Ahsan Iqbal Chaudhary (Born September 28, 1958) is a Pakistani politician. Ahsan Iqbal is a member of National Assembly and Federal Minister for Planning and Development and Deputy Chairman Planning Commission of Pakistan, he has also served as the Federal Education Minister of Pakistan. He is the Deputy Secretary General of the center-right party PML-N, and also a member of the Central Executive Committee of the party. He was elected as an MNA from his constituency NA-117 (Narowal-III) for the fourth time in the May 2013 elections. He served as a Federal Minister for Education in the coalition government of PPP, PML-N, ANP and JUI-F formed after 2008 elections, but later resigned when his party pulled out of the coalition on 12 May 2008.
Life and education
Ahsan Iqbal was born to Iqbal Ahmad Chaudhary and Apa Nisar Fatima. His mother, Apa Nisar Fatima, was a Member of the National Assembly on reserved seats for women (1985–1988) and daughter of Chaudhry Abdul Rehman Khan, a Member of the Legislative Assembly from Jalandhar, Punjab in India, before the independence of Pakistan.He attended Cantt Public School Karachi, PAF Public School, Sargodha and the Government College, Lahore. He then studied mechanical engineering at the UET Lahore (1976–1981), where he was elected President of the Students Union (1980–81). He worked briefly in the private sector with Millat Tractors (manufacturers of Massey Ferguson in Pakistan) before moving on to the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania for an MBA degree (1984–1986). He has also attended executive and mid career programs at universities including the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University (1989), the University of Oxford (1992) and Harvard University (2004).
His political career started in 1980 when he was elected President of Students Union on the platform of Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba in University of Engineering & Technology, Lahore. In 1988 he joined Pakistan Muslim League (a part of IJI then) later becoming Pakistan Muslim League (N), and rose to become its Information Secretary in 2006 during the regime of President Pervaiz Musharraf. He was elected for the first time as an MNA from NA-90 Narowal (now NA-117) in the general elections of 1993, and later re-elected from the same constituency in February 1997. He won his seat again in 2008 and 2013 securing 59% and 62% of the votes cast but lost in 2002 to Riffat Javed Kahloon. He was elected Deputy Secretary General of PML-N in the General Council meeting of PML-N on 27 July 2011. He won the National Assembly election from NA-117 Narowal III in the 2013 General Election defeating the folk singer Abrar ul Haq who was representing the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in the race.
Appointments to executive posts
His appointments include Chief Coordinator / Minister of State, Pakistan 2010 Program (1997–99), Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission (Pakistan) (1998–99); Chairman, Good Governance Group, Government of Pakistan (1997–99); Chairman, Pakistan Engineering Board, and Chairman, National Steering Committees on Information Technology and TQM and Productivity (1998–99). He earlier served as Policy and Public Affairs Assistant to the Prime Minister of Pakistan (1993). He served as Senior Advisor, Al-Madinah Al-Monawarah Digital Economy Project of the Madina Government, Saudi Arabia from September 2004 to April 2006. Ahsan Iqbal was a part of the turn around team of Ghee Corporation of Pakistan (appointed 1986) before it was privatized and served as the first Managing Director of the Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab (1988–1990) before joining politics.