Khawaja Muhammad Asif is a Pakistani politician who has been a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan, since August 2018.
Asif was born on 9 August 1949 in Sialkot, Punjab, to Khawaja Muhammad Safdar. He received his early education at Cadet College Hasan Abdal. He attained his bachelor’s degree from Government College Lahore, and an L.L.B. degree from the University Law College, Lahore. Asif is a banker by profession and has worked in the different banks of the United Arab Emirates where he lived for several years until 1999. He has a son and three daughters.
Asif began his political career in 1991 on returning to Pakistan following the death of his father after living in the United Arab Emirates for many years. In 1991, he was elected to the Senate of Pakistan as a candidate of Pakistan Muslim League (N) (PML-N) for three years. He was elected to the National Assembly of Pakistan from Constituency NA-110 (Sialkot) in 1993 general election.
He was re-elected to the National Assembly in 1997 general election and was appointed as the chairman of the Privatization Commission of Pakistan with the status of a minister during the second government of Nawaz Sharif.
Asif came closer to Nawaz Sharif during the Musharraf rule for keeping the PML-N alive.
Asif was re-elected to the National Assembly in 2002 general election. He was re-elected to the National Assembly in 2008 general election, and was briefly appointed as the Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources, as well as the Minister of Sports in the Gillani ministry, before his party pulled out of the Pakistan Peoples Party-led coalition government.
In Pakistani general election, 2013, Asif was re-elected as the member of National Assembly for the fifth time. In June 2013, he was appointed as the Minister of Water and Power and later given additional portfolio of Minister of Defence in November 2013 under Sharif’s third ministry.
He had ceased to hold ministerial office in July 2017 when the federal cabinet was disbanded following the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif after Panama Papers case decision. Following the election of Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as Prime Minister of Pakistan, Asif was inducted into the federal cabinet of Abbasi and was appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs for the first time. Earlier, Pakistan had no Minister for Foreign Affairs since the PML-N came to power in May 2013 as former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif himself held the cabinet portfolio of foreign affairs.
He was criticised for holding the work permit of the UAE while being the Minister for Foreign Affairs. On 26 April 2018, he was disqualified from holding a public office for life by the Islamabad High Court over possession of the UAE work permit. Asif reacted saying “he will challenge the verdict in the Supreme Court of Pakistan”. Later on the same day, he was unseated by the Election Commission of Pakistan as Member of the National Assembly.
Following which Asif challenged his disqualification in the Supreme Court. In June 2018, the Supreme Court suspended the lifetime disqualification and declared the decision of Islamabad High Court null and void, and allowed Asif to contest elections.
He was re-elected to the National Assembly as a candidate of PML-N from Constituency NA-73 (Sialkot-II) in Pakistani general election, 2018. He received 116,957 votes and defeated Usman Dar. For more latest news Pakistan, visit 9newshd.tv