2016. Archived from the original on 17 October 2016. Retrieved 17 October 2016. 
  4. ^ a b Ghumman, Khawar (7 June 2013). "Experience and loyalty count in the PML-N kitchen cabinet". Dawn. Pakistan. Retrieved 27 October 2016. 
  5. ^ Newspaper, From the (13 January 2011). "Medical college named after Khwaja Safdar". Dawn. Pakistan. Retrieved 28 October 2016. 
  6. ^ User, Super. "Prominent Abdalians in Civil Sector". www.cch.edu.pk. Retrieved 1 August 2017. 
  7. ^ "Profile / Khawaja Asif". Senate of the Pakistan. Retrieved 19 October 2016. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g "Khawaja Muhammad Asif". Dawn. 28 April 2013. Retrieved 8 October 2016. 
  9. ^ a b "PRIVATE POWER & INFRASTRUCTURE BOARD". www.ppib.gov.pk. Retrieved 22 July 2017. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g "Federal cabinet unveiled: Enter the ministers – The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 8 June 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2016. 
  11. ^ Jamil, Farah (7 June 2013). "26 member Cabinet to take oath today". Aaj News. Retrieved 31 October 2016. 
  12. ^ "Kashmiris, Arains to decide NA-110 winner". DAWN. 24 September 2002. Retrieved 8 October 2016. 
  13. ^ "SC suspends membership of three MPAs over dual nationality". Dawn. 13 June 2012. Retrieved 8 October 2016. 
  14. ^ "NA-110 from Sialkot goes to Khwaja Muhammad Asif – The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 12 May 2013. Retrieved 28 October 2016. 
  15. ^ Dawn.com, Agencies (27 November 2013). "Khawaja Asif given additional charge of defence ministry". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  16. ^ "Additional charge: Khawaja Asif made defence minister – The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 27 November 2013. Retrieved 8 October 2016. 
  17. ^ "SC dismisses PTI petition challenging Khawaja Asif's election as MNA – The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 10 November 2016. Retrieved 30 November 2016. 
  18. ^ Ghumman, Khawar (1 March 2013). "PML-N lawmaker faces opposition within party". Dawn. Retrieved 17 October 2016. 
  19. ^ "PM Nawaz Sharif steps down; federal cabinet stands dissolved". Daily Pakistan Global. Retrieved 28 July 2017. 
  20. ^ a b Sanaullah Khan (4 August 2017). "New cabinet takes oath: Khawaja Asif foreign minister, Ahsan Iqbal interior minister". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 7 August 2017. 
  21. ^ "Pakistan Swears In New Federal Cabinet". Newsweek Pakistan. 4 August 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2017. 
  22. ^ "Pakistan gets new cabinet, Khawaja Asif is foreign minister". www.hindustantimes.com. 4 August 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2017. 
  23. ^ "Pakistan’s new cabinet". dailytimes.com.pk. Retrieved 15 August 2017. 
  24. ^ "Ministerial musical chairs". Retrieved 15 August 2017. 
  25. ^ "The new cabinet". www.thenews.com.pk. Retrieved 15 August 2017. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Unknown
Minister for Sports
2008—2008
Succeeded by
Unknown
Preceded by
Unknown
Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources
2008—2008
Succeeded by
Asim Hussain
Preceded by
Ahmad Mukhtar
Minister for Water and Power
2013—2017
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Naveed Qamar
Minister for Defence
2013—2017
Succeeded by
Khurram Dastgir Khan
Preceded by
Nawaz Sharif
Minister for Foreign Affairs
2017—present
Incumbent