Raja Pervaiz Ashraf is a Pakistan-based businessperson, politician, and agriculturist. He remained the nineteenth PM of Pakistan from 22nd Jun 2012 to 16th Mar 2013, his designated tenure. He is a member of the Pakistan National Assembly from NA-58.
Furthermore, he is also serving as Senior Vice-President of PDM (Pakistan Democratic Movement), an anti-establishment alliance of Pakistani political parties. Before holding the PM office, he performed at the Ministry of Water & Power in Yousaf Raza Gillani’s government. This article has all the details about him, including Raja Pervaiz Ashraf Biography.
|Name:||Raja Pervaiz Ashraf|
|In Urdu:||راجہ پرویز اشرف|
|Famous As:||Businessman, Agriculturist, and Politician|
|Education:||University of Sindh|
|Profession:||Businessman and politician|
|Date:||26 December 1950|
|Place:||Sanghar, Sind, Pakistan (now in Sindh, Pakistan)|
|Spouse:||Nusrat Pervaiz Ashraf|
|Political Party:||Pakistan Peoples Party|
|Role:||Minister for Water and Power|
|Dates:||31 March 2008 – 9 February 2011|
|Prime Minister:||Yousaf Raza Gillani|
|Preceded By:||Liaquat Ali Jatoi|
|Succeeded By:||Syed Naveed Qamar|
|Role:||Prime Minister of Pakistan|
|Dates:||22 June 2012 – 24 March 2013|
|President:||Asif Ali Zardari|
|Preceded By:||Yousaf Raza Gillani|
|Succeeded By:||Mir Hazar Khan Khoso|
Table of Contents
Raja Pervaiz Ashraf Biography
Raja Pervez Ashraf is a seasoned and veterinary politician who had a political background. Before joining politics, he worked as a businessperson and later entered Pakistani politics. Being a leading and eminent member of PPP, he was nominated for the post of Pakistan’s PM after the disqualification of Gillani.
His political career faced hardships and allegations, firstly Pakistan Supreme Court ordered him to re-open cases against President Zardari. He was then accused of corruption in rental power projects. He denied all the charges and kept demanding his clearance from these allegations. After appointing his son-in-law Naeem ul Haque to the World Bank, he was criticized for setting nepotism in Pakistani politics.
Ashraf Date of Birth
He opened his eyes on 26th Dec 1950 in Sanghar, Sindh.
Education of Ashraf
He completed his graduation in 1970 from Sindh University.
Raja Pervaiz Ashraf Family
He belongs to the Minhas clan of Bakhral and is from Gujar Khan, Rawalpindi District’s industrial town. He hails from a middle-class Pothwari speaking family Having a traditional political background. His uncle was a minister in Ayub Khan’s cabinet during the 1960s.
His parents were the owner of agricultural land in Sanghar. Pervaiz has a command over multiple languages, including Sindhi, Pothwari, Punjabi, and Urdu, and married Nusrat Pervaiz and has two daughters and two sons. His son Khurram Parvez is a barrister, while the other son is a businessman.
He is considered an important and loyal leader of PPP in Rawalpindi. Ashraf participated in parliamentary elections held in 1990, 1993, and 1997. He won in the electoral process held in 2002 and 2008 and was given federal ministry for water & power ministry in PM Yousaf Gillani’s cabinet.
He has been elected as a National Assembly member twice from the constituency of Gujar Khan. Raja Ashraf won in Feb 2008 elections. He worked as a Standing-Committee member constituted on Kashmir and a Standing-Committee on Law, Justice & Human Rights. Before being elevated to the position of PM, he was serving as PPP’s secretary-general.
Minister of Water & Power
He was appointed head of MoPW (Ministry of Power & Water) in an alliance government of MQM, JUI-F, ANP, PML-N, and PPP made after 2008. During his term as Minister of Power, electricity generation faced chronic shortage, and load shedding happened frequently.
So the public heavily criticized him for fake promises of overcoming the power crisis in Pakistan by 2008. Regarding power issues, he received 1,147 official queries and questions and responded only 60%.
Allegations of Receiving Kickbacks
During the PPP regime, almost 3570 megawatts of power were added to the national grid, and a significant portion of it came during Pervaiz’s tenure. As compared to other power and energy ministries, more megawatts were added to the country’s national grid during his regime.
He was blamed for buying a foreign property using illegal money and receiving bribes in rental-power projects. He denied all these charges and defended himself in 2012 before Pakistan Supreme Court. However, no charges were proved against him due to a lack of evidence.
Launched Projects for Electricity Generation
His significant achievement is the development and implementation of hydro-projects in the 970-MW Neelam Jhelum project. During his regime, WAPDA initiated several large and medium projects in Northern Areas (Gilgit-Baltistan).
It includes Diamer-Bhasha Dam with a power generation potential of 4500 Mega-Watt and a feet-water storage capacity of 8.1 million acres. Moreover, Satpara Dam with the potential to generate 17 Mega Watts power and hydro-projects of 34 Mega Watt Harpo, 7100 Mega Watt Bunji, 40 Mega Watt Basho, and 34 Mega Watt Harpo.
Adopted Rental Policy
Hydro-power is the cheapest energy source, and as a PM and Minister, he paid special attention, but these projects are time taking. To solve the energy crisis issue, he followed the rental policy passed in the tenure of Musharraf and initiated a power-project on a rental basis.
Disqualification of PM Gillani
On 19th Jun 2012, Pakistan Supreme Court declared Yousuf Raza ineligible for the office of PM. PPP then nominated Makhdoom Shahabuddin, a textile minister, to replace Yousuf, but ANF (Anti-Narcotics Force) warrant issuance for Shahabuddin failed this nomination. ANP arrested him on drug allegations. PPP then nominated Ashraf.
Raja Pervaiz Ashraf as Prime Minister
On 22nd Jun 2012, he was designated as Pakistan’s PM by 211-89 votes. His selection restored the government of Pakistan after many days of disorder.
Announcements as a PM
After his selection as PM, he stated that his main concerns would be power crisis, inflation, and economy. Within twenty-four hours of being designated as PM, he called a meeting to solve energy shortage issues and instructed Petroleum Ministry to supply twenty-eight thousand tonnes of fuel to power plants daily, to add about 1200 MW to the national grid.
Criticism of Ashraf’s initiatives
The public protested against frequent load shedding in the country. The PEW (Pakistan Economy Watch) called Ashraf’s focus on power and energy a useless effort. PEW President Murtaza Mughal noticed that the fuel addition announcement had been displayed positively, ignoring the fact that the problem is not fuel scarcity but the non-payment of energy dues.
Economists and business people in the country showed a mixed response to his appointment. At the same time, some appreciated his focus and attention on the power crisis.
Took Notice of Main Issues
He announced the construction of many small dams throughout the country to overcome the power crisis. Besides energy issues, he identified Karachi’s worsening law & order situation, especially target killings. As a PM, he 1st time visited GB (Gilgit-Baltistan) and announced Rupees two billion grant for the region’s development.
On 12th Jul 2012, the Supreme Court of Pakistan, in its NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance) implementation case, ruled that PM Pervaiz must send a letter to Swiss authorities to re-open corruption cases against then-President Zardari. On 8th Aug, the Supreme Court of Pakistan delayed the case hearing till 18th Sep 2012.
After three days of his election, he visited MQM’s head office Nine Zero and had a meeting with MQM leaders. He also met the PML-F leader. His visits were seen as a move to strengthen the ties with alliance political parties. The 1st milestone he performed as PM was approving Pakistan’s Deputy PM’s creation to fulfill the demands of coalition party PML-Q.
On 25th Post-inauguration was done on 25th Jun, and Chaudhary Parvez Ilahi of PML-Q got designated as the country’s 1st Deputy PM.
Notifications Regarding Zardari’s Case
On 27th Jun 2012 Pakistan Supreme Court gave him weeks to tell whether he would ask Swiss authorities to re-open graft cases against Pakistani President Zardari. He, however, stated that he and Gillani are in the same position regarding this case.
Focused on Baluchistan Conflict
He focused his attention on the Baluchistan conflict and held a meeting to highlight enforced disappearances in the province.
Efforts for Dual Nationality Holders
He announced the plans to set-up legislation that would uplift the ban on dual-citizenship holders from participating in the electoral process. This enforcement became controversial.
After a few days, he visited Peshawar to meet local political figures and expressed his opinions on Pakistan’s parliament being ‘Mother of all institutes.’ Regarding corruption/fraud cases against Zardari, Parvez started in Sep 2012 to open pending corruption cases.
Efforts for Foreign Policy
Regarding foreign policy, he commented that he wants to communicate with the USA on ‘an equal Footing.’ India’s PM Manmohan Singh congratulated him on his election and forecasted better relations between India and Pakistan during Ashraf’s term.
The government of China greeted him and promised to strengthen Pak-China ties. Other congratulatory greetings came from Hillary Clinton, U.S. State Secretary, and Hamid Karzai, the President of Afghanistan.
Attack by Tehreek-e-Taliban Extremists
On 24th Jun 2012, many Tehreek-e-Taliban extremists from Afghanistan entered Pakistani tribal areas assassinating thirteen Pakistan troops. Pakistani troops targeted 14-raiding militants. Ashraf condemned this attack and stated that he would take this matter directly to Afghan President Karzai.
Statement on Kashmir Issue
He stated about the Kashmir-India conflict that Pakistan would provide diplomatic, moral, and political support to Jammu & Kashmir’s inhabitants until their problems and issues are resolved according to Kashmiri aspirations & UN resolutions.
Official Visit to Saudi Arab
On 15th July, he visited Saudi Arabia, his 1st official visit since being elected as PM. During this visit, he performed Umrah, met with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, discussed Saudi Arabia and Pakistan’s relationship status, and met the Pakistan community residing in Saudi Arabia.
On 30th Mar, the apex court directed NAB to proceed against officials who held water and power ministry from 2006 until the next elections. Resultantly, on 20th April, NAB issued Ashraf’s arrest warrants.
Raja Pervaiz Ashraf Controversies
On 15th Jan 2013, Pakistan Supreme Court ordered to arrest Ashraf for corruption charges. He was accused of bribery/kickbacks from power plants intended to solve Pakistan’s power crisis issue. The media ridiculed him as ‘Rental Raja.’
The case is pending in Supreme Court for almost four years. He kept denying all the charges and demanded to clear his name. PPP member referred to this arrest notification as a conspiracy. Rehman Malik, the interior minister, claimed Ashraf is PM even after arrest orders and would continue to serve at this post.
Followed Trend of Nepotism
Parvez designated his son-in-law Raja Azeem as Executive Director’s post in World Bank, violating rules and portraying Pakistani politics’ prevailing nepotism.
Social Media Handles
His social media account include