Shahid Khaqan Abbasi (Prime Minister of Pakistan)

Founder, Airblue Limited

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, the newly-installed prime minister of Pakistan, is an electrical engineer, pilot and aviation enthusiast who founded the private airline company, Airblue Limited, in 2003 in Islamabad.

Airblue operates scheduled flights linking six domestic destinations—Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Rahim Yar Khan,Sialkot and Multan. It also flies to the UAE –Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi; Muscat in Oman; Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The airline has a fleet of next generation Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft and the first in Pakistan to introduce modern technologies such as e-ticketing and self check-in kiosk facilities

The Prime Minister demonstrated his aviation skills on October 22, 2017 when he took a Turkish attack helicopter T- 129 for a test flight in Istanbul describing it as an “impressive and good machine.” He was in the Turkish capital for the 9th Summit of D-8 Developing Nations.

Mr. Abbasi's father, Khaqan Abbasi, was an air commodore in the Pakistan Air Force who later became a member of the National Assembly.

Born in Karachi, Pakistan on December 27, 1958, Mr. Abbasi spent most of his time in the city before moving to the United States where he took up his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree at the University of California, Los Angeles.He practiced his profession in the Middle East, working mostly in the oil and gas industry before deciding to take up his Master's in Electrical Engineering at the George WashingtonUniversity.Just like his father, he eventually ended up in politics having been elected six times as member of the National Assembly from Rawalpindi District, 1988 through 2013. He also served as Pakistan Parliamentary Secretary for Defense in 1990;chairman of the National Assembly's Standing Committee on Defense in 1993; chairman of Pakistan International Airlines from 1997 to 1999 besides briefly holding positions of Commerce Minister and Defense Production Minister in Yousuf Raza Gilani's Government in 2008.

He later became the petroleum minister under the Cabinet of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz nominated Mr. Abbasi as its candidate for the position of Prime Minister after the Supreme Court disqualified former Prime Minister Sharif on July 28, 2017.

At the 70th founding anniversary of Pakistan, Mr. Abbasi vowed to work with authorities to promote political and economic reforms in the country still challenged with poverty and inequality.

“The younger generation of Pakistan is endowed with exceptional talent and has a burning desire for advancement.They are making admirable contribution in the fields of

Information Technology, Engineering, Medical and Management all over the world, in a distinct manner. My government has a vision of accelerating the pace of development & prosperity in Pakistan so that all those professionals can return to contribute to this national effort,” he said.