Shaukat Aziz became the 23rd Prime Minister of Pakistan on August 23, 2004 after he won two National Assembly seats from Attock and Tharparkar on August 18 by-elections and took oath as Member of National Assembly on August 20. He retained the Attock seat, he took over the charge of premiership of Pakistan from Chaudury Shujaat Hussain who remains the President of Muslim League (QA).
He was born in Karachi on March 6, 1949 and received his early education at Saint Patricks School, Karachi and Abbottabad Public School. He was awarded the Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree in 1969 at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi. He joined the Citibank in 1969, Karachi and served overseas in 1975, holding higher positions in several countries including USA, UK, Malaysia, Singapore and Saudi Arabia. He was appointed Executive Vice President of Citibank in 1992 and till he joined the Government of Pakistan as Finance Minister in 1999. Well regarded by global financiers, Shaukat Aziz is, indeed, President Pervez Musharraf’s choice for the top post.
Shaukat Aziz who has retained the Ministry of Finance is regarded as an optimist who is determined to use Pakistan’s potential and bring Pakistan at par with other Asian countries like China, Thailand, Malaysia and other regional economic giants. He looks for a bright future for Pakistan if its human capital and resources are utilized positively. After taking oath as Member of the National Assembly, Shaukat Aziz has also declared that efforts would be made for provision of good governance, improvement in legal and police systems and provision of opportunities to the people, especially the common man. Analysts say his main duties as premier will be to improve the day-to-day running of the federal government and see that policies are more effectively executed. Many people attribute Pakistans economic revival to his prudent policies, while others claim it was the global situation that made it possible. Some others argue that his policies did more harm than good by marginalizing the common man as the poverty level failed to decline. It is, however, hoped that Mr. Aziz who is the choice of a section of Pakistan’s rulers will win friends in the international financial institutions.
Although Shaukat Aziz is expected to come up with more concrete relief due to his finance management skill and stress on macroeconomics, Shaukat Aziz will have to take quick steps on the path of learning the intricacies of both the global and national politics. It is an area that is full of pitfalls and various blind alleys. No spiritual or political academy or any book is likely to give him readymade guidelines about unpredictable turns and situations likely to come his way. He is sure to succeed if he is convinced to apply the tricks of the “trade”.
This article was last updated on Friday, October 08, 2004