Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif was born on December 25, 1949 in Lahore. He was twice elected as PM, serving two non-consecutive terms, the first from November 1, 1990 to July 18, 1993 and the second from February 17, 1997 to October 12, 1999.
He is best known internationally for ordering Pakistan’s 1998 nuclear tests in response to India’s nuclear tests, and the abrupt end of his final term in a dramatic coup by General Musharraf. On March 15, 2009, he defied house arrest to lead anti-government protests that briefly turned violent. Sharif called the mass rally a “prelude to a revolution.”
Nawaz Sharif belongs to the family of Kashmiris who had settled in Amritsar a generations back. At independence his Mian Muhammad Sharif migrated to Pakistan settling in Lahore. At Amritsar the entire extended family was somehow involved in the profession of wrestling. Mian Muhammad Sharfi who had been an outcast in his family, ventured into business and started a small junkyard which ultimately grew into a small steel refinery. His both sons, Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif received their early education at Lahore. After his education he married Kalsoon Nawaz who also belonged to the same family of wrestlers.
In the early eighties, after that Nawaz Sharif had completed his education his father Mian Muhammad Sharif started him in the business. However, this proved a disaster. As a second option Mian Muhammad Sharif set him up with Pakistani actor Saeed Khan Rangeela to get him into acting (something which Nawaz Sharif wanted). A few days later Saeed Khan Rangeela sent his regrets to Mian Muhammad Sharif saying that his son was too dumb for acting and movie industry. Mian Muhammad Sharif then paid a considerable amount to cricket coaches to train his son for cricket, but his physical fitness was too low for the sport. It is rumored that by mid-day Nawaz Sharif threw the bat down and left the stadium saying, “This is too tough for me.” As a last resort he paid General Ghulam Jilani Khan a considerable sum of monies to intorduce Nawaz Sharif to General Zia-ul-Haq who in turn made Nawaz Sharif the Chief Minister of Punjab and his political career started.
The Governor allegedly got involved with the drug syndicates operating in the city of Lahore under Mirza Iqbal Beg. One of the drug syndicates was allegedly under the control of two cousins Sohail Zia Butt and Aslam Butt both of whom were Mian Muhammad Sharif’s nephews.
Nawaz Sharif started his political career by being appointed as the Finance Minister of Punjab Province in 1981.
Chief Minister of Punjab
On April 9, 1985, he was sworn-in as Chief Minister of Punjab. On May 31, 1988, he was appointed caretaker Chief Minister, after the dismissal of Assemblies by General. Nawaz Sharif was again elected as Chief Minister after the 1988 general elections. A massive uplift of Murree and Kahuta was undertaken during his term as Chief Minister of Punjab. He became close to Shaykh Tahir Alauddin and was seen in his gatherings along with Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri very often.
Prime Minister First Term
Sharif first became PM on November 1, 1990, running on a platform of right wing conservatives and vowing for an end to corruption. In 1992 he commenced Operation Clean-up in the city of Karachi, a military operation targeting the MQM.
Tussle with Military
Tussle with Jamat-i-Islami
Tussle with President
In a televised address on 17 April 1993, Nawaz Sharif directly accused Ghulam Ishaq Khan of conspiring to overthrow him.
Corruption and Drug Trafficking
From Ramazan Sugar Mills Nawaz Sharif exported sugar worth several hundred crore rupees to India—a deal which became an election issue. His cousin Sohail Zia Butt other than getting involved in the drug business made billions in the cooperative societies’ collapse, mainly through the National Industrial Credit and Finance Corporation.
It was Nawaz Sharif’s share in his cousin’s drug business which he used to buy off the generals thereby delaying the inevitable dismissal of his government. It is said that Nawaz Sharif was buying the generals to put his own man Lt. Gen. Ashraf: Corps Command Lahore as the new COAS.
According to the report prepared by Rehman Malik in his first term Nawaz Sharif and his family directly made hundreds of millions dollars at the expense of Government of Pakistan, some of which included:
- At leastUS$ 160 million from Lahore-Islamabad Motorway
- At least US$ 140 million in unsecured loans from government banks
- More than US$ 60 million generated from government rebates on sugar exported by mills owned by Nawaz Sharif and his borther Shahbaz Sharif
- At least US$ 58 million skimmed from inflated prices paid for imported wheat from United States and Canada. In the wheat deal Nawaz Sharif government paid prices far above market value to a private company owned by his close associate in Washington
Government Sacked in April 1993
His government was sacked on April 18, 1993, when President Ghulam Ishaq Khan used the reserve powers vested in him by the Eighth Amendment to dissolve the National Assembly on charges of corruption, nepotism, extra-judicial killings and victimisation of opponents, appointing Mir Balakh Sher Mazari as the caretaker PM. Six weeks later, Supreme Court of Pakistan ruled that the the Presidential order was unconstitutional, reconstituting the National Assembly and returning Sharif to power on May 26. Army stepped in asking Sharif to resign but negotiated settlement resulted in both Shareef along with President Ghulam Ishaq Khan to resign on July 18, 1993. Moin Qureshi who was accused by many circles of being an American implanted man, became caretaker PM, and was succeeded shortly thereafter by Benazir Bhutto, who was elected to office on October 19, 1993.
Prime Minister Second term
Sharif returned to power in February 1997 with such a huge majority that the result was immediately questioned by the PPP. Sharif won by obtaining 90 percent of the national votes cast. Doubts against the authenticity of the national elections always persist and are nearly always contended by Pakistan’s losing party. Tony Blair stated in a January interview that he “believed the election was true”. Nawaz Sharif, by that measure, would hold the record in Pakistani politics for securing the heaviest mandate in a general election in Pakistan.
One of Sharif’s first acts during his second term was to orchestrate the scrapping of Article 58(2)(b) through another Amendment to the Constitution—an exercise in which Sharif’s party was joined by all the other political parties in the National Assembly and Senate. The Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution was passed so that the President could no longer dismiss the PM; and the Fourteenth Amendment imposed strict party discipline on members of parliament. This allowed party leaders to dismiss any of their legislators if they failed to vote as they were told and made it nearly impossible to dismiss a prime minister by a motion of no confidence. In effect, the two amendments removed nearly all checks on the prime minister’s power, since there was virtually no way for him to be legally dismissed once elected.
On November 28, 1997, the Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah of the Supreme Court was dismissed against revolt of other judges, orchestrated by Sharif’s younger brother, the CM Shahbaz Sharif, and Justice Rafiq Tarar. On this issue he fell out with President Farooq Ahmed Khan Leghari who, now without the powers to act against the Prime Minister, also resigned. Rafiq Tarar was rewarded by his being appointed President of Pakistan.
In August 1997, Sharif signed the Anti-Terrorist Act which established Anti Terrorism Courts (ATC). The act was judged in 1998 unconstitutional by the Supreme Court (Merham Ali vs Pakistan). Sharif then enacted an amendment to the law to take into account the judges’ critiques.
Nawaz Sharif’s downfall coincided with his secular actions such as abolishing Friday holidays, distancing him from the conservative religious right wing establishment without taking him closer to the secular section, which preferred the PPP. Even now his frequent assurance to the west about continued cooperation is diminishing his popularity at home amongst the right wing conservatives who are looking for an alternative candidate to counter the secularist alliance of Musharraf-Benazir duo in the coming elections.
On the development front, Nawaz Sharif completed the construction of South Asia’s longest motorway, the 367 km M2, linking Lahore and Islamabad. The motorway, which was initiated during Nawaz Sharif’s first term, was inaugurated in November 1997 and was constructed at a cost of Rs 37.5 billion.
The peak of Sharif’s popularity came when his government undertook nuclear tests on 28 May 1998 in response to India’s nuclear tests two weeks earlier. However, after these tests, matters started going downhill. He suspended many civil liberties, dismissed the Sindh provincial government and set up military courts when the stability of the government was threatened.
Proposition of an Islamic society based on the Quran
On August 29, 1998, he proposed a law to create an Islamic order in Pakistan and establish a legal system based on the Quran and the Sunnat. Sharif told Pakistanis that the proposed Shariat Bill was a charter of duties and not power. This came a week after Sharif informally announced the measure during the commemoration the late President Zia ul-Haq’s 10-year death anniversary on August 17.
On October 8, 1998, he presented the Shariat Bill in the National Assembly. The Cabinet decided to present the bill on October 9, after removing some of its controversial aspects. The Pakistani government approved and passed the bill on October 10, 1998. After the vote, Nawaz Sharif said: “I congratulate the nation on the passage of the bill which will help create a truly Islamic system”. The amendment, which was passed by the National Assembly by 151 votes to 16, was then passed to the upper house of parliament for a final vote. Two-thirds majority was needed for passage in the Senate, the upper chamber.
On January 16, 1999 the Nawaz Sharif Government imposed Islamic law in the traditional tribal areas of the north-west straddling the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, vowing to impose it throughout the country. However, the amendment would fail in the senate and before Nawaz Sharif would recover from that setback, his government was summarily dismissed by a military coup.
Relations with the military
Nawaz Sharif principally rose to prominence as a staunch proponent of the military government of President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq during the 1980s, especially maintaining ties with Lieutenant General Jilani and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Rahimuddin Khan. His political career was further facilitated by the military’s tilt towards his right-wing inclinations; ISI Director-General Hamid Gul having played a substantial role in the formation of the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad, the conservative political alliance that brought Sharif to power in 1990.
Despite this, Sharif’s first term as PM saw himself fall out with three successive army chiefs: with General Mirza Aslam Beg over the 1991 Gulf War issue; with General Asif Nawaz over the Sindh “Operation Clean-Up” issue; and with General Abdul Waheed Kakar over the Sharif-Ishaq imbroglio.
It was under Abdul Waheed Kakar that Nawaz Sharif along with the then President of Pakistan Ghulam Ishaq Khan were forced to resign in 1992-93. At the end of General Waheed’s three-year term in January 1996, General Jehangir Karamat was appointed army chief. His term was due to end on January 9, 1999.
In October 1998, however, Sharif fell out with General Karamat as well, over the latter’s advocacy of the need for the creation of a “National Security Council” in what Sharif believed was a conspiracy to return the military to a more active role in Pakistani politics. Before that Sharif dismissed the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Mansur Ul Haq.
In October 1998, General Jehangir Karamat resigned and Sharif appointed General Pervez Musharraf as army chief. General Jehangir Karamat was seen by many as a straight person who compromised himself and stood for the wishes of the Prime Minister. Sharif would later regret appointing Pervez Musharraf to the Chief of Army position, as Musharraf would lead a coup to topple Sharif’s government.
The Lahore Declaration
In order to normalize relations between India and Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif undertook a major initiative in February 1999. This initiative culminated in a visit by the Indian PM Atal Behari Vajpayee to Lahore via bus, across the Wagah border, in 1999. Nawaz Sharif met him at the Wagah border and a joint communique, known as the Lahore Declaration, was signed between the two leaders. The Lahore Declaration spelled out various steps to be taken by the two countries towards normalizing relations. About the Agra Summit later Mr. Advani narrates: “We also noticed the absence of any reference to the Shimla Accord (1972) and the Lahore Declaration (1999) in the text. Musharraf seemed allergic to these pacts, as they were associated with his political rivals. He probably wanted to signal to his people back home that he wanted to start Indo-Pak engagement on a clean slate, all on his own terms and bearing his exclusive imprint.”
The Kargil War in 1999 came to haunt Nawaz Sharif. He came under American pressure to withdraw his troops after they were deep into Indian territory. India reacted strongly and ordered its troops to oust the intruders which resulted in heavy casualties on both sides. Nawaz Sharif under pressure from Bill Clinton withdrew his troops and the Islamist fighters unilaterally. Some believe that Sharif was responsible for initiating the intrusions — though he claimed that Army Chief Pervez Musharraf was the brains behind the operation. In Nawaz’s view Musharraf as Army Chief did not even take corps commanders, air chief and naval chief in confidence before the operation. Only three generals were masterminds of the operation. In a recent interview, he admitted he ‘let down’ Vajpayee on Kargil conflict and also regretted not having taken an action against Musharraf. He also said that Musharaf then army chief requested him to visit America to ask India for ceasefire. His this claim is reinstated by General Gani (American General at that time) remark in his book. The retreat was not welcome in Pakistan and Sharif would later reveal that Pakistan had suffered more than 4,000 casualties. Growing fiscal deficits and debt-service payments, mainly due to American sanctions, led to a financial crisis. The government narrowly avoided defaulting on its international loans. With the country suffering from frequent power blackouts, Sharif directed the army in early 1999 to take control of WAPDA, which had the adverse effect that many active and former military personnel were deployed as heads of civilian agencies. This trend continues to this day.
With the public and press openly speculating about the possibility of a military takeover, Nawaz became increasingly insecure. On October 12, 1999, he removed Musharraf as army chief. Musharraf, who was out of the country, boarded a commercial airliner to return to Pakistan. Sharif ordered the Karachi airport sealed off to prevent the landing of the airliner, and ordered it to land at Nawab Shah Airport, but Musharraf contacted top army generals who took over the country and ousted Sharif’s administration. Musharraf assumed control of the government. The Supreme Court validated the coup on the grounds of necessity. Thus ended Nawaz Sharif’s second term, which saw resignations of a President, an Army chief and a Naval Chief and suspension and removal of a Chief Justice.
Nawaz was thrown in prison and tried by Anti-Terrorism Courts, which handed down a life sentence for hijacking in 2000. However, the military government agreed to commute his sentence from life in prison to exile in Saudi Arabia. His family moved with him, and they arrived in Saudi Arabia in December 2000. His wife and senior members of his party formed an anti-military coalition along with the Pakistan Peoples Party, previously the major opposition to Sharif’s Muslim League. For several years, Nawaz and the PPP only offered token resistance to President Musharraf’s government. Efforts were mainly restricted to criticism through the media.
2007-Return to Pakistan
On September 7, 2007, Justice Shabbir Hussain Chatha ordered police to arrest Shahbaz Sharif, brother of Nawaz Sharif and produce him before the court, after the hearing in Lahore. The court ruled that “Shahbaz Sharif should be arrested (at) whichever airport he lands at”. Nawaz Sharif also faced detention on the pair’s planned return from exile to Pakistan on September 10, 2007, to challenge President Musharraf’s eight-year military rule.
On September 10, Nawaz Sharif arrived in Islamabad on a PIA flight from London but was prevented from leaving the plane as the authorities at the Islamabad Airport wanted to escort him to the arrival lounge. The rest of the passengers on board were allowed to deplane, and negotiations began with Sharif as he, along with his few supporters, did not want an escort and wanted to deplane themselves.
Sharif finally agreed to be taken out of the plane, and was taken to the arrival lounge and upon his arrival there he was approached by the National Accountability Bureau chief who issued a warrant due to corruption charges made against him. After that, Nawaz Sharif boarded another airliner to be exiled back to Saudi Arabia. “He has been sent back,” a senior security official told Agence France-Presse, as local television showed a PIA airplane carrying the deported Sharif from Islamabad airport.
Later on September 10, Nawaz Sharif landed at Jeddah airport and was greeted by Saudi intelligence chief Prince Miqren bin Abdul Aziz. Pakistan’s Religious Affairs Minister Muhammad Ijaz-ul-Haq stated that “He has not only embarrassed Pakistan but also the leadership of Saudi Arabia by violating the agreement.” Although Nawaz Sharif had denied the existence of any ‘exile deal’ with the government before his homecoming, he later admitted that there was an agreement but that it was for only five years.
On presenting him before the Court, the European Union asked the Pakistani government to respect the court ruling. In Washington, D.C., Sean McCormack of the White House (joined by India) stated that the deportation was an “internal matter” but said that elections should be “free and fair” (but expressing mild disapproval of Musharraf’s action). But the United States organisation Human Rights Watch accused the Pakistan Government of violating international law. Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League condemned the deportation by filing a contempt suit in the Supreme Court. His brother Shahbaz Sharif was due to travel with Sharif from London but changed his plans at the last minute.
On November 25, 2007, several weeks after the return of Benazir Bhutto, Nawaz Sharif was able to return to Pakistan. He was not arrested and, like Bhutto, was able to return to political activity.
A private television channel allegedly reported that Nawaz’s media manager Pervaiz Rasheed seized tapes and intimidated their staff after Nawaz lost his temper in an interview. According to the director news of the private TV channel in a press conference, they had been held in hostage during an interview with former PM Nawaz Sharif. He (Nawaz) had also used unbecoming language against President Pervaiz Musharraf and PML(Q) top leaders while answering one of his questions.
Upon reaching Lahore, Sharif was supposedly greeted by a huge crowd of supporters. On November 26, 2007, Nawaz Sharif filed for the January Parliamentary elections. He handed in his papers in Lahore filing for two parliamentary seats.
On December 3, it was announced that Sharif would meet Benazir Bhutto to discuss a possible boycott of the January 8 elections. Mr Sharif had stated that his party, Pakistan Muslim League (N), would not take part in the elections unless the judges sacked under emergency rule were reinstated.
The Election Commission of Pakistan then banned Sharif from taking part in the January 8 elections. A rival candidate complained to the commission citing Sharif’s criminal charges. The commission upheld the complaint. Sharif had until Friday to appeal against the ban. An election commissioner Raja Qamaruzaman told Lahore newspapers that His (Nawaz’s) nomination papers are rejected because of his convictions. In the case of his opposition rival Benazir Bhutto, President Pervez Musharraf signed into law the amnesty early in 2007 that cleared Ms Bhutto of all corruption charges. However this amnesty did not clear Mr Sharif, having been sentenced to ten years for aeroplane hijacking and terrorism when he attempted to prevent the PIA flight carrying Musharraf and Soomro and a plane full of ordinary passengers in 1999 from landing at Karachi.
On December 6, Mr Sharif attempted to meet former chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry but was stopped by police. Mr Chaudhry was forced to leave office after refusing to swear allegiance to President Musharraf and also the authorities are preventing him from leaving his household. Sharif told the crowd that he had come to show support for the judges and will not rest until they were restored. Coming off the heels of meeting with former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto both opposition parties were in the process of negotiating what they called a charter of demands which they wanted fulfilled if they were to take part in the January 8 elections. Mr Sharif wanted the re-instatement of the judges before the election takes place to be on the opposition’s joint demands. However Benazir Bhutto claimed that this is an issue that parliament could address once the elections have been fought.
On December 7, it was confirmed by Nawaz Sharif that he would not appeal against the ban that was placed on him on December 3, and would not participate as a candidate in the January 8 elections. If Sharif appealed against the ban the matter would have been taken to the Pakistan High Court. Sharif said that he does not recognize this as legitimate because the judges were forced under the rule of President Musharraf. Sharif wrote to the Election Commission saying that he was being prevented from standing for political reasons.
Nawaz Sharif announced on December 10 that he would indeed participate in the January 8 elections. The PML(N) made this decision after he failed to make a decision with opposition rival Benazir Bhutto and her PPP; the two sides complained that elections would not be free and fair under emergency rule placed by President Musharraf on November 3, 2007. Mr Musharraf announced that emergency would end on December 15, a day earlier than planned. Mr Sharif’s party would participate in the elections after 33 opposition parties including PPP failed to reach a joint agreement. Mr Sharif announced his party’s manifesto being a single demand for the restoration of the judges sacked in November by President Musharraf. Ms Bhutto however said that this is an issue that the new parliament can decide on.
On February 16, 2008 the initial last day of campaigning for Pakistan’s political parties, Nawaz Sharif’s PML(N) campaigned closely with assassinated Benazir Bhutto’s PPP and her widower Asif Ali Zardari.
2008 – Pakistani General Elections
However after the death of Bhutto, Sharif met with Zardari and advised him to boycott elections. Asif Zardari refused the offer and offered Nawaz to take part in the elections arguing that the opposition parties would definitely win after this chain of unfortunate events in the country and mishandling of issues by the government. Nawaz accepted the offer and announced it publicly in a press conference. He gave the reason that in order to bring the President’s government down the whole opposition must assemble and move in one direction.
On February 18 the PML (N) dominated the Punjab assembly and won 68 seats out of 272 from the National Assembly finishing second, directly behind the PPP (Bhutto/Zardari’s party) at 88. However, after adding the reserved seats for women and minorities, total number rose to 91. The results became clear on February 19. His massive victory in Punjab was met by a festive mood. Later that day in a press conference he said that he would welcome the political leaders back to the parent party who had left his party and joined the PML (Q). Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari, the husband of slain Benazir Bhutto told February 21, 2008 their parties will work together in the national parliament after scoring big wins in the 2008 election.
On February 26, 2008, Nawaz announced that he and his brother Shabaz Sharif would run in by-elections upcoming in the country within the next few weeks, to become Members of Parliament, since they have no restrictions against them. the PML (N) left it to the PPP to chose a PM, since they agreed on forming a coalition government.
Nawaz Sharif has challenged the petition filed by the federal government against the acceptance of Mr Sharif’s candidature for National Assembly seat Ashtar Ausaf Ali, former Advocate General of Punjab, is the lawyer representing Nawaz Sharif.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the PPP on June 27, 2008, won 3 and 2 by-election seats, respectively, to the national parliament. Polls were postponed for the 6th seat in Lahore due to Nawaz Sharif’s eligibility contest. A court ruled he was ineligible due to the old conviction, amid the government appeal in the Supreme Court, which will hear the case on June 30, thus postponing the vote in the constituency. The 2 parties also won 19 of 23 provincial assembly seats where by-elections were held. The results will not affect the February 18 general election results in which Benazir Bhutto’s PPP won 123 seats in the 342-seat National Assembly and Sharif’s party came second with 91, while PML-Q which supported Musharraf came a poor third with 54 seats. Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) won 8 provincial assembly seats, while the PPP won 7 provincial seats.
Reinstatement of Judges
Nawaz Sharif stated in Lahore that: “I want to inform the entire nation that on Monday 12 May 2008, all deposed judges will be restored; the national assembly will approve a resolution the same day.” The judges include Iftikhar Chaudhry, Supreme Court Chief Justice, and President Musharraf sacked 60 judges under the state of emergency.
On 12 May 2008 the day that PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif stated that the deposed judges sacked under President Musharraf’s emergency rule last November, would be reinstated, Mr Sharif over the weekend beginning 9 – 11 May met PPP Partner Asif Ali Zardari in London to discuss the deadlock and the official date of when the judges would be reinstated, but the meetings dissolved, with no agreement that both party officials could agree upon. Returning to Islamabad Nawaz spoke to media mogul Geo Television Network and announced that he is withdrawing his party members from the federal government(cabinet) and effectively resigning from the coalition government. After repeated meetings with the ruling party, and refusal by the president to restore the deposed judges, Sharif decided to join the lawyers movement planned on completion of two years of first dismissal of chief justice on Mar, 9 2007. the plan was to start a long march from Karachi and Quetta simultaneously on Mar, 12 reaching Islamabad and staging a permanent sit-in till restoration of all deposed judges. The government got very confused, with initially house arresting Sharif and other prominent lawyers, and raising the greatest ever road blocks by placing containers all over the road to islamabad. there was no way anyone could get in or out of the twin cities of rawalpindi-islamabad, even not the ambulances carrying sick. When the long march picked up peak of tempo, with civil society joining the lawyers and politicians, it was at 0652am(PST, 16 March, i.e before start of planned sit-in) that the Prime Minister after obtaining the President’s approval(amidst long meetings of army chief with them) announced restoration of judges with immediate effect. thus, sharif was made a hero for restoration of original judiciary despite so many odds.
Resignations from Coalition Government
On May 12, PML (N) announced it was leaving the government after its failure to reinstate the judges; its ministers resigned.
On August 7, 2008, the PPP and the Pakistan Muslim League (N) agreed to force Musharraf to step down and begin his impeachment. Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif, announced sending a formal request or joint charge sheet that he steps down, and impeach him through parliamentary process upon refusal. Musharraf, however, said: “I will defeat those who try to push me to the wall. If they use their right to oust me, I have the right to defend myself.” Pervez Musharraf, accordingly delayed his departure for the Beijing Olympics, by a day. A senior coalition official told Reuters: “Yes, we have agreed in principle to impeach him.” The draft of the ruling coalition’s joint statement had been finalized by the draft Committee, and Musharraf must obtain vote of confidence from the National Assembly and 4 provincial assemblies. The government summoned the national assembly, or lower house of parliament, to sit on August 11. Capt. Wasif Syed, spokesman for the Pakistan People’s Party — confirmed: “A decision has been made that he has to go now, and all the parties have agreed on this point.”
On 18 August 2008, Musharraf resigned as President of Pakistan. He said he was resigning for the country.
Pakistan’s Election Commission on August 22 announced that Presidential elections would be held on September 6, and the nomination papers could be filed from August 26. The president is elected by the 2 houses of parliament and the 4 provincial assemblies.. There was speculation that Nawaz Sharif would run for President, but on August 25, 2008, Nawaz Sharif announced that Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui would be the Pakistan Muslim League (N) nominee to replace Musharraf as President. Siddiqui was defeated by Asif Zardari for the presidency.
Ineligibility to contest
In early 2009, Pakistan’s Supreme Court barred Nawaz Sharif from contesting elections or holding public office, sparking widespread protests and disorder in some parts of the Punjab province.  Sharif planned to attend a banned political rally in Islamabad on 16 March 2009, but was instead placed under house arrest. He duped police standing outside his door and went to attend the famous long march in Islamabad. In the mean time the Pakistani Government announced to appeal against the disqualification of Sharif brothers from contesting election and occupying public office. The next day Government agreed to reinstate the deposed judges of the Supreme Court after which Shariff gave his consent to call off his long march. After this whole political deadlock Nawaz Sharif emerged as popular personality in the politics of Pakistan.
Asking US for Political Help
In April 2009 the Sharif brothers went to the U.S. Embassy alone and didn’t take along any party member. So this wasn’t a party visit. The aim of the visit was to convince the Americans to back the brothers for the top political posts in Pakistan.
But typical Nawaz Sharif had his own ideas, he was bent upon taking revenge from Musharraf for the humiliation he suffered by running in exile to Saudi, Nawaz didn’t care about the country as his mega rich himself and won’t hesitate to run in exile again if needed to. Ishaq Dar came briefly tooled with Nawaz’s personal vendetta to damage Musharraf, so he came and started giving negative and false statements about the economy. Later he was criticised by the business community for doing so. As Nawaz’s intention wasn’t to help Pakistan he quickly made all his ministers resign and take the back seat as he always likes doing, shying away from trouble. The people who voted for Nawaz just totally wasted their time as he won a lot of seats but refused to be part of the of the problem solving.
Farhan Investigative Report
This is an excellent programme exposing some of the corruption conducted by Nawaz Sharif by the host of DM Digital, Farhan Aslam, who also used to work for ARY Digital a few years ago.
The report has been divided into six segments. I will offer a short summary of the discussion, followed by the clips themselves.
Nawaz Sharif’s only agenda was to make money. In order to achieve this goal, he formed/changed laws and policies for his personal benefit and expanded his business empire by misusing his authority as PM.
Interestingly enough and ironically, the PPP played a major role in exposing the corruption of Nawaz Sharif and his family. The Jamaat-e-Islami had also levelled a number of corruption allegations upon Nawaz Sharif. As we know, later Sharif and his cronies also played a role in exposing the corruption of Benazir Bhutto and her PPP. In other words, both Sharif and Bhutto have been busy over the years actively accusing each other of committing corruption.
Nawaz Sharif is widely acknowledged to be a highly incompetent person, with a mediocre I.Q. level. The brain behind him was that of his late “Abba Jee” (‘daddy’) – the mastermind and the main decision maker behind the scene.
In order to consolidate and attain more power, N. Sharif attacked every individual and institutions he felt could get in the way challenge his authority. In order to get rid of the then Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, who was despised by Sharif, the later created divisions among the judges to make life difficult for the Chief Justice. A group of judges refused to acknowledge Shah as the Chief Justice and things got so bad that a number of junior judges put hurdles in the way of the Chief Justice in order to make it difficult for him to carry out his duties. Eventually, Sharif ordered his thugs to attack the Supreme Court in order to prevent the Chief Justice from giving a ruling against him.
The police did nothing to stop Sharif’s thugs as they attacked and entered the Supreme Court. The judges inside the building barely managed to escape. The thugs, led by Sajjad Naseem and Mushtaq Tahir, Nawaz Sharif’s political secretaries, entered the court chanting anti-Sajjad slogans and destroyed the furniture.
Next, consider Nawaz Sharif’s relationship with the press and media. Two examples will suffice. On 8th May 1999, Najam Sethi, a prominent journalist of Pakistan, was arrested by the police on the orders of Sharif. Sethi has committed the crime of annoying Nawaz Sharif by writing a critical essay against him. The police broke into Sethi’s house at around 2 am and beat him up in his bedroom in front of his wife, after which he was transported off to a secret location. The police trashed Sethi’s house, broke the furniture and beat him up quite bad. Sethi was only released after a lot of international pressure had built up against Sharif. Sharif also demanded the Jang Group to get rid of all the journalists who were critical of him. To achieve this goal, Sharif and his cronies used a variety of legal and illegal means to pressure the Jang Group into compliance.
There is probably no institution in Pakistan which Nawaz Sharif did not aggressively confront in order make them comply to his wishes. Besides picking on a fight with the President, the Judiciary and the already restricted/limited media, Sharif also decided to have a confrontation with the army, the only viable institution left in Pakistan. Chief of Army Staff, General Jehangir Karamat, and Nawaz Sharif had a conflict over an issue pertaining to the national security council and both entered into a heated discussion, after which Gen. Karamat had to offer his resignation. Jehangir Karamat thus became the first Chief of Army Staff in the history of Pakistan to have left the army in this prematurely in this manner.
One by one all challenges and potential obstacles were removed from the way by Nawaz Sharif. Ghulam Ishaq Khan, Farooq Leghari, Sajjad Ali Shah, and Jehangir Karamat, as well as others, were all removed from the scene by Sharif.
After the removal of Jehangir Karamat, Sharif appointed Pervaiz Musharraf as the Chief of Army Staff. Some analysts at the time said that Sharif made this decision thinking that Pervaiz Musharraf was an Urdu speaker and did not belong to a Punjabi army family, thus very unlikely to be a threat to Sharif!
Things became sour between Sharif and Musharraf during the Kargil episode. Later, once a relative of Sharif was removed from the army by Musharraf, that was the final nail in the coffin. Sharif then decided to take his revenge and replace Gen. Musharraf with a fellow of his liking who would be controllable (the head of the ISI at the time).
Farhan Aslam also comments upon the ill-advised economic decisions of Sharif which made Pakistan’s situation from bad to worse. Moreover, he comments upon the Sharif family’s personal business empire and how it grew exponentially through questionable means.