Shahid Khaqan Abbasi

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi (cropped).jpg
18th Prime Minister of Pakistan
In office
1 August 2017 – 31 May 2018
PresidentMamnoon Hussain
Preceded byNawaz Sharif
Succeeded byNasirul Mulk (Caretaker)
Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources
In office
7 June 2013 – 28 July 2017
Prime MinisterNawaz Sharif
Preceded byAsim Hussain
Succeeded byHimself (petroleum division)
Awais Leghari (power division)
Minister for Commerce
In office
31 March 2008 – 13 May 2008
Prime MinisterYousaf Raza Gillani
Preceded byHumayun Akhtar Khan
Succeeded byAmeen Faheem
Chair of Pakistan International Airlines
In office
27 December 1997 – 12 October 1999
Prime MinisterNawaz Sharif
Preceded byFarooq Umar
Succeeded byAhmad Saeed
Member of the National Assembly
for Constituency NA-50
In office
2008 – 31 May 2018
Preceded byGhulam Murtaza Satti
Majority2008: 99,987 (48%)
2013: 134,439 (54%)
Member of the National Assembly
for Constituency NA-36
In office
Preceded byKhaqan Abbasi
Succeeded byGhulam Murtaza Satti
Majority1988: 47,295 (34%)
1990: 80,305 (59%)
1993: 76,596 (56%)
1997: 65,194 (58%)
Personal details
Born (1958-12-27) 27 December 1958 (age 59)
Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
Political partyPakistan Muslim League (Nawaz)
Other political
Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (1988–1990)
Spouse(s)Samina Khaqan Abbasi (m. 1986)[1]
FatherKhaqan Abbasi
RelativesSadia Abbasi (Sister)
Alma materLawrence College
University of California, Los Angeles
George Washington University

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi (Urdu: شاہد خاقان عباسی‎; born 27 December 1958) is a Pakistani politician who served as the 18th Prime Minister of Pakistan from August 2017 to May 2018. A leader of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) (PML-N), he had been a Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan from 1988 to 1999 and again from 2008 to May 2018.

Born in 1958 in Karachi to Khaqan Abbasi, Abbasi was educated at Lawrence College, Murree. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, before obtaining a master's degree from George Washington University. Prior to entering politics, he worked as a professional engineer in various projects in the United States and the Middle East.

Abbasi started his political career after the death of his father in 1988, and since then he has been elected a Member of the National Assembly six times for Constituency NA-50 (Rawalpindi). After the PML-N victory in the 1997 general election, he served as Chairman of Pakistan International Airlines until the 1999 Pakistani coup d'état. After the formation of a coalition government following the 2008 general election, he was briefly the Minister for Commerce in the Gillani ministry. After the 2013 general election, he became the Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources in the third Sharif ministry, where he served from 2013 until the disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif after the Panama Papers case decision in July 2017. In August 2017, he was elected as 18th Prime Minister of Pakistan by the National Assembly.

Early and personal life

Early life and education

Abbasi was born on 27 December 1958[2][3][4][5] in Karachi, Sindh,[6] to Khaqan Abbasi.[7][8][9] According to some Pakistani daily newspapers, he was born in his hometown of Murree in Rawalpindi District, Punjab.[5][10][11]

Abbasi was educated in Karachi before enrolling at Lawrence College in Murree.[8][9][12] In 1978, he attended the University of California, Los Angeles, where he received a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering.[4][7][13] Following this, he began a career as an electrical engineer.[9] In 1985, he attended George Washington University, where he gained a master's degree in Electrical Engineering.[4][8][9][14]

After graduating from George Washington University, Abbasi became a professional electrical engineer.[15] He worked in the United States during the 1980s before moving to Saudi Arabia,[4][16][17] where he worked on energy projects in the oil and gas industry.[7][8][9]

Family and personal life

Abbasi belongs to a wealthy political family[18] from Kahuta.[19] However, he hails from Dewal village.[20] He belongs to the Dhund Abbasi clan, which is predominant in northern Punjab.[21]

Abbasi is married and has three sons.[8][9] His father, Khaqan Abbasi, was an air commodore in the Pakistan Air Force. He entered politics and became a Member of the National Assembly[18] and was inducted as the Federal Minister for Production in the cabinet of Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, until his death in 1988 at Ojhri Camp in a military accident that resulted in more than 100 casualties.[5][22] His brother, Zahid Abbasi, was also injured in that incident,[5][11] after which he went into coma and died in 2005, having remained bedridden for 17 years.[23][24] His sister Sadia Abbasi has been a member of the Senate of Pakistan.[5][11] His father-in-law, General Muhammad Riaz Abbasi, was the director-general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) from 1977 to 1979.[5][11][18]

He is also an aviation enthusiast and an amateur skydiver.[25] He is the first Prime Minister of Pakistan to participate in a Pakistan Air Force mission by flying in a F-16 Fighting Falcon[26] and a military helicopter.[27] In an interview, he said he has been a pilot for more than forty years.[28] In December 2017, he became the first prime minister of Pakistan to board a submarine in the open sea where he conducted submarine diving and surfacing procedures which earned him Pakistan Navy insignia worn by qualified submariners.[29]

He is said to be a reserved, media-shy person.[30]


Abbasi is a businessman[31] and an aviation expert.[32] He is the owner of Airblue, which he founded in 2003,[8] but in 2016 he denied being a stakeholder, saying he has not visited the airline's office for years.[33][34] As of 2013, he had 900 million shares in Airblue.[35]

He is one of the richest parliamentarians in Pakistan,[18][36] with a net worth of 1.3 billion[37] to 2.3 billion.[38] His assets include shares in Airblue, a house in Islamabad, a restaurant business, and land properties in Murree.[37][39]

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