LAHORE: Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, who replaced Dr Fehmida Mirza to become 19th speaker of the National Assembly on Monday, had hit headlines when he defeated Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan from NA-122 (Lahore) in 2002 general election with a big margin.
He repeated the feat by again beating Imran Khan in May 11 general elections from the same constituency when the PTI leader was riding a new wave of popularity and the party was expecting a major share from Lahore’s 13 constituencies.
Born to an Arain family of Kasur in 1954, Ayaz graduated from prestigious Aitchison College, Lahore, and earned his degree in commerce from Hailey College of Punjab University.
Besides Imran Khan, former opposition leader in National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar, KPK chief minister Pervaiz Khattak, Baloch leader Sardar Akhtar Mengal and Zulfiqar Magsi were his fellows at Aitchison. His association with the Balochs earned him a place in the PML-N committee formed by the PML-N to hold talks with the political leadership of the restive province for government formation.
These Baloch leaders, it is stated, also played a role in his nomination for the office of National Assembly speaker.
A son-in-law of former federal ombudsman Sardar Iqbal, he is also a close relative of former federal secretary Ismail Qureshi, who is facing corruption charges. He has also been a member of the Lahore Gymkhana Club since 1996.
He runs a large firm that has several contracts with Pakistan Railways. In his first tenure (2002-07) as MNA, he served as a member of the standing committee on railways while in the second tenure (2008-13) he remained chairman of the committee.
His family runs a charity eye hospital where he regularly gives time whenever he is available in Lahore.
The nomination of the soft-spoken politician, who had remained associated with the PTI in the late 1990s, for the slot of speaker surprised many. For he had never been in important party meetings while MNAs Khawaja Saad Rafiq and Pervaiz Malik used to be seen as the most active PML-N leaders in the provincial metropolis.
He is cool-headed to the extent that he remained calm and composed when a PML-N leader had virtually abused him in the party office over a yticket issue before the 2008 general elections.
Unlike other party leaders, he never tried to build his own group or clout within the party. This ‘harmless’ trait of his personality reportedly became the major plus point in earning him the coveted post for which Chaudhry Nisar was being earlier considered.
— Staff Reporter