Nawaz Sharif

From Academic Kids

Nawaz Sharif (born December 25, 1949) was twice elected as Prime Minister of Pakistan, serving two non-consecutive terms. His first term was from November 1, 1990 to July 18, 1993, and his second term was from February 17, 1997 to October 12, 1999. His party is the Pakistan Muslim League N (Nawaz group).

Missing image
Prime Minister of Pakistan;Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif

Sharif was born in Lahore, the son of Mian Mohammad Sharif[1] (, then the owner of a modest cast-iron parts business who later became a prominent industrialist and later a joint owner of the Ittefaq Group of Industries. Nawaz Sharif became politically prominent after General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq declared martial law over Pakistan in 1977. Sharif served as finance minister for General Zia, and then served as a provincial (Punjab) chief minister. He became an important figure in Pakistani politics when elected government was restored in 1988 after General Zia's death.

He first became Prime Minister on November 1, 1990, running on a platform of conservative government and an end to corruption. His term was interrupted on April 18, 1993, when the President used his Eighth Amendment powers to dissolve the Assemblies. Less than six weeks later, the Supreme Court overruled the President, restoring the Assemblies and returning Sharif to power on May 26, 1993. Sharif was removed from office on July 18, 1993, having been accused of corruption, by President Ghulam Ishaq Khan, who replaced him with caretaker Prime Minister Moin Qureshi, succeeded shortly thereafter by Benazir Bhutto, who was elected to office on October 19, 1993.

The general election of February 1997 saw Nawaz Sharif’s party sweeping back into power with such a huge majority that the result was immediately questioned by the PPP.

One of the first things Sharif did during his second term in office was to orchestrate the scrapping of Article 58-(2)(b) through another Amendment to the Constitution - an exercise in which Sharif’s party was joined by all the other political parties in the National Assembly and Senate.Thirteenth Amendment was passed so that the President could no longer dismiss the Prime Minister; the Fourteenth Amendment imposed so-called party discipline on members of Parliament. He opposed the independence of the judiciary, clashing with the Chief Justice, Sajjad Ali Shah. The Supreme Court was stormed by Sharif's party goons on November 28, 1997, and the Chief Justice was forced out of office. He attempted to stifle press freedoms. On May 8, 1999, at 2:30 A.M., Sharif's secret police smashed into the bedroom of a leading critic, journalist Najam Sethi, beating him up in front of his wife and kidnapping him. Sethi was later released after an international outcry.

After the Nuclear Tests at the Chagai Hills, he suspended many civil liberties and alarmed the Indian government which thought he was going on a war path. He dismissed a Sindhi government and set up military courts when the stability of the government was threatened, and defied a Pakistani tradition that balanced power between the provinces. He was accused of cronyism and being too supportive of Punjabi candidates for office, which marginalized his party in the south.

During his first term as prime minister, Sharif had fallen out with three successive army chiefs: with General Mirza Aslam Beg over the 1991 Gulf War issue; with General Asif Nawaz Khan Janjua over the Sindh "Operation Clean-Up" issue; and with General Wahid Kakar over the Sharif-Ishaq imbroglio.

At the end of General Wahid’s three-year term in January 1996, General Jehangir Karamat was appointed army chief. His term was due to end on January 9, 1999. In October 1998, however, true to form, Sharif fell out with General Karamat as well, over the latter’s advocacy of the need for the creation of a National Security Council.

In October 1998 General Karamat resigned and Sharif appointed General Pervez Musharraf as army chief.

The perceived poor performance and increasing corruption of his administration led to some public dissatisfaction.The main blow for him came when it was discovered that Pakistani trrops were involved in what came to be known in 1998 as Kargil Conflict.This was at a time when he was working for peace with the Indian Premier.It was an international embarressment and he came under US pressure to withdraw his troops.After he ordered the withdrawal of forces from the Kargil area during the "Kargil Conflict", Sharif became more unpopular. Growing fiscal deficits and debt-service payments mainly due to US sanctions led to a financial crisis involving a narrowly-averted default on the government's international loans. With Pakistan suffering from frequent power blackouts, Sharif directed the army in early 1999 to take control of the Water And Power Development Authority (WAPDA) of Pakistan.

With the public and press openly speculating about the possibility of a military takeover, Sharif became increasingly insecure. On October 12, 1999, he ordered the Karachi Airport to not allow the landing of a commercial passenger jet carrying General Pervez Musharraf (and nearly 200 others). At the same time, he attempted to appoint ISI Chief Khwaja Ziauddin as Army Chief. The army refused the appointment and took over the Karachi airport. The airplane landed with only minutes of fuel to spare. Musharraf assumed power, dismissing Sharif, and declaring himself the Chief Executive of Pakistan.

Sharif was thrown in prison and tried by Pakistan's Anti-Terrorism Courts, which sentenced him to several life sentences for corruption, hijacking, tax evasion, embezzlement, and terrorism in 2000. The military government agreed to commute his sentence from life in prison to exile in Saudi Arabia. His family moved with him. His wife and senior members of his party formed an anti-military coalition along with the Pakistan People's Party, previously the major opposition to Sharif's Muslim League. Sharif and the PPPP have only offered token resistance to President Musharraf's government. Efforts are mainly restricted to criticism through the media and trying to disrupt Parliament. Sharif and his supporters have been unable to launch a broadly anti-government movement because they lack support among the public. Pakistanis have not forgotten the downward spiral during Nawaz Sharif's rule.

Recent events

President General Pervez Musharraf on May 11, 2005 declared that exiled political leaders, including Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, would not be allowed to come back or participate in the general elections scheduled for 2007. Musharraf will seek another 5-year term as head of state after his current tenure ends in 2007, the country's Information Minister Sheikh Rashid recently informed the presses.

Preceded by:
Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi
Prime Minister of Pakistan
First Tenure

Succeeded by:
Balakh Sher Mazari (Caretaker)
Preceded by:
Balakh Sher Mazari (Caretaker)
Prime Minister of Pakistan

Succeeded by:
Moin Qureshi (Caretaker)
Preceded by:
Miraj Khalid (Caretaker)
Prime Minister of Pakistan
Second Tenure

Succeeded by:
General Pervez Musharraf
(as Chief Executive)
and then Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali

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