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Nawaz Sharif

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Nawaz Sharif

Nawaz Sharif
نواز شریف
12th, 14th, and 20th Prime Minister of Pakistan
Assumed office
5 June 2013
President Asif Ali Zardari
Mamnoon Hussain
Preceded by Mir Hazar Khan Khoso (Acting)
In office
17 February 1997 – 12 October 1999
President Wasim Sajjad
Farooq Leghari
Muhammad Rafiq Tarar
Preceded by Malik Meraj Khalid (Acting)
Succeeded by Pervez Musharraf (Chief Executive)
In office
6 November 1990 – 18 July 1993
President Ghulam Ishaq Khan
Preceded by Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi (Acting)
Succeeded by Moeenuddin Ahmad Qureshi (Acting)
Leader of the Opposition
In office
19 October 1993 – 5 November 1996
Preceded by Benazir Bhutto
Succeeded by Benazir Bhutto
Chief Minister of Punjab
In office
9 April 1985 – 13 August 1990
Governor Ghulam Jilani Khan
Sajjad Hussain Qureshi
Tikka Khan
Preceded by Sadiq Hussain Qureshi
Succeeded by Ghulam Haider Wyne
Leader of the Pakistan Muslim League (N)
Assumed office
27 July 2011
Preceded by Shahbaz Sharif
In office
6 October 1993 – 12 October 1999
Preceded by Fida Mohammad Khan
Succeeded by Kalsoom Nawaz Sharif
Personal details
Born Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif
(1949-12-25) 25 December 1949
Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan
Political party Pakistan Muslim League (1985-1988)
Pakistan Muslim League-
Spouse(s) Begum Kalsoom
Children Maryam
Residence Prime Minister's Secretariat
Alma mater Government College University, Lahore
University of the Punjab
Religion Islam
Website Official website

Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif (Urdu: میاں محمد نواز شریف‎, pronounced ; born 25 December 1949)[1] is the 18th and current Prime Minister of Pakistan in office since June 2013. A veteran politician and industrialist, he previously served as Prime Minister from November 1990 to July 1993 and from February 1997 to October 1999. Sharif is the president of Pakistan Muslim League (N), which is currently Pakistan's largest political party, and has formed the government. As the owner of Ittefaq Group, a leading business conglomerate, he is also one of the country's wealthiest people.[2] He is commonly known as the "Lion of the Punjab".[3][4][5]

Nawaz Sharif entered politics in the 1980s when in the general elections of 1985, he won with an overwhelming majority, both in the National and Provincial Assemblies. On 9 April 1985, he was sworn-in as Chief Minister of Punjab. On 31 May 1988, he was appointed caretaker Chief Minister, after the dismissal of Assemblies by General Zia. Nawaz Sharif was again elected as Chief Minister after the 1988 general elections. After Zia's death and Benazir Bhutto's being elected Prime Minister in 1988, Sharif emerged as opposition leader from the conservative Pakistan Muslim League. When Bhutto was dismissed by President Ghulam Ishaq Khan in 1990 on corruption charges, Sharif was elected Prime Minister the same year. But relations between Sharif and Ghulam Ishaq too deteriorated, with Ghulam Ishaq attempting to dismiss Sharif on similar charges. Sharif successfully challenged the President's decision in the Supreme Court,[6] but both men were ultimately persuaded to step down in 1993 by army chief Abdul Waheed Kakar.[6]

Serving as the Leader of the Opposition during Bhutto's second tenure, Sharif was re-elected Prime Minister with a historic two-thirds majority in the Assembly in 1997.[7][7] As Prime Minister, Sharif stripped the presidency of its powers through the Thirteenth Amendment and ordered Pakistan's first nuclear tests in response to neighbouring India's second nuclear tests.[8][9][10] With Western sanctions, rising unemployment and record foreign debt,[11] Sharif's tenure also saw party workers attack the Supreme Court and Chief Justice Syed Sajjad Ali Shah after Sharif was summoned for contempt. Following Pakistan's haphazard performance in the Kargil War, Sharif attempted to dismiss his appointed army chief, General Pervez Musharraf, on 12 October 1999; the army instead ousted Sharif's government and exiled him to Saudi Arabia.[11] Sharif returned in 2007, successfully agitating for the reinstatement of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

He was again elected Prime Minister in 2013.[12] His third term has witnessed the initiation of the CPEC,[13] a military offensive against extremist groups in northwestern Pakistan that intensified after the Peshawar school attack, and lifting the moratorium on the death penalty. In foreign policy, Sharif's government has bolstered ties with the United States, Russia, and China, while relations with India have deteriorated.[14] Domestically, Sharif has struggled to revive economic growth as electricity shortages remain an endemic problem, while events including police killings of protestors in Lahore and opposition marches have weakened his government.[15] Sharif is the only person to be elected Prime Minister of Pakistan three times. He has also led the PML-N to form provincial government in Punjab an unprecedented five times, thrice with his brother Shehbaz as Chief Minister. He is called the Lion of the Punjab by his supporters, but criticized over allegations of nepotism and corruption.[16][17][18]


  • Early life and education 1
    • Initial political career 1.1
    • Punjab Advisory Council 1.2
    • Chief Minister of Punjab 1.3
    • 1988 elections 1.4
  • First term as prime minister (1990–93) 2
    • Conservative policies 2.1
    • Domestic issues 2.2
    • Industrialization and privatisation 2.3
    • Science policy 2.4
      • Nuclear policy 2.4.1
    • 1992 Co-operatives societies scandal 2.5
      • 1993 Constitutional Crisis 2.5.1
      • End of First Term 2.5.2
  • Parliamentary opposition (1993–96) 3
  • Second term as prime minister (1997–99) 4
    • Atomic policy 4.1
      • 1998 nuclear tests 4.1.1
      • Economical effects of tests 4.1.2
      • Political effects of tests 4.1.3
      • Space programme 4.1.4
    • Foreign policy 4.2
    • Constitutional amendment 4.3
    • Issues with judiciary 4.4
      • Attack on Supreme Court 4.4.1
      • 2006 formal apology 4.4.2
    • Policy on anti-terrorism 4.5
    • Relations with the military 4.6
      • Dismissal of General Jehangir Karamat 4.6.1
      • Confrontation with the military 4.6.2
  • Military coup 5
    • Trial of the Prime minister 5.1
      • 1999 tax evasion scandal 5.1.1
  • Return to Pakistan 6
    • Failed attempt in Islamabad 6.1
    • Successful return in Lahore 6.2
  • 2008 General elections 7
  • In opposition (2008–2013) 8
    • By-elections 8.1
    • Musharraf impeachment 8.2
    • Presidential election 8.3
    • Lawyers Movement 8.4
    • Removal of bar on third term 8.5
  • 2013 Pakistan general election 9
    • Khan–Sharif rivalry 9.1
    • Policies 9.2
    • 2013 Election Results 9.3
  • Third term as Prime Minister (2013 – Present) 10
    • Domestic policy 10.1
      • Economic policy 10.1.1
        • FY 2013-14
        • FY 2014-15
        • Privatization
        • Communications and Development
        • Pakistan Vision 2025
        • Nuclear power policy
    • National security and defense policy 10.2
      • Operation Zarb-e-Azb 10.2.1
    • Foreign policy 10.3
      • Neighboring countries 10.3.1
        • China
        • India
        • Afghanistan
      • United States 10.3.2
      • Europe 10.3.3
      • Muslim world 10.3.4
        • Saudi Arabia
      • Russia 10.3.5
    • Criticism 10.4
  • Public image and legacy 11
    • Wealth and conglomerates 11.1
  • See also 12
  • References 13
  • Further readings and sources 14
  • External links 15

Early life and education

Nawaz Sharif was born in Lahore, Punjab on 25 December 1949.[1][19] The Sharif family are Punjabis of Kashmiri origin.[19] His father, Muhammad Sharif, was an upper middle-class businessman and industrialist whose family had emigrated from Anantnag in Kashmir for business, eventually settling in the village of Jati Umra in Amritsar district, Punjab in the beginning of the twentieth century. His mother's family came from Pulwama.[20] After the movement led by Jinnah in his struggle to create Pakistan in 1947, his parents migrated from Amritsar to Lahore.[19] His father followed the teachings of the Ahl al-Hadith.[21] His family owns Ittefaq Group, a multimillion dollar steel conglomerate[22] and Sharif Group, a conglomerate company with holdings in agriculture, transport and sugar mills.

He is married to Kalsoom Nawaz Sharif.[23] 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 as well as the Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab.[24] His daughter Maryam Nawaz, apparently a housewife but sometimes active for her father's party, is currently the chairperson for Prime Minister's youth initiative.[25] His other daughter, Asma Nawaz, is married to Ali Dar, who is a son of Ishaq Dar, the current finance minister of Pakistan.[20][26] The personal residence of the Sharif family, Raiwind Palace, is located in Jati Umra, Raiwind on the outskirts of Lahore.[27] He also has a residence in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia known as the Sharif Villa, where he lived during his years in exile.[28]

His son, Hussain Nawaz Sharif, currently resides in the Jeddah house.[29] He went to Saint Anthony High School. He graduated from the Government College University (GCU) with an art and business degree and then received a law degree from the Law College of Punjab University in Lahore.[30][31]

Initial political career

Nawaz Sharif started his political career during the period of nationalisation policies introduced by former Prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.[19] The Sharif family were financially devastated after discovering that the family steel business was lost into the hands of the government as a result of Bhutto's nationalisation of the economy, and Sharif jumped into national politics soon after.[19] In 1976, Sharif politically motivated himself and joined the Pakistan Muslim League, a conservative front rooted in the Punjab province. He initially focused on regaining control of his steel industry from the government.[19] In May 1980 Ghulam Jilani Khan, the recently appointed Governor of the Punjab Province and a former Director-General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), initiated a search for new urban leaders, and Sharif was one of the men he found and promoted, quickly making him Finance Minister of the Punjab.[32] 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 Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq during the 1980s.[19]

He maintained close relations with the Zia-ul-Haq, who soon agreed to return to him his private steel mill which had been lost during the wave of nationalisation by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.[19] 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 the Director-General of ISI, Lieutenant-General (retired) Hamid Gul, who played a substantial role in the formation of the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI) – a conservative political alliance that supported Sharif.[19]

Sharif invested in Pakistan Peoples Party."[33] After coming into national power in 1990, Sharif attempted a reversal of Bhutto's nationalisation policies, introducing an economy based on privatization and economic liberalisation.[33]

Punjab Advisory Council

In 1981, he initially joined as a member of the Punjab Advisory Council[30] under General Ghulam Jilani Khan, the Governor of the Province.[32] Since his early career, Sharif has been a strong vocal of capitalism and strongly opposed its inverse, the nationalisation.[19] In the 1980s, Sharif gained influence on General Zia-ul-Haq who had previously agreed to return his steel industry to him, convincing the General to denationalise and deregulate the industries in order to improve the economy.[19] Under the Military government of Lieutenant-General Ghulam Jilani Khan, Sharif was appointed as the provisional finance minister and successfully attempted to denationalise all of the government-owned industries to private sector.[30] As provincial finance minister, he presented development-oriented budgets to the military government.[30] 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.[19] 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.[19] Due to its huge financial capital in the 1980s, Punjab Province was Pakistan's richest province and had a better standard of living compared to other provinces.[19]

Chief Minister of Punjab

In 1985 General Ghulam Jilani Khan nominated Sharif as Chief Minister of the Punjab, against the wishes of the new prime minister, Muhammad Khan Junejo, who wanted a rural candidate, Malik Allahyar.[32] Sharif secured a landslide victory during the non-political parties 1985 elections and became Chief Minister of Punjab with the support of the army.[19] He served for two consecutive terms as Chief Minister of Punjab Province, the most populous province of Pakistan.[34] Because of his vast popularity, he received the nickname "Lion of the Punjab".[35] As chief minister, he stressed welfare and development activities and the maintenance of law and order.[30]

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 ministership.[30] 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.[30] In 1988, General Zia dismissed the government of hand-picked Prime minister Muhammad Khan Junejo, and called for new elections.[30] 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.[30]

1988 elections

After General Zia's death in August 1988, Zia's political party–Pakistan Muslim League (Pagara Group)–split into two factions.[36] Sharif led the Zia loyalist Fida Group against the Junejo Group, led by prime minister Muhammad Khan Junejo.[36] The Fida Group later took on the mantle of the PML while the Junejo Group became known as the JIP.[36] The two parties along with seven other right-wing conservatives and religious parties united with encouragement and funding from the ISI to form the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI).[36] The alliance was co-led by Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi and Sharif to oppose Benazir Bhutto's PPP in the elections.[36] The IJI gained substantial majorities in the Punjab and Sharif was reelected Chief Minister of Punjab.[36]

In December 1989, Sharif decided to remain in the provincial Punjab Assembly rather than hold a seat in the National Assembly.[37] In early 1989, the PPP government failed to unseat Sharif through a no-confidence motion in the Punjab Assembly.[36] Sharif retained control by a vote of 152 to 106.[36]

First term as prime minister (1990–93)

The conservatives for the first time in the country's history, came into the power under a democratic system, under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif.[38] Nawaz Sharif became the 12th Prime Minister of Pakistan on 1 November 1990 as well as head of IJI and succeeded Benazir Bhutto as Prime minister.[38] IJI had been created and funded by the Zia loyalists in the ISI; it received Rs 15 million from the ISI.[39] He campaigned on a conservative platform and vowed to reduce government corruption.[38] He focused on improving the nation's infrastructure and spurred the growth of digital telecommunication.[38] He privatised government banks and opened the door for further industrial privatisation, and disbanded Zulfikar Bhutto's policies.[38] He legalised foreign money exchange to be transacted through private money exchangers.[38] His privatisation policies were continued by both Benazir Bhutto in the mid-1990s and Shaukat Aziz as well in the 2000s.[38]

Conservative policies

Nawaz Sharif meeting with conservative intellectuals of Pakistan in Sindh Province, c. 1990s.

Sharif took steps to initiate Islamization and conservatism at once.[38] The continuation of conservative change in Pakistan society was encouraged, a policy started by Zia ul Haq. Reforms were made to introduce fiscal conservatism, supply-side economics, bioconservatism and religious conservatism in Pakistan.[38]

He raised the issue of Kashmir in international forums and worked toward a peaceful transfer power in Afghanistan so as to help end the rampant trading of illicit drugs and weapons across the border.[38] Sharif intensified General Zia-ul-Haq's controversial Islamization policies, and 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 toward Islamization. He ensured the establishment of three committees.[38]

  • 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

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
Benazir Bhutto
Leader of the Opposition
Succeeded by
Benazir Bhutto
Preceded by
Malik Meraj Khalid
Prime Minister of Pakistan
Succeeded by
Pervez Musharraf
as Chief Executive of Pakistan
Preceded by
Shahid Hamid
Minister of Defence
Succeeded by
Pervez Musharraf
Preceded by
Sartaj Aziz
Minister of Finance

Succeeded by
Ishaq Dar
Preceded by
Mir Hazar Khan Khoso
Prime Minister of Pakistan
Minister of Defence
Party political offices
Preceded by
Fida Mohammad Khan
Leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz
Succeeded by
Kalsoom Nawaz Sharif
Preceded by
Shahbaz Sharif
Leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz
  • Official website
  • Nawaz Sharif on Facebook
  • PML(N)
  • "Profile of Nawaz Sharif".  

External links

  • Boone, Jon (17 May 2013). "Nawaz Sharif: A rightwing tycoon who has won over leftist liberals – for now". Editorial and special report published by American journalist Jon Boone (Islamabad: The Guardian, Pakistan Bureau). The Guardian, Pakistan Bureau. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  • "BBC: Profile of Nawaz Sharif". BBC News. 11 December 2000. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  • "BBC, Timeline: Pakistan's political rivals". BBC News. 26 September 2007. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  • "Nawaz Sharif becomes Prime Minister". Story of Pakistan. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  • "Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz Group) Pakistan".  
  • "PML N – Nawaz Sharif's Profile". Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  • "Nawaz Sharif in 2008". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 18 August 2008. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  • Cooper, Helene; Mazzetti, Mark (20 July 2009). "Nawaz Sharif".  
  • Williamson, Martin (28 November 2007). "Cricket tragics: Eleven politicians who would have preferred to have been watching cricket instead".  

Further readings and sources

  1. ^ a b "Nawaz Sharif". Encyclopædia Britannica on-line. 1 June 2003. Retrieved 5 September 2012. 
  2. ^ Story of Pakistan. "Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif [Born 1949]". Story of Pakistan Directorate. Story of Pakistan (Part I). Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  3. ^ "Once exiled, Nawaz Sharif makes triumphant return to Pak politics".  
  4. ^ "Pakistan: Nawaz Sharif, Lion of Punjab, looks set to form government".  
  5. ^ Crilly, Rob (11 May 2013). "Pakistan elections: Nawaz Sharif eyes return to power".  
  6. ^ a b Story of Pakistan. "Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif [Born 1949] (Part-II)". Story of Pakistan Directorate. Story of Pakistan (Part II). Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  7. ^ a b Story of Pakistan. "Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif [Born 1949] (Part-III)". Story of Pakistan Directorate. Story of Pakistan (Part III). Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  8. ^ Schaffer, Howard B.; Schaffer, Teresita C. (2011). "§Pakistan's politicians". How Pakistan negotiates with the United States : riding the roller coaster. Washington, D.C.: United States Institute of Peace.  
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i Sublette, Carey. "Nuclear weapon archive and the Federation of Pakistan Atomic Scientists and Bulletein of Atomic Scientists, United States". Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  10. ^ Story of Pakistan. "Pakistan: A Nuclear power". 
  11. ^ a b Story of Pakistan (2003-06-01). "Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif [Born 1949] (Part-IV)". Story of Pakistan Directorate. Story of Pakistan (Part IV). Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  12. ^ a b "Nawaz Sharif's party gets majority in Pakistan Parliament".  
  13. ^ China to invest $46bn in Pakistan’s infrastructure
  14. ^ "'"Zarb-i-Azb: Fatwa declares Pak's military operation 'a jihad. Business Standard. 23 June 2014. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
  15. ^ a b Masood, Salman (28 June 2014). "Khan’s call for long march". The Nation. Retrieved 16 August 2014. 
  16. ^ "Once exiled, Nawaz Sharif makes triumphant return to Pak politics".  
  17. ^ "Pakistan: Nawaz Sharif, Lion of Punjab, looks set to form government".  
  18. ^ Crilly, Rob (11 May 2013). "Pakistan elections: Nawaz Sharif eyes return to power".  
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae Lieven, Anatol (2011). Pakistan: A Hard Country. PublicAffairs. p. 244.  
  20. ^ a b Jaleel, Muzamil (6 June 2013). "As Nawaz Sharif becomes PM, Kashmir gets voice in Pakistan power circuit". Indian Express. Retrieved 14 June 2013. 
  21. ^ Lieven, Anatol (2011). Pakistan: A Hard Country. PublicAffairs. p. 275.  
  22. ^ Baker, Raymond (2005). Capitalism's Achilles heel: Dirty Money and How to Renew the Free-market System. John Wiley and Sons. pp. 82–83.  
  23. ^ "Nawaz Sharif's wife operated in Delhi". The Times of India. 30 October 2007. Retrieved 4 January 2011. 
  24. ^ "Hamza the new deputy Chief Minister of Punjab". The Dawn Newspaper. 26 Sep 2013. 
  25. ^ "PM Appoints Daughter as Chairperson of Youth Program". The News International. 23 Nov 2013. 
  26. ^ Iqbal, Abdullah (29 May 2004). "Wedding bells for Nawaz son, daughter". Gulf News. Retrieved 23 November 2013. 
  27. ^ "Nawaz Sharif’s first speech as PM to be full of ‘surprises’". The Express Tribune. 30 May 2013. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  28. ^ "Sharif surfs the Net to catch up on news". Arab News. 7 August 2002. Retrieved 5 August 2013. 
  29. ^ "IP project in jeopardy: US threatens curbs if Pakistan pursues Iran deal, says PM". Express Tribune. 5 August 2013. Retrieved 5 August 2013. 
  30. ^ a b c d e f g h i Pakistan A Country Study. Kessinger Publishing. 2004. p. 250.  
  31. ^ Ghauri, Irfan (6 June 2013). "Nawaz Sharif: A political history". Express Tribune. Retrieved 13 June 2013. 
  32. ^ a b c Aminullah Chaudry, 'The Army in Pakistan's Politics' in Hijacking from the Ground: The Bizarre Story of PK 805 (2009), p. 14
  33. ^ a b c Stephen Philips Cohen, Stanley Wolpert (2004). "The State of Pakistan: Bhutto's Economic Experiments". The Idea of Pakistan. Massachusetts, United States: The Brooklyn Institution. pp. 82–86.  
  34. ^ "Nawaz Sharif". Retrieved 8 July 2010. 
  35. ^ a b c d e f g h i Pakistan: The Lion Unleashed. The Economist (16 March 2009).
  36. ^ a b c d e f g h The Far East and Australasia, 2003. London: Europa Publications. 2003. p. 1166.  
  37. ^ Weintraub, Richard (1 December 1988). "Bhutto Likely To Be Named Premier Today; Pakistani Opponent Drops Out of Race". The Washington Post. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  38. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao John, Wilson; Vikram Sood and Akmal Hussain (2009). "§Pakistan's economy in historical perspective: The Growth, Power and Poverty". Pakistan: the struggle within. New Delhi and  
  39. ^ IJI was made & Funded By ISI on YouTube (24 July 2009). Retrieved 2012-08-05.
  40. ^ EPA, Pakistan Environmental Agency. "Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency" (PDF). Electronic Government of Pakistan. Electronic Government of Pakistan and EPA. Retrieved 28 October 2011. 
  41. ^ a b c d e f g Shah, Mehtab Ali (1997). "Pakistan and Gulf Region". The foreign policy of Pakistan: ethnic impacts on diplomac. New York City, United States: I.B Taurus and Corporation Ltd. p. 280.  
  42. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Mir, Amir. "MQM shifts blame for 1992 operation from military to Nawaz".  
  43. ^ US Govt, United States Government (April 1994). "The Government of Nawaz Sharif". United States Government - US Department of State :Case Study. Retrieved 1 June 2012. Benazir and the PPP, criticized Nawaz Sharif's efforts at privatization, calling them the "loot and plunder" of Pakistan and saying his plan favored large investors and ran roughshod over labor 
  44. ^ a b c d Press. "Business Oligarch of Pakistan". Tripod nuclues. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  45. ^ a b c d e Our Correspondent. "Nawaz has derailed politically: Mubashar". Parliament Media Lounge. The News International. Retrieved 14 September 2011. 
  46. ^ a b c d e f g h Kasmie, Atta-oul-. "Nuclear History: Zulfikar Bhutto's Programme under Nawaz, Benazir, Musharraf and Gillani; an overview". Atta-oul-Kasmie at the Jang News Cell. 
  47. ^ a b c d e f g h i NTI (1990). "Nuclear Chronology". NTI Publications. Archived from the original on 8 November 2010. Retrieved 2 December 2011. 
  48. ^ a b c d e Dutt, Sanjay (2009). "1993 Elections". Inside Pakistan: 52 years oulook. New Delhi: A.P.H. Publishing Corporation.  
  49. ^ 'Judges & Generals in Pakistan Vol-I' by Inam R Sehri [2012] pp 153-54; GHP Ltd UK
  50. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Akbar, M.K (1998-01-01). "Pakistan Under Navaz Sharif". Pakistan Today. New Delhi, India: Mittal Publications. p. 230.  
  51. ^ Burns, John F. (6 November 1996). "With Goats and Gunfire, Pakistanis Cheer Bhutto's Fall". The News York Times. 
  52. ^ a b "Profile: Nawaz Sharif". BBC News. 12 March 2009. Retrieved 13 June 2009. 
  53. ^ a b c d e f NTI, Shahid Ahmed Khan. "Nuclear Chronology". NTI publications. Archived from the original on 8 November 2010. Retrieved 2 December 2011. Nawaz Sharif acknowledged his country's nuclear capability on 7 September 1997 
  54. ^ a b Bureau Report (16 May 1998). "All aspects of N-test evaluated". Dawn Media's Dawn Wire Service. Retrieved 8 November 2014. 
  55. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Azam, Rai Muhammad Saleh (June 2000). "When Mountains Move: The Story of Chagai".  
  56. ^ a b c d  
  57. ^ a b c d Our Staff Reporter (30 May 1998). "Politicians hail N-explosions". DawnWireService. Retrieved 16 November 2011. 
  58. ^ a b c d e Qureshi, Natalya. "Pakistan goes nuclear". BBC. 
  59. ^ Bhutto, Benazir. "Pakistan's nuclear tests in 1998.". GEO Television. 
  60. ^ "The 1998 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony".  
  61. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Edward, Job. "Nawaz Sharif: Foreign Policy of Pakistan". Current Social. 
  62. ^ "Vajpayee, Sharif sign Lahore Declaration". 21 February 1999. Retrieved 13 June 2009. 
  63. ^ a b c d e f The Lahore Declaration. (PDF) Retrieved 2012-08-05.
  64. ^ Vajpayee drives across the border into Pakistan and history. (20 February 1999). Retrieved 2012-08-05.
  65. ^ Nawaz Sharif vows to join protest against Nato supplies The News International
  66. ^ Obama, Pakistan's Nawaz Sharif meet at White House Los Angeles Times
  67. ^ Pakistan Premier Proposes an Islamic Society Based on Koran – New York Times (29 August 1998). Retrieved 2011-01-15.
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See also

In 2005, Daily Pakistan reported that Sharif family are the fourth wealthiest family in Pakistan with an estimated net worth of US$1.4 billion.[237] The Sharif family is intensively playing their role in the industrial growth of the country and expanding the steel business empire by employing state-of-the-art technology in their steel business in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Middle east.[238][239]

The industrialisation of the country was bestowed under the watchful eyes of the president Ayub Khan during the most of the 1960s.[235] The industrial sector was destroyed by the nationalisation program of prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, in an attempt to secure the capital flight of country's investment to Eastern Europe.[235] This program included the encroachment of Itefaq Group and many other large industries by Bhutto government[236] Although the steel mill was returned in 1980 to Sharif family, but a havoc was already done by the nationalisation policy of the prime minister Bhutto.[235]

Wealth and conglomerates

Public image and legacy

On April 24, 2015, human rights activist Lahore University of Management Sciences however the university cancelled it a day before it was scheduled, saying it was pressured by government authorities to do so.[233] Sharif officially condemned the killing however Dawn claimed that there is a little chance her murderers will ever be brought to justice given the recent history of impunity among those who target the country's marginalised liberals. On April 20, 2015, The Express Tribune claimed that Sharif administration misled the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over the actual tax charged on the issuance of bonus shares, as collection from supposedly the biggest source of income tax in the year stands at a mere Rs.1 billion. As against the actual income tax rate of 5% on the value of bonus shares, the government has told the IMF that it levied a 10% tax, which will generate revenue equal to 0.1% of gross domestic product or Rs.29 billion.[234]

Voice of America reports on opposition protests against Nawaz Sharif in late 2014.

After his return to power, a protest movement led by Imran Khan, Tahir-ul-Qadri and supported by rival factions of the Muslim League such as Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PLM-Q) and Awami Muslim League (AML) along with independents meant that pressure mounted on the Sharif government. Khan demanded resignation of the Prime Minister of Pakistan against the government's inadequacy in addressing and resolving allegations of rigging in the 2013 general election.[15] Sharif claimed to have unanimous support from the majority of the parties in the Parliament. Khan claimed that the 2013 general elections were rigged, the PML-N claimed that these were the most free and fair elections in the country's history. Sharif has also been criticised by his opponents for running a system of patronage in which key relatives are appointed to key state positions such as his brother as Chief Minister, and for appointing relatives as Ministers in the federal government.[228][229][230] On 30 September 2014, Opposition leader Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah, said that the Prime Minister may voluntarily recall mid-term elections.[231][232]


On 20 November 2014, during the visit of Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoygu led 41 member high-level delegation, Pakistan and Russia signed sign an agreement on military cooperation. Shoygu held in-depth talk with Sharif, after wards Sharif promised to promote a multi-dimensional relations with Russia.[226] The meeting came months after Russia had lifted an embargo on supplying weapons and military hardware to Pakistan, starting with Mil Mi-24 helicopters.[227]

Sharif with Vladimir Putin.


On 15 March 2015, Al-Monitor reported that the Salman of Saudi Arabia wanted firm assurances from Sharif that Pakistan would align itself with Saudi Arabia and its Sunni Arab allies against Iran, especially in the proxy war now underway in Yemen. Salman specifically wanted a Pakistani military contingent to deploy to the kingdom to help defend the vulnerable borders, Sharif has reluctantly decided not to send troops to Saudi Arabia for now. Sharif promised closer counter-terrorism and military cooperation but no troops for the immediate future.[225]

Sharif is said to enjoy exceptionally close ties with senior members of the Saudi royal family. On 2 April 2014, Pakistan Today reported that Pakistan will sell JF-17 Thunder jets to Saudi Arabia, after the kingdom had given a grant of $1.5 billion to Pakistan in early 2014.[221][222] On 15 February 2014 Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud arrived in Pakistan to meet Sharif where he vowed to enhance work between the two countries towards common issues to serve their both their interests regionally and internationally.[223] Sharif traveled to Saudi Arabia to spend last 10 days of Ramadan, On 26 July 2014, King Abdullah said Saudi Arabia would always stand by Pakistan, its leadership and people, after an hour-long meeting with Sharif at his Riyadh. Sharif also met Muqrin bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, while Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud refereed Pakistan as his 'second home'.[224]

Saudi Arabia

On 18 March 2014, Bahrain’s ruler King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa started a three-day official visit to Pakistan becoming the first visit of the King of Bahrain to Pakistan in four decades, during the trip the two sides signed six agreements hoping to draw investment from the oil-rich Gulf country.

Muslim world

On 30 April 2014, Sharif visited London and meet David Cameron, he also meet the Deputy Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary, Home Secretary, Defence Secretary, Secretary of State for International Development and delivering a keynote address at the Pakistan Investment Conference. According to a press release issued by 10 Downing Street The two leaders agreed to work together to support the Pakistan’s implementation of critical economic reforms, particularly to increase the tax to GDP ratio towards 15% and welcomed the developing relationship between the Federal Board of Revenue and HM Revenue and Customs to support this.[218] On 24 March 2014 Sharif attended 2014 Nuclear Security Summit, addressing the conference he claimed that Pakistan attaches highest importance to nuclear security because it is directly linked to our national security. Pakistan is a responsible nuclear weapons state. We pursue a policy of nuclear restraint, as well as credible minimum deterrence.[219] On 11 November 2014, Sharif visited Berlin where he met with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, according to Deutsche Welle, during the meeting Sharif argued a case for more German investment particularly in the energy sector, but Merkel expressed wariness over the security situation in Pakistan.[220]


At the invitation of Barack Obama, Sharif paid an official visit to Washington D.C from 20 to 23 October 2013, marking the commitment of both Leaders to strengthen U.S.-Pakistan relations and advance shared interests in a stable, secure, and prosperous Pakistan and region, read a press release of White House. Voice of America reported that as a sign of improvement in the ties, the U.S. has decided to release more than $1.6 billion in military and economic aid to Pakistan that was suspended when relations between the two countries soured over the covert raid that killed al-Qaida head Osama bin Laden inside Pakistan in 2011.[215] On Pakistan's request the United States temporarily stopped drone strikes in north-western Pakistan.[216] On 5 November 2014, Pakistan summoned US Ambassador Richard Olson days after a Pentagon report alleged that terrorists operate against India and Afghanistan from sanctuaries inside Pakistan, Pakistan called them 'unsubstantiated allegations'.[217]

President Obama and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan in 2014.

United States

On 15 November 2014, Sharif greeted Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and pledged his support to the Afghan president over his attempt to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table. Al Jazeera reported that 'the leaders also pledged to begin a new era of economic co-operation, with Ghani saying three days of talks had ended 13 years of testy relations'. The two countries also signed a trade deal aimed at doubling trade between the Kabul and Islamabad to $5 billion by 2017, while the two countries also pledged to work together on a power import project and Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline.[213] During the visit Sharif and Ghani also watch a cricket match between the two countries.[214]


On 16 May 2014, Sharif telephoned Narendra Modi and congratulated him on BJP's "impressive" victory in the general elections in India. During his conversation, Sharif invited Modi to visit Pakistan, becoming among the first leaders to do so.[207] Sharif also attended the inauguration of Modi on 26 May 2014. It was the first time since the two countries won independence in 1947 that a prime minister from one state attended such a ceremony in the other. After the meeting, the two counterparts agreed to enhance cooperation in the field of trade.[208][209] On Friday 5 September, Sharif sent a total of 15 cases of mangoes to Modi and other Indian leadership as an attempt to 'sweeten the relationship',[210] By 8 October 2014, 20 civilians were killed and thousands forced to flee their homes after Pakistani and Indian security forces started heavy shelling, both sides blamed the other for the shooting.[211] On 20 November 2014, Sharif blamed India for having an inflexible approach towards the resolution of Kashmir dispute.[212]

Sharif inherited the country with Geo-political challenges, with the U.S withdrawal and election of new leadership in Afghanistan and the election of Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India . Upon controlling office Sharif promised good relations with all its neighbors, he launched trade talks with India with promise of liberalizing trade relationship. Sharif met Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2013 however no major agreement was reached.[205] Sharif took significant steps are to improve relations, in particular the consensus on the agreement of Non-Discriminatory Market Access on Reciprocal Basis (NDMARB) status for each other, which will liberalize trade however on 26 March 2014 The Times of India reported that Pakistan military has pressurized Sharif to stop any trade liberalization with India.[206]

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang was the first world leader to visit Pakistan and congratulate Sharif on his victory in 2013 elections,[201] upon return to Beijing Chinese Premier announced investment of $31.5 billion in Pakistan mainly in countries energy, infrastructure and port expansion for Gwadar. According to The Express Tribune initially projects worth $15–20 billion will be started which include Lahore-Karachi motorway, Gwadar Port expansion and energy sector projects will be launched in Gadani and six coal projects near Thar coalfield. The newspaper further claimed that the government has also handed over to Pakistan Army the task of providing fool-proof security to Chinese officials in Balochistan, Pakistan in a bid to address Beijing’s concerns and execute the investment plan in the province, which will get 38% of the funds.[202] On 8 November 2014, Sharif led delegation to Beijing inked 20 agreements amounting to Chinese investment reportedly worth about $46 billion.[203] Sharif also announced Pakistan's help for China with its fight against East Turkestan Islamic Movement.[204]

The cultural affinity among our peoples is a huge asset. Shared geography and history have culminated in a unique synthesis of cultures and traditions. We must therefore, place our people at the centre of the SAARC processes. SAARC must capture the imagination of our peoples and contribute to creating strong and mutually beneficial bonds.
— Nawaz Sharif while addressing the 18th SAARC summit, [200]

Sharif upon taking oath as the Prime Minister launched ‘peaceful neighborhood’ initiative to improve ties with neighboring countries of India, Afghanistan, Iran and China.[198] On 12 May 2014, Sharif met Iranian President Hassan Rouhani amid tensions between the two neighbors following the kidnapping in February, 2014 of five Iranian soldiers by extremists who took them across the border into Pakistan.[199]

Neighboring countries

Foreign policy

The negotiations between the Taliban and the Sharif administration collapsed after the execution of 23 Frontier Corps by the Taliban on 17 February 2014, the relations between the administration and the Taliban escalated further after the 2014 Jinnah International Airport attack.[196] The operation was formally launched on 15 June 2014 after the Sharif administration prepared for a three-front operation:[80] isolating targeted militant groups, obtaining support from the political parties and saving civilians from the backlash of the operation.[80] The 2014 Wagah border suicide attack has been the deadliest retaliation against the Operation so far.[197]

Sharif at the conference on Afghanistan in London.

Operation Zarb-e-Azb

Between 24 December 2014 to 25 March 2015, based on the National Action Plan, government arrested 32,347 people on different charges in 28,826 operations conducted across the country. During the same period Pakistan deported 18,855 Afghan refugees while the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) registered 64 cases for money transfer through Hawala, arrested 83 people and recovered Rs.101.7 million. In total, 351 actionable calls were received on the anti-terror helpline and National Database and Registration Authority verified total 59.47 million SIMs.[195]

Karachi will be made a crime-free city and the operation will continue to achieve the objective, We are going ahead without being deterred by the incidents happening there. The crime rate of extortion and kidnapping is falling down in the city.
— Nawaz Sharif, [194]

On 11 March 2015, Rangers held a raid on Nine Zero, the headquarters of Muttahida Qaumi Movement as part of Karachi operation. According to The Express Tribune on 21 March 2015 sources in the federal government said the Sharif along with the military establishment had decided to accelerate the operation against Muttahida Qaumi Movement and other militant wings in political parties.

On 16 December 2014, seven members of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan conducted a terrorist attack on the public school in the city of Peshawar which killed over 130 children, making it Pakistan's deadliest terrorist attack. Following the attack Sharif - with consultation from all political parties- divsised a 20-point National Plan of Action which included continued execution of convicted terrorists, establishment of special military courts for two years and regulation of madrasas.[193]

Pakistan desires peace and tranquility both within and outside its borders so that the much needed socio-economic development goals are achieved. We cannot afford to be distracted in fulfilling our national objectives. At the same Pakistan will never compromise on its sovereignty and independence.
— Nawaz Sharif while addressing the Pakistan Naval War College, [192]

On 15 September 2013, just six days after Sharif's proposal for talks with the Taliban, a roadside bomb killed a high-ranking Pakistan's army general and another officer near the border with Afghanistan. Major-General Sanaullah Khan, along with a lieutenant colonel and another soldier, were killed in the Upper Dir district after visiting an outpost near the border. Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid claimed responsibility for the bombing. On the same day, seven more soldiers were killed in four other separate attacks.[189] In a press release, Chairman joint chiefs General Shameem Wynne and chief of army staff General Pervez Kayani, who had earlier warned Sharif not to adopt a surrender strategy, now publicly warned the government that the military would not allow the Taliban to set conditions for peace. General Kayani stated: "No-one should have any misgivings that we would let terrorists coerce us into accepting their terms."[190] According to media reports, Nawaz Sharif is in favour of holding unconditional talks with the Taliban whereas General Kayani favours direct military action. General Kayani stated that Pakistan will not be coerced into talks and that as long as militant groups carry out attacks on soldiers, the military will respond with brute force.[191]

Prime Minister Sharif announced that it would open unconditional talks with the Taliban, declaring them stakeholders rather than terrorists. The PML-N's conservative hardliners also chose to blame the U.S. and NATO for causing terrorism in Pakistan. The peace effort was encountering problems before it had ever really begun. The Pakistani Taliban's Supreme Council released demands for a cease-fire, to also include the release of all its imprisoned militants and the withdrawal of the Pakistani military from all tribal regions. Former and current government officials criticized Sharif for not yet laying out a clear vision of how the country should handle its more than 40 militant groups, many of them made up of violent Islamic extremists.[188]

According to analysts, public expectations of Nawaz Sharif were sky high that he would quickly get to grips with Pakistan's most pressing problems, such as rampant terrorism, multiple insurgencies, an economy in free fall, the lack of electricity and a debilitating foreign policy. On 9 September 2013, Sharif proposed that dialogue with the Pakistani military would create a civil-military partnership, putting the military and an elected government on the same page for the first time in Pakistan's history. This had so far yielded few results.[185] On immediate basis, Sharif reestablished the National Security Council with Sartaj Aziz being its National Security Advisor (NSA).[186] Furthermore, Sharif also reconstituted the Cabinet Committee on National Security (C2NS), with military gaining representation in the country's politics.[187] According to the political scientist and civic-military relations expert, Aqil Shah, Sharif finally did what exactly former chairman joint chiefs General Karamat had called for in 1998.[187]

National security and defense policy

Prime Minister Sharif has always been a staunch advocate of constructing nuclear reactors. In November 2013, Sharif ceremonially broke ground on a $9.59 billion nuclear power complex to be built in Karachi. Upon completion, the reactors will produce 2200MW of electricity.[181] During the groundbreaking ceremony, Sharif stated that Pakistan will construct six nuclear power plants during his term in office.[182] He went on to say that Pakistan has plans on constructing a total of 32 nuclear power plants by 2050, which will generate more than 40,000MW of energy.[183] In February 2014, Sharif confirmed to the IAEA that all future civilian nuclear power plants and research reactors will voluntarily be put under IAEA safeguards.[184]

Nuclear power policy
Considering the existing political challenges faced by Sharif and shaky democratic process in the country, ownership of the rather flawed Vision 2025 is another major concern. The question is will future political setups continue to work on this plan to make it a reality, in case of any change of guard at the center? Each successive government in Pakistan has historically made a U-turn from its predecessor’s policies. If this trend prevails, then the Vision 2025 will fail to translate into action.
— Arab News on 18 August 2014, [180]

On 11 August 2014, Sharif administration 'unveiled an ambitious programme to transform the country into an economically strong and prosperous nation and to enhance exports to $150 billion by 2025', The Economic Times reported.[178] According to the Daily Times, the Vision 2025 is based on seven pillars those are: putting people first; developing human and social capital; achieving sustained, indigenous and inclusive growth; governance, institutional reform and modernisation of the public sector; energy, water and food security; private sector-led growth and entrepreneurship, developing a competitive knowledge economy through value addition and modernisation of transportation infrastructure and greater regional connectivity.[179]

Pakistan Vision 2025

During the 2014-15 fiscal year, Sharif's government announced an increase in Public Sector Development Programme from Rs 425 billion in to Rs 525 billion. The PSDP is the main instrument in government’s direct control to channelize funds and make developmental interventions. The government provides budgetary allocations to those projects and programmes that yield maximum benefits for the society in the shortest possible time.[175][176] While the government allocated a whooping Rs 73 billion for China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, including for its cornerstone development, the Lahore-Karachi Motorway.[177]

On 24 April 2014, Sharif's administration successfully completed the auction for next-generation telecom spectrum's raising $1.112 billion from the process. Sharif personally handed over the 3G and 4G mobile spectrum licenses to the successful mobile companies — Mobilink, Telenor, Ufone and Zong — Sharif claimed that Rs 260 billion will be collected in the treasury every year because of the new technology, moreover the technology will create millions of jobs in the service sector.[174] In order to counter competition, Sharif upon assuming office addressed the nation and launched the Prime Minister’s Youth Programme, a PKR 20 billion to provide interest free loans, skills development and provision of laptops.

Upon assuming office, Sharif launched Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) which for FY 2014-15 consists of construction of Diamer-Bhasha Dam, Dasu Dam, Faisalabad-Khanewal M-4 Motorway, Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metrobus Service and Lahore-Karachi Motorway.[172] While Sharif has also approved feasibility studies for the construction of rail links from Islamabad to Muzaffarabad via Murree, Havelian to the Pakistan-China border and Gwadar to Karachi, along with other initiatives such as approach roads to the New Islamabad International Airport, the new Gwadar International Airport project, Jetty and Infrastructure development at Gadani, Gwadar Port Economic Free Zone project, Pak-China Technical and Vocational Institute at Gwadar and the Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park at Lal Sohnra Park Phase-II (600 MW).[173]

Sharif addressing the International Telecommunication Union's Connect Asia-Pacific 2013 Summit in Thailand.
Communications and Development

Wall Street Journal reviewed Pakistan's privatization plans on 25 September 2013 in an article published, WSJ reported that Islamabad plans to sell 35 inefficient state-owned enterprises. Officials have announced plans to sell 35 public corporations over three years, including power companies, Pakistan State Oil, Pakistan International Airlines and Pakistan Steel Mills. These enterprises currently lose taxpayers some 500 billion rupees ($4.7 billion) a year, while delivering poor service. Inefficiencies in energy cause frequent blackouts, and the supply problem is exacerbated by government subsidies that have cost a further 1.5 trillion rupees over five years.[170] The privatization process will be led by a 15-member privatisation commission headed by Mohammad Zubair, formerly IBM’s chief financial officer for the Middle East and Africa. On 9 January 2014, Board of Privatisation Commission approved the divestment of shares of three banks along with two other companies.[171] The government announced to restructure Pakistan International Airlines, which flies routes around the world, including to North America. PIA has already put out a tender to lease new aircraft, to improve its capacity and save fuel with more-efficient planes. As part of the restructuring, PIA has been split into two companies. A holding group would retain some 250 billion rupees in debt and excess personnel, and a "new" PIA would hold the lucrative landing rights and new aircraft. Afterward, the government plans to sell a 26% stake in that new PIA to a strategic partner.

Sharif chairing Pakistan-Britain Energy Dialogue and Investment Conference in London.

On 5 May 2015, Standard & Poor's revised projections for Pakistan's average real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth for 2015 to 2017 to 4.6 per cent from 3.8 per cent and also upped its outlook on Pakistan's long-term 'B-' credit rating to ‘positive’ from ‘stable’. S&P attributes the largely positive projections to diversification in income generation, the government's efforts towards fiscal consolidation, improvement in external financing conditions and performance, and stronger capital inflows and remittances.[168] ESCAP report published in May 2015 claimed that economic growth in Pakistan picked up to 4.1% in 2014 from an average of 3.7% in the previous three years and growth was expected to rise to 5.1% in 2015.[169]

A privatisation drive that stalled last June resumed in April, when the government sold its stake in HBL Pakistan for $1 billion. Three-quarters of bids came from foreign investors. Pakistan’s stockmarket has doubled in dollar terms since the start of 2012, thanks in large part to such foreign interest. The Economist said that the progress in providing economic stability is encouraging. But Pakistan needs sustained growth of 5-7% a year if it is markedly to cut poverty-at the last count, nearly a quarter of Pakistanis were below the poverty line.[167]

On May 3, 2015, The Economist published a report outlining Pakistan's economic performance. It highlighted that Pakistan’s economic performance said that the economy will grow by 4.7% next year, the fastest rate in eight years. Consumer prices rose by 2.5% in between January to March 2015, the smallest increase for more than a decade. Twice already this year the central bank has lowered its benchmark interest rate. It said that the government of Nawaz Sharif takes some credit for the economy’s new stability. It has stuck to an IMF programme agreed to in 2013, a few months after it came to power in Pakistan’s first-ever handover from one civilian government to another. Foreign-exchange reserves have more than doubled, to $17.7 billion.

On 25 March 2015, Moody's Corporation upgraded Pakistan’s dollar bonds rating one notch from stable to positive.[165] Asian Development Bank projected 4.2% economic growth for the current financial year 2014-15 against the target of 5.1%. For the second year in a row Sharif administration missed the key goal in the face of failure to introduce reforms in the areas of energy, taxation and public sector enterprises.[166]

Build in 2015 the international terminal Multan International Airport.
FY 2014-15

On 4 July 2013, the IMF and Pakistan reached a provisional agreement on a $5.3 billion bailout package that aimed to bolster Pakistan’s flagging economy and its perilously low foreign exchange reserves, that was contrary to election promise not to take any more loans.[163] On 4 September 2013, The IMF approved another $6.7 billion loan package to help revive the ailing economy. The loan would be given over a three-year period. On IMF's demanded Pakistan plans to carry out various economic reforms, including privatising 31 state owned companies.[164]

On 9 April 2014, World Bank claimed that Pakistan’s economy is at a turning point, growth recovery is underway, with projected GDP growth approaching four percent, driven by dynamic manufacturing and service sectors, better energy availability, and early revival of investor confidence. Inflation is steady at 7.9%. The fiscal deficit is contained at around six percent of GDP due to improved tax collection and restricted current and development expenditure. The current account deficit remains modest, at around one percent of GDP, supported by strong remittances and export dynamism, and the external position is slowly improving since monetary and exchange rate policies switched gear towards rebuilding reserves last November.[162]

It is striking that reforms have continued despite disruptive domestic political challenges over the last year, and heightened security threats from Islamist terrorism.
— Moody's Investors Service on March 16, 2015, [161]

However, in FY 2013-2014 Pakistan received foreign direct investment of $750.9 million,[157] which is 12.9% less than the amount that the country received in the corresponding preceding fiscal year.[158] On 9 February 2014, the International Monetary Fund said that Pakistan has met nearly all of its quantitative performance markers, that its economy is showing signs of improvement and that its reform program remains broadly on track.[159]

Pakistan's GDP growth rate for FY 2012-2013 was 3.3%, that was despite business confidence in Pakistan reaching a three-year high in May 2014 largely backed by increasing foreign reserves which crossed $15 billion by mid-2014. Along with that, in May 2014 IMF[153] claimed that Inflation has dropped to 13 per cent compared to 25% in 2008, foreign reserves are in a better position and the current account deficit has come down to 3 per cent of GDP for 2014. Standard & Poor's and Moody's Corporation changed Pakistan's ranking to stable outlook on the long-term rating.[154][155][156]

According to the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency, quality of governance has ‘marginally improved’ during the Sharif's first year in power within an overall score of 44% in its Assessment of the Quality of Governance in Pakistan. It scored highest in disaster-preparedness, merit-based recruitment, and foreign policy management, while it received the lowest scores on poverty alleviation and transparency.[152]

FY 2013-14

Sharif inherited an economy crippled with many challenges including energy shortages, hyperinflation, mild economic growth, high debt and large budget deficit. Shortly after taking power in 2013, Sharif won a $6.6 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund to avoid a balance-of-payments crisis. Lower oil prices, higher remittances and increased consumer spending are pushing growth toward a seven-year high of 4.3 percent in the fiscal year of FY2014-15.[151]

Fiscal Year GDP growth Inflation rate FDI
2013-14[149] 3.3%-4.1% (conflicted) 8.5% 11.99%[150]

Economic policy

Domestic policy

On 7 June 2013, Nawaz Sharif was sworn in for an unprecedented third term after the resounding election victory of the PML-N. After being sworn in, he faced numerous challenges, including bringing an end to US drone strikes and Taliban attacks while also tackling a crippled economy. Speculation was rife that the new government may need a bailout from the International Monetary Fund to restore economic stability.[148]

Third term as Prime Minister (2013 – Present)

On 27 June 2014, PTI's chairman Imran Khan announced that they would go for a long march—naming it "Azadi March"—from 14 August against the government alleging that the 2013 elections were rigged. Khan claimed that he will gather more than million people in the march.[143] On 6 August 2014, Khan demanded the government to dissolve the assemblies, election commission and resigntion of the Prime minister, and claim that this would be the "biggest political protest in the history of the country."[144] PTI started their march from Lahore on 14 August and they reached to Islamabad on 16 August.[145] The PTI's lawmakers announced their resignation from the National Assembly, and the Punjab and Sindh assemblies.[146] However government leaders were trying to negotiate a settlement with Khan and his party's backers to break what had become a political deadlock.[147]

On 19 May 2013, it was reported that Nawaz Sharif had secured a majority in Pakistan's national assembly after 18 independent candidates joined the party, allowing it to form government in the National Assembly without striking an alliance with any other party. The minimum needed was 13 independent candidates, but Sharif had managed to make an alliance with 5 more candidates, giving the PML-N a coalition government of 142 seats.[12] After the coalition was announced, Nawaz Sharif stated that he wanted to take his oath as Prime Minister on 28 May, the 15th anniversary of when he ordered Pakistan's first nuclear tests in 1998.[142]

After most of the results were counted, the ECP announced that the PML-N had 124 seats in Parliament. Because the Pakistan Muslim League (N) were 13 seats short of a 137-majority, Sharif had to form a coalition. Therefore, he began to hold talks with Independent candidates who were elected to Parliament. Sharif said he wanted to avoid having to form a coalition so as to have the strong government Pakistan needs at the present time, but because he was 13 seats short, he had to form a coalition.[141]

Even before the result was announced, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) conceded victory.[139] PTI leader Imran Khan congratulated Sharif on his victory in the elections.[140]

On 11 May 2013, the [138]

Nawaz Sharif taking oath with newly elected members of National Assembly in 2013.

2013 Election Results

As the elections drew near, Nawaz Sharif held dozens of rallies across Pakistan. Sharif promised, if elected to power, that he will end loadshedding, construct more motorways and also begin construction of high-speed rail which will carry Shinkansen-style bullet trains which will stretch from Peshawar to Karachi.[135] He also promised to construct a third port in Keti Bandar on the southern cost of Thatta District.[136] Just prior to his election victory, Sharif confirmed he had a long phone conversation with Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh, in a hint at a desire to improve relations between the two countries.[137]


Sakib Berjees was greeted by the Prime Minister Pakistan Nawaz Sharif at the Prime Minister House, Islamabad

From 26 April 2013, in the run up to the elections, both the PML-N and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) started to criticize each other like never before. In the run up to the elections, Imran Khan challenged Sharif for a live television debate. Sharif immediately rebuffed the offer.[130] However, during the confrontations, Khan was accused of personally attacking Sharif and as a result, the Election Commission of Pakistan gave notice to Khan because political candidates should refrain from personal attacks on others. Khan denied he was launching personal attacks on Sharif.[131][132] On 18 August 2014, Khan announced his party would renounce all its seats it won in the 2013 elections, claiming the elections were rigged, a claim he had made before. He accused Sharif of plundering the national wealth, and demanded his resignation. He called on the public to withhold taxes and payment of utility bills to force the government to resign.[133] On 22 August 2014 Khan and his fellow 33 PTI lawmakers resigned from the national assembly. He called for a caretaker government to be formed composing non-political people, and for fresh elections.[134]

Between 2011 and 2013, Imran Khan and Nawaz Sharif began to engage each other in a bitter feud. The rivalry between the two leaders grew in late 2011 when Imran Khan addressed his largest crowd at Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore. The two began to blame each other for many political reasons.[129]

Khan–Sharif rivalry

2013 Pakistan general election

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.[128]

Removal of bar on third term

On 25 February 2009, the Supreme Court disqualified Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif, the chief minister of the Punjab, from holding public office. Zardari then dismissed the provincial legislature and declared president’s Rule in the Punjab.[35] Lawyers and citizen's groups in Pakistan, civil activists, and a coalition of political parties were planning to take to the streets in a protest march that started on 13 March 2009.[126] Zardari attempted to place Sharif under house arrest on 15 March 2009,[35] but provincial police disappeared the same day from his house after an angry crowd gathered outside. The Punjab Police decision to free Sharif from confinement was very likely in response to an army command.[35] Sharif, with a large contingent of SUVs, began leading a march to Islamabad but ended the march in Gujranwala.[35] In a televised morning speech on 16 March 2009, Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani promised to reinstate Iftikhar Chaudhry after pressure from Pakistan’s army, American and British envoys, and internal protests. PPP also made a secret agreement to restore the PML(N) government in the Punjab. Sharif then called off the "long march".[35] The PPP-led government continued to survive. A Senior PML(N) leader had said "95% of the members of the PML(N) were against becoming part of the lawyers’ movement, but after the SC verdict, the PML(N) had no other choice but to opt to support this movement. "[127]

Long March led by Nawaz Sharif moving through Ferozepur Road, Lahore.

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.[119] Sharif had championed the cause of the judges since their dismissal.[35] 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.[35] Zardari feared that Chaudhry would undo all edicts instated by Musharraf including an amnesty that he had received from corruption charges.[35]

Lawyers Movement

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.[124] 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.[125] During this election, Justice Siddiqui was defeated by Zardari for the presidency.

Presidential election

Nawaz Sharif claimed that former dictator Pervez Musharraf are responsible for the current crisis the nation is facing now. "Musharraf pushed the country’s economy 20 years back after imposing martial law in the country and ousting the democratic government," he said.[123]

Musharraf is presently exiled to London and Sharif continues to demand he be prosecuted for treason.[122]

On 11 August, the National Assembly was summoned to discuss impeachment proceedings.[120] 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.[121]

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.[118] 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.[119] The charge-sheet also listed some of Mr Musharraf’s contributions to the "war on terror".[119]

Nawaz Sharif with Hillary Clinton in 2010.

Musharraf impeachment

In June 2008 by-elections, Sharif's party won 91 National Assembly seats and 180 provincial assembly seats in the Punjab.[116] The Lahore seat election was postponed because of wrangling over whether Sharif was eligible to contest.[114][117]


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.[114] Sharif won much public support for his uncompromising stand against Musharraf and for his insistence the judges be reinstated.[114] 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.[115]

In opposition (2008–2013)

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.[113] Zardari and Sharif would later create a coalition government that ousted Musharraf.

On 25 January, Musharraf initiated a failed four-day visit to London to use British mediation in Pakistani politics to reconcile with the Sharif brothers.[112]

Between Bhutto's assassination and the elections, the country faced a rise in attacks by militants.[111] Sharif accused Musharraf of ordering anti-terror operations that have left the country "drowned in blood."[111] Pakistan's government urged opposition leaders to refrain from holding rallies ahead of the elections, citing an escalating terrorist threat.[111] 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.[111]

Bhutto's assassination led to the postponement of the elections to 18 February 2008.[109] 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 the Punjab.[109] Sharif condemned Bhutto's assassination and called it the "gloomiest day in Pakistan's history".[110]

For the elections, he campaigned for the restoration of the independent judges removed by emergency government decree and Musharraf's departure.[107][108]

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.[106]

2008 General elections

His return to Pakistan came with only one day left to register for elections. This set the stage for an overnight shift of the political scene.[104]

On 25 November 2007, Sharif returned to Pakistan. Thousands of supporters whistled and cheered as they hoisted Sharif and his brother on their shoulders through ranks of wary riot police officers.[104] After an 11-hour procession from the airport, he reached a mosque where he offered prayers as well as criticism against Musharraf.[105]

On 20 November 2007, Musharraf went to Saudi Arabia as he left the country for the first time since implementing emergency rule.[103] He attempted to convince Saudi Arabia to prevent Sharif from returning until after the elections in January 2008.[103] The political role of Sharif returned to the fore after Benazir Bhutto's return a month earlier.[103] 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.[103]

Successful return in Lahore

On 10 September 2007, Sharif returned from exile in London[101] to Islamabad. He was prevented from leaving the plane and he was deported to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia within hours.[102] His political career appeared to be over.[52]

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. Muqrin stated that the initial agreement was for 10 years but "these little things do not affect relations." Muqrin expressed hope that Sharif would continue with the agreement.[101]

On 23 August 2007, 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.[99][100]

Failed attempt in Islamabad

Return to Pakistan

The prosecution accused Sharif of evading federal tax on the purchase of a helicopter worth U.S. $1 million. Sharif denied this allegation. The Lahore High Court agreed to acquit him of this charge conditional on whether he was able to present evidence that proved his innocence. Sharif failed to cite any substantial evidence. The Lahore High Court ordered Sharif to pay a fine of U.S. $400,000 on grounds of tax evasion, and was sentenced to 14 years of imprisonment.[96]

1999 tax evasion scandal

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.[95] Pakistan, under Nawaz Sharif and Saudi Arabia, under King Fahd, enjoyed extremely close business and cultural relations that is sometimes attributed as special relationships.[95] Amid pressure exerted by the U.S. President Bill Clinton and King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, the military court avoided the award death sentence to Sharif.[95] 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 the 1980s.[95] Under an agreement facilitated by Saudi Arabia, Sharif was placed in exile for the next 10 years and through the Saudi Arabian Airlines.[95] 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[97] Sharif travelled to Jeddah where he was received by the Saudi officials and taken to a residence managed and controlled by Saudi Government.[95] 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.[95] 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 have met the same fate as of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1979.[98]

The military placed him on military trial for "kidnapping, attempted murder, hijacking and terrorism and corruption".[89][90] The military court quickly convicted him in a speedy trial and gave him a life sentence.[90] 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.[89] Sharif was placed in Adiala Jail, infamous for hosting Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's trial, and his leading defence lawyer, Iqbal Raad, was gunned down in Karachi in mid-March.[91] Sharif's defence team blamed the military for intentionally providing their lawyers with inadequate protection.[91] The military court proceedings were widely accused of being a show trial.[92][93][94] Sources from Pakistan claimed that Musharraf and his military government's officers were in full mood to exercise tough conditions on Sharif[95] The trial went fast and speedy, and it became authenticated that the court is near to place its verdict on Nawaz Sharif on his charges, and the court will sentence Sharif to death.[95] Sharif was also set face a case of "corruption", and received a 14 years life imprisonment additional. Sharif also forced to pay US$400,000. The case centered on a civilian helicopter, which he said to have owned during the mid-1990s.[96]

Trial of the Prime minister

No protest and demonstration were held in Pakistan in support of Sharif. Many of Sharif's cabinet ministers and his constituents were divided during the court proceedings, remained neutral and did not back the Prime minister. Dissidents such as Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and among others remained quiet and later formed Pakistan Muslim League (Q), further breaking his party into small pieces. The military police initiated massive arrests of Pakistan Muslim League's workers and the leaders of the parties. In Punjab and Sindh Provinces, the prisoners were held in Sindh and Punjab Police Prisons. Sharif was taken to Adiala Jail where a court trial headed by Military judge was set to began.[88]

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 A300 aircraft requesteded refuelling; therefore, Sharif ordered the plane to land at Nawabshah Airport, today called as Shaheed Benazirabad 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. Initially, the 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. Hence, it was a move to deposed the senior military leadership of the Pakistan Armed Forces, that brutally backfired on the Prime minister.[88]

Musharraf, who was in Sri Lanka, attempted to return through a PIA commercial flight 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 the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Musharraf.

The simultaneous of conflicts in North with India and West with Afghanistan as well as the economical turmoil, 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.

Military coup

Two months later, after escalating the tug of war with the Armed Forces, Sharif was deposed by General Pervez Musharraf, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and Chief of Army Staff, and martial law was established throughout the country.[87]

In August 1999 two Indian Air Force MiG-21FL aircraft shot down a Pakistan Navy Breguet Atlantique reconnaissance aircraft near the Rann of Kutch in India, killing 16 naval officers,[87] the greatest number of combat-related casualties for the navy since the Indo-Pakistani Naval War of 1971[87] Already suffering from public disapproval and bad popularity, this incident came at a particularly bad juncture for the Prime Minister, already under attack from politicians and civil society for ordering a withdrawal of its troops from Kargil.[87] Sharif failed to gather any foreign support against India after this incident, and the navy saw this failure as Sharif's not supporting the navy in wartime.[87] 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 had assumed charge of the navy only a few days before.[87] The Prime minister dispatched units of Marines in the vicinity to retrieve the downed aircraft's pilots, but 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) in September 1999.[87] Relations with the Air Force also deteriorated in a matter of months, when Chief of Air Staff General Parvaiz Mehdi Qureshi accused the Prime minister of not taking the Air Force into his confidence in matters critical to national security.[84][87]

The year of 1999, Sharif's government also declined to accept the bodies of young [85] Following this incident, Sharif tried to intervene in this matter and tried to stop the Army's support to Taliban.[86] However, then-Chief of Army Staff General Pervez Musharraf had stopped Sharif and called Taliban as Pakistan's most valuable assets.[86]

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.[82] 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.[82]

During the Kargil War in 1999, Sharif claimed to have no knowledge of the planned attacks, saying that Pervez Musharraf acted alone.[81] 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.[82] 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.[82] During the Kargil debacle, the Indian Air Force's two MiG-29 intercepted the Pakistan Air Force's two F-16 fighter jets of the No. 9 Squadron Griffins, initially gaining a missile lock on these jets.[83] 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.[84]

The year of 1999 brought a tremendous political upheavals and dramatic changes in Pakistan as well as for the Prime minister.[19] 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.[19] Sharif's popularity was also undermined when Pakistan became involved with unpopular and undeclared war with India in Northern front.[19] This undeclared war was fought on the northern fronts of India and Pakistan, one of world's coldest and highest points.[19] 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.[19] Confrontation with military began sometime in 1999, starting first with Admiral Fasih Bokhari, CNS.[80] Tension arisen between the Prime minister and the Admiral in 1999 when Admiral Bokhari lodged a powerful protest against the Kargil debacle and called for court-martial of Pervez Musharraf in private television channels.[74]

Confrontation with the military

After Sharif approved the controversial appointment of General Musharraf to chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, the pillars of silent hostility and resentment were built between chief of naval staff Admiral Fasih Bokhari during the Kargil war, which Admiral Bokhari gave rogue and grave criticism the Prime minister yet faced.[78] On 6 October 1999, Admiral Bokhari abruptly resigned from the navy when the televised media news reached to him that prime minister Nawaz Sharif appointed the chief of army staff General Pervez Musharraf as chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee.[79] Bokhari reached to Prime minister Secretariat and lodged a loud protest against Musharraf and Nawaz Sharif as Bokhari considered Musharraf as much junior officer to him.[79] Admiral's resignation was made public domain and Sharif accepted the resignation of Admiral Bokhari onwards.[79]

Prime minister Sharif took the recommendation but appointed General Musharraf as Chairman of Joint Chiefs after accepting the request of [77]

However, after being persuaded by his younger brother and then (also as of current) Chief minister of Punjab Province Shahbaz Sharif and his close friend Nisar Ali Khan, to appoint General Musharraf as the next Chief of Army Staff, despite his lack of seniority. This came to shock in the media and the opposition, Aziz sent his recommendation to appoint either Lieutenant-General Ali Kuli Khan or Admiral Fasih Bokhari as the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, to redress the injustice done to both officers.[77]

The relieve of General Karamat was a heated issue discussed even by his senior government ministers.[77] The most-senior and the former Treasury minister Sartaj Aziz gave vehement criticism and showed opposition to the Prime minister for making this move.[77] Writing a thesis in his book, Between Dreams and Realities: Some Milestones in Pakistan’s History, Aziz maintained: "Blunder of firing of General Karamatt; others will blame Nawaz Sharif for many mistakes he made. But in my view, the most serious of these mistakes was Nawaz Sharif’s decision to remove General Jehangir Karamat as chief of army staff in October 1998". Aziz was extremely confident and certain that Chief of General Staff Lieutenant-General Ali Kuli Khan would be appointed as the Chief of Army Staff based on his seniority, merit, among a very competent officer, and next in seniority to General Karamat.[77]

During his time, Sharif was a very powerful prime minister.... since the country's independence. Power is tangible when you can exercise it. In Pakistan, the (Nawaz) Government doesn't seem capable of exercising it.
— Samina Ahmed, [76]

Political scientist Dr. Samina Ahmed of Defence and Strategic Studies Department noted that since his re-elect in 1997 and success of passing the constitutional amendments, Prime minister Sharif began to abuse his powers since then.[76] She later quoted that:

In a democratic society, would a Chief of Army Staff and chairman Joint Chiefs talk about the Government like that? What happened to General MacArthur? Mr. Harry Truman did not waste much time. Pakistan is finally becoming a normal democratic society.
— Mushahid Hussain, Media Minister in Nawaz Government, [76]

However, political scientists and critics who studied his policies noted that as Prime minister, Sharif ruthlessly established his control all over the country, including the military.[75] In October 1998, Sharif forced and fired General Karamat over the serious issues on National Security Council disputes.[19] The dismissal of General Karamat was least popular decision in Sharif's prime ministerial ship, and his approval ratings plummeted.[75] Military lawyers and civilian law experts saw this step as clear "violation" of Pakistan Constitution and as clear violation of military justice code.[75] Media Minister Syed Mushahid Hussain and later Prime minister himself justified his actions on national and international media:

Dismissal of General Jehangir Karamat

In 1999, after Sharif's removal, the National Security Council was indeed established by his successor.[19] 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.[19] Sharif then also appointed General Musharraf as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee despite Musharraf's lack of seniority to Admiral Bokhari.[19] In protest, Admiral Fasih Bokhari resigned from his post as Chief of Naval Staff.[19]

He later had severe political confrontation with in 1999 when he tried to replace General Musharraf with generals loyal to him that resulted in a coup d'état which removed him from office.[19] 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.[19] His term was due to end on 9 January 1999.[19] However, in October 1998 Sharif had a falling out with General Karamat over the latter’s advocacy of a "National Security Council".[19] Sharif interpreted this move to be a conspiracy to return the military to a more active role in Pakistan politics.[19]

From the 1981 until the military coup against him in 1999, 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.[19] Sharif pressed his tough rhetoric actions and repeatedly violates the constitution as well as the military code of conduct.

Prime minister Nawaz Sharif in
the White House, 1998.

Relations with the military

During Benazir Bhutto's period, the country suffered the terrorist attack on Egyptian Embassy in Islamabad that led to the rift between relationship Pakistan and Egypt. He took initiatives against terrorism when on 17 August 1997, he passed the controversial Anti-Terrorist Act which established Anti-Terrorism Courts.[50] The Supreme Court later rendered the Act unconstitutional. However, Sharif made few amendments, and received the permission of the Supreme Court to establish these courts.[50] It were the Anti-Terrorism Courts that were used by General Pervez Musharraf to prosecute Nawaz Sharif in an alleged terrorism/hijacking case in 1999.

Policy on anti-terrorism

On 29 November 2006, Nawaz Sharif and the member of his party issued a public apology to former Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah and the former president Farooq Leghari for their actions.[73] His party's member paid a farewell visit to the residence of Chief Justice Ali Shah where they presented a written apology to him; later in Parliament, his party issued white paper formally apologising for their wrongdoing in 1997.[74]

2006 formal apology

Chief Justice Sajad Ali Shah, however, continued to assert his authority and persisted in hearing Sharif's case.[72] On 30 November 1997, while the hearing was in progress, Sharif's cabinet ministers and a large number of his supporters entered the Supreme Court building, disrupting the proceedings.[72] The chief justice asked the military to send the military police, and subsequently struck down the Thirteenth (XIII) Amendment thereby restoring the power of the president.[72] But, this move backed fired on the chief justice when the military backed the prime minister and refused to obey the president's orders to remove Sharif.[72] The prime minister forced President Farooq Leghari to resign, and appointed Wasim Sajjad as acting president.[72] After the president's removal, Sharif ousted Chief Justice Sajad Ali Shah to end the constitutional crisis once and for all.[72]

Attack on Supreme Court

During his second term, Sharif mounted problems with the Supreme Court— an apex judicial authority. Sharif's Fourteenth Amendment had prohibited legislators and lawmakers from dissenting or voting against their own parties.[72] The XIV Amendment also contained the clause that the offending legislators could not seek relief through Judiciary, and the right of appeal was provoked by the XVI Amendment.[72] When legislators of different parties took the case Supreme Court, Sharif was furious and frustrated with the actions of the Supreme Court.[72] Sharif openly criticized Chief Justice Sajad Alishah, inviting a notice of contempt.[72] After the military and the president reached to Sharif to avoid a constitution crises, Sharif agreed the solve the issue amicably, but was determined to out Chief Justice Sajad Alishah.[72] Sharif manipulated the ranks of senior judges, deposing two judges close to Chief Justice.[72] The deposed judges challenged Sharif's orders on procedural grounds by filing a petition at Quetta High Court on 26 November 1997.[72] The Chief Justice was restrained by his fellow judges from adjudicating in the case against the Prime minister.[72] On 28 November, Sharif as Prime minister appeared in the Supreme Court where he justified his actions calling it constitutional, and citing evidences that were obtained by Sharif at the Quetta High Court junior judges against the two judges Sharif had deposed.[72] After looking at the evidences, Chief Justice Sajad Ali Shah suspended the decision of Quetta High Court, but soon the Peshawar High Court issued similar order removing Chief Justice's closest judges.[72] The Associate Chief Justice of Peshawar High Court, Justice Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui declared himself as acting Chief Justice.[72]

Issues with judiciary

In late August 1998, he proposed a law to establish a legal system based on the Islamic principles.[68] His proposal came a week after the 10-year commemorations of the late president Zia ul-Haq. The Cabinet removed some of its controversial aspects.[69][70] The National Assembly approved and passed the bill on 10 October 1998 by 151 votes to 16.[71] 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.[71] With passing these amendments, Sharif became the strongest prime minister that the country has ever seen since its independence.[71] However, these amendments failed to achieve a two-thirds majority in the Senate, which was still under control of the 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's 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.

Constitutional amendment

Since both countries had ordered their nuclear tests, both prime ministers proceeded towards maintaining peace and security.[64] In 1998, both governments signed an agreement recognising the principle of building an environment of peace and security and resolving all bilateral conflicts, which became the basis of the Lahore Declaration.[64] On 1 February 1999, Prime minister Sharif made a breakthrough with India when he invited his counterpart to Pakistan. On 19 February, 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.[64] On 21 February, both Prime ministers signed the bilateral agreement with a memorandum of understanding to ensure the nuclear-free safety in South Asia.[64] 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.[64] 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.[64] To some Western observers, this treaty was more like as of SALT Treaties signed by both superpowers, the Soviet Union and the United States.[65] On July 2012, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif said here on Wednesday night that there was no US apology on the killing of Pakistani soldiers and he would join the protest against the reopening of Nato supplies.[66] In October 2013 Navaz Sharif had an official meeting with US President Barack Obama at White House to discuss Pakistani's atomic issues.[67]

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.[63]

However, Sharif's effort seemed to be wasted when Sharif ordered the nuclear tests in 1998. Following these tests, the Foreign policy of Pakistan was much in trouble position since its 1971 disaster.[62] Pakistan, at United Nations, failed to gather any support from its allies.[62] Trade agreements were abrogated by Europe, United States, and Asian bloc.[62] While, Sharif was praised to carried out tests domestically. Sharif was heavily criticised for ordering internationally.[62] Pakistan's nuclear weapons and energy programme was targeted on multiple times over its involvement for spreading the nuclear proliferation. United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, however did not criticised Pakistan but both neither issued any statement.[62] On 7 June 1998, Sharif went to visit UAE for talks on the situation in South Asia after nuclear tests in the region.[62] He thanked the Government for their support after India conducted five nuclear tests on 11 and 13 May.[62] The major shift in his conservative foreign policy was notice on 11 June 1998, when Nawaz Sharif authorised a secret meeting of Pakistan Ambassador to United Nations Inam-ul-Haq and Pakistan Ambassador to the United States Dr. Maliha Lodhi, to chair a meeting with their Israeli counterparts, the Israel Ambassador to the United States Eliyahu Ben-Elissar and the Israel Ambassador to United Nations Dore Gold, at a seven star hotel in New York, United States.[53] The Prime minister sent a secret courier to Israel and to his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu (now current Prime minister), though his diplomats, where Pakistan assured Israel that Pakistan will not transfer nuclear technology or materials to Iran or to other Middle Eastern countries.[53] On June 1998, Israel had directed a secret courier to Pakistan that Israeli officials had feared that Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi's visit to Pakistan shortly after its May 1998 nuclear weapons tests was a sign that Pakistan was preparing to sell nuclear technology to Iran.[53]

[62] On January 1998, Prime Minister Sharif paid a state visit to

Sharif in Washington D.C. with William S. Cohen in 1998.

Sharif strengthened relations with Muslim world, Turkey, and Europe.[62] The year he was elected, Sharif made a state visit to Malaysia and Singapore where Sharif succeeded to signed an economic and free trade agreements with both countries.[62] It was a trilateral trade bloc in South Asia and Premiers of Singapore, Malaysia, and Pakistan had successfully signed the agreement.[62] Following the agreement, the work on comprehensive frame work to enhance collaboration in defence, economic and private sector was launched and completed in 1998.[62] One of the core issue was the Malaysia's agreement on sharing its space technology to Pakistan.[62] Both Malaysia and Singapore assured their support for Pakistan to join Asia–Europe Meeting.[62] However, it was not until 2008, Pakistan and India became part of the treaty.[62]

Foreign policy

Due to economic distress, Sharif halted the national space programme, and refused to allot any funds due to his government was struggling to provide funds for more extended programmes. Unlike Benazir who continued the space programme despite economic slow down, the Space Research Commission was forced to delay the launch of its well-developed satellite, Badr-II(B) which was completed in 1997. Delaying the satellite's launch caused frustration of the scientific community who openly criticised Prime minister's inability to promote science in the country. Senior scientists and engineers attributed this failure as "Sharif's personal corruption" that effected the national security of the country. It was not until 2001, two years since Sharif was dismissed; the satellite was finally launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome 10 December 2001 at 0915hrs by Space Research Commission.

Space programme

Sharif was awarded an Ig Nobel prize for his "aggressively peaceful explosions of atomic bombs".[61]

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 Sharif, his rivals and opposition parties backed Sharif and congratulated him for his "bold decision".[58]

The Pakistan Academy of Sciences also thanked Sharif and his government for having been given the opportunity to prove their capabilities.[59] As in return, Sharif established the National Center for Theoretical Physics (NCTP) and inaugurated the Abdus Salam Museum in 1999.[59] 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.[60] Even as of today, Sharif and his party takes all the credit for authorising these tests, and annually held celebrating public functions in all over the country. Without any doubts, Sharif posed to became Pakistan's most favourable 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.[59]

On the day of atomic testing, the military and public policy makers, lawmakers and legislators, senior journalists, and the influential members of the civil society at the Parliament strongly chaired for the tests, loud slogans and songs of "Pakistan Zindabad" (long live Pakistan) were sung, and the tribute to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was heavily paid by the parliamentarians from all political parties of Pakistan.[55] The parliamentarians and the Leader of the Opposition Benazir Bhutto had also congratulated prime minister Nawaz Sharif and the Pakistan Armed Forces thanking for making its "bold decision" in spite of whatever the economical outcomes were.[58] Political scientist and geostrategist Javed Hashmi was clearly heard saying: "Yes! Yes!.... We have done it.", while he was tapping his parliament desk. The Peoples Party also chaired this moment when Ameen Faheem was heard saying: "We gave the same medicines to [Indians].". On its effects on India, the politicians in Indian parliament erupted into shouting as opposition leaders blamed the government for starting a nuclear arms race.[9]

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.[55] 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.[59] On 30 May, Sharif appeared after immediately the tests, and informed the world, "Today, we have settled a score and have carried out six successful nuclear tests".[9] 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 criticised the nuclear testings which was forcefully silenced by the emerging public opinion favouring Sharif and the nuclear tests.[59] Soon after the atomic tests on 1515hrs (28 May) and 1315hrs (30 May), Sharif immediately called for a joint-parliamentary session at Parliament House Building on emergency basis calling all of the public legislators to the Parliament from the entire country to gather at the Parliament, where Sharif would take the parliament on confidence after presenting a short speech.[58]

Political effects of tests

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.[55]

After weeks of anticipation, Pakistan surprised the world by conducting its own nuclear tests.[55] Sharif's popularity in Pakistan increased. While he was being hailed as nationalist, Sharif proclaimed an emergency on the same day as these nuclear tests were conducted, which dismayed the public. All foreign currency accounts in Pakistani banks were frozen to minimise the effects of economic sanctions. This was detrimental to the account holders.

Economical effects of tests

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, [58]

Finally, 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.[9][55] After these test, the Prime minister appeared on Pakistan Television Corporation and took the nation on confidence and addressed the world:

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.[55] On the early morning of 27 May 1998, the ISI spotted camouflage F-16s were spotted conducting exercises; the ISI quickly got the word that the Israeli fighters, flying on behalf of India were inbound to take out Pakistan’s nuclear facilities.[57] When Sharif heard the news, he angrily ordered PAF to be scrambled and rolled its nuclear bombs out of their shelters in preparation to launch. But on the night of 27 May, the United States and other nations assured Nawaz Sharif that "Pakistan was safe, the Israeli attack never materialized", according to political scientist dr. Shafik H. Hashmi.[57]

On 18 May, Prime minister Sharif ordered PAEC to make preparation for the tests, but remain on stand-by for the final decision.[55] In his own words, Sharif called dr. Ishfaq Ahmad and ordered him, "Conduct the explosion!".[9] 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.[9] On 21 May, Sharif issued orders to conduct nuclear tests as a suitable reply to India, and authorised the nuclear weapon testing program the same day.[56] A Boeing-737 airline from Pakistan International Airlines was readily made available for PAEC scientists, engineers, and technicians to Balochistan.[55]


Sheikh Rasheed and Raja Zafarul Haq, were the first people 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. When it comes to voting, the prime minister did not oppose or propose the tests. The remainder spoke in favour of conducting the tests.[55]

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 1998, soon after Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission or Kahuta Research Laboratories— conduct the nuclear testing as well as leading the nuclear testing program.

The executive authorisation of Pakistan's nuclear testing programme was an important turning point in his political career that would bring his image into world prominence.[9]

1998 nuclear tests

Under his leadership, the nuclear program had become a vital part of Pakistan's economical policy as the program had become back-bone of economy of Pakistan in 1998.[46]

On 1 December, after returning from United States, Sharif then told the Daily Jang and The News International that Pakistan will immediately sign and become a party of Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) but, if and only if, India signed, ratified and, becomes a part of CTBT first.[53]

The issue of [atomic] capability is an established fact. [H]ence the debate on this [atomic] [i]ssue should come to an end.... Since 1972, [P]akistan had progressed significantly, and we have left that stage (developmental) far behind. Pakistan will not be made a "hostage" to India by signing the CTBT, before (India).
— Nawaz Sharif, Prime minister of Pakistan, statement on September 7, 1997, [53]

During the 1997 elections, Sharif promised to follow his policy of nuclear ambiguity with the programme more benefited to people, and to use nuclear energy to stimulate the power in the country.[53] However, on 17 September 1997, Sharif acknowledged the fact that atomic bomb project which was started and successfully concluded in 1978, his interview was taken by the STN News which was broadcast in entire country before his state visit to United States. Sharif maintained that:

Atomic policy

By 1996, the national economy had come under intense situation and deadlock, and an economic failure was soon near.[50] The continuous and large scale of government corruption made by Benazir Bhutto and her appointed government ministers had deteriorated the country's economy at the extreme level.[50] In the 1997 parliamentary elections, Sharif and his Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) won a landslide victory in the elections, defeating Benazir Bhutto and her People's party.[50] 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.[50] 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.[50] As commentary, 1997 election resulted to boost Nawaz's popularity and was mandate onerous task to improve the country's economy.[50] Nawaz defeated Benazir Bhutto with overwhelmingly voting numbers and it was the worst defeat of Bhutto and People's Party since its inception.[50] After the elections, Nawaz arrived in 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 Islamabad in order to take the oath.[50][51] Sharif was sworn as prime minister in the early morning of on 17 February to serve a non-consecutive second term.[52] With the passing of the 14th amendment, Sharif emerged as the most powerful elected prime minister in the country since its independence in 1947, and no other leader has enjoyed the his level of extreme popularity.[50]

U.S. Defense Secretary William S. Cohen with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif

Second term as prime minister (1997–99)

Sharif joined 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. The Nawaz-Bhutto axis targeted the Murtaza Bhutto in 1996, amid protests and spontaneous demonstrations in Sindh Province had led the Benazir's government losing control of the province. By 1996, 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.[48]

New elections were held in the year of 1993 and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), under Benazir Bhutto, returned to power for the third time. Sharif conceded defeat and offered his full co-operation as Leader of the Opposition but soon the PPP and PML-N again came at loggerheads in the Parliament. Benazir's government found it difficult to act effectively in the face of opposition from Sharif. Benazir Bhutto also faced problems with her younger brother, Murtaza Bhutto, in her stronghold, Sindh Province.[48]

Parliamentary opposition (1993–96)

However, issues with the president over the authority circled and a subsequent political stand off was instigated between president and Prime minister. 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. 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. Under the close scrutiny of the Pakistan Armed Forces, the new interim and transitional government was formed and new parliamentary election were held after three months.[48]

End of First Term

In 1993, Sharif survived a serious constitutional crises when it was reported that Sharif developed serious issues over the authority with another national conservative president Ghulam Ishaq Khan.[48] 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. Khan appointed Mir Balakh Sher as the interim prime minister. 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. On 26 May 1993, Sharif returned to power after the Supreme Court ruled the Presidential Order as unconstitutional and reconstituted the National Assembly on its immediate effect. 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.[48] Justice Sajjad Ali Shah was the only dissenting judge, he later became 13th Chief Justice of Pakistan.[49]

1993 Constitutional Crisis

Sharif also lost support from the Punjab Province and Kashmir Province as well when the co-operatives societies scandal became public.[38] 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.[38] However, mismanagement of these societies led to a collapse in which millions of Pakistanis lost money in 1992.[38] 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.[38]

1992 Co-operatives societies scandal

Sharif intensified his move to enhance the Pakistan's integrated nuclear development and authorised projects that seemed to be important in his point of views.[46] 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.[46] 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.[46] His policies to make the nuclear program for economical use was also continued by Benazir Bhutto and Pervez Musharraf.[46]

In December, France's Commissariat à l'énergie atomique agreed to provide a commercial 900MW power plant, but plans did not materialise as France wanted Pakistan to provide entire financial funds for the plant.[47] On December, the financial embargo was placed and the country's economy felt a distress that prompted Sharif to replace his Treasure minister.[47] Sharif then used Munir Ahmad Khan to have convinced IAEA to allow Pakistan for a nuclear plant in Chashman where Khan intensively lobbied in IAEA for the nuclear power plant.[47] In December 1990, IAEA allowed Pakistan to established CHASNUPP-I, signed with China; the IAEA also gave approval of upgrading of the KANUPP-I in 1990.[47] During his first term, Sharif intensified his non-nuclear weapon policy and strictly followed the policy of deliberate nuclear ambiguity which was also continued by Benazir as well.[47] Responding to U.S. embargo, Sharif publicly announced that: "Pakistan possessed no [atomic] bomb... Pakistan would be happy to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) but it must be provided "first" to India to do the same."[47]

On 7 November 1990, the newly elected prime minister announced his nuclear policy and in public television, Sharif responded that: "The peaceful [atomic] programme of which... it would be accelerated to accommodate growing [nuclear] [e]nergy needs and to make up for rising [oil] prices. And, of course, (Pakistan) will to construct new nuclear power plants."[47] On 26 November, Sharif authorised talks with the U.S. to solve the nuclear crises after the U.S. had tightened its embargo on Pakistan, prompting Sharif to send his government's Treasure Minister Sartaj Aziz to held talks on Washington.[47] It was widely reported in Pakistan that the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Teresita Schaffer had told the Foreign Minister Shahabzada Yaqub Khan to halt the uranium enrichment programme.[47]

Nuclear policy

In 1993, Sharif authorised to establish the Institute of Nuclear Engineering (INE) and promoted his policy for the peaceful use of nuclear energy. On 28 July 1997, Sharif declared 1997 a year of science in Pakistan, and personally allotted funds for the 22nd INSC College on Theoretical Physics. In 1999, Sharif signed the executive decree, declaring the day of 28 May as the National Science Day in Pakistan.

Sharif took steps for intense government control of science in Pakistan and the projects needed his authorisation.[46] In 1991, Sharif founded and authorised the Pakistan Antarctic Programme under the scientific directions of National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), with the Pakistan Navy's Weapons Engineering Division, and first established the Jinnah Antarctic Station and the Polar Research Cell. In 1992, Pakistan became an Associate Member of Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research which was signed by his Science Adviser Munir Ahmed Khan at United Nations. As like Benazir, the ongoing nuclear weapons and the energy program remained one of his top priority.[46] 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 having offered a large economic aid to Pakistan.[46] Unlike Benazir, Sharif's nuclear policy was seen less aggressive towards India and focused the atomic programme for the benefit of public usage and civil society. Unlike Benazir's nuclear policy, his set forth nuclear policy was to built civil and peaceful nuclear power, and with that vision, Sharif intensively used the integrated atomic programme for medical and economic purposes. His nuclear policy was viewed by experts as vintage Atoms for Peace program— the United States' 1950s program to use the nuclear energy for civil purposes, and to promote peaceful nuclear technology in the world as well.

Science policy

By the end of the second term of Sharif government, the economy in a turmoil that damaged Sharif's credibility. Facing serious structural issues and financial problems, the inflation and the foreign debt stood at an all-time high and the unemployment that reached at its highest point in the history of Pakistan. Pakistan had debts $32bn against reserves of little more than $1bn. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) had suspended aid demanding the country finances are sorted out. Sharif attempted to control the Stock Exchanges under government's control, but that move backfired brutally on Sharif and by the time Sharif was deposed, the country was heading for a financial default.

Sharif gave strong and vehement criticism to former Prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's socialist economics policies, as citing as "lamentable state of Pakistan".[45] His privatisation policies were staunchly criticised by former science advisor Dr. Mubashir Hassan, calling it Sharif's privatisation "unconstitutional".[45] Other PPP members also stood the fact that nationalisation measures were protected by the Parliament who gave this policy a constitutional picture and status. The Peoples Party felt the privatisation policies where illegal and taking place with out parliamentary approval and parliament was not taken in confidence.[45]

After 1998, the oil consumption and product production dramatically fell as it indicates above.

During his first term, Sharif focused his industrialisation on Punjab and Kashmir Provinces, mild and few projects were completed in Khyber and Balochistan provinces. While, the Sindh Province did not benefit with his industrialisation.[38] 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.[38] However, prime minister's reputation in Sindh was widely damaged because of his focused on beautifying Lahore and Kashmir while he neglected other provinces.[38] Sharif's industrialisation are also target by his opponents as it was focused and circled only on Punjab and Kashmir, Sharif's native provinces.[45] His opponents argued that Sharif, as prime minister, obtained permits for building factories for himself and his business.[38] Sharif is also blamed for expanding and finance Armed Forces' secretive industrial conglomerate and, is also blamed for bribing the generals to protected himself.[45]

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.[38] This semi-government and semi-privatized mega project was completed in November 1997 at a cost of U.S. $989.12 million.[38] His critics questions the lay out of the highway due to excessive length, being away from the important cities and absence of link roads even with important towns. Furthermore, the funds originally allocated to the construction of Indus Highway linking Peshawar with Karachi were shifted to M2 Motorway thus benefiting his native Punjab and Kashmir provinces at the cost of other provinces. When the true nature of Sharif's motives were exposed, the people of other provinces were extremely displeased, leading to discordance and disharmony among provinces. The welfare of other provinces, notable Sindh and Balochistan Province, were not seriously taken by Sharif and his ruling chief ministers and people of these provinces were disenchanted with him. After the completion of this mega project, Sharif’s policies were undermined by lack of capital for investments.[38] 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.[38]

A line graph indicating the policy benefits enjoyed and favoured to his native province, Punjab.

He introduced and inaugurated several large-scale projects to stimulate the economy, such as the Ghazie-Barotah Hydropower plant and the.[38] However, unemployment remained a challenge, therefore Sharif imported thousands of privatised Yellow-cab taxis to many young Pakistanis, but this program came at a cost.[38] Few of the loans were repaid by the government and Sharif founded it difficult to privatised these taxis at low rate, since the young and poor could not afford at higher price.[38] However, Sharif indeed privatised these taxis at low rate and his steel industry was forced to pay the remaining cost.[38] During his first and second term, Sharif intensified his policies of industrialisation and privatisation of major industries that were nationalised by former Prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.[38] Undoing what was previously done in the 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 industrialised and privatised by him.[38] This radical move did had positive impact on country's economy and the economy progressed at an appropriate level.[38] Sharif policies were also continued by Benazir Bhutto, who nationalised only those industries that needed a government bail out plan, and by Pervez Musharraf and Shaukat Aziz in the 2000s who managed to privatised all of the major industries by the end his term in 2008.[38]

Sharif also upgraded the Islamic laws such as Shariat Ordinance and Bait-ul-Maal (to help poor orphans widows) to drive the country on the model of an Islamic welfare state.[38] Sharif family was an affectee of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's nationalisation policy.[38] A number of important industries, such as Pakistan National Shipping Corporation, National Electric Power Regulatory Authority, Pakistan International Airlines, Pakistan Telecommunication Corporation, and Pakistan State Oil were opened up to the private sector.[38] In 1990, Prime minister Sharif successfully privatised the National Development Finance Corporation[38]

Privatization programme reached the GDP growth rate to 7.57% (1992) but dropped at 4.37% (1993; 1998).

The privatisation programme came as a direct response to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and the Peoples party led by Benazir and, for instance, Sharif's spontaneous privatisation programme was swift as nationalisation programme of peoples party in the 1970s.[44] However Prime minister Sharif lacked the charisma and personality of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto but countered Bhutto's ideology with full force, by imitating him.[44] During the period of 1990–93, around 115 nationalised industries were put under private-ownership management but this programme came with highest surrounding controversies with lacked competition as the programme was largely controlled by favoured insider.[44] The recklessness and favouritism shown in privatisation of the industrial and banking units by Prime minister Nawaz Sharif was to become the hallmark and the rise of strong business oligarch who have concentrated enormous assets, further increasing the wealth gap in Pakistan and contributing to the political instability.[44]

Acknowledged since that the unemployment had become Pakistan's greatest disadvantage in economic growth and that only industrial and privatisation growth could solve the economic slow down.[38] An intensified Privatization Programme was commenced, embarked and presided by Sharif, in a vision to "turning Pakistan into a (South) Korea by encouraging greater private saving and investment to accelerate economic growth.".[43] In 1990, Sharif announced the nuclear policy and aimed to continue the peaceful atomic programme benefit for country's economic infrastructure. Sharif expanded and industrialised the nuclear energy program in entire country and peaceful and economic infrastructure was extensively built by him by the 1990s.[38] Many of the nuclear medicine and nuclear engineering projects were completed under his government as part of Sharif's Atoms for Peace program.

Shortly after assuming the office of prime minister, Sharif announced his economic policy under the programme called, the "National Economic Reconstruction Programme" (NERP).[38] This programme introduced an extreme level of the Western-styled capitalist economic system.[38]

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

Industrialization and privatisation

During his second term, Altaf Hussain decided to join with Sharif and tried to reach a compromise, Soon after the 1997 parliamentary elections, MQM joined with Sharif but this alliance fall apart following the assassination of Hakim Said.[42] 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.[42] This action led 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.[42]

Sharif, during his first term, founded difficult working with PPP and the Mutahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM), a potent force in Karachi.[42] The MQM and PPP opposed Sharif widely due to his focused on beautifying Punjab and Kashmir while neglecting Sindh.[42] 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.[42] Despite MQM had formed government with Sharif, more and more problems were mounted between Sharif and the MQM in 1992.[42] 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.[42] During this time, the centre left Pakistan Peoples Party remained quiet and neutral while watching the impact of the cold war between liberal and conservative forces.[42] 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).[41] Launched in 1992, violence erupted in Karachi and brought an economic halt in the country that dismantle Sharif's industrialisation and investment that was being brought by Sharif.[42] Benazir Bhutto, during the course of this episode, remained silent as she too had opposed the MQM.[42] His operation continued by Benazir also, but due to amid pressure exerted by her brother Murtaza Bhutto, the operation came to halt.[42] The period of 1992–1994 is considered the bloodiest years in the history of the city, with many went missing.[42]

Sharif contended with former Chief of Army Staff General Mirza Aslam Beg over the 1991 Gulf War (See Operation Desert Storm).[41] 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.[41] Sharif also contended the upcoming Chief of Army Staff General Asif Nawaz over the paramilitary operation in Sindh Province (See Operation Clean-Up).[41]

Following the imposition and passing of the Resolution 660, Resolution 661, and the Resolution 665, Sharif sided with the United Nations on Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.[41] A major international incident took place in the Middle East with Iraq invading the Kuwait which dismayed the world. Sharif's government criticised Iraq for invading the fellow Muslim country, which led to strained the Pakistan's relationships with Iraq.[41] 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.[41]

Domestic issues

[40] in 1997, as part of his environmental conservatism policy.Environmental Protection Agency as part of his government platform, and established the issue of environmentalism Sharif took the [38] Nawaz Sharif was confident that he had majority in the assembly thus he ruled with considerable confidence. He had disputes with three successive army chiefs.[38]

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