ISLAMABAD: The World Economic Forum (WEF) on Wednesday named Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar as one of its Young Global Leaders from South Asia.
According to a press release, the WEF identifies the world’s most promising leaders under the age of 40 who are driving innovation for positive change across civil society, arts, culture, government and business.
The forum hopes to create a ripple effect over five years that benefits organisations and the world by connecting them to a community of remarkable peers and investing further in their leadership abilities.
Azhar has been named alongside 114 young global leaders that make up the class of 2020. Pakistani journalist Atika Rehman is also among those selected from South Asia for the YGL 2020 intake.
The list includes the world’s youngest and Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin, co-captain of the US women’s soccer team Megan Rapinoe, co-founder of the American Black Lives Matter movement Alicia Garza and many others.
The WEF selected Hammad Azhar for being Pakistan’s youngest state minister and for his commitment to maintaining dialogue and integrity across political lines.
The minister tweeted saying that he was honoured for being selected as a Young Global Leader by WEF.
Previous winners from Pakistan include PML-N leader Hina Butt, filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, activist Nighat Dad, journalist Munizae Jahangir, former envoy Ali Jehangir Siddiqui and others
Profile of Hammad Azhar
Azhar was elected from a National Assembly seat in Lahore on a PTI ticket in the last general election held in 2018. Prime Minister Imran Khan inducted Azhar into his cabinet as a state minister soon after coming in to power.
Azhar also presented the first federal budget of the PTI government in 2019 in stead of Adviser on Finance Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, who is not a member of the National Assembly and thus not allowed to present the document.
Soon after presenting the budget, Azhar was elevated as a full federal minister and given the portfolio of Economic Affairs Division, which he currently holds.