Mr. Sartaj Aziz is a development economist and obtained a degree in commerce from the Punjab University in Pakistan and subsequently a Masters’ degree in development economics from Harvard University, USA in 1963.
His career can be divided in four phases: The first phase as a civil servant lasted from 1952 to 1970 in the Ministry of Finance and in the Planning Commission, where he was Joint Secretary, Plan Coordination from 1967 to 1971, and received the award of Sitara-e-Khidmat for his contribution.
In 1971, he began his 12 year international career, when he joined FAO as Director of Commodities and Trade Division in Rome. In 1974, he served as Deputy Secretary General of the World Food Conference, held in Rome in November 1974 and was one of the architects of the global food security system which emerged from the Conference and of the proposal to establish the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). In 1977, after serving as Deputy Executive Director of the World Food Council for two years he was Assistant President, Policy and Planning at IFAD from December 1977 to April 1984.
The third phase of Mr. Aziz career started in 1984 when he returned to Pakistan to begin his political career as Minister of State for Food and Agriculture, a position he occupied for four years. He served as Finance Minster from August 1990 to June 1993 and again from February 1997 to August 1998. He was Pakistan’s Foreign Minster from August 1998 to October 1999. He was elected to the Pakistan Senate in March 1985 and remained its member till October 1999.
In 2004, he started the fourth phase of his career, when he accepted the offer to become the Vice Chancellor of the Beaconhouse National University at Lahore. BNU has made remarkable progress under his leadership in the past 9 years to become one of the leading liberal Art University of the country.
In June 2013, Mr. Aziz resumed his political career, when he joined the Cabinet as Prime Minister’s Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs.
Mr. Aziz has written several books and articles. His most important contribution to development literature was his book on China, “Rural Development: Learning from China”, which was published by Macmillan from London in 1978. His memoirs entitled “Between Dreams and Realities: Some Milestones in Pakistan’s history”, were published by the Oxford University Press in August 2009.