His family was in discord with the Saddam Hussein rule following the confiscation of power by the Baathists. He was made the chief of the ‘Dawa Party’ in 1977 while he was doing his PhD in the ‘University of Manchester’.
Later in 1979, he became one of the executive leadership members of the ’Dawa Party’.
In 1980, 1981 and 1982 three brothers of Haider al-Abadi were arrested for being members of the ‘Dawa Party.
Haider al-Abadi’s passport was seized by the government in 1983 for conniving against the ‘Ba’ath Party’ of Iraq. Most of the 80s and 90s he chose to stay in exile in the UK and became vocally critical about Saddam Hussein. His father passed away while in exile and was interred in London.
During his exile in the UK he worked in different positions including as research leader from 1981 to 1986, as consultant on transportation issues from 1987 to 2003 and as director general of a design and technological firm from 1993 to 2003.
In 1998 he received a grant for technological innovation from the ‘UK Department of Trade and Industry’.
In 2001 he registered a patent in London concerned with rapid transit systems.
He returned to Iraq after the 2003 invasion that witnessed ban of the ‘Ba’ath Party’ and formation of a new government.
As he was not fully convinced about the privatization plan of the ‘Coalition Provisional Authority’ (CPA), he along with the interim ministers of the Governing Council protested in front of Paul Bremer in October 2003. They disagreed to privatisation of infrastructure and other state owned companies ahead of formation of a lawful government.
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He became the ‘Minister of Communication’ of the new government on September 1, 2003 and held the position till June 1, 2004. His dissent with the CPA continued as the CPA granted licences to 3 mobile operators despite him being the ‘Minister of Communications’. On the other hand he imposed conditions for such licences and also initiated a new licence.
According to press reports in 2003, investigations on Iraqi officials were conducted on a doubtful deal with an Egyptian telecom company, Orascom that received a contract for providing central Iraq with mobile network. Haider al-Abadi rebuffed any illegal proceedings during dealing of such contract. Later in 2004 the findings of the US Defence Department revealed it was not the Iraqis but the contract was illicitly influenced under the control of John A. Shaw, the ‘US Deputy Undersecretary of Defense’.
He was an adviser of the Iraq Prime Minister from January 2005 to December 2005. In December that year he became an elected member of the Parliament of Iraq and served as the chairman of the Economy, Investment and Reconstruction committee of the Parliament.
From January 15, 2007 till September 8, 2014 he remained the ‘Deputy Leader’ of the ‘Islamic Dawa Party’ and from thereafter he remains the incumbent ‘Leader’ of the ‘Islamic Dawa Party’.
He represented Baghdad and became a member of the Parliament of Iraq for the second time after winning the 2010 election.
He headed the Finance Committee in 2013.
As a member of ‘Iraq Petroleum Advisory Committee’ he has taken part in the ‘Iraq Petroleum Conferences’ that were conducted during 2009 to 2012 by Phillip Clarke and Nawar Abdulhadi of ‘CWC Group’.
Though his name made rounds since 2006 as a probable candidate for Prime Ministerial position, several iuuses came under way. It was only after July 24, 2014 when Faud Masum emerged as President of Iraq that he designated Haider al-Abadi as Prime Minister.
Initially the then incumbent Prime Minister Nouri Maliki opposed Haider al-Abadi’s candidature by the Shia State of Law parliamentary coalition as their Prime Ministerial candidate. Maliki disagreed to leave his position as Prime Minister and also moved federal court in this pursuit. However, on August 14, 2014 he paved way for Haider al-Abadi following calls from national and international leaders.
His government was approved by the Parliament of Iraq on September 8, 2014. His diligent endeavour to increase participation of Sunni Muslims in the government saw noted Sunni politician Khaled al-Obaidi becoming the Defense Minister.
A new revenue sharing contract was established by him in December 2014 that entitles the Kurdish Regional Government to receive from Baghdad half of the total income generated from oil fields controlled by Kurds.
He took strong action against corruption, that brewed up in the army since the regime of Nouri Maliki by identifying and withdrawing fifty thousand ghost soldiers who despite being included in payroll, never come for duty.
A more critical situation however prevails in his tenure as Prime Minister as sizeable portion of northern Iraq are occupied by the Islamic State militants. In his effort to curb and counter militant Islamist forces, he paid visit to Turkey, Egypt and Jordan and took part in strategic discussions.
His effort to curb schismatic frictions has been well received. The US has committed an amount of $1.5 billion for the purpose of training the Iraqi forces. The US will also recommence sale of the F-16 fighter jets, which was stalled following the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
In recent times, he has tilted more towards Iran and Russia to counter threat of ‘Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant’ (ISIL).