An agriculturist before entering politics and propped by the
ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) as a cover candidate, the
country's new prime minister, Raja Pervez Ashraf, came to the fore
only after the main contender was mired in an illegal drugs quota
Born Dec 26, 1950, in Sanghar town in Sindh province, Ashraf was
the federal minister for water and power, and information and
technology in the government of ousted prime minister Yousuf Raza
He hails from a family of agriculturists and that remained his
occupation too until he joined the PPP, Dawn News reported.
Ashraf received a graduate's degree from the University of Sindh
in 1970. He and his wife have two sons and two daughters, and they
live in Gujar Khan.
He was elected to the National Assembly in 2002 from the
Ashraf is a member of many committees in the National Assembly,
including the Standing Committee on Kashmir and the Standing
Committee on Law, Justice and Human Rights, according to the
Currently the PPP secretary general, Ashraf has travelled to Saudi
Arabia, Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland, the
UAE, China, Belgium and North Korea on official tours.
According to the Washington Post, the choice of Ashraf "seemed to
guarantee continued political turmoil".
It said he is "associated with a persistent energy crisis that has
crippled the country with blackouts, water shortages and steep
increases in the price of fuel".
Ashraf, as energy minister 2008-2011, was also mired in a
corruption scandal involving private leases of power plants, the
Dawn News said he was accused of receiving kickbacks in a power
project and is currently defending himself in the Supreme Court.
The apex court declared Ashraf involved in the power project scam
and revoked his power as the minister for water and power.
However, when the federal cabinet was expanded, Ashraf was given
the ministry of information and technology.
He has also been accused of buying property abroad with illegal