|Dynamic LionNawaz Sharif|
میاں محمد نواز شریف
|Navaz Sharif, 1998.|
|12th Prime Minister of Pakistan|
17 February, 1997 – 12 October, 1999
|Preceded by||Benazir Bhutto|
|Succeeded by||General Pervez Musharraf|
26 May, 1993 – 18 July, 1993
|Preceded by||Balkh Scher Mazarie (Acting)|
|Succeeded by||Moin-uddin Kureshi (Acting)|
6 November 1990 – 18 April 1993
|President||Ghulam Ishaq Khan|
|Preceded by||Ghulam Mustafa Jatoie (Acting)|
|Succeeded by||Balakh Scher Mazari (Acting)|
|7th Leader of the Opposition|
19 October, 1993 – 5 November, 1996
|Prime Minister||Benazir Bhutto|
|9th Chief Minister of Punjab Province|
April 9, 1985 – August 13, 1990
|Prime Minister||Muhammad Khan Juneijo|
|Governor||General Ticka Khan|
Sajjad Hussain Qureshi
LGen Ghulam Jilani Khan
|Preceded by||Sadiq Hussain Qureshi|
|Succeeded by||Ghulam Heather Wayne|
|23rd Defence Minister of Pakistan|
17 February, 1997 – 12 October, 1999
|President||Justice (retired) Rafique Tarrar|
|Preceded by||Aftab Schaban Miranie|
|Succeeded by||General Pervez Musharraf|
|1st President of Pakistan Muslim League (Navaz Wing)|
July 27, 2011
|Preceded by||Shahbaz Sharif|
|Born||Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif|
25 December 1949
Lahore, Punjab Province,West-Pakistan
|Political party||Pakistan Muslim League-N|
|Residence||Lahore, Punjab Province|
|Alma mater||Government College University|
(B.A. and BBA)
University of the Punjab
Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif (Punjabi, Urdu: میاں محمد نواز شریف; born 25 December, 1949) is a Pakistani conservativepolitician and steel magnate who served as 12th Prime Minister of Pakistan in two non-consecutive terms from November 1990-July 1993 and February 1997-October 1999. He is married to Kalsoom Nawaz Sharif and currently serves as the President of thePakistan Muslim League (N-Wing). Before becoming the Prime minister, Sharif was the Chief Minister of Punjab from 1985 to 1990 and embarked his political career under the military regimeof President General Zia-ul-Haq. A businessman and lawyer by profession, he owns Ittefaq Group, a private steel mill enterprise and one of the largest producer of Iron materials. Sharif is noted as being as Pakistan's one of the wealthiest investor in Steel millbusiness and a conservative politician advocating for theconservatism in the country, and capitalism as its economic base. His first term was shortened after the Pakistan Armypressured him to resign after developing serious issues with another conservative President Ghulam Ishaq Khan, which he too was forced to resigned.
From 1993 until 1996, Sharif served as the Leader of the Opposition in the socialist democratic government of Benazir Bhutto. In 1997, he was elected on for a second term by an overwhelming margin after brutally defeating Benazir Bhutto whose government was dismissed on serious economical and financial scandals became known in public. During his second term, he notably ordered Pakistan's first nuclear tests in response to India's nuclear tests, as part of his tit-for-tat policy, a termed he coined after the tests. Sharif controversially appointed Pervez Musharraf— a lieutenant-general and commander of the I Strike Corps— as the Chief of Army Staff and promoted him to the 4 star rank. Sharif later violated the code of conduct of Pakistan Armed Forces when he controversially appointed General Pervez Musharraf as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee. His decision forced Chief of Naval StaffAdmiral Fasih Bokhari to resign from the Navy.
Despite Sharif giving prestigious appointments to General Musharraf and the Army, Sharif developed serious disagreements pertaining to the undeclared war in Northern Pakistan, and later ordered the Pakistan Army to evacuated and end its illegal occupation of Indian-held Kargil. Problems with Army further escalated and he was finally ousted in an October 1999 military coup by General Pervez Musharraf after Navaz made an unsuccessful attempt to remove General Musharraf as Chief of Army Staff and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee. He dramatically returned to Pakistan in late 2007 after eight years of forced exile by General Musharraf in a secret contract he claimed that he was forced to sign. Now in Pakistan, Sharif successfully called for Musharraf's impeachment and thereinstatement of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.
Early life and education
He was born in Lahore, West-Pakistan on December 25, 1949, a year after the nation's founding, to a steel owner family. His father Mian Sharif and uncles had a small steel mill that is known as Ittefaq Steel Mills in Landa Bazar of Lahore before the creation of Pakistan.
Business enterprise: Ittefaq Group
The Ittefaq Group (English: The Unity Group) is one of the largest steel conglomerates in Pakistan and produces large amount of steel and iron materials in Pakistan and abroad. He helped establish the Ittefaq Islamic Academy in Lahore, where students receive religious instruction in addition to their secular training. A practicing Muslim, Sharif comes from a religious family and has said he would make the teaching of the Quran, the Muslim Holy Book, a compulsory subject up to the secondary level.
He and his cousins expanded their family iron foundry in Pakistan. However, they lost control of their business in the 1972 nationalization and socialist economics policies by then-Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who took over the business under the government control. It was re-established in 1977 as Ittefaq Industries in Lahore after an immediate removal of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto as Prime minister by the Armed Forces. The business was returned after Sharif developed political links with Chief Martial Law Administrator of Pakistan, and Chief of Army Staff General Mohammad Zia ul-Haq, later President of Pakistan. By 1990, Ittefaq Industries became one of Pakistan's most affluent iron and steel conglomerates, with more than $450 million in annual revenues, up from approximately $16 million in 1981. It included the country's largest private steel mill, Ittefaq Foundries (Pvt) Ltd, eight sugar mills, and four textile factories. Sharif's net worth is around US $4 billion. With upwards of hundred thousand employees, Ittefaq Group .However allegation persist that nawaz sharif engages in price fixing of sugar and other commodities
Initial political career
He principally rose to public and political prominence as a staunch proponent of the military government ofChief Martial Law Administrator (designated himself as President) and Chief of Army Staff General Zia-ul-Haqduring the 1980s. He 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 ISI Director-Lieutenant-General (retired) Hamid Gul, who played a substantial role in the formation of the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad- a conservative political alliance that supported Sharif.
Punjab Advisory Council
In 1981, he initially joined as a member of the Punjab Advisory Council under President General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq. Shariff would also served as the Provincial Minister of Finance and Provincial Minister of Sports under the Provincial Government of Punjab Province. During his tenure, he was credited with increasing funding for sports activities and rural projects.
Chief Minister of Punjab
He served for two consecutive terms as Chief Minister of Punjab Province, the most populous province of Pakistan. (April 9, 1985 - May 31, 1988) From 1988 to August 1990, he became the Caretaker Chief Minister after Zia-ul-Haq dissolved the assemblies. Because of his vast popularity, he received the nickname "Lion of the Punjab".
First term as Prime Minister (1990-93)
|This biographical section of an article needs additional citationsfor verification. Please help by adding reliable sources. Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately, especially if potentially libelous or harmful.(September 2011)|
Sharif became the 12th Prime minister of Pakistan on 1st November 1990 as the head of IJI (Islamic Democratic Alliance) and succeeded Benazir Bhutto as Prime minister. He campaigned on a conservative platform and vowed to reduce government corruption. He focused on improving the nation's infrastructure and spurred the growth of digital telecommunication. He privatized government banks and opened the door for further industrial privatization, and disbanded Zulfikar Bhutto's policies. He legalized foreign money exchange to be transacted through private money exchangers. His privatization policies were continued by both Benazir Bhutto and Pervez Musharraf.
Sharif disbanded the socialist policies led by Bhutto, and introduced the conservatism in Pakistan. Initially campaigned, Sharif took steps to initiate Islamization and conservatism at once. The gradual change in Pakistan society was brought and reforms were made to introduced the conservatism including the introduction of fiscal conservatism, supply-side economics, social conservatism, libertarian conservatism, bioconservatism and religious conservatism in Pakistan.
He took many steps to raise the issue of Kashmir on international forums, to transfer power peacefully in Afghanistan so to put an end to the drug smugglers and illegal transaction of unregistered weapons across the border which was promoting then increasing numbers of dacoits in the country. Sharif intensified General Zia-ul-Haq's controversial Islamization policies, and introduced to 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 Religious Affairs to prepare reports and recommendations for steps taken for Islamization. He ensured the establishment of three committees.
- Nifaz-e-Shariat Committee
- Islamic Welfare Committee
He believed in forming a Muslim Bloc by uniting all Central Asian Muslim Countries thus he extended the membership of ECO to all Central Asian Countries. Nawaz Sharif was pretty confident that he had majority in the assembly thus he ruled with considerable confidence. He had disputes with three successive army chiefs.
He contended with General Mirza Aslam Beg over the 1991 Gulf War, with General Asif Nawaz over the Sindh "Operation Clean-Up" election he on April 1993, with the support of the Pakistan Army, used his reserve powers to dissolve the National Assembly and appointed Mir Balakh Sher Mazari as the Caretaker Prime Minister. In May 1993, Sharif returned to power after the Supreme Court ruled that the Presidential Order as unconstitutional and reconstituted the National Assembly. In July 1993, Sharif resigned under pressure from the military but negotiated a settlement that resulted in the removal of President Ghulam Ishaq Khan. he did nt have contemporary changes in his attitude
Shortly after taking power, Nawaz Sharif announced that his government would carry out a national reconstruction programme to industrialize Pakistan. He believed unemployment was Pakistan's greatest problem and that only industrial growth could solve the problem. . He also wanted to continue the peacefulnuclear atomic program and to make Pakistan a truly Islamic state and to do so he introduced Islamic Laws such as the Shariat Ordinance and Bait-ul-Maal (to help poor orphans widows etc.).Sharif wanted to follow a policy of privatization of the industrialization of the industries that which had been nationalized by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. A number of important industries, such as shipping, electricity supply, airlines andtelecommunications were opened up to the private sector. He introduced several large scale projects to stimulate the economy, such as the Bartotha Hydro power project and the Gwadar Miniport in Baluchistan. He also tried to solve the unemployment problem by importing thousands of taxis for many young men, but it came at a cost. Few of the loans were repaid. Sharif built Pakistan first major motorway which was completed in November 1997 at a cost of $989 million. Sharif’s policies were undermined by lack of capital for investments. There was an influx of foreign capital when he loosened foreign exchange restrictions and opened Pakistan ‘s stock market to foreign capital, but the government remained short of funds for investments.
Sharif took steps for intense government control the Science in Pakistan and the projects needed his authorization. As part of this, Sharif intensified his move to enhance the Pakistan's integrated nuclear development and authorized projects that seemed to be important in his point of views. Sharif also promoted the peaceful nuclear energy programme, and signed the CHASNUPP-I reactor with People's Republic of Chinafor the commercial electricity use. Sharif also responded to use the nuclear development in more of economical usage. His policies to make the nuclear program for economical use was also continued by Benazir Bhutto and Pervez Musharraf, and is still carried upon. Under his leadership, the nuclear program had became vital part of Pakistan's economical policy as the program had became back-bone of economy of Pakistan in 1998.
Co-operatives Societies Scandal
Sharif also lost support because of the co-operatives societies scandal. 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. However, mismanagement of these societies led to a collapse in which millions ofPakistanis lost money in 1992. In Sharif’s native Punjab 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.Though Ittefaq hurriedly repaid the loans the Prime Ministers reputation was severely damaged.
Parliamentary opposition (1993-96)
After the 1993 general elections, the Pakistan Peoples Party returned to power. 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. Benazir's government found it difficult to act effectively in the face of opposition from Sharif. They worked tirelessly to undermine her government and tapped an anti-Bhutto wave in entire Pakistan. In 1994 Sharif began a "Train March", a phenomenon founded by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, taking him from Karachi to Peshawar during which huge crowds listened to his critical speeches. Sharif played a major part in organizing strikes throughout Pakistan in September and October 1994. By 1996, the PPP had become unpopular because of there high levels of corruption which led to their ouster in October.
Second term as Prime Minister (1997-99)
In the 1997 parliamentary elections, Sharif and his Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) won a landslide victory in the elections, brutally defeating Benazir Bhutto and her People's party. Commenting on his victory, the Pakistan media quoted him as "New Zulfikar Ali Bhutto" was born, and his demagogic and oratory skills were highly compared to Zulfikar Bhutto. As commentary, 1997 elections' results boosted Navaz popularity and the mandate from entire Pakistan was given to him. Navaz defeated Benazir Bhutto with overwhelmingly numbers and it was the worst defeat of Bhutto and People's party since its inception. After the elections, Navaz arrived to Islamabad where he met with large crowd of people supporting for Nawaz. Sharif was sworn in as Prime Minister on 17 February to serve a non-consecutive second term..With the passing of the 14th amendment Sharif emerged as the most powerful Prime Minister in the country since its independence 50 years ago.
In August 1997, he passed the controversial Anti-Terrorist Act which established Anti-Terrorism Courts. TheSupreme Court later rendered the Act unconstitutional.
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.
1998 Nuclear tests
Pakistan's nuclear tests were an important turning point in his political career. 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. Soon after Indian nuclear tests, Sharif vowed that his country would give a suitable reply to the Indians. When India tested its nuclear arsenal a second time, it caused a great alarm in Pakistan. On 15 May 1998, Sharif called and chaired aNational Security Council meeting in Prime minister Secretariat. The discussions went on for a few hours and encompassed the financial, diplomatic, military, strategic and national security concerns. The meeting had two agendas: Firstly, whether or not Pakistan should carry out nuclear tests in order to respond to Indian’s nuclear tests? Secondly, if Pakistan does go ahead with the tests then which of the two organizations, PAEC or KRL, should carry out the tests?
Mushahid Hussain Syed, Minister of Telecommunications, was the first person to propose the tests, while,Sartaj Aziz who was the Finance 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, Sharif did not opposed nor proposed the tests. The remainder spoke in favor of conducting the tests.
Dr. Ishfaq Ahmad of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) and Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan of Kahuta Research Laboratories equally presented their point of views, and approached for the permission from Sharif.The meeting concluded without any resolution of the two agenda points. On the morning of 17 May 1998, Sharif summoned Ishfaq Ahmad and asked him for his opinion on two points discussed on 15 May. Dr. Ahmed told the Prime Minister that the decision to test or not to test was that of the Government of Pakistan. Ahmad also acknowledged that PAEC was ready for the capability of carrying out the tests.Sharif then concluded that eyes of the world were focused on Pakistan and failure to conduct the tests would put the credibility of the Pakistan nuclear programme in doubt. Dr. Ahmad then said:“Mr. Prime Minister, take a decision, then I give you the guarantee of success." Sharif ordered PAEC to make preparation for the tests, but remain on stand-by for the final decision..
On May 18, Nawaz Sharif ordered PAEC to conduct the explosive tests. Simultaneously, on 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. A Boeing 737 airline from Pakistan International Airlines was readily made available for PAEC scientists, engineers, and technicians to Balochistan. Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan and scientists and engineers from KRL were also told to be stay alert and were sent to Balochistan along with PAEC.
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 five nuclear devices roughly two weeks before.
Economical effects of tests
After weeks of anticipation, Pakistan surprised the world by conducting its own nuclear tests. Sharif popularity in Pakistan increased in a record. While he was being hailed as nationalist, Sharif proclaimed an emergency on the same day as these nuclear tests were conducted, which dismay the public. All the foreign currency accounts in Pakistani banks were frozen to minimize the effects of economic sanctions. A seriousfinancial default was near, and the country's economy was getting out of control from the government. Preventing a serious financial default was most important, therefore, Sharif asked the investors to sell their shares to the government at 2% more to the present rate. Sharif then took control of the economy as he assumed the control of the economy under his government's control. For time limit, Sharif disbanded the capitalist policies and Stock exchange came under government's control.
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 program. Under his premiership, Pakistan became the first Muslim country and seventh nation to become a nuclear power.
Political effects of tests
In spite of the intense international criticism and the steady decline in foreign investment and trade, the nuclear tests were popular domestically and the Shariff's popularity and the PML (N)'s prestige rose in response.
Sharif strengthened relations with Muslim world, Turkey, and Europe.The year he was elected, Sharif made a state visit to Malaysia andSingapore where Sharif succeeded to signed a economic and free trade agreements with both countries. It was a a trilateral trade bloc in South Asia and Premiers of Singapore, Malaysia, and Pakistan had successfully signed the agreement. Following the agreement, the work on comprehensive frame work to enhance collaboration in defense, economic and private sector was launched and completed in 1998. One of the core issue was the Malaysia's agreement on sharing its space technology to Pakistan. Both Malaysia and Singapore assured their support for Pakistan to join Asia–Europe Meeting. However, it was not until 2008, Pakistan and India became part of the treaty. On April of 1998, Sharif went on to visit Italy, Germany, Poland, and Belgium to promote economic ties. He said in Brussels at an official reception, "We [Pakistan] [s]eek understanding and cooperation with Europe". He signed a number of agreements to enlarge economic cooperation with Italy and Belgium, besides an agreement with European Union (EU) for the protection of intellectual, industrial and commercial property rights. In February of 1997, the Prime Minister had meeting with Jiang Zemin, theChinese President and Li Peng, the Premier, for economic cooperation. Two conferences were specially organised in Beijing and Hongkong to promote Chinese investment in Pakistan.
However, Sharif's effort seemed to be wasted when Sharif ordered the nuclear tests on 1998. Following these tests, the Foreign policy of Pakistan was much in trouble position since its 1971 disaster. Pakistan, at United Nations, failed to gather any support from its allies. Trade agreements were abrogated by Europe, United States, and Asian bloc. While, Sharif was praised to carried out tests domestically. Sharif was heavily criticized for ordering internationally. Pakistan's nuclear weapons and energy programme was targeted on multiple times over its involvement for spreading the nuclear proliferation. United Arab Emiratesand Saudia Arabia, however did not criticized Pakistan but both neither issued any statement. On 7th June 1998, Sharif went to visit UAE for talks on the situation in South Asia after nuclear tests in the region. He thanked the Government for their support after India conducted five nuclear tests on May 11 and 13.
In late August 1998, he proposed a law to establish a legal system based on the Islamic principles. His proposal came a week after 10-year commemorations of the late President Zia ul-Haq. The Cabinet removed some of its controversial aspects. The National Assembly approved and passed the bill on 10 October 1998 by 151 votes to 16. However, the amendment failed to achieve two-thirds majority in the Senate. Weeks afterward, Sharif's government would suffer a military coup.
Relations with the military
During his second tenure, he removed General Karamat over the National Security Council disputes. He later had severe political confrontation with General Musharraf that resulted in a coup d'état which removed him from office.
At the end of General Wahid Kakar's three-year term in January 1996, General Jehangir Karamat was appointed Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan Army. His term was due to end on 9 January 1999. However, in October 1998 Sharif had a falling out with General Karamat over the latter’s advocacy of a "National Security Council". Sharif interpreted this move to be a conspiracy to return the military to a more active role in Pakistani politics. In October 1998, General Karamat resigned and Sharif promoted Lieutenant-General Pervez Musharraf, core-commander of the I Strike Corps that time, as 4-star general and appointed him as new Chief of Army Staff. Sharif then also appointed General Musharraf as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee despite Musharraf's lack of seniority to Admiral Bokhari. In protest, Admiral Fasih Bokhari resigned from his post as Chief of Naval Staff.
During the Kargil War in 1999, he claimed to have no knowledge of the planned attacks, saying that Pervez Musharraf acted alone.
On 12 October 1999, Sharif attempted to remove Pakistan Army Chief General Pervez Musharraf and appointZiauddin Butt in his place. Musharraf, who was in Sri Lanka, attempted to return through a commercial airliner to return to Pakistan. Sharif ordered Sindh IG Rana Maqbool to arrest of Chief of Army Staff and Musharraf.
He ordered the Karachi Airport to be sealed off to prevent the landing of the Musharraf's airliner fearing a coup d'état. Sharif ordered the plane to land at 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. No protest and demonstration were held in Pakistan in support of Sharif, including Benazir Bhutto who was the Leader of the Opposition during this time, remained silenced about the coup. The military police initiated massive arrests of Pakistan Muslim League's workers and the leaders of the parties. In Punjab and Sindh, 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.
Trial of the Prime minister
The military placed him on trial for "kidnapping, attempted murder, hijacking and terrorism". The military court quickly convicted him and gave him a life sentence. 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. Sharif was placed in Adiala Jail, infamous for hosting Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's trial, and his leading defense lawyer, Iqbal Raad, was gunned down in Karachi in mid-March. Sharif's defense team blamed the military for intentionally providing their lawyers with inadequate protection. The military court proceedings were widely accused of being a show trial. Sources from Pakistan claimed that Musharraf and his military government's officers were in full mood to exercise tough conditions on Sharif, was intended to sent Navaz Sharif to gallows to face similar fate as Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1979. The trial went fast and speedy, and it became authenticated that the court is near to place her verdict on Navaz Sharif on his charges, and the court will sentenced Sharif to death.
Amid pressure exerted by the U.S. President Bill Clinton and King of Saudi Arabia King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, the military court avoided the award death sentence to Sharif. 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 violence in Pakistan as it did in 1980s. Under an agreement facilitated by Saudi Arabia, Sharif was placed in exile for the next 10 years and through the Saudi Arabian Airlines. Sharif traveled to Jeddah where he was received by the Saudi officials and taken to a residence managed and controlled by Saudi Government.
Return to Pakistan
Failed attempt in Islamabad
On August 23, 2007, Pakistan's top court ruled Nawaz Sharif and his brother, Shahbaz, were free to return. Both vowed to return soon.
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 House 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.
On 10 September 2007, Sharif returned from exile in London to Islamabad. He was prevented from leaving the plane and he was deported to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia within hours. His political career appeared to be over.
Successful return in Lahore
On 20 November 2007, Musharraf went to Saudi Arabia as he left the country for the first time since implementing emergency rule. He attempted to convince Saudi Arabia to prevent Sharif from returning until after the elections in January 2008. The political role of Sharif returned to the fore after Benazir Bhutto's return a month earlier. Saudi Arabia appeared to argue that if Pakistan has allowed a secular woman leader, Benazir Bhutto, to return to the country, then the religiously conservative Sharif should be permitted to return too.
On 25 November 2007, Sharif returned to Pakistan. Thousands of supporters whistled and cheered as they hoisted Sharif and his brother Shahbaz on their shoulders through ranks of wary riot police officers. After an 11-hour procession from the airport, he reached a mosque where he offered prayers as well as criticism against Musharraf.
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.
2008 Parliamentary Elections
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.
For the elections, he campaigned for the restoration of the independent judges removed by emergency government decree and Musharraf's departure.
Bhutto's assassination led to the postponement of the elections to 18 February 2008. 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 Punjab. Sharif condemned Bhutto's assassination and called it the "gloomiest day in Pakistan's history".
Between Bhutto's assassination and the elections, the country faced a rise in attacks by militants. Sharif accused Musharraf of ordering anti-terror operations that have left the country "drowned in blood."Pakistan's government urged opposition leaders to refrain from holding rallies ahead of the elections, citing an escalating terrorist threat. 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.
On January 25, Musharraf initiated a failed four-day visit to London to use British mediation in Pakistani politics to reconcile with the Sharif brothers.
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. Zardari and Sharif would later create a coalition government that ousted Musharraf.
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. Sharif won much public support for his uncompromising stand against Musharraf and for his insistence the judges be reinstated. 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.
In June 2008 by-elections, Sharif's party won three National Assembly seats and eight provincial assembly seats, all but one in the country's political nerve center of Punjab province, where Shahbaz Sharif heads the provincial government. The Lahore seat election was postponed because of wrangling over whether Sharif was eligible to contest.
2008 Musharraf impeachment
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. 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. The charge-sheet also listed some of Mr Musharraf’s contributions to the “war on terror”.
On 11 August, the National Assembly was summoned to discuss impeachment proceedings. 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.
Musharraf is presently exiled to London and Sharif continues to demand he be prosecuted for treason.
Pakistan's 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. In Pakistan, the president is elected by the two houses of parliament and the four provincial assemblies. There was speculation that Sharif would run for President, but on 25 August, he announced that Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui would be the PML-N nominee for President. Siddiqui was defeated by Zardari for the presidency.
Reinstatement of judges
Sharif 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. Sharif had championed the cause of the judges since their dismissal. 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. Zardari feared that Chaudhry would undo all Mr Musharraf’s edicts—including an amnesty that he had received from corruption charges.
On 25 February 2009, the Supreme Court disqualified Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif, Punjab’s chief minister, from holding public office. Zardari then dismissed the province’s legislature and declared president’s rule in Punjab. Zardari attempted to place Sharif on house arrest on 15 March 2009. But provincial police disappeared the same day from his house after an angry crowd gathered outside the house. The Punjab police’s decision to free Sharif from confinement was very likely in response to an army command. Sharif, with a large contingent of SUVs, began leading a march to Islamabad. In a televised morning speech on 16 March 2009, Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani had promised to reinstate Iftikhar Chaudhry after pressure from Pakistan’s army, American and British envoys, and internal protests. Sharif called off the "long march". The PPP-led government continued to survive.
Removal of bar on third term
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.
He is married to Kalsoom Nawaz Sharif.