Shahid Khaqan Abbasi

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Shahid Khaqan Abbasi
شاہد خا قا ن عبا سی
Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources
Assumed office
7 June 2013
President Mamnoon Hussain
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
Preceded by Asim Hussain
Constituency NA-50 (Rawalpindi-I)
Chairman of the Pakistan International Airlines
In office
27 December 1997 – 12 October 1999
Preceded by AVM Farooq Umar
Succeeded by Saeed Ahmad
Personal details
Born (1958-12-27) December 27, 1958 (age 57)
Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
Citizenship  Pakistan
Nationality Pakistan
Political party Pakistan Muslim League (N)
Residence Islamabad, Pakistan
Alma mater University of California, Los Angeles
George Washington University
Profession Electrical engineer, Entrepreneur
Cabinet Sharif ministry
Religion Islam

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.[1] He is a senior PML-N Leader and has been affiliated with the party since 1988.

Abbasi has been elected to the National Assembly 7 times since 1988 and is one of the senior most parliamentarians in the country. He has served as Federal Minister for Commerce in 2008 in the Gillani Cabinet.[2] Abbasi is an airline executive, having founded and served as CEO of Airblue;[3][4] in addition to that, he also served as Chairman and CEO of Pakistan International Airlines from 1997 to 1999.[5]


Family background and education[edit]

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was born in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan, on 27 December 1958 to a military family from Punjab.[6] 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.[7] 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.[7] His father participated well in the general elections held in 1985 and became Minister of Production in government of President Zia-ul-Haq.[7] Khaqan Abbasi died while visiting the Ojhri Camp in 1988– a military accident that resulted in more than 100 deaths.[8]

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi attended various schools in the country due to his father's posting, and studied at the Lawrence College in Murree.[9] In 1978, Abbasi went to the United States to attend the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to study Electrical Engineering.[10] He attained BSc in Electrical engineering from UCLA where his main focused was on the electrical applications of the avionics.[10] In 1985, he went to attend the George Washington University (GWU) where he gained MEng in Electrical engineering, and qualified for the PE certificate.[10]

Graduating from the GWU, Abbasi worked for the various projects in the United States before moving to Saudi Arabia to perform engineering works for various energy projects in Saudi oil industry.[10]

Chairman PIA and imprisonment[edit]

In 1997, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif approved the nomination paper of Abbasi to be appointed as the Chairman of the PIA.[5] 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.[11]

In 1999, his tenure was terminated by General Pervez Musharraf after staging a self-coup against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.[5] 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.[5] General Musharraf pressured Abbasi to provide a testimonial statement against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for hijacking case, but Abbasi refused to release the statement.[12] Abbasi stood a military JAG court which announced a solitary confinement for two years before being acquitted of all charges in March 2001.[5]

AirBlue and politics[edit]

Main article: Airblue

He founded and established AirBlue where he served as its first CEO. He introduced the first E ticket policy in the country.[13] In short period of time, AirBlue began a main competitor of the PIA in its race for international contracts.[13]

He performed well in general elections held in 2008 and eventually became Commerce Minister in cabinet of Prime minister Yousaf Gillani; though his tenure was short.[14]

Minister of Petroleum[edit]

In 2013, Abbasi successfully competed for the NA-50 for Rawalpindi district on the PML-N platform against PPP and PTI.[15] Abbasi secured ~134,439 votes with a percentile of 57.10%.[15] 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.[1]


  1. ^ a b Hussain, Tayyab (8 June 2013). "25-member cabinet takes oath". Pakistan Today. Pakistan Today. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  2. ^ Sajjad Malik, "24-member federal cabinet takes oath" Daily Times, April 01, 2008
  3. ^ staff editors. "Corporate information". AirBlue. Retrieved 21 September 2014. 
  4. ^ Saad Hasan, "AirBlue growth beats PIA on domestic routes" The News, January 8, 2008
  5. ^ a b c d e Baxter, Craig, ed. (2003). Pakistan on the brink : politics, economics, and society. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. ISBN 0739104985. 
  6. ^ "Shahid Khaqan Abbasi". Pakistan Leaders Online data base. Retrieved 21 September 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c "Shahid Khaqan Abbasi". Election Commission of Pakistan. Retrieved 21 September 2014. 
  8. ^ See Ojhri Camp military accident
  9. ^ "Shahid Khaqan Abbasi". Pakistan Herald. Retrieved 21 September 2014. 
  10. ^ a b c d staff editor. "Honourable Mr. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, MNA". Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency. Retrieved 21 September 2014. 
  11. ^ See history of the Pakistan International Airlines
  12. ^ Alam, Aftab, ed. (2001). Pakistan's fourth military coup. Delhi: Raj. ISBN 978-8186208151. 
  13. ^ a b Bano, Sheher (April 28, 2008). "High-Tech flying". Dawn News. Dawn Newspapers. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  14. ^ Staff. "Shahid khaqan abbasi". brecorder. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  15. ^ a b e-staff. "Detailed Result". POL and ECP. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 

External links[edit]