Karachi (July 31, 2017): The following is a brief profile of Shahid Khaqab Abbasi who is the PMLN’s candidate to succeed Nawaz Sharif as Prime Minister of Pakistan for the interim period during which Shahbaz Sharif will contest by-election on NA-120 seat to replace him.
Born in Murree on December 19, 1958 Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who has been elected a member of National Assembly for six times, graduated from University of California Los Angeles and completed his Masters from George Washington University.
After working on various projects in the U.S. he served in many capacities in Saudi Arabian oil industry.
He first got elected to the national Assembly in 1988 after the death the death of his father. He was re-elected for the second time in 1990 and then also in 1993, and for the third time in 1997. He was appointed Chairman of national flag carrier Pakistan International Airlines where he served until 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.
Abbasi was arrested and his tenure was terminated for allegedly involving with Nawaz Sharif not to allow landing of the PIA aircraft carrying Pervez Musharraf. He remained in jail for two years and was acquitted by the court in 2001. He contested the National Assembly seat as PMLN candidate in 2002 during Musharraf rule but unsuccessful for the first time.
He was elected for the fifth time to the National Assembly as PMLN candidate from NA-50 constituency Rawalpindi in 2008. Abbasi was re-elected to the National Assembly from NA-50 Rawalpindi as PMLN candidate in 2013 general elections. He has been serving as Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources.
With PMLN enjoying majority of seats in 342-member National Assembly Abbas is expected to be elected the next prime minister of Pakistan.