PESHAWAR - President Asif Ali Zardari, on the advice of Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, on Saturday appointed Shaukatullah Khan as the new governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, replacing Syed Masood Kausar.

The new governor will take oath from Peshawar High Court (PHC) Chief Justice Justice Dost Mohammad Khan today at Governor’s House.  The outgoing governor, who was coincidently appointed on February 9, 2011 served for two years, was replaced for health reasons.

Shaukatullah Khan, 42, is the youngest governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and was serving as the federal minister for states and frontier region before he was made the governor. He held a meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari on Friday and Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf on Saturday morning.

The new governor obtained an engineering degree from the University of Engineering and Technology Taxila in 1988 and started his political career from student politics.

After passing out from the university, he joined his father Bismillah Khan in politics, who had won National Assembly election in 1988 and 1993.

His father served as parliamentary secretary for religious affairs in the National Assembly while his elder brother, Hidayatullah Khan, is a Senator.

Belonging to an influential family of Bajaur Agency, the newly appointed governor contested his first election from NA-43 (Bajaur Agency) in 2002 but defeated by MMA candidate Maulana Sadiq by some 6,000 votes.

Shaukatullah Khan contested again for the same seat in 2008 and won this time. He was made federal minister for sports in the cabinet of Yousaf Raza Gilani. Later his portfolio was changed and he was made federal minister for states and frontier region.

Shaukatullah Khan also served in Tribal Chamber of Commerce and Industry and All Pakistan Marbles Industry Association in different capacities.

Political analysts are calling his appointment as the governor, a major move of the federal government at a time when it is going to hold talks with the Taliban because Fata is administered by the governor of KPK as the representative of the president.

He is among those few governors of the province who belong to the tribal region.