Asad Umar (Urdu: اسد عمر; born 18 September 1961) is a Pakistani politician who has been a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan since September 2013. He served as the Federal Minister for Planning, Development, Reforms and Special Initiatives, from 19 November 2019 to 10 April 2022.

Asad Umer
Asad Umar.jpg
Minister for Planning, Development, Reforms and Special Initiatives
In office
19 November 2019 – 10 April 2022
PresidentArif Alvi
Prime MinisterImran Khan
Preceded byKhusro Bakhtiar
Succeeded byAhsan Iqbal
Chairman Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs
In office
8 May 2019 – 30 November 2019
PresidentArif Alvi
Prime MinisterImran Khan
Succeeded byFaiz Ullah Kamoka
Minister for Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs
In office
20 August 2018 – 18 April 2019
PresidentArif Alvi
Prime MinisterImran Khan
DeputyHammad Azhar (Minister of State for Revenue)
Preceded byShamshad Akhtar (caretaker)
Succeeded byAbdul Hafeez Shaikh (Finance and Revenue Advisor), Hammad Azhar (Economic Affairs Minister)
Chairman Standing Committee on Industries and Production
In office
2013–2018
PresidentMamnoon Hussain
Prime MinisterNawaz Sharif
Succeeded bySajid Hussain Turi
Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan
Assumed office
13 August 2018
ConstituencyNA-54 (Islamabad-III)
In office
16 September 2013 – 31 May 2018
ConstituencyNA-48 (Islamabad-I)
Secretary General of Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf
In office
December 2021
Personal details
Born (1961-09-08) 8 September 1961 (age 61)
Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan
Political partyPakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf
RelativesMuhammad Zubair Umar (brother)
Alma materInstitute of Business Administration, Karachi
AwardsSitara-i-Imtiaz
Websiteasadumar.pk

He has previously served as Chairman House Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs from 8 May 2019 till 30 November 2019 and Finance, Revenue, and Economic Affairs Minister of Pakistan from 20 August 2018 to 18 April 2019. Prior to entering politics, he was a business executive, serving as the chief executive officer (CEO) of Engro Corporation from 2004 to 2012.[1] He is currently serving as secretary-general of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf since December 2021.

Early life and educationEdit

In an interview, Umar said he was born in Rawalpindi in 1961 and is the youngest of six brothers and one sister. After his father's retirement from military, he moved to Karachi along with his family.[2] Umar received a degree in Commerce (B.Com) at the Government College of Commerce & Economics.[3] He graduated from IBA Karachi in 1984[4][1] from where he received an MBA degree.[2][3].

Asad Umar's father, Major General (retd) Ghulam Umar, was an army officer who was considered a close aide and served as first Advisor of National Security Council (NSC) created by the government of President Yahya Khan.[5] He is also the youngest brother of Mohammad Zubair, who currently serves as Chief Spokesperson of Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Safdar and was also appointed as 32nd Governor of Sindh by Pakistan Muslim League-N government.[6][7][8]

Professional careerEdit

He worked in HSBC Pakistan[1] after graduation for seven months.[2][3] He joined Exxon Chemical Pakistan in 1985[4] as a business analyst and was based in Canada. He was the only Pakistani employee of Exxon working abroad (in Canada) when the famous management buyout of Engro took place in 1991. Umar came back to Pakistan and in 1997 was appointed the first CEO of Engro Polymer & Chemicals, the group’s petrochemical arm.

He became the President and CEO of Engro Corporation in 2004. He immediately made the company take a global perspective, becoming the first Pakistani private sector firm to hire the top (and expensive) US consulting firm McKinsey & Company to help create the Engro’s strategy. As a result, Engro made changes to its corporate structure and went on a global expansion kick, buying out a US-based food company and started expanding into the fertiliser business in North Africa to supply the European market.[4][1]

In 2009, he was awarded Sitara-i-Imtiaz for his public service.[9]

He took an early retirement as president and CEO from Engro in April 2012[4][10][11] at the age of 50 amid speculation that he would pursue a political career.[12]

Umar is credited for turning a chemical company into a major conglomerate[4][11][12] and is considered one of the most popular and highly paid CEOs in Pakistan.[1][11] During his tenure as CEO of Engro Corporation, Umar was paid about PKR 68.6 million for the year 2011.[1]

Political careerEdit

Early years (2012-2018)Edit

He joined Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in 2012[4][11][12] and was made Senior Vice President.[13]

He was elected to the National Assembly of Pakistan from Constituency NA-48 (Islamabad-I) as a candidate of PTI in by-election held in August 2013.[14][15] He received 48,073 votes and defeated a candidate of Pakistan Muslim League (N) and became an MNA.[16] After Pakistan General Elections 2013, Asad served in the following Standing Committees of the National Assembly:

  • Standing Committee on Industries and Production. (Chairman Committee from 2013 till 2018)
  • Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat.
  • Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs.

In 2014, Lahore University of Management Sciences cancelled a scheduled speech of Umar due to being political in nature rather than educational.[17]

Re-election and ministries (2018-present)Edit

He was re-elected to the National Assembly as a candidate of PTI from Constituency NA-54 (Islamabad-III) in 2018 Pakistani general election.[18] He received 56,945 votes and defeated Anjum Aqeel Khan and again became an MNA.[19] After Pakistan General Elections 2018, Asad served in the following Standing Committees of the National Assembly:

  • Special Committee on Agricultural Products.
  • Non-Ministerial Standing Committee on Business Advisory.
  • Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs. (Chairman Committee from 8 May 2019 till 30 November 2019)

Following his successful election, Umar was named as the potential candidate for the office of Minister for Finance, Revenue, and Economic Affairs.[20] On 20 August 2018, he was sworn in as the Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Minister of Pakistan in the Federal Cabinet of Prime Minister Imran Khan.[21] On 18 September 2018, he presented amended finance bill for fiscal year 2018-2019 in the National Assembly.[22]

On 11 October 2018, Umar held a meeting with Christine Lagarde, chair of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and formally applied for bailout package.[23] Keeping in view the bad economic conditions left by the previous government, some quarters thought delay in applying for loans and bailout packages would cost Pakistan dearly. Ironically, the same PML-N leaders who claimed they had brought Pakistan's economy back on track, criticized Asad for applying for bailout late as economy was a disaster after PML-N's joyride in power.

The same month news reports emerged that Prime Minister Imran Khan has expressed dissatisfaction and reservations over Umar's performance as Minister for Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs - claims that were refuted.[24] On 18 April 2019, he stepped down from the Finance Ministry.[25]

From 8 May 2019 till 30 November 2019, Asad Umar served as the Chairman Standing Committee of the National Assembly of Pakistan for Finance, Revenue, and Economic Affairs. This is a key office as the chairman can ask the finance minister and his ministry regarding their performance. Moreover, the chairman can also give advice the finance minister and the finance ministry regarding their policies. On 9 July 2019, Umar started working as the Member of Economic Advisory Council (Pakistan) after the recommendations of Prime Minister Khan.

He is working as the Focal person for Supervision & Coordination amongst Government Agencies for All Mega Projects in Karachi funded by Federal government of Pakistan since 1 November 2019.

On 30 September 2019, news emerged that Imran khan will do a reshuffle, in cabinet and Umar would return in the cabinet. On 19 November 2019, he was reinducted into Federal Cabinet and appointed as Federal Minister for Planning, Development, Reforms and Special Initiatives.[26]

He is working as the Chairman of the cabinet committee on China–Pakistan Economic Corridor.

On 20 March 2020, he was appointed as the Chairman of Cabinet Committee on Energy, replacing Abdul Hafeez Shaikh. He also chaired the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) that dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic in Pakistan.

Chairman PTI Imran Khan appointed Asad Umar as PTI secretary-general on 25 Dec 2021.[27]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Corporate titan: After 27 years at Engro, Asad Umar calls it a day". The Express Tribune. 16 April 2012. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
  2. ^ a b c Zehra Shigri (9 June 2013). "Winds of change". The News US Magazine. Archived from the original on 9 June 2013. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "Featured Interviews - Mr. Asad Umar". alumni.iba.edu.pk. IBA. Archived from the original on 9 October 2016. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Engro president quits". DAWN.COM. 17 April 2012. Archived from the original on 27 February 2017. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  5. ^ "Brother of Sindh governor and PTI's Asad Umar passes away in Karachi". The Express Tribune. 24 June 2018. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  6. ^ "PML-N appoints Mohammad Zubair as Nawaz Sharif, Maryam's spokesperson". www.thenews.com.pk. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
  7. ^ "Muhammad Zubair named Sindh governor - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 31 January 2017. Archived from the original on 31 January 2017. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  8. ^ "Two talented brothers wrestle political issues for opposing sides". DAWN.COM. 21 February 2014. Archived from the original on 27 February 2017. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  9. ^ "List of civil award winners". DAWN.COM. 16 August 2009. Archived from the original on 27 February 2017. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  10. ^ "Engro CEO Asad Umar decides to quit". Daily Times.com. 17 April 2012. Archived from the original on 14 October 2013. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
  11. ^ a b c d "From Engro to PTI: A look back and forward at Asad Umar's life - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 29 April 2012. Archived from the original on 22 December 2016. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  12. ^ a b c "New recruit: Former Engro CEO Asad Umar joins PTI - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 19 April 2012. Archived from the original on 21 December 2016. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  13. ^ "Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf". DAWN.COM. 23 March 2013. Archived from the original on 27 February 2017. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  14. ^ "PTI man wins NA-48 amid low turnout". DAWN.COM. 23 August 2013. Archived from the original on 27 February 2017. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  15. ^ "By-election: 32 per cent turnout in NA-48 by-election - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 24 August 2013. Archived from the original on 23 August 2013. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  16. ^ "2013 election result" (PDF). ECP. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  17. ^ "LUMS cancels Asad Umar's talk". DAWN.COM. 12 November 2014. Archived from the original on 27 February 2017. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  18. ^ "Pakistan election results live: Imran Khan wins in Pakistan but needs support to form government". GulfNews. 27 July 2018. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  19. ^ "NA-54 Result - Election Results 2018 - Islamabad 3 - NA-54 Candidates - NA-54 Constituency Details - thenews.com.pk". www.thenews.com.pk. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
  20. ^ "Naya minister, meet purani ministry - Profit by Pakistan Today". Profit by Pakistan Today. 30 July 2018. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  21. ^ Dawn.com (20 August 2018). "16 ministers from PM Khan's cabinet sworn in". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
  22. ^ Khan, Sanaullah (18 September 2018). "Government cuts development spending, increases taxes on country's elite". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  23. ^ Politi, James; Bokhari, Farhan (11 October 2018). "Pakistan formally seeks 'financial assistance' from IMF". Financial Times. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
  24. ^ "Reports PM unhappy over Asad Umar's performance refuted". The Express Tribune. 12 October 2018. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
  25. ^ Dawn.com (18 April 2019). "'Time to take difficult decisions': Asad Umar steps down as finance minister, will not hold any portfolio". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
  26. ^ "Asad Umar to replace Khusro Bakhtiar as planning minister". The Express Tribune. 18 November 2019. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
  27. ^ "PM Imran Khan appoints Asad Umar as PTI secretary-general in new party setup". www.thenews.com.pk. Retrieved 7 April 2022.