Pakistan

PML-N’s Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was sworn in as prime minister of Pakistan in an oath-taking ceremony held at President House on Tuesday.


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He was elected prime minister by lawmakers in the National Assembly earlier today, bagging 221 votes to become the successor to ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

The 58-year-old Abbasi is considered highly intelligent and a long-time loyalist of Nawaz Sharif.

Abbasi, an electrical engineer with a master’s degree from George Washington University, served as the minister of petroleum and natural resources in Nawaz Sharif’s third term, which ended on July 28, 2017 after the Supreme Court of Pakistan disqualified him as Pakistan’s prime minister.

Abbasi was appointed oil minister when Nawaz Sharif won his third election in 2013, and now, he will act as a placeholder for the Sharif dynasty.

Educated in the US at George Washington University, he was born in Karachi but is a member of the National Assembly from Murree.

Abbasi worked in the US and Saudi Arabia as an electrical engineer before joining politics after his father, a minister in General Zia’s government, was killed when an ammunition dump exploded in Rawalpindi in 1988.

Brigadier Ziaul Haq with Air Commodore Khaqan Abbasi in Jordan, 1971

He has been elected six times as a member of the National Assembly since then, and has previously served as minister for commerce and defence production.

He was the chairman of national flag carrier Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) from 1997 to 1999, until General Pervez Musharraf overthrew Sharif´s second government.

Abbasi was arrested after the coup and imprisoned for two years before being released.

In 2003, he set up a private airline Air Blue, the country’s most successful private airline and challenger to PIA.