Nawaz Sharif

Prime Minister of Pakistan

Born: 25 December 1949
Birthplace: Lahore, Pakistan
Best known as: The exiled two-time prime minister of Pakistan
Nawaz Sharif is a leader of the Pakistan Muslim League political party and a longtime force in the volatile world of Pakistani politics. Sharif is a populist conservative who has repeatedly clashed with the country's powerful military. At first a provincial politician, Sharif gained stature as chief minister of Punjab from 1985-1990. He was elected prime minister in 1990 as the PML won a majority position in the national assembly. He stepped down in 1993 after feuding with President Ghulam Ishaq Khan, but was elected again in 1997. In this term he pushed through the 13th Amendment to the Pakistani constitution, stripping the president of his power to dismiss the prime minister. He also ordered Pakistani nuclear testing in response to nuclear testing by India, a choice which was a hit inside Pakistan but widely condemned elsewhere. Sharif was ousted by Pakistan's army in a 1999 coup, with General Pervez Musharraf taking power. Sharif was accused of corruption and terrorism, given a sentence of life in prison, and finally sent into exile in Saudi Arabia in 2000. He returned to Pakistan in November 2007 in time to file for the parliamentary elections of 2008.
Extra credit: Sharif was born in Lahore in 1949, two years after Pakistan became a sovereign state... According to the PML, he attended Government College Lahore and then earned a law degree from the Punjab University... His brother, Shahbaz Sharif, also served as chief minister of Punjab... A separate branch of the Pakistan Muslim League, PML-Q, was founded by Pervez Musharraf; Sharif's group is often called PML-N... Sharif's first term was interrupted from April 18-May 23 of 1993, when President Khan dissolved the National Assembly but then was overruled the Supreme Court. For this reason, some sources describe Sharif as having had three terms as prime minister rather than two... He is sometimes called Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif; Mian is a family title of nobility used in Punjab.

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