Raja Pervaiz Asharaf is New Prime Minister of Pakistan

By : Arif qoreshi

Islamabad: The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) candidate Raja Pervaiz Asharaf has been elected as the 25th Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.Ashraf, a unanimously agreed candidate of the PPP and its coalition partners PML(Q),MQM,ANP. Raja Pervaiz Asharaf bagged 211 votes while Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) candidate Sardar Mehtab Abbasi obtained 89 votes.

Profile of newly elected prime minister of Pakistan

After the official disqualification of Yousuf Raza Gilani on June 19, the allied parties unanimously nominated Ashraf as the new prime minister of Pakistan. He defeated the pakistan muslim league (n) candidate sardar mehtab abbasi and jamiat ulemia islam head and candidate for prime minister maulana fazal rehamn.

Born

Raja Pervaiz Ashraf born December 26, 1950 in Sanghar, Sindh province.

Family

He hails from a Rajpoot family of agriculturists and that remained his occupation until he joined center-left PPP, and made Gujar Khan his new home. Married with two sons and two daughters.

Education

After completing a bachelors degree from University of Sindh in 1970, he went to the United Kingdom and completed a diploma in Industrial Management from the Institution of Works Managers, London in 1974.

Profession

By profession he is an agriculturist and businessman.

Political career

  1. Pervaiz Ashraf contested the elections of national assembly in  1985,1989 and 1993 and 1997 but failed to succeed.
  2. In 1988 he joined Pakistan Peoples Party
  3. During era of former dictator General Pervaiz Musharraf, He contested for District Nazim election in 2001 and  was defeated by Raja Tariq Kayani.
  4. In national elections of 2002, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf defeated PML (N) candidate Chaudhry Zaman by 25000 votes.
  5. In 2008, he defeated PML (Q) candidate Qasim Javed.
  6. After PPP government, he was made minister for Water and Power
  7. On rental power corruption scam, he was reshuffled to ministry of Information Technology

 

Chairman of Social action board

He was appointed Chairman of Social Action Board District Rawalpindi during the Benazir Bhutto led government from 1994 to 1996

 

Leader of PPP Rawalpindi & MNA Gujar Khan

He is a senior leader of Pakistan Peoples Party from Rawalpindi District. Mr Ashraf was elected to the National Assembly from Gujar Khan constituency in Rawalpindi district in the elections in 2002 and 2008(Constituency: NA-51)

Secretary General of the PPP

He is currently the Secretary General of the PPPP and  the member of two national assembly committees:

1• Standing Committee on Kashmir

2• Standing Committee on Law, Justice and Human Rights

Rental Power Corruption Allegations

Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has been accused of receiving kickback in a $ 5 billion Rental Power project and is currently defending himself in the Supreme Court of Pakistan. He has also been accused of buying foreign property from illegal money. The Supreme Court declared him involved in the rental power project scam and revoked his power as the minister for water and power. However, when the federal cabinet expanded, he was given the ministry of information and technology.

He was forced to resign due to corrupt practices February last year. He remained the minister for Water and Power from 31 March 2008 to 9 February 2011.

He returned to the cabinet in April 2012 this year when he was appointed as Minister for Information Technology.

First address in the national assembly

Soon after being named PM, Ashraf promised  to hold free and fair elections and sought the opposition’s support for the carrying on with the democratic process. He also promised to address the issues plaguing Baluchistan and promised “peaceful co-existence” with neighbors India and Afghanistan.

President Asif Ali Zardari congratulated Raja Pervaiz Asharaf on his success and said ” Ashraf’s election as PM is an indication of the nation’s confidence in democracy.”

The newly elected prime minister, twenty seven new federal ministers and 11 new ministers for state took oath; Most of them were also part of the previous cabinet as well.

 

Federal Ministers: Farzana Raja, Naveed Qamar, Farooq H Naek,Firdous Ashiq Awan, Ahmad Mukhtar, Khuda Bakhsh Rajar, Babar Khan Ghauri, Manzoor Watto, Maula Baksh Chandio, Hafeez Shaikh Khursheed Shah, Sardar Mohmmad Gorganj, Mir Changez Jamali, Ghulam Ahmed Bilour, Nazar Muhammad Gondal,Mir Hazar Khan Bajarani and Rana Farooq Saeed.

 

State Ministers: Moazzam Ali Jatoi, Raheela Baloch, Dost Muhammad Mazari, Dr Nadeem Ehsan, Tasneem Ahmed Qureshi, Samsam Ahmed Bukhari, Azmat Khan, Imtiaz Safdar Warraich, Nawabzada Malik Emad, Sardar Saleem Haider and Abbas Khan Afridi.

 Controversies and challenges

Following the Supreme Court’s dismissal of the PPP’s Yousuf Raza Gilani as premier and the issuance of arrest warrants for their first nominee Makhdoom Shahabuddin, Raja Pervez Ashraf had emerged as the main coalition’s preferred candidate as prime minister — a controversial choice, many say.

Ashraf is steeped in controversy. Currently fighting a corruption case from his tenure as water and power minister, he has also been blamed for much of the government’s inability to resolve a disastrous energy crisis.

Ashraf may also come under immediate pressure from the Supreme Court to write to Swiss authorities, asking them to reopen corruption investigations into President Asif Ali Zardari – refusal for which saw Gilani convicted of contempt.

Ashraf had said his focus was the power crisis, which he promised to resolve despite being widely criticised for incompetence while at the power ministry from March 2008 to February 2011.“Our first priority will be to resolve the power crisis,” he said. “I hope soon we will find a solution,” he added.Before the parliamentary session, the PPP and its coalition partners held a meeting.After the meeting PPP’s Syed Khurshid Shah had confirmed Ashraf’s nomination, he conceded that the government was heading towards an election. Its five-year mandate expires in early 2013.“If we have committed some mistakes or did not fulfill our manifesto, then the decision should be left to the people of Pakistan,” he had said.

US State Department welcomed

The United States Friday welcomed the election of a new prime minister in Pakistan eyeing an end to the political upheaval in its key, but wary regional Asian ally, AFP reported.“We are pleased that the leadership issue appears to have been settled,”State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters.

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