Gohar Ayub KhanShare
Gohar Ayub Khan (Urdu; Pashto: گوہر ایوب خان; January 15, 1937), is a veteran politician, business oligarch, retired army officer, and conservative figure of the Pakistan Muslim League, who held ministerial positions in the of former Prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
Rooted from Afghan descent family, Gohar Ayub Khan hailed from the local village, “Rehana”, located Haripur city of Hazara District of North-West Frontier Province. Khan is the son of former President Field Marshal Ayub Khan and played an influential role in sustaining his father’s presidential rule after the 1965 presidential elections. Educated and graduated from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Khan given commissioned in Pakistan Army in 1959 and subsequently took voluntarily retirement as Captain in 1962. During his military service, Khan served as his father’s aide-de-camp during that period traveling with him on several foreign trips. Upon his resignation, Khan established a business conglomerate and entered in politics in 1974.
He contested in 1977 general elections through the Independence Movement platform but joined the Islamic Democratic Alliance (IDA) in 1988. After the 1990 general elections, Gohar Khan was appointed as fourteenth Speaker of the National Assembly and became 20th Minister of Foreign Affairs after securing his seat with heavy margin in 1997 general elections. However, he later was shifted in energy department as minister for water and power on August 7, 1998. His term was abruptly ended on 12 October 1999 by General Pervez Musharraf, and subsequently retired from national politics in 2007.
Early life and military career
Gohar Ayub Khan was born in the local village in the “Rehana” in subdivion of Haripur District in the British controlled North-West Frontier Province of British Indian Empire, to a military family on January 15, 1937. Gohar Ayub Khan is of the Afghan descent and is ethnically a Pashtun (or Pathan) of the Tareen tribe, although a Hindko speaker. His father, Ayub Khan, was a senior commanding officer in the British Army and later ascended in staff and field operational assignments in Pakistan Army and subsequently became President of Pakistan through a bloodless military coup commenced in 1958.
Gohar Ayub was sent to studied at the military controlled Army Burn Hall College and forwarded to attend private school, the St. Mary’s Academy in Rawalpindi. Gohar Ayub joined the Pakistan Army in 1947, and joined the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in the United Kingdom. Upon his return, Gohar Ayub began his active duty with the Pakistan Army, starting to work on the staff appointments. In 1958 and beyond, Gohar Ayub had began to serve as his father’s aide-de-camp during that period traveling with him on several foreign trips in Europe, Americas, Soviet Union and Asia. Gohar Ayub did not rise beyond the rank of Captain despite his father’s support. In his army records, there are allegations of professional and behavioral misconduct of Gohar Ayub during his stay in the army, including withstand allegations of being a routinely alcoholic while at the duty and a man of loose sexual morals.
Gohar Ayub was prematurely given retirement in 1962 by the army promotion branch despite his father’s efforts to stop the investigations against his son. After given force retirement, Gohar Ayub, along with his father-in-law general (retired) Habibullah Khan, went on to established a private industrial firm, the Universal Insurance Co. Ltd.
Business wealth and networth
Gohar Ayub co-established the industrial firm under the business umbrella of Universal Insurance company Limited founded by his father-in-law. Relatively in a short span of time, and Ayub Khan’s intensified pro-Western and pro-Capitalism policies, Gohar Ayub emerged as powerful business oligarch. There are no evidence that Gohar Ayub suggesting that Gohar Ayub secured all these positions and express with the consent of his father. One Western commentator in 1969 estimated Gohar Ayub’s personal wealth at the time at $4 million dollars, while his families wealth was put in the range of $10–$20 million dollars.
Role in 1965 Presidential Election
Gohar Ayub reportedly played an influential but controversial role in Karachi after his father’s election in the allegedly rigged 1965 Presidential elections against Fatima Jinnah is a subject of criticism by many writers. Gohar Ayub it is said to have led a victory parade right into the heartland of opposition territory in Karachi, in a move that led to fierce clashes between opposing groups. Gohar Ayub also faced criticisms during that time on questions of family corruption and cronyism through his business links with his father-in-law retired Lt. General Habibullah Khan Khattak. One Western commentator in 1969 estimated Gohar Ayub’s personal wealth at the time at $4 million dollars, while his families wealth was put in the range of $10–$20 million dollars.
Speaker of National Assembly
Gohar Ayub had been long standing member of Pakistan Muslim League and had been elected for five times to the National Assembly from his home constituency. He first successfully contested in in March 1965 presidential election on a Muslim League platform. In 1977, he contested the National Assembly seat from Peshawar Jail and was elected on the ticket of Asghar Khan’s Independence Movement party, and defeated the candidate Akhtar Nawaz Khan of Pakistan Peoples Party.
In 1990-93, Gohar Ayub Khan was appointed as senior vice president of the Pakistan Muslim League, and successful won the slot for the office of National Assembly. After successfully contesting on 1990 general elections, Gohar Ayub was appointed as 14th Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan on November 4, 1990, remaining until 1993. He was succeeded by Yousaf Raza Gillani (now current Prime minister) after the 1993 general elections. After his reelection in 1993 general elections, Gohar Ayub became deputy leader of the opposition in the National Assembly. After the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz victory in 1997, he was appointed Foreign Minister by Nawaz Sharif. Foreign affairs and water and power ministry
After securing a heavy mandate from his constituency, Gohar Ayub was appointed as 20th Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1997 by Prime minister Navaz Sharif. He is well known in the public for his anti-Indian and stance, and publicly backed Prime minister Sharif for authorizing the nuclear testing programme in response to India’s test on May 1998. He reportedly issued hostile statements and began to call for atomic tests in response to India, although the Prime minister was much more subdue. He prematurely issued media reports to media and had the Prime minister displeased.
On 7 August 1998, Gohar Ayub was replaced by economic minister Sartaj Aziz who put efforts to make peace with India and Pakistan, and was reassigned as Minister for Water and Power and served until he was ousted and forced to resign on October 12, 1999 in a result of successful and bloodless military coup d’état commenced by chief of army staff and chairman joint chiefs General Pervez Musharraf.
Gohar Ayub had straining relations with Nawaz Sharif, therefore leaving the Pakistan Muslim League in 1999. Gohar Ayub defected to Pakistan Muslim League (N)’s Splinter Group in 2001. He was appointed as the first Secretary General of the party. Unable to contest the 2002 election because of the graduation degree restriction introduced by Pervez Musharraf, Gohar Ayub Khan endorsed and provide a vital support to his eldest son Omar Ayub Khan and won from his Haripur District seat, while his wife was elected MNA on the reserved women seats. His strongest political opponent in his constituency has been former Chief Minister Raja Sikander Zaman.
Post-retirement and controversies
After retirement from national politics in 2002, Gohar Ayub authored Glimpses into the Corridors of Power and published his fathers diary. He has recently became a prominent opponent of the renaming of NWFP to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and a supporter of the creation of a separate Hazara province.
Accusation against Sam Maneckshaw
In May 2007, Gohar claimed that retired Indian Army Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw had sold some of Indian Army secrets to Pakistan during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 for 20,000 rupees. This was dismissed by the Indian defence establishment who saidd “Gohar Khan is a madcap, with a history of making dubious claims and exaggerating. Don’t give credence to him.