Khawaja Muhammad Asif

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Khawaja Muhammad Asif
Khawaja Muhammad Asif - December 2015 (cropped).jpg
Asif in 2015
Minister for Foreign Affairs
In office
4 August 2017 – 26 April 2018
President Mamnoon Hussain
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi
Preceded by Sartaj Aziz (as Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs)
Succeeded by Khurram Dastgir Khan
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
Succeeded by Syed Javed Ali Shah (as minister for Water Resources)
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi (as minister for Energy)
Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources
In office
31 March 2008 – 13 May 2008
President Pervez Musharraf
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani
Succeeded by Asim Hussain
Minister for Sports
In office
31 March 2008 – 13 May 2008
President Pervez Musharraf
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani
Personal details
Born (1949-08-09) 9 August 1949 (age 69)
Sialkot, Punjab, Pakistan
Nationality Pakistani
Political party Pakistan Muslim League (N)
Spouse(s) Musarrat Asif Khawaja [1]
Relations Shaza Fatima Khawaja (niece)[1]
Father Khawaja Muhammad Safdar
Alma mater University of the Punjab

Khawaja Muhammad Asif (Urdu: خواجہ محمد آصف‎; born 9 August 1949) is a Pakistani politician who has been a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan, since August 2018. Previously he was a member of the National Assembly from 1993 to 1999 and again from 2002 to 2018.

He served as the Minister for Foreign Affairs in the Abbasi cabinet from August 2017 to April 2018 and 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.

Early life and education[edit]

Asif was born on 9 August 1949[2][3] in Sialkot, Punjab,[4][5] to Khawaja Muhammad Safdar.[6][7] He received his early education at Cadet College Hasan Abdal.[8] He attained his bachelor's degree from Government College Lahore, and an L.L.B. degree from the University Law College, Lahore.[5][9] 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.[10][11] He has a son and three daughters.[11]

In 2017, he was awarded honorary doctorate degree in International Relations by the Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations.[12]

He is married with four children.[13]

Political career[edit]

Asif began his political career in 1991[3] on returning to Pakistan following the death of his father after living in the United Arab Emirates for many years. In 1991, he was elected to the Senate of Pakistan as a candidate of Pakistan Muslim League (N) (PML-N) for three years.[10][14] He was elected to the National Assembly of Pakistan from Constituency NA-110 (Sialkot) in 1993 general election.[10][14]

He was re-elected to the National Assembly in 1997 general election[14] and was appointed as the chairman of the Privatization Commission of Pakistan with the status of a minister during the second government of Nawaz Sharif.[10][14][15] His tenure was terminated following the 1999 coup d'état in which then Chief of Army Staff, Pervez Musharraf, overthrew Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his existing elected government. National Accountability Bureau (NAB) took Asif into its custody on corruption charges after the military takeover but later, he was released for the lack of any evidence against him.[16] Asif came closer to Nawaz Sharif during the Musharraf rule for keeping the PML-N alive.[6]

Asif was re-elected to the National Assembly in 2002 general election.[14] He was re-elected to the National Assembly in 2008 general election,[10][14] and was briefly appointed as the Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources, as well as the Minister of Sports in the Gillani ministry, before his party pulled out of the Pakistan Peoples Party-led coalition government.[10]

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.[17]

In Pakistani general election, 2013, Asif was re-elected as the member of National Assembly for the fifth time.[14][18] 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.[19][20] Asif's election was challenged by a member of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), alleging him for fake votes. On 10 November 2016 Supreme Court dismissed this petition.[21] In 2013, Dawn reported that Asif enjoyed the strong support of his Kashmiri community from his home constituency, Sialkot[10] and was considered close to Nawaz Sharif.[22]

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.[23] 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.[24][25] Earlier, Pakistan had no Minister for Foreign Affairs since the PML (N) came to power in May 2013[24] as former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif himself held the cabinet portfolio of foreign affairs.[26] Asif's appointment was termed controversial by Daily Times[27] for being undiplomatic.[28] However The News welcomed his appointment.[29] It was noted that since the appointment of Asif as foreign minister, Pakistan got a good oppourtunity to effectively fruitfully tell its point of view to the international community.[30] He was criticised for holding the work permit of the UAE while being the Minister for Foreign Affairs.[31] On 26 April 2018, he was disqualified from holding a public office for life by the Islamabad High Court over possession of the UAE work permit. Asif reacted saying "he will challenge the verdict in the Supreme Court of Pakistan". Later on the same day, he was unseated by the Election Commission of Pakistan as Member of the National Assembly.[32][33]

Following which Asif challenged his disqualification in the Supreme Court. In June 2018, the Supreme Court suspended the lifetime disqualification and declared the decision of Islamabad High Court null and void, and allowed Asif to contest elections.[34]

He was re-elected to the National Assembly as a candidate of PML-N from Constituency NA-73 (Sialkot-II) in Pakistani general election, 2018.[35] He received 116,957 votes and defeated Usman Dar, a candidate of PTI.[36]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Wasim, Amir (14 June 2018). "For PML-N, only family seems to matter". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 14 June 2018. 
  2. ^ "If elections are held on time…". www.thenews.com.pk. Retrieved 4 December 2017. 
  3. ^ a b "Who is Khawaja Asif? Meet Pakistan's first foreign minister since 2013". The Financial Express. 5 August 2017. Archived from the original on 5 August 2017. Retrieved 5 August 2017. 
  4. ^ "Detail Information". 11 October 2007. Archived from the original on 11 October 2007. Retrieved 9 July 2017. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ a b Ghumman, Khawar (7 June 2013). "Experience and loyalty count in the PML-N kitchen cabinet". Dawn. Pakistan. Archived from the original on 29 October 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2016. 
  7. ^ Newspaper, From the (13 January 2011). "Medical college named after Khwaja Safdar". Dawn. Pakistan. Archived from the original on 28 October 2016. Retrieved 28 October 2016. 
  8. ^ User, Super. "Prominent Abdalians in Civil Sector". www.cch.edu.pk. Archived from the original on 16 February 2017. Retrieved 1 August 2017. 
  9. ^ "Profile / Khawaja Asif". Senate of the Pakistan. Archived from the original on 19 October 2016. Retrieved 19 October 2016. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g "Khawaja Muhammad Asif". Dawn. 28 April 2013. Archived from the original on 10 December 2015. Retrieved 8 October 2016. 
  11. ^ a b "PRIVATE POWER & INFRASTRUCTURE BOARD". www.ppib.gov.pk. Archived from the original on 8 May 2016. Retrieved 22 July 2017. 
  12. ^ Siddiqui, Naveed (15 November 2017). "Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif conferred with an honorary PhD by Swiss University". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 15 November 2017. 
  13. ^ "Profile". www.mofa.gov.pk. Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 1 April 2018. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g "Federal cabinet unveiled: Enter the ministers – The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 8 June 2013. Archived from the original on 29 October 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2016. 
  15. ^ Jamil, Farah (7 June 2013). "26 member Cabinet to take oath today". Aaj News. Archived from the original on 21 January 2017. Retrieved 31 October 2016. 
  16. ^ "Kashmiris, Arains to decide NA-110 winner". DAWN. 24 September 2002. Archived from the original on 5 March 2017. Retrieved 8 October 2016. 
  17. ^ "SC suspends membership of three MPAs over dual nationality". Dawn. 13 June 2012. Archived from the original on 2 October 2016. Retrieved 8 October 2016. 
  18. ^ "NA-110 from Sialkot goes to Khwaja Muhammad Asif – The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 12 May 2013. Archived from the original on 28 October 2016. Retrieved 28 October 2016. 
  19. ^ Dawn.com, Agencies (27 November 2013). "Khawaja Asif given additional charge of defence ministry". DAWN.COM. Archived from the original on 2 August 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  20. ^ "Additional charge: Khawaja Asif made defence minister – The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 27 November 2013. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 8 October 2016. 
  21. ^ "SC dismisses PTI petition challenging Khawaja Asif's election as MNA – The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 10 November 2016. Archived from the original on 15 November 2016. Retrieved 30 November 2016. 
  22. ^ Ghumman, Khawar (1 March 2013). "PML-N lawmaker faces opposition within party". Dawn. Archived from the original on 18 October 2016. Retrieved 17 October 2016. 
  23. ^ "PM Nawaz Sharif steps down; federal cabinet stands dissolved". Daily Pakistan Global. Archived from the original on 28 July 2017. Retrieved 28 July 2017. 
  24. ^ a b Sanaullah Khan (4 August 2017). "New cabinet takes oath: Khawaja Asif foreign minister, Ahsan Iqbal interior minister". DAWN.COM. Archived from the original on 4 August 2017. Retrieved 7 August 2017. 
  25. ^ "Pakistan Swears In New Federal Cabinet". Newsweek Pakistan. 4 August 2017. Archived from the original on 4 August 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2017. 
  26. ^ "Pakistan gets new cabinet, Khawaja Asif is foreign minister". www.hindustantimes.com. 4 August 2017. Archived from the original on 4 August 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2017. 
  27. ^ "Pakistan's new cabinet". dailytimes.com.pk. Archived from the original on 25 August 2017. Retrieved 15 August 2017. 
  28. ^ "Ministerial musical chairs". Archived from the original on 15 August 2017. Retrieved 15 August 2017. 
  29. ^ "The new cabinet". www.thenews.com.pk. Archived from the original on 15 August 2017. Retrieved 15 August 2017. 
  30. ^ Haider, Zeeshan. "Thank you Mr Dar". www.thenews.com.pk. Retrieved 27 November 2017. 
  31. ^ "The state of our democracy". The Nation. Retrieved 19 November 2017. 
  32. ^ "IHC disqualifies Khawaja Asif over possessing UAE iqama". DAWN.COM. 26 April 2018. Retrieved 26 April 2018. 
  33. ^ "Khawaja Asif out of politics for life, rules IHC". www.pakistantoday.com.pk. 26 April 2018. Retrieved 26 April 2018. 
  34. ^ Nasir Iqbal, Haseeb Bhatti (1 June 2018). "SC overturns Khawaja Asif's 'disqualification for life', allows him to contest elections". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 1 June 2018. 
  35. ^ Birmani, Tariq Saeed (29 July 2018). "Khawaja Asif remains unbeaten in Sialkot's NA-73". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 2 August 2018. 
  36. ^ "NA-73 Result - Election Results 2018 - Sialkot 2 - NA-73 Candidates - NA-73 Constituency Details - thenews.com.pk". www.thenews.com.pk. Retrieved 2 August 2018. 
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— 2018
Succeeded by