Biography of Raja Pervez Ashraf

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Raja Pervaiz Ashraf is a businessman, agriculturist, and politician who served as the 19th Prime Minister of Pakistan from 22 June 2012 until completing his designated term on 16 March 2013. He is a Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan from  NA-58 (Rawalpindi-II). He currently resides in Sanghar House, Gujar Khan.

Raja Pervaiz Ashraf was born on 26 December 1950 in Sanghar, interior Sindh. He graduated from the University of Sindh in 1970 and was involved in agriculture before entering politics. He is married to Nusrat Pervaiz Ashraf and has four children, which include two sons and two daughters.

Ashraf belongs to the Minhas clan of Pakhral and is originally from Gujar Khan, an industrial town in the Rawalpindi District of the Potohar region in northern Punjab.  The Potohar region is home to numerous prominent political and military personalities. Ashraf comes from a middle-class Potohari-speaking family of landowners who has had a traditional background in politics.

An uncle of his served as a minister in the cabinet of Ayub Khan during the 1960s. His parents owned agricultural land in the town of Sanghar in Sindh, where he was born and brought up. Ashraf is multilingual and can fluently speak English, Urdu, Punjabi and Potwari and Sindhi.

He is regarded as an important PPP loyalist and leader in the Rawalpindi region. He contested parliamentary elections in 1990, 1993 and 1997. He won in elections held in 2002 and then in 2008, following which he was appointed as federal minister for water, and as power minister in the cabinet of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani.

Ashraf has been twice elected Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan (MNA) from his constituency of Gujar Khan, Rawalpindi District. He won re-election in the  February 2008 elections. During his time as an MNA, he served as a member of the Standing Committee on Kashmir and the Standing Committee on Law, Justice and Human Rights. Before his ascendance to the post of the prime minister, he was also the secretary-general of the PPP.

He became the head of the Water and Power Ministry in the coalition government of PPP, PML-N, ANP, JUI-F, and MQM formed after the 2008 elections.

On 26 April 2012, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani was convicted of being in contempt of court for refusing to bring charges against President Asif Ali Zardari. On 19 June 2012, Gillani was retroactively ruled ineligible to hold the office by the Supreme Court.

On 22 June 2012, Raja Pervez Ashraf was elected Prime Minister of Pakistan by a 211–89 vote. Ashraf and his cabinet were sworn in on the same day. His selection as Prime Minister restored the country’s government after several days of turmoil where officially the country was without a government.

On 15 January 2013, the Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered the arrest of Raja Pervaiz Ashraf for alleged corruption as Ashraf was accused of kickbacks from rental power plants that were part of a project intended to serve as part of the solution to Pakistan’s power problems. The media derided Raja Pervaiz Ashraf as Rental Raja.  The arrest order came at the same time as the Long March culminated in the national capital of Islamabad.

Raja Pervez Ashraf appointed his son-in-law Raja Azeem in World Bank (Executive Director-Pakistan and others) in violation of rules and an example of Nepotism prevalent in Pakistani political elite. For more latest news Pakistan, visit 9newshd.tv

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