Nawaz Sharif

Nawaz Sharif
میاں محمد نواز شریف
Navaz Sharif, 1998.
12th Prime Minister of Pakistan
In office
17 February, 1997 – 12 October, 1999
President Rafique Tarrar
Wasim Sajjad
Farooq Leghari
Preceded by Benazir Bhutto
Succeeded by Zafarullah Khan Jamali
In office
26 May, 1993 – 18 July, 1993
Preceded by Balkh Scher Mazarie (Acting)
Succeeded by Moin-uddin Kureshi (Acting)
In office
6 November 1990 – 18 April 1993
President Ghulam Ishaq Khan
Preceded by Ghulam Mustafa Jatoie (Acting)
Succeeded by Balakh Scher Mazari (Acting)
5th Leader of the Opposition
In office
19 October, 1993 – 5 November, 1996
President Farooq Leghari
Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto
9th Chief Minister of Punjab Province
In office
April 9, 1985 – August 13, 1990
President General Zia-ul-Haq
Prime Minister Muhammad Khan Juneijo
Governor General Ticka Khan
Sajjad Hussain Qureshi
LGen Ghulam Jilani Khan
Preceded by Sadiq Hussain Qureshi
Succeeded by Ghulam Heather Wayne
23rd Defence Minister of Pakistan
In office
17 February, 1997 – 12 October, 1999
President Justice (retired) Rafique Tarrar
Wasim Sajjad
Farooq Leghari
Preceded by Aftab Schaban Miranie
Succeeded by General Pervez Musharraf
1st President of Pakistan Muslim League (Navaz Wing)
Assumed office
July 27, 2011
Preceded by Shahbaz Sharif
Kalsoum Navaz
Personal details
Born Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif
25 December 1949 (1949-12-25) (age 61)
Lahore, Punjab Province, West-Pakistan
Citizenship Pakistan
Nationality Pakistani
Political party Pakistan Muslim League-N
Spouse(s) Kalsoom Navaz
Residence Lahore, Punjab Province
Alma mater Government College University
(B.A. and BBA)
University of the Punjab
Cabinet Navaz Government
Religion Islam

Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif (Punjabi, Urdu: میاں محمد نواز شریف; born 25 December 1949) is a Pakistani conservative politician and steel magnate who served as 12th Prime Minister of Pakistan in two non-consecutive terms from November 1990 to July 1993, and from February 1997 to October 12, 1999. He is the current and incumbent President of the Pakistan Muslim League-N, an ideologically Islamism political force in Pakistan.

Before becoming the Prime minister, Sharif served as the 9th Chief Minister of Punjab Province from 1985 to 1990 and embarked his political career under the military regime of President General Zia-ul-Haq. A businessman and lawyer by profession, he owns Ittefaq Group, a private steel mill enterprise and one of the largest producer of iron materials. Sharif is noted as being as Pakistan's one of the wealthiest investor in Steel mill business and a conservative politician advocating for the conservatism in the country, and capitalism as its economic base. His first term was shortened after it was dismissed by President Ghulam Ishaq Khan dismissed his government citing " corruption and nepotism" allegation. The Supreme Court ruled the president could not dismiss a government for being corrupt and the government was restored. However soon after restoration the govt was removed by Pakistan Army on the pretext of corruption .

From 1993 until 1996, Sharif served as the Leader of the Opposition in the socialist democratic government of Benazir Bhutto. In 1997, he was elected on for a second term by an overwhelming margin after brutally defeating Benazir Bhutto whose government was dismissed on corruption became known in public. During his second term, he notably ordered Pakistan's first nuclear tests in response to India's nuclear tests, as part of his tit-for-tat policy, a termed he coined after the tests.[1] Sharif controversially appointed Pervez Musharraf— a lieutenant-general and commander of the I Strike Corps— as the Chief of Army Staff and promoted him to the 4 star rank. Sharif later violated the code of conduct of Pakistan Armed Forces when he controversially appointed General Pervez Musharraf as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee. His decision forced Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Fasih Bokhari to resign from the Navy.

Despite Sharif giving prestigious appointments to General Musharraf and the Army, Sharif developed serious disagreements pertaining to the undeclared war in Northern Pakistan, and later ordered the Pakistan Army to evacuated and Indian-held Kargil. Problems with Pakistan Armed Forces further escalated and he was finally ousted in an October 1999 military coup led by General Pervez Musharraf after Navaz made an unsuccessful attempt to remove General Musharraf as Chief of Army Staff and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee subsequently he was convicted hijacking and corruption . He dramatically returned to Pakistan in late 2007 after eight years of forced exile by General Musharraf in a secret contract he claimed that he was forced to sign in. Now in Pakistan, Sharif successfully called for Musharraf's impeachment and the reinstatement of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.


Early life and education

Sharif was born in Lahore, West-Pakistan[2] on 25 December 1949.[3] His father, Muhammad Sharif, was an upper middle-class businessman and industrialist who had migrated from Amritsar district to Pakistan during the 1947 Indian partition.[2] His family is of Kashmiri-Punjabi origin.[2] His father followed the teachings of the Ahl al-Hadith.[4] His family owns Ittefaq Group, a multimillion dollar steel conglomerate.[5] His brother Shahbaz Sharif is the incumbent Chief Minister of Punjab province while his nephew Hamza Shahbaz Sharif is a member of the National Assembly.

He went to Saint Anthony High School.[3] He graduated from the Government College University of Lahore with an art and business degree and then received a law degree from the University of Punjab.[3][6] He is married to Kalsoom Nawaz Sharif [7]

Initial political career

After his education, Sharif joined his father's steel conglomerate, the Ittefaq Group of Industries, as CEO in early 1975, but the family lost the control of the steel industry during the wave of nationalizaion policy of former Prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.[2] The Sharif family was financially devastated after discoverying that the family business was lost into the hands of the government, and Sharif jumped into national politics soon after.[2] In 1976, Sharif politically motivated himself and joined the Pakistan Muslim League, a conservative front rooted from Punjab Province, initially focused to regain the control of his steel industry from the hands of Bhutto's government.[2] In 1981, Sharif joined the Punjab Advisory Board under General Zia-ul-Haq and principally rose to public and political prominence as a staunch proponent of the military government of General Zia-ul-Haq during the 1980s.[2]

He maintained close relations with the General and soon the general agreed to return back his private steel mill in the 1980s which was lost during the wave of nationalization by Bhutto.[2] Sharif maintained an alliance with General Rahimuddin Khan, who was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee. During his political career, Sharif also had close ties with ISI's then-Director-General Lieutenant-General (retired) Hamid Gul, who played a substantial role in the formation of the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad— a conservative political alliance that supported Sharif.[2]

Punjab Advisory Council

In 1981, he initially joined as a member of the Punjab Advisory Council under President General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq.[6] Since his early career, Sharif has been a strong vocal of capitalism and strongly opposed its inverse, the nationalization.[2] In 1980s, Sharif gained influence on General Zia-ul-Haq who had previously agreed to return his steel industry to him, convincing the General to denationalization and deregulate the industries in order to improve the economy.[2] Under the Military government of Lieutenant-General Ghulam Jillani Khan, Sharif was appointed as the provisional finance minister and Sharif successfully attempted to denationalized all of the government-owned industries to private sector.[6] As provincial finance minister, he presented development-oriented budgets to the military government.[6] As Finance minister, Sharif gained prominence and fame in Punjab Province which also extended the rule of General Ghulam Jillani, as he improved the law and order situation in Punjab Province.[2] Financial policies drafted and approved by Sharif, who was backed by General Zia, Punjab Province benefited with the better financial capital and purchasing power of Punjab Province's locals were greatly and exponentially improved. Punjab Province having Sharif as Finance minister, received many funds by the federal government than any other provinces of Pakistan, which also contributed in economical inequality between Punjab Province and other provinces.[2] Due to its huge financial capital in 1980s, Punjab Province was Pakistan's richest province and Punjab Province's better standard of living comparing to other provinces.[2]

Chief Minister of Punjab

In 1985, Sharif secured the landslide victory during the non-political parties 1985 elections and became Chief Minister of Punjab with the support of the army.[2] He served for two consecutive terms as Chief Minister of Punjab Province, the most populous province of Pakistan.[8] Because of his vast popularity, he received the nickname "Lion of the Punjab".[9] As chief minister, he stressed welfare and development activities and the maintenance of law and order.[6]

The provincial Martial Law Administrator of Punjab Province, Lieutenant-General Ghulam Jilani Khan sponsored the government of Nawaz Sharif, and Sharif built his ties with the senior army generals who would remain supportive and sponsored Sharif's ministerial ship.[6] General Jilani Khan made much headway in beautifying Lahore, extending military infrastructure, and muting political opposition, while Sharif maintained the law and order in the province, expanded the economical infrastructure that not only benefited and also the people of Punjab province.[6] In 1985, General Zia dismissed the government of hand-picked Prime minister Khan Junejo, and called for new elections.[6] However, with all the provisional and the national assemblies were dissolved, General Zia-ul-Haq retained Sharif as the Chief Minister of Punjab Province, and continued Sharif's support until his death and the elections were held in 1988.[6]

1988 elections

After General Zia's death in August 1988, Zia's political party — PML (Pagara Group) — split into two factions.[10] Sharif led the Zia loyalist Fida Group against the Junejo Group, led by Prime Minister Muhammad Khan Junejo.[10] The Fida Group later took on the mantle of the PML while the Junejo Group became known as the JIP.[10] The two parties along with seven other right-wing conservatives and Islamist parties united to form the Islamic Democratic Alliance (IDA).[10] The alliance was co-led by Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi and Sharif to oppose Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party in the elections.[10] The IDA gained substantial majorities in the Punjab and Sharif was reelected Chief Minister of Punjab.[10]

In December 1989, Sharif decided to remain in the provincial Punjab Assembly rather than hold a seat in the National Assembly.[11] In early 1989, the PPP government failed to unseat Sharif through a no-confidence motion in the Punjab Assembly.[10] Sharif retained control by a vote of 152 to 106.[10]

First term as Prime Minister (1990-93)

The conservative forces for the times in the country's history, came into the power under the leadership of the Nawaz Sharif.[12] Nawaz Sharif became the 12th Prime minister of Pakistan on 1st November 1990 as well as he was the head of IJI (Islamic Democratic Alliance) and succeeded Benazir Bhutto as Prime minister.[12] He campaigned on a conservative platform and vowed to reduce government corruption.[12] He focused on improving the nation's infrastructure and spurred the growth of digital telecommunication.[12] He privatized government banks and opened the door for further industrial privatization, and disbanded Zulfikar Bhutto's policies.[12] He legalized foreign money exchange to be transacted through private money exchangers.[12] His privatization policies were continued by both Benazir Bhutto in mid 1990s and Shaukat Aziz as well in 2000s.[12]

Conservatism policies

Initially campaigned, Sharif took steps to initiate Islamization and conservatism at once.[12] The continuation of conservative change in Pakistan society was encouraged, a policy started by Zia ul Haq.Reforms were made to introduced the conservatism including the introduction of fiscal conservatism, supply-side economics, bioconservatism and religious conservatism in Pakistan.[12]

He took many steps to raise the issue of Kashmir on international forums, to transfer power peacefully in Afghanistan so to put an end to the drug smugglers and illegal transaction of unregistered weapons across the border which was promoting then increasing numbers of dacoits in the country.[12] Sharif intensified General Zia-ul-Haq's controversial Islamization policies, and introduced to introduced Islamic Laws such as the Shariat Ordinance and Bait-ul-Maal (to help poor orphans widows etc.); Moreover he gave tasks to the Ministry of Religion to prepare reports and recommendations for steps taken for Islamization. He ensured the establishment of three committees.[12]

  • Ittehad-e-bain-ul-Muslemeen (Unity of Muslims Bloc)
  • Nifaz-e-Shariat Committee (Sharia Establishment Committee)
  • Islamic Welfare Committee

He believed in forming a Muslim Bloc by uniting all Central Asian Muslim Countries thus he extended the membership of Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) to all Central Asian Countries.[12] Nawaz Sharif was pretty confident that he had majority in the assembly thus he ruled with considerable confidence. He had disputes with three successive army chiefs.[12] Sharif took the issue of environmentalism as part of his government platform, and established the Environmental Protection Agency in 1997, as part of his environmental conservatism policy.[13]

Domestic issues

Navaz Sharif with the Pakistan Army generals at the V Corps headquarter, prior to launch of the Operation Clean-up.

Following the imposition and passing of the Resolution 660, Resolution 661, and the Resolution 665, Sharif internationally sided with the United Nations on Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.[14] A major international incident took place in the Middle East with Iraq invading the Kuwait which dismay the world. Sharif's government criticized Iraq for invading the fellow Muslim country, which led to strained the Pakistan's relationships with Iraq.[14] The relationships continued to be strained as Pakistan seek to tighten its relations with Iran, and his foreign policy continued by Benazir Bhutto, Pervez Musharraf until the removal of Saddam Hussain in 2003.[14]

Sharif contended with former Chief of Army Staff General Mirza Aslam Beg over the 1991 Gulf War (See Operation Desert Storm).[14] Under the direction of General Beg, Pakistan Armed Forces actively participated in the conflict and the Army Special Service Group and the Naval Special Service Group was rushed to Saudi Arabia in order to provide intense security to Saudi royal family.[14] Sharif also contended the upcoming Chief of Army Staff General Asif Navaz over the paramilitary operation in Sindh Province (See Operation Clean-Up).[14]

Sharif, during his first term, founded difficult working with Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Mutahidda Qaumi Movement, a potent force in Karachi.[15]The MQM and PPP opposed Sharif widely due to his focused on beautifying Punjab and Kashmir while neglecting Sindh.[15] The MQM, a liberal force, also opposed Sharif's conservatism. The clash between liberalism and conservatism soon forces soon erupted in 1992 when political tension began to arise in which both party renegading ideological war against each other.[15] Despite MQM had formed government with Sharif, more and more problems were mounted between Sharif and the MQM in 1992.[15] Sharif's government members passed the resolution in the Parliament, to launch the paramilitary operation to end the cold war between PML-N and MQM.[15] During this time, the democratic socialist Pakistan Peoples Party remained quiet and neutral while watching the impact of the the cold war between liberal and conservative forces.[15] Prime minister Sharif also contended this upcoming operation with Chief of Army Staff General Asif Navaz over the paramilitary operation in Sindh Province (See Operation Clean-Up).[14] Launched in 1992, violence erupted in Karachi and brought an economic halt in the country that dismantle Sharif's industrialization and investment that was being brought by Sharif.[15] Benazir Bhutto, during the course of this episode, remained silent as she too had opposed the MQM.[15] His operation continued by Benazir also, but due to amid pressure exerted by her brother Murtaza Bhutto, the operation came to halt.[15] The period of 1992-1994 is considered the bloodiest years in the history of the city, with many went missing while many innocent were killed.[15]

During his second term, Altaf Hussain decided to join hands with Sharif and tried to reach a compromise, Soon after the 1997 parliamentary elections, MQM joined hand with Sharif but this alliance fall apart following the assassination of Hakim Said.[15] Therefore, the Prime minister kicked the MQM out of the government on immediate effect and assumed the control of Karachi. MQM was forced to continued its political activities underground.[15] This action led Nawaz Sharif to claim the exclusive mandate of entire Pakistan, and for the first time in his political career, Sharif and his party had the control of Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber, Kashmir and the Punjab Provinces.[15]


Sharif takes the credit building the largest superhighway in Pakistan as part of his industrialization policy.

Shortly after taking power, Nawaz Sharif announced that his government would carry out a national reconstruction programme to industrialize Pakistan. Acknowledged since that the unemployment had became Pakistan's greatest disadvantage in economic growth and that only industrial and privatization growth could solve the economic slow down.[12] In 1990, Sharif announced the nuclear policy and aimed to continue the peaceful atomic programme benefit for country's economic infrastructure. Sharif expanded nuclear energy program in entire country and peaceful and economic infrastructure was extensively built by him by the 1990s.[12] Many of the nuclear medicine and nuclear engineering projects were completed under his government as part of Sharif's Atoms for Peace program.

Sharif also upgraded the Islamic laws such as Shariat Ordinance and Bait-ul-Maal (to help poor orphans widows) to drive the country to became a Pakistan a truly Islamic welfare state.[12] Sharif was an affectee of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's nationalization policy and a beneficiary of Zia ul Haqs' denationalized .[12] A number of important industries, such as shipping corporations, electricity supply, national airlines and telecommunications were opened up to the private sector.[12] Sharif successfully privatized the National Development Finance Corporation, a financial institution founded by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto mandate to manage the international investment for the benefit of the people.[12]

He introduced and inaugurated several large scale projects to stimulate the economy, such as the Ghazie-Barotah Hydropower plant and the.[12] However, unemployment remained a challenge, therefore Sharif imported thousands of privatized Yellow-cab taxis to many young Pakistanis, but this program came at a cost.[12] Few of the loans were repaid by the government and Sharif founded it difficult to privatized these taxis at low rate, since the young and poor could not afford at higher price.[12] However, Sharif indeed privatized these taxis at low rate and his steel industry was forced to pay the remaining cost.[12] During his first and second term, Sharif intensified his policies of industrialization and privatization of major industries that were nationalized by former Prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.[12] Undoing what was previously done in 1970s remained a challenge for Sharif but, despite the economical slow down, Sharif reverted major policies of Bhutto and under short span of time, 90% of the industries were industrialized and privatized by him.[12] This radical move did had positive impact on country's economy and the economy progressed at an appropriate level.[12] Sharif policies were also continued by Benazir Bhutto, who nationalized only those industries that needed a government bail out plan, and by Pervez Musharraf and Shaukat Aziz in 2000s who managed to privatized all of the major industries by the end his term in 2008.[12]

As his second term, Prime minister Sharif built the largest Pakistan first major motorway which is known as M2 Motorway (3MM), and it is often called as Autobahns of South Asia.[12] This semi-government and semi-privatized mega project was completed in November, 1997 at a cost of $989.12 million.[12] However, after the completion of this mega project, Sharif’s policies were undermined by lack of capital for investments.[12] There was an influx of foreign capital when he loosened foreign exchange restrictions and opened Karachi Stock Exchange to foreign capital, but the government remained short of funds for investments.[12]

During his first term, Sharif focused his industrialization on Punjab and Kashmir Provinces, mild and few projects were completed in Khyber and Balochistan provinces.[12] While, the Sindh Province did not benefit with his industrialization.[12] After receiving intense criticism by Pakistan Peoples Party and the liberal-secular Mutahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM), Sharif launched the Orangi Cottage Industrial Zone which was completed and finally inaugurated by him.[12] However, prime minister's reputation in Sindh was widely damaged because of his focused on beautifying Lahore and Kashmir while he neglected other provinces.[12] Sharif's industrialization are also target by his opponents as it was focused and circled only on Punjab and Kashmir, Sharif's native provinces.[16] His opponents argued that Sharif, as prime minister, obtained permits for building factories for himself and his business.[12] Sharif is also blamed for expanding and finance Armed Forces' secretive industrial conglomerate and, is also blamed for bribing the generals to protected himself.[16]

Sharif gave strong and vehement criticism to former Prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's, the socialist who was PM for 4 years during the 1970s as "lamentable state of Pakistan".[16]. His privatization policies were staunchly criticized by former science advisor Dr. Mubashir Hassan, calling it Sharif's privatization "unconstitutional".[16] Other Pakistan Peoples Party members also stood the fact that nationalization measures were protected by the Parliament who gave this policy a constitutional picture and status.They felt the privatization policies where illegal and taking place with out parliamentary approva and parliament was not taken in confidence.[16]

Bu by the end of the the second Sharif , the Economy was in turmoil and facing serious structural issues. Inflation was spiralling out of control ,foreign debt stood at an all time high $32bn against reserves of little more than $1bn, and unemployment is was also an all-time historic high.The International Monetary Fund had suspended Aid demanding the country finances are sorted out. By the time of the Nawaz Sharif was removed from office the country was heading for bankruptcy [17]

Science policy

Sharif took steps for intense government control the Science in Pakistan and the projects needed his authorization.[18] As like Benazir, the ongoing nuclear weapons and the energy program remained one of his top priority.[18] Sharif countered the international pressure, and followed the same suit as Benazir's, and refused to make compromise to halt the program despite the United States had offered a large economical aid to Pakistan.[18]

As part of this, Sharif intensified his move to enhance the Pakistan's integrated nuclear development and authorized projects that seemed to be important in his point of views.[18] Sharif also promoted the peaceful nuclear energy programme, and signed the CHASNUPP-I reactor with People's Republic of China for the commercial electricity use.[18] Sharif also responded to use the nuclear development in more of economical usage, benefited for the country's economy and its extension to the civil society.[18] His policies to make the nuclear program for economical use was also continued by Benazir Bhutto and Pervez Musharraf, and is still carried upon under Yousaf Raza Gillani, the current Prime minister.[18]Under his leadership, the nuclear program had became vital part of Pakistan's economical policy as the program had became back-bone of economy of Pakistan in 1998.[18]

Co-operatives Societies Scandal

Sharif also lost from support the Punjab Province and Kashmir Province as well when the co-operatives societies scandal became public.[12] Co-operatives societies accept deposits from members and can legally make loans only to members for purposes that are to the benefit of the society and its members.[12] However, mismanagement of these societies led to a collapse in which millions of Pakistanis lost money in 1992.[12] In Sharif’s native Punjab Province and the Kashmir Province, around 700,000 people mostly poor people lost all their savings when the states cooperatives societies went bankrupt. It was soon discovered that The society had granted billions of rupees to the Ittefaq Group of Industries— Sharif's owned Steel mill. Though Ittefaq Group's management hurriedly repaid the loans to the affectees, but the Prime minister's reputation was severely damaged.[12]

End of first term

Sharif developed serious issues over the authority with another conservative President Ghulam Ishaq Khan.[19] Before 1993 Parliamentary election, President Ghulam Ishaq Khan on 18 April 1993, with the support of the Pakistan Army, used his reserve powers (58-2b) (See 8th Amendment) to dissolve the National Assembly, the lower house.[19] Khan appointed Mir Blake Scher as the interim Prime Minister.[19] When the news reached to Sharif, he forcefully rejected to accept this act and moved to Supreme Court of Pakistan, an apex court in Pakistan.[19] In May 26 1993, Sharif returned to power after the Supreme Court ruled that the Presidential Order as unconstitutional and reconstituted the National Assembly on its immediate effect.[19] The Court ruled, 10-1, that the president could dissolve the assembly only if a constitutional breakdown had occurred and that the government's incompetence or corruption was irrelevant.[19] However, issues with President over the authority circled and a subsequent political stand off was instigated between President and Prime minister.[19] Finally, on July 1993, Sharif resigned under pressure from the Pakistan Armed Forces but negotiated a settlement that resulted in the removal of President Ghulam Ishaq Khan as well.[19] In July 1993, Chief of Army Staff General Abdul Vahied Kakar and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Shamim Allam forced President Ishaq Khan to resign from the presidency and subsequently ended the political standoff.[19] Under Pakistan Armed Forces, the new interim and transitional government was formed and new parliamentary election were held.[19]

Parliamentary opposition (1993-96)

New elections were held in the year of 1993 and the Pakistan Peoples Party, under Benazir Bhutto, returned to power for the third time.[19] Sharif conceded defeat and offered his full co-operation as Leader of the Opposition but soon the Benazir Bhutto's PPP and PML-N again came at loggerheads in the Parliament.[19] Benazir's government found it difficult to act effectively in the face of opposition from Sharif.[19] Benazir Bhutto also mounted problems with her younger brother, Murtaza Bhutto, in her strong hold and political lair, the Sindh Province.[19]

The Nawaz Sharif joined hands with Benazir's younger brother Murtaza Bhutto and formed a political axis that worked tirelessly to undermine Benazir Bhutto's government and tapped an anti-corruption wave in entire Pakistan.[19] The Nawaz-Bhutto axis targeted the Benazir Bhutto's government corruption in major state corporations and blamed Benazir's government for slowing down the economic progress.[19] In 1994 to 1995, Sharif with Murtaza Bhutto began a "Train March", a phenomenon founded by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1978, taking them from Karachi to Peshawar during which huge crowds listened to their critical speeches.[19] Sharif played a major part in organizing labor and industrial strikes throughout Pakistan in September and October 1994. With following the controversial death of Murtaza Bhutto in 1996, amid protests and spontaneous demonstrations in Sindh Province had led the Benazir's government lost of control of the province.[19] By 1996, the Benazir Bhutto had become widely unpopular, in entire Pakistan, because of her high levels of government corruption and alleged involvement of her spouse role in her younger brother's death which led to their ouster in October 1996.[19]

Second term as Prime Minister (1997-99)

U.S. Defense Secretary, William S. Cohen, with Prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

By the 1996, the national economy has came under the intense situation and deadlock, and a economic failure was soon near.[20] The continuous and large-scale of government corruption made by either Benazir Bhutto and her appointed government ministers had deteriorated the country's economy at the extreme level.[20] In the 1997 parliamentary elections, Sharif and his Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) won a landslide victory in the elections, brutally defeating Benazir Bhutto and her People's party.[20] Commenting on his victory, the Pakistan media and the people of Pakistan hoped that Sharif would provide a conservative but a stable government benefit for Pakistan as he promised earlier.[20] Besides Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, no other leader, in the history of Pakistan, has enjoyed his level of popularity, and received the exclusive mandate from all over the Pakistan to improve the all over conditions in Pakistan at same time.[20] As commentary, 1997 election resulted to boost Navaz popularity and was mandate onerous task to improve the country's economy.[20] Navaz defeated Benazir Bhutto with overwhelmingly voting numbers and it was the worst defeat of Bhutto and People's party since its inception.[20] After the elections, Navaz arrived to Islamabad where he met with large crowd of spontaneous and jubilant people supporting for Nawaz, it took more than 13 hours for Nawaz Sharif to reach to Islamabad in order to take the oath.[20][21] Sharif was sworn as Prime Minister in the early morning of on 17 February to serve a non-consecutive second term.[22]. With the passing of the 14th amendment, Sharif emerged as the most powerful elected Prime minister in the country since its independence 50 years ago and no other leader has enjoyed the his level of extreme popularity.[20]

In August 1997, he passed the controversial Anti-Terrorist Act which established Anti-Terrorism Courts.[20] The Supreme Court later rendered the Act unconstitutional. However, Sharif made few amendments, and received the permission of Supreme Court to established these courts.[20]

In 1999, he met with Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at the Wagah border and signed a joint communique, known as the Lahore Declaration.[23]

1998 Nuclear tests

As Prime minister, Sharif ordered the nuclear tests, codename Chagai-I and II, in May of 1998 in Chagai Hills.

Pakistan's nuclear tests were an important turning point in his political career. In his first term, Sharif funded Pakistan's nuclear, missile and space programme, as well as allotted funds for the science research, particularly its extension to defence. In May of 1998, soon after Indian nuclear tests, Sharif vowed that his country would give a suitable reply to the Indians.[24] On May 14th, Leader of the Opposition Benazir Bhutto and MQM publicly called for the nuclear tests and the public calls for the nuclear test as well began to take place in Pakistan.[25] When India tested its nuclear weapons the second time, it caused a great alarm in Pakistan and pressure mounted to built on the Prime minister. On 15 May 1998, Sharif called and chaired a National Security Council meeting in Prime minister Secretariat.[25] The Pakistan Armed Forces left the matter to elected Prime minister, though Prime minister Sharif put the Pakistan Armed Forces on high-alert.[25] The discussions went on for a few hours and encompassed the financial, diplomatic, military, strategic and national security concerns.[25] At this sensitive meeting, it has had two important agendas; first, whether or not Pakistan should conduct its nuclear tests in order to respond to Indian nuclear aggression. And, secondly, if the nuclear testing program does go ahead then which of the government science organizations— the PAEC or KRL— conduct the nuclear testing as well as leading the nuclear testing program.

Mushahid Hussain Syed, Media Minister, was the first person to propose the tests, while, Sartaj Aziz who was the Treasure Minister that time, was the only person in the meeting who opposed the tests on financial grounds due to the economic recession, the low foreign exchange reserves of the country and the effect of inevitable economic sanctions which would be imposed on Pakistan if it carried out the tests.[25] When it comes to voting, the Prime minister did not opposed nor proposed the tests.[25] The remainder spoke in favor of conducting the tests.[25] . However according to Dr. A Q. Khan , the Prime minister was against Nuclear tests and instead had done a deal with the United States wherby pakistan would get substantial aid in exchange for not testing weapons [26]. Former Chief of Army Staff Muhseraff said "Nawaz Sharif was against conducting the tests but agreed under pressure from others" [27].

Nuclear physicist Dr. Ishfaq Ahmad of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) and metallurgical engineer Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan of Kahuta Research Laboratories equally presented their point of views, and approached for the permission from the Prime minister.[25] The meeting concluded without any resolution of the two agenda points. On May 16, senior scientist dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan had briefed the prime minister on key weapon-grade explosives issues and also briefed on the latest situation on Pakistan's different weapon-testing laboratories at that time.[24] On the morning of 17 May 1998, Sharif summoned Ishfaq Ahmad and asked him for his opinion on two points discussed on 15 May.[25] Dr. Ahmed told the Prime Minister that the decision to test or not to test was that of the Government of Pakistan.[25] Ahmad also acknowledged that PAEC was ready for the capability of carrying out the tests.[25] Sharif then concluded that eyes of the world were focused on Pakistan and failure to conduct the tests would put the credibility of the Pakistan's nuclear deterrence programme in doubt.[25] Dr. Ahmad then said, "Conducting a nuclear test is a highly political decision, and no matter the wish of scientific community may be, the political leadership of the country will have its say... Mr. Prime Minister, take a [decision], then I give you the [g]uarantee of success."[25] Initially, the Prime minister waited to see the world reaction on India's nuclear tests, while observing the embargo placed on Indian economy, which had no placed no effects.[28] Prime minister Sharif, at first, was hesitant towards the nuclear test program and its economical turn out if the tests are ordered.[28] Few days after the Indian tests, Indian Home Minister Lal Kishanchand Advani and Defence Minister George Fernandes issued foolish taunts and threatening statements towards Pakistan, which angered the prime minister.[28]

On May 18, Prime minister Nawaz Sharif ordered PAEC to make preparation for the tests, but remain on stand-by for the final decision.[25]. In his own words, Sharif called dr. Ishfaq Ahmad and ordered him, "Conduct the explosion!".[29] Simultaneously, Sharif's ordered, the XII Corps, Southern Naval Command, National Logistics Cell, and No. 6 Squadron Globe Trotters were put on high-alert to provide the necessary support to the PAEC in this regard.[29] On May 21, Sharif issued orders to conduct nuclear tests as a suitable reply to India, and authorized the nuclear weapon testing program the same day.[28] A Boeing-737 airline from Pakistan International Airlines was readily made available for PAEC scientists, engineers, and technicians to Balochistan.[25]

Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan and scientists and engineers from KRL were also told to be stay alert and were also sent to Balochistan along with PAEC.[25] Pakistan carried out its successful nuclear tests on 28 May 1998 (codename Chagai-I), and on 30 May 1998 (codename Chagai-II), in response to the Indian detonation of six nuclear devices roughly two weeks before.[25][29] After these test, the Prime minister appeared on national television (PTV) and took the nation on confidence and addressed the world:

If [Pakistan] had wanted, she (Pakistan) would have conducted nuclear tests 15-20 years ago.... but the abject poverty of the people of the region dissuaded... [Pakistan] from doing so. But the [w]orld, instead of putting pressure on (India)... not to take the destructive road.... imposed all kinds of sanctions on [Pakistan] for no fault of her..... If (Japan) had its own nuclear capability.. (cities of)... Hiroshima and Nagasaki would not have suffered atomic destruction at the hands of the.. United States.
—Nawaz Sharif—Prime minister, on May 30, 1998, televised at PTV[30]

Economical effects of tests

After weeks of anticipation, Pakistan surprised the world by conducting its own nuclear tests.[25] Sharif popularity in Pakistan increased in a record. While he was being hailed as nationalist, Sharif proclaimed an emergency on the same day as these nuclear tests were conducted, which dismay the public. All the foreign currency accounts in Pakistani banks were frozen to minimize the effects of economic sanctions. A serious financial default was near, and the country's economy was getting out of control from the government. Preventing a serious financial default was most important, therefore, Sharif asked the investors to sell their shares to the government at 2% more to the present rate. Sharif then took control of the economy as he assumed the control of the economy under his government's control. For time limit, Sharif disbanded the capitalist policies and Stock exchange came under government's control.

He put the Pakistan Armed Forces on high alert in order to defend country's nuclear installations. He justified the tests on national security grounds, as they demonstrated Pakistan's nuclear deterrent capabilities against an armed Indian nuclear programme. Under his premiership, Pakistan became the first Muslim country and seventh nation to become a nuclear power.[25]

Political effects of tests

In spite of the intense international criticism and the steady decline in foreign investment and trade, these six nuclear tests were popular domestically and the Sharif's popularity and the PML (N)'s prestige rose in response.[25] After appearing on national television and taking the nation of confidence, the tests were greeted with great jubilation and large-scale approval of Sharif's decision by the civil society.[31] On May 30, Sharif appeared after immediately the tests, and informed the world, "Today, we have settled a score and have carried out six successful nuclear tests".[29] Newspapers and television channels praised Sharif and his government for its bold decision; editorials were full of praise for the country's leadership and advocated the development of an operational nuclear deterrence for the country, despite a small scale anti-nuclear sentiments criticized the nuclear testings which was forcefully silenced by the emerging public opinion favoring Sharif and the nuclear tests.[31]

The scientific community also thanked Sharif and his government for having been given the opportunity to prove their capabilities.[31] As in return, Sharif established the National Center for Theoretical Physics (NCTP) and inaugurated the Abdus Salam Museum in 1999.[31] According to Benazir Bhutto who calculated her rival's level of political popularity after ordering the tests asserted, that these tests had erased the existed doubts and fear from the minds of people of Pakistan who questioned Pakistan's deterrence capability after 1971 collapse.[32] Even as of today, Sharif and his party takes all the credit for authorizing these tests, and annually held celebrating public functions in all over the country. Without any doubts, Sharif posed to became Pakistan's most favorable and strongest Prime minister since 1974, and the political prestige of Nawaz Sharif was at its peak point at the time when the country had gone nuclear.[31]

The nuclear tests remained highly popular in Pakistan which many in Pakistan saw as dignified status for the Pakistan in the world community. Despite disagreement with Nawaz Sharif, his rivals and Opposition parties backed Nawaz Sharif and congratulated for his "bold decision".[30]

Foreign Policy

Sharif strengthened relations with Muslim world, Turkey, and Europe.[33] The year he was elected, Sharif made a state visit to Malaysia and Singapore where Sharif succeeded to signed a economic and free trade agreements with both countries.[33] It was a a trilateral trade bloc in South Asia and Premiers of Singapore, Malaysia, and Pakistan had successfully signed the agreement.[33] Following the agreement, the work on comprehensive frame work to enhance collaboration in defense, economic and private sector was launched and completed in 1998.[33] One of the core issue was the Malaysia's agreement on sharing its space technology to Pakistan.[33] Both Malaysia and Singapore assured their support for Pakistan to join Asia–Europe Meeting[33]. However, it was not until 2008, Pakistan and India became part of the treaty.[33]

Sharif in the Washington D.C. to meet with William S. Cohen in 1998.

On January of 1998, Prime minister Sharif paid a state visit to South-Korea, where he successfully signed the bilateral and economical agreements with South Korean President Kim Young-sam.[33] Sharif also urged the North Korea to make peace and improve its ties with South Korea, his statement caused a diversion in Pakistan-North Korea relations.[33] On April of 1998, Sharif went on to visit Italy, Germany, Poland, and Belgium to promote economic ties.[33] He said in Brussels at an official reception, "We [Pakistan] [s]eek understanding and cooperation with Europe".[33] He signed a number of agreements to enlarge economic cooperation with Italy and Belgium, besides an agreement with European Union (EU) for the protection of intellectual, industrial and commercial property rights.[33] In February of 1997, the Prime Minister had meeting with Jiang Zemin, the Chinese President and Li Peng, the Premier, for economic cooperation.[33] Two conferences were specially organised in Beijing and Hongkong to promote Chinese investment in Pakistan.[33]

However, Sharif's effort seemed to be wasted when Sharif ordered the nuclear tests on 1998. Following these tests, the Foreign policy of Pakistan was much in trouble position since its 1971 disaster.[33] Pakistan, at United Nations, failed to gather any support from its allies.[33] Trade agreements were abrogated by Europe, United States, and Asian bloc.[33] While, Sharif was praised to carried out tests domestically. Sharif was heavily criticized for ordering internationally.[33] Pakistan's nuclear weapons and energy programme was targeted on multiple times over its involvement for spreading the nuclear proliferation. United Arab Emirates and Saudia Arabia, however did not criticized Pakistan but both neither issued any statement.[33] On 7th June 1998, Sharif went to visit UAE for talks on the situation in South Asia after nuclear tests in the region.[33] He thanked the Government for their support after India conducted five nuclear tests on May 11 and 13.[33]

Since both countries had ordered their nuclear tests, both Prime ministers proceeded towards maintaining peace and security.[34] In 1998, both governments signed an agreement recognizing the principle of building an environment of peace and security and resolving all bilateral conflicts, which became the basis of the Lahore Declaration.[34] On February 1, 1999, Prime minister Sharif made a breakthrough with India when he invited his counter part to Pakistan. On February 19, Indian premier Atal Bihari Vajpayee paid a historic state visit to Pakistan traveling on the inaugural bus service connecting the Indian capital of New Delhi with the major Pakistan's cultural city of Lahore, establishing a major transport link for the peoples of both nations.[34] On February 21, both Prime ministers signed the bilateral agreement with a memorandum of understanding to ensure the nuclear-free safety in South Asia.[34] This bilateral agreement was widely popular in Pakistan and India onwards, the people of Pakistan supported the Prime minister's move and the Prime minister received wide appreciation from the opposition as well as the civil society.[34] This agreement known as Lahore Declaration, it was widely assumed to development of nuclear weapons brought added responsibility to both nations towards avoiding conflict and promoted the importance of Confidence-building measures, especially to avoid accidental and unauthorised use of nuclear weapons.[34] To some Western observers, this treaty was more like as of SALT Treaties signed by both superpowers, the Soviet Union and the United States.[35]

Constitution Amendment

In late August 1998, he proposed a law to establish a legal system based on the Islamic principles.[36] His proposal came a week after 10-year commemorations of the late President Zia ul-Haq. The Cabinet removed some of its controversial aspects.[37][38] The National Assembly approved and passed the bill on 10 October 1998 by 151 votes to 16.[39] With majority in Parliament, Sharif drove Pakistan's political system more onto parliamentary system, reverting the previous semi-presidential system and laws fondly enjoyed by President.[39] With passing these amendments, Sharif became the strongest prime minister that the country has ever seen since its independence.[39] However, these amendments failed to achieve two-thirds majority in the Senate, which was still was under control by Pakistan Peoples Party. Weeks afterward, Sharif's government would suffer a military coup, therefore these amendments went to cold storage after Pervez Musharraf replaced them with his 2002 LFO, putting back the country to semi-presidential system. However, in 2010, Pakistan Parliament unanimously passed the 18th Amendment, which was passed by both in National Assembly and Senate, putting back the country to the road to parliamentary system.

Relations with the military

Prime minister Navaz Sharif in the White House, 1998.

From the 1981 until the military coup against him in 1999, Nawaz Sharif enjoyed a strong and extremely friendly and cordial relations with the Pakistan Armed Forces— the only civilian leader to have cordial friendship and relationships with the military's establishment at that time.[2] During his second tenure, he removed General Karamat over the National Security Council disputes.[2] He later had severe political confrontation with General Musharraf that resulted in a coup d'état which removed him from office.[2] At the end of General Wahied Kakar's three-year term in January 1996, General Jehangir Karamat was appointed Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan Army.[2] His term was due to end on 9 January 1999.[2] However, in October 1998 Sharif had a falling out with General Karamat over the latter’s advocacy of a "National Security Council".[2] Sharif interpreted this move to be a conspiracy to return the military to a more active role in Pakistan politics.[2] In 1999, after Sharif's removal, the National Security Council was indeed established by his successor.[2] In October 1998, General Karamat resigned and Sharif promoted Lieutenant-General Pervez Musharraf, then core-commander of the I Strike Corps that time, as 4-star general and appointed him as new Chief of Army Staff.[2] Sharif then also appointed General Musharraf as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee despite Musharraf's lack of seniority to Admiral Bokhari.[2] In protest, Admiral Fasih Bokhari resigned from his post as Chief of Naval Staff.[2] The year of 1999 brought a tremendous political upheavals and dramatic changes in Pakistan as well as for the Prime minister.[2]

Despite Sharif tremendous approval in 1998, Sharif's popularity graph gradually went down after he announced the emergency in Pakistan, a decision which dismayed the people of Pakistan.[2] Sharif's popularity was also undermined when Pakistan became involved with unpopular and undeclared war with India in Northern front.[2] This undeclared war was fought on the northern fronts of India and Pakistan, one of world's most coldest and highest points in the world.[2] Intensified criticism of this plan began to take place in Pakistan's private media, and General Musharraf took the whole matter to the media, and held the prime minister responsible for this misadventure.[2] During the Kargil War in 1999, Sharif claimed to have no knowledge of the planned attacks, saying that Pervez Musharraf acted alone.[40] In 2008, Lieutenant-General (retired) Jamshed Gulzar Kiani— at that time Kiani was Major-general and served as the Director-General of the Military Intelligence— also publicly confirmed Sharif's statement of not having the knowledge on Kargil debacle.[41] According to Major-General Kiani, General Musharraf had eye-blinded the Prime minister and did not brief him over the true facts or difficult situation which was faced by the Pakistan Army.[41] During the Kargil debacle, the Indian Air Force's two MiG-29 intercepted the PAF's two F-16 fighter jets of the No. 9 Squadron Griffins, initially gaining a missile lock on these jets.[42] This dogfight made a next-day morning headlines in Pakistan, prompting the prime minister to investigate the matter. However, Chief of Air Staff General Pervez Mehdi denied this incident, later accused the Prime minister for not taking the Air Force in confidence in the matters of national security.[43]

Sharif's part-time taking control of Stock Exchange Markets had devastating effects on Pakistan's economy, a move he instigated after the tests to control the economy.[41] Sharif's policies were widely disapproved by the people and at the mid of 1999, and Sharif's own popularity was mixed with few approved his policies.[41]

The year of 1999, Sharif's government also denied to accept the bodies of young paramilitary and army soldiers who unknowingly went onto participate in secret war in Western front against the Northern Alliance.[44] This decision sparked the wide spread of demonstration and protests against the Sharif's government in Western Pakistan, which forced Sharif to accept the bodies.[44] Following this incident, Sharif tried to intervened in this matter and tried to stop the Army's support to Taliban.[45] However, then-Chief of Army Staff General Pervez Musharraf had stopped Sharif and called Taliban as Pakistan's most valuable assets.[45]

In August 1999, two Indian Air Force MiG-21FL shot down the Pakistan Navy's reconnaissance aircraft, Breguet Atlantique, near at the Rann of Kutch.[46] This resulted the heavy loss of Pakistan Navy's 16 naval officers as well as the expensive aircraft.[46] This was the heaviest and largest biggest combat-related casualty for the navy since the naval hostilities in 1971[46] Already suffering with public disapproval and bad popularity, this incident of downing of the aircraft came at a particularly bad juncture for the Prime minister who was already under attack from politicians and the civil society for ordering a withdrawal of its troops from Kargil.[46] Sharif failed to gather any foreign support against India after this incident, and the navy saw this failure as Sharif's declining of support of the navy in the war times.[46] Therefore, then-Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Abdul Aziz Mirza turned against the Prime minister and Sharif soon faced a new cold war with the newly appointed Admiral who assumed the charge of the navy only few days ago.[46] The Prime minister dispatched the units of Pakistan Marines at the vicinity to retrieved the down pilots, during this course the Marines also turned their back on the Prime minister due to his failure to defend the Navy at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on September, 1999.[46] The relations with Pakistan Air Force also deteriorated in matter of months, when Chief of Air Staff General Parvaiz Mehdi Qureshi accused the Prime minister for not taking the Air Force in confidence in matters critical to national security.[43][46]

Two months later, after escalating the tug of war with the Pakistan Armed Forces, Sharif was deposed by General Pervez Musharraf, then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and the Chief of Army Staff as well, and the Martial law was imposed in the entire country.[46]

Military coup

The simultaneous conflicts in North with India and corruption allegation, Sharif's credibility was undermined and destroyed as the public opinion turned against him and his policies. On 12 October 1999, Prime minister Sharif attempted to remove Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and Chief of Army Staff General Pervez Musharraf as Sharif saw the General as responsible for his failure, and appoint General Ziauddin Butt in his place.

Musharraf, who was in Sri Lanka, attempted to return through a commercial airliner to return to Pakistan after he learned the news. Sharif ordered civilian Inspector-General of Sindh Police Force Rana Maqbool to arrest of Chief of Army Staff and and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Musharraf.

Sharif ordered the Jinnah Terminal to be sealed off to prevent the landing of the Musharraf's airliner fearing a coup d'état. However, the Captain of the air line requested to re-fuel the air line, therefore, Sharif ordered the plane to land at Nawabshah Airport. Meanwhile in Nawabshah Airport, Musharraf contacted top Pakistan Army Generals who then took over the country and ousted Sharif's administration. Musharraf later assumed control of the government as Chief Executive.[47] Initially, Prime minister's mindset was to remove the Chairman Joint Chiefs and the Chief of Army Staff first, then deposed the Chief of Naval Staff and the Chief of Air Staff, who had played the role destroying the credibility of prime minister.[47] Hence, it was a move to deposed the senior military leadership of the Pakistan Armed Forces, that brutally backfired on the Prime minister.[47]

No protest and demonstration were held in Pakistan in support of Sharif, including Benazir Bhutto who was the Leader of the Opposition during this time, remained silenced about this coup.[47] . Many Of Mr.Sharifs allies remained silent and did not take sides during the court case and where divided as to how to react. The military police initiated massive arrests of Pakistan Muslim League's workers and the leaders of the parties.[47] In Punjab and Sindh Provinces, the prisoners were held in Sindh and Punjab Police Prisons.[47] Sharif was taken to Adiala Jail where a court trial headed by Military judge was set to began.[47]

Trial of the Prime minister

The military placed him on military trial for "kidnapping, attempted murder, hijacking and terrorism and corruption".[48][49] The military court quickly convicted him in a speedy trial and gave him a life sentence.[49] Report began to surface that the military court was near to give Sharif a death sentence, previously had done by the military court in the trial of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.[48] Sharif was placed in Adiala Jail, infamous for hosting Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's trial, and his leading defense lawyer, Iqbal Raad, was gunned down in Karachi in mid-March.[50] Sharif's defense team blamed the military for intentionally providing their lawyers with inadequate protection.[50] The military court proceedings were widely accused of being a show trial.[51][52][53] Sources from Pakistan claimed that Musharraf and his military government's officers were in full mood to exercise tough conditions on Sharif[54] The trial went fast and speedy, and it became authenticated that the court is near to place her verdict on Navaz Sharif on his charges, and the court will sentenced Sharif to death.[54] Sharif was also set face a case of "corruption", and received a 14 years life imprisonment additional.[55] Sharif also forced to pay $400,000.[55] The case centered on a civilian helicopter, which he said to have owned during mid-1990s.[55] Saudi Arabia and King Fahd initially came in shock when the news reached to Saudi Arabia, prompting King Fahd to contact the Pakistan Army over this military coup.[54] Pakistan, under Nawaz Sharif and Saudi Arabia, under King Fahd, enjoyed extremely close business and cultural relations that is sometimes attributed as special relationships.[54] Amid pressure exerted by the U.S. President Bill Clinton and King of Saudi Arabia King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, the military court avoided the award death sentence to Sharif.[54] During the state visit of General Musharraf, King Fahd showed his concern over the trial as the King was worried that the death sentence would provoke more and intense ethnic violence in Pakistan as it did in 1980s.[54] Under an agreement facilitated by Saudi Arabia, Sharif was placed in exile for the next 10 years and through the Saudi Arabian Airlines.[54] Mr Sharif has agreed not to take part in politics in Pakistan for 21 years. He has also forfeited property worth $8.3m (£5.7m) and agreed to pay a fine of $500,000 [56] Sharif traveled to Jeddah where he was received by the Saudi officials and taken to a residence managed and controlled by Saudi Government.[54] At Jaddah, the Saudi Arabian government gave Sharif a loan to established a steel mill and Sharif bought a land where he went on to established the iron-steel mill foundry that is worth millions of dollars.[54] During this episode of military coup, General Musharraf wrote in his memoirs that, thanks to Saudi Arabia and King Fahd, Sharif's life was spared by the military court otherwise Sharif would've met the same fate as of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1979.[57]

1999 Tax Evasion Scandal

The prosecution argued that helicopter worth $1Mil which he did paid, but not had paid the federal tax which is mandatory as required by the constitution.[55] This case fought on a civilian Lahore High Court agreed with the prosecution and ordered Sharif to proof the evidences to have paid the tax which claimed by Sharif.[55] Sharif failed to cite the proper evidences, the Lahore High Court ordered Sharif to pay additional $400,000 as well as convicted with a tax eviction, and received a 14 years life imprisonment additional.[55]

Return to Pakistan

Failed attempt in Islamabad

On August 23, 2007, Pakistan's apex court— the Supreme Court of Pakistan— ruled that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his brother, Shahbaz, were free to return. Both vowed to return soon.[58][59]

On 8 September 2007, Lebanese politician Saad Hariri and Saudi intelligence chief Prince Muqrin bin Abdul-Aziz addressed an unprecedented joint press conference at Army Combatant Generals Headquarters (GHQ) to discuss how Sharif's return would affect relations.[60] Muqrin stated that the initial agreement was for 10 years but "these little things do not affect relations.”[60] Muqrin expressed hope that Sharif would continue with the agreement.[60]

On 10 September 2007, Sharif returned from exile in London[60] to Islamabad. He was prevented from leaving the plane and he was deported to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia within hours.[61] His political career appeared to be over.[22]

Successful return in Lahore

On 20 November 2007, Musharraf went to Saudi Arabia as he left the country for the first time since implementing emergency rule.[62] He attempted to convince Saudi Arabia to prevent Sharif from returning until after the elections in January 2008.[62] The political role of Sharif returned to the fore after Benazir Bhutto's return a month earlier.[62] Saudi Arabia appeared to argue that if Pakistan has allowed a democratic-socialist woman leader, Benazir Bhutto, to return to the country, then the conservative Sharif should be permitted to return too.[62]

On 25 November 2007, Sharif returned to Pakistan. Thousands of supporters whistled and cheered as they hoisted Sharif and his brother Shahbaz on their shoulders through ranks of wary riot police officers.[63] After an 11-hour procession from the airport, he reached a mosque where he offered prayers as well as criticism against Musharraf.[64]

His return to Pakistan came with only one day left to register for elections.[63] This set the stage for an overnight shift of the political scene.[63]

2008 Parliamentary Elections

Sharif called for the boycott of the January 2008 elections because he believed the poll would not be fair, given a state of emergency imposed by Musharraf. Sharif and the PML (N) decided to participate in the parliamentary elections after 33 opposition groups, including Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party, met in Lahore but failed to reach a joint position.[65]

For the elections, he campaigned for the restoration of the independent judges removed by emergency government decree and Musharraf's departure.[66][67]

Bhutto's assassination led to the postponement of the elections to 18 February 2008.[68] During the elections, both parties, but the Pakistan Peoples Party in particular, rely on a mix of feudal relationships and regional sentiment for their voting bases - the Bhuttos in Sindh, Nawaz Sharif in Punjab.[68] Sharif condemned Bhutto's assassination and called it the "gloomiest day in Pakistan's history".[69]

Between Bhutto's assassination and the elections, the country faced a rise in attacks by militants.[70] Sharif accused Musharraf of ordering anti-terror operations that have left the country "drowned in blood."[70] Pakistan's government urged opposition leaders to refrain from holding rallies ahead of the elections, citing an escalating terrorist threat.[70] Sharif's party quickly rejected the recommendation, accusing officials of trying block the campaign against Musharraf since large rallies have traditionally been the main way to drum up support in election campaigns.[70]

On January 25, Musharraf initiated a failed four-day visit to London to use British mediation in Pakistani politics to reconcile with the Sharif brothers.[71]

Zardari's Pakistan People's Party, boosted by the death of Benazir Bhutto, and Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-N dominated the elections. PPP received 86 seats for the 342-seat National Assembly; the PML-N, 66; and the PML-Q, which backs President Pervez Musharraf, 40.[72] Zardari and Sharif would later create a coalition government that ousted Musharraf.

Post-2008 elections

His party had joined a coalition led by PPP but the alliance had been strained by differences over the fate of judges Musharraf dismissed last year and over how to handle the unpopular president.[73] Sharif won much public support for his uncompromising stand against Musharraf and for his insistence the judges be reinstated.[73] The coalition successfully forced Musharraf's resignation. He also successfully pressured Zardari for the reinstatement of judges removed by Musharraf in emergency rule. This led to the courts cleansing Sharif of a criminal record rendering him eligible to re-enter parliament.[74]


In June 2008 by-elections, Sharif's party won three National Assembly seats and eight provincial assembly seats, all but one in the country's political nerve center of Punjab province, where Shahbaz Sharif heads the provincial government.[75] The Lahore seat election was postponed because of wrangling over whether Sharif was eligible to contest.[73][76]

2008 Musharraf impeachment

Nawaz Sharif with Hillary Clinton in 2010.

On 7 August 2008, the coalition government agreed to impeach Musharraf. Zardari and Sharif sent a formal request for him to step down. A charge-sheet had been drafted, and was to be presented to parliament.[77] It included Mr Musharraf’s first seizure of power in 1999—at the expense of Nawaz Sharif, the PML(N)’s leader, whom Mr Musharraf imprisoned and exiled—and his second last November, when he declared an emergency as a means to get re-elected president.[78] The charge-sheet also listed some of Mr Musharraf’s contributions to the “war on terror”.[78]

On 11 August, the National Assembly was summoned to discuss impeachment proceedings.[79] On 18 August 2008, Musharraf resigned as President of Pakistan due to mounting political pressure from the impeachment proceedings. On 19 August 2008, Musharraf defended his nine-year rule in an hour long speech.[80]

Musharraf is presently exiled to London and Sharif continues to demand he be prosecuted for treason.[81]

Presidential election

The Election Commission on 22 August announced that Presidential elections would be held on 6 September 2008, and the nomination papers could be filed starting 26 August.[82] In Pakistan, the president is elected by the two houses of parliament and the four provincial assemblies, all acted as the Electoral College. There was speculation that Sharif would run for President, but on 25 August, he announced that former Supreme Court Judge and former Chief Justice Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui would be the PML-N nominee for Presidency.[83] During this election, Justice Siddiqui was defeated by Zardari for the presidency.

Reinstatement of judges

Sharif and Zardari supported the reinstatement of judges suspended by Musharraf in March 2007. Musharraf had dismissed 60 judges under the state of emergency and Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry in a failed bid to remain in power.[84] Sharif had championed the cause of the judges since their dismissal.[9] The new government that succeeded Musharraf which had campaigned on reinstatement had failed to restore the judges . This led to a collapse of the coalition government in late 2008 due to Zardari’s erstwhile refusal to reinstate the sacked judge.[9] Zardari feared that Chaudhry would undo all Mr Musharraf’s edicts—including an amnesty that he had received from corruption charges.[9]

Long March lead by Nawaz Sharif moving through Ferozpur Road, Lahore.

On 25 February 2009, the Supreme Court disqualified Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif, Punjab’s chief minister, from holding public office. Zardari then dismissed the province’s legislature and declared president’s rule in Punjab.[9] . Lawyers and citizen groups in Pakistan and Pakistani lawyers, civil activists, and a coalition of political parties where planning to take to the streets in a protest march that started 13 March 2009.[85] Zardari attempted to place Sharif on house arrest on 15 March 2009.[9] But provincial police disappeared the same day from his house after an angry crowd gathered outside the house. The Punjab police’s decision to free Sharif from confinement was very likely in response to an army command.[9] Sharif, with a large contingent of SUVs, began leading a march to Islamabad but ended the march in Gujranwala.[9] In a televised morning speech on 16 March 2009, Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani had promised to reinstate Iftikhar Chaudhry after pressure from Pakistan’s army, American and British envoys, and internal protests.PPP also made secret Agreement to restore the PMLN Punjab Government. Sharif called off the "long march".[9] The PPP-led government continued to survive. Later it emerged that PMLN was not really interested in fre Judiciary but was justing it to put pressure on the PPP, and later hoped to end the free judiciary. A Senior PMLN leader had said "95 percent of the members of PML-N were against becoming part of the lawyers’ movement. But after the SC verdict, PML-N had no other choice but to support this movement. "[86]

Removal of bar on third term

On 2 April 2010, the 18th Amendment Bill in the Parliament removed the bar on former prime ministers to stand for only two terms in office. This allows Sharif to become Prime Minister for a third time.[87]

Political Scandals

2011 Helicopter Scandal

In 2011 During an Election Campaign in Azad Kashmir Mr Sharif used government owned and funded helicopter, even though he does not hold public office. [88]

Terrorism Funding Scandal

Malik Ishaq the Leader of the Terrorist group LEJ, which was responsible for Islamabad Marriott Hotel bombing and 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka national cricket team enjoyed Punjab government’s financial payment ever since the Sharif’s came to power in 2008 according to civil servant speaking on condition of anonymity [89]

2011 DG Khan Party Rally Scandal

In 2011 During an PMLN Campaign Tour in Punjab lead by Mr.Sharif. The Punjab Government spent Rs4 million in arranging a rally for Mr.Sharif.Public Funds where used to prove Tents,9,000 Chairs,Renting a Stadium and People Attending the rally where also given free fuel.All at the cost of the Punjab Government. Despite the fact mr.sharif holds no Public Office. The use of public funds for a party rally was considered a major scandal. [90]

2011 letters for Jobs Scandal

In the first week of February 2011, the Punjab Agriculture Research Department advertised almost 133 jobs in Faisalabad. Many thousands applied but it emerged jobs where given to individuals who had letters of recommendations from of PMLN politicians . [91]

2011 Faisalabad Party Rally Scandal

Punjab government employees where caught clearing ground and putting banners of PMLN , in violation of civil servants responsibility to not engage in political work. Government machinery such as trucks,vans and building equipment was used to set the stage for the party political rally for Nawaz Sharif.Even though Mr.Sharif holds no public office [92] Video [93]


Despite Sharif's wide approval in 1997 elections and, his public reforms, industrialization and the nuclear tests in 1998, Sharif's personality and policies remained a subject of ongoing controversies.[94] Sharif's criticism to former Prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto declined his public rating in Pakistan, though Sharif did regard Bhutto a "great Prime minister" of his time to cover up the damage.[94] During 1990s, Benazir Bhutto and the MQM referred Sharif's as "establishment's Prime minister", while Benazir and her allies such as MQM maintained that Punjab and Kashmir Provinces remained center of gravity for Sharif's policies. Former President General Perver Musharraf and Benazir claimed that in 1999 that, in 1989, Sharif had connections with the Islamic groups and allegedly accepted the funds allotted by Osama Bin Laden for a secret operation, codename Operation Midnight Jackal, to topple the government of Benazir Bhutto.[95] Though, Sharif did regard that he had never met with Bin Laden, or talked about any political cooperation.[95] General Musharraf who was the Director-General for the Pakistan Army's Directorate-General for Military Operations (DGMO) in 1990 labeled Nawaz Sharif as "Closet Taliban", and had ties with extremist groups based in Punjab against India.[96] Former member of Air Intelligence Major Khalid Khawaja maintained that Nawaz Sharif did had meeting with Osama Bin Laden in three occasions in Saudi Arabia where plans where made to topple Benazir Bhutto's government. Secretary-General of Pakistan Muslim League, Ahsan Iqbal countered the claims dubbing it "claims as a pack of lies".[95]

Sharif is often targeted for signing the agreement to flee the country to spare his and his brother's life, which many sees an act of cowardliness. In Pakistan, Sharif received criticism for allowing Chief of Army Staff and Chairman Joint Chief General Pervez Musharraf to drag Pakistan to an unpopular war, the Kargil War. Sharif responded this claim as "had no knowledge" of this conflict. In 2011, during the local bodies election campaign.


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External links

Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif

Political offices
Preceded by
Sadiq Hussain Qureshi
Chief Minister of Punjab
Succeeded by
Ghulam Haider Wyne
Preceded by
Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi
Prime Minister of Pakistan
Succeeded by
Balakh Sher Mazari
Preceded by
Balakh Sher Mazari
Prime Minister of Pakistan
Succeeded by
Moeenuddin Ahmad Qureshi
Preceded by
Malik Meraj Khalid
Prime Minister of Pakistan
Succeeded by
Zafarullah Khan Jamali
as Became Prime minister in 2002
Preceded by
Shahid Hamid
Minister of Defence
Succeeded by
Pervez Musharraf
Party political offices
Preceded by
Fida Mohammad Khan
President of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz
Succeeded by
Shahbaz Sharif
Preceded by
Shahbaz Sharif
President of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz
Succeeded by

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