Nawaz Sharif

Nawaz Sharif
Muhammad Nawaz Sharif is a Pakistani politician and the current Prime Minister of Pakistan. A member of the Pakistan Muslim League (N), Sharif is also the current president of the party and the party holds a majority in parliament since 2013. A veteran politician, he has previously served as Prime Minister from 1990 to 1993 and from 1997 to 1999. In 1999 he was deposed from the office by the army chief Pervez Musharraf in a coup and was sent to exile in Saudi Arabia. Sharif came back to Pakistan in 2007. He is the owner of a leading business conglomerate known as the Ittefaq group and is also one of the wealthiest people in the country. Born on 25th December 1949 in an upper middle class family, the Sharif family are Punjabis and have their origin in Kashmir. His father Muhammad Sharif was a businessman and industrialist and their family had migrated to Lahore from Amritsar in 1947 after the partition. His father later founded the Ittefaq group of industries. Sharif completed his schooling from Saint Anthony High School. He then graduated in the art and business degree from Government College University and later he earned a law degree from Law College of Punjab University in Lahore. After the completion of his education, he joined his family business and started to learn everything about the business. The business was also performing very well at that time. However, the Sharif family lost their control on the business after the implementation of nationalization policy by then Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1972 which led them to give the control of the business to the government. This devastated the Sharif family and they started to face losses. The implementation of the policy made Nawaz very angry and he then decided to join politics to reclaim his lost business. He then joined Pakistan Muslim League in 1976. In 1980, the recently appointed governor of Punjab Ghulam Jilani Khan initiated the search for a new urban leader and he then founded Sharif and he made him the Finance Minister of Punjab. Sharif in 1981 joined the Punjab Advisory Board under General Zia-ul-Haq and being a finance minister, he proposed many financial policies and the policies implemented by him contributed greatly in the development and growth of the province. Nawaz then rose to popularity due to the policies implemented by him and he was nominated for the Chef Minister position of Punjab in 1985 by General Ghulam Jilani Khan. He easily won the 1985 election and became the Chief Minister of Punjab. Nawaz was very popular in his constituency and he received the nickname Lion of Punjab. As a Chief Minister he focused on welfare and development activities and maintenance of law and order. Sharif had his ties with the senior army generals and Lieutenant General Ghulam Jilani Khan who sponsored the government of Nawaz Sharif. General Zia dismissed the government of Prime Minister Muhammad Khan Junejo in 1988 and new elections were held. General Zia supported Sharif and helped him in retaining his Chief Ministers post for the Punjab Province and he continued to support Sharif until his death. In 1990, under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif, the conservatives were able to form the government. Nawaz then became the 12th Prime Minister on 1st November 1990. In his tenure, he focused in developing the infrastructure in Pakistan as well as promised to reduce the corruption in the government. He also privatized the government banks and also supported industrialization and implemented several policies to promote privatization and liberalization in the economy. He believed that industrialization will lead to employment and it will also help in solving the issue of unemployment in the country. There was a huge rise in his popularity, but his popularity and reputation went downfall after he was exposed in the co-operative societys scandal because of which thousands in Pakistan lost their money. Sharif was forced to resign in 1993. Nawaz again contested the 1997 parliamentary elections and won the elections aver the then Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and he was sworn as the Prime Minister for the second term. However, the term was more difficult as the country was facing major economic problems that included foreign debt, corruption as well as dispute with India. His second tenure as a Prime Minister was credited for carrying out the nuclear test in May 1998 in response to the Indian nuclear test despite global pressure to not do it. Sharif was overthrown from the Prime Ministers post in 1999 by General Musharraf in a military coup and he was also tried on the charges of hijacking and terrorism. The military court convicted him in the case and gave him life sentence. After the mediation by King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, Sharif was sent on a 10 year exile to Saudi Arabia. After deposing Nawaz, Pervez Musharraf assumed the power and became the Prime Minister of Pakistan. In 2007, Musharraf became unpopular after the Supreme Court decision ruled that Sharif was free to re-enter Pakistan. Sharif took this opportunity and returned to his homeland and again started to participate in politics. From 2008 to 2013, his party co-allied Pakistan Peoples Party and was in the opposition. In 2013, he made a spectacular comeback and won a third term as the Prime Minister and was sworn in on 7th June 2013. Nawaz is married to Kalsoom Butt who is a daughter of a famous physician and a well educated woman herself. The couple has three children which includes two sons and a daughter. Nawaz came in controversies in 2016 after the Panama Paper leak mentions the in-laws of Nawazs brother Shebaz Sharif and children of Nawaz Sharif to offshore companies.
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