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Shahid Khaqan Abbasi

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi  is a Pakistani politician who is the Prime Minister-designate of Pakistan. A member of Pakistan Muslim League (N), Abbasi previously served as the Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources in the third Sharif's ministry from 2013 to 2017 and briefly held the cabinet portfolio of Minister for Commerce in the Gillani ministry in 2008. Abbasi has been an elected Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan since 1988, representing Rawalpindi. He is the owner of Airblue; and previously served as Chairman of Pakistan International Airlines from 1997 to 1999 during the second Sharif's ministry. 

Early life and education

Abbasi was born on 27 December 1958 in Karachi, Pakistan to Khaqan Abbasi. Abbasi studied at the Lawrence College in Murree. In 1978, Abbasi attended the University of California, Los Angeles to study electrical engineering from where he attained Bachelor of Science. In 1985, he attended the George Washington University where he gained master's degree in electrical engineering, and qualified for the professional engineer certificate. 

Professional career

After graduating from the George Washington University, Abbasi worked as professional engineer 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. In 2003, Abbasi founded Airblue Limited where he served as its first chairman until 2007. Later he became chief operating officer of the airline. Reportedly, Abbasi is the owner of the airline but he denies it saying that he had no shareholding in Airblue Limited and had not visited its office for over two years. 

Political career

Abbasi was elected to the National Assembly of Pakistan for this first time from Rawalpindi constituency as an independent candidate in Pakistani general elections, 1988 after the death of his father Khaqan Abbasi who was the then Federal Minister for Production in the cabinet of Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq. He was re-elected to the National Assembly from Rawalpindi constituency as a candidate of Islami Jamhoori Ittehad in Pakistani general elections, 1990 and made Parliamentary Secretary for Defence. He was re-elected to the National Assembly for the third time from Rawalpindi constituency as a candidate of Pakistan Muslim League (N) (PML-N) in Pakistani general elections, 1993 during which he performed his duties as the Chairman of the Standing Committee of National Assembly on Defense. 

He was re-elected to the National Assembly for the fourth time as a candidate of PML-N from Rawalpindi constituency in Pakistani general elections, 1997 and appointed as the Chairman of the 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.[4] Abbasi was arrested and his tenure was terminated. He remained in jail for two years and was acquitted by the court in 2001. He ran for the seat of the National Assembly as a candidate of PML-N in Pakistani general elections, 2002, but was unsuccessful for the first time after he lost to a candidate of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). 

He was re-elected to the National Assembly for the fifth time as a candidate of PML-N from Constituency NA-50 (Rawalpindi) in Pakistani general elections, 2008, and briefly held the cabinet portfolio as Federal Minister for Commerce along with the additional portfolio of Federal Minister for Defence Production dubious – discuss] in the Gillani ministry in March 2008 however, his tenure was short-lived due to PML-N's decision to leave the PPP led coalition government in May 2008. Abbasi was re-elected to the National Assembly from Constituency NA-50 (Rawalpindi) for the sixth time as a cadidiate of PML-N in Pakistani general elections, 2013. Upon PML-N victory in the 2013 national election, he was inducted into the federal cabinet and was appointed as the Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources. 

On July 2017, he had ceased to hold ministerial office when the federal cabinet was disbanded following the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif after Panama Papers case decision. A day later, he was nominated by Nawaz Sharif as the interim Prime Minister of Pakistan for 45 days. 

Personal life

Abbasi is married and has three sons. His surname Abbasi is also the name of his clan, which is predominant in northern Punjab.

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