Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Friday toppled Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, 67, who resigned after the court ruled he was unfit to hold office and ordered a criminal investigation into his family over corruption allegations.
Here are some facts about the three-time prime minister.
*Born into a Kashmiri family of industrialists in Lahore on Dec. 25, 1949, Sharif studied law at Punjab University and worked in the family business before going into politics in the Pakistan Muslim League (PML). Joining the Punjab cabinet as finance minister in 1981, he became its chief minister in 1985.
*Prime minister for two terms in the 1990s, Sharif was overthrown by the army chief he appointed, General Pervez Musharraf, in 1999. The bloodless ousting was Pakistan’s fourth military coup since independence in 1947.
*After the coup, Sharif was convicted of graft, banned from politics, and given a life sentence for hijacking. Allowed to go into exile in Saudi Arabia in 2000, amid reports of a deal between his family and Musharraf’s military government, he was given a presidential pardon the day his family left.
*Sharif returned from exile in 2007 and contested elections the next year as part of a political deal that ended Musharraf’s military rule. He lost to the party of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, who was assassinated ahead of the polls.
*He swept back to power in 2013 as his Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) formed a coalition government. His party, which has a majority in parliament, is expected to name a new prime minister to hold office until elections due next year.
*Sharif has denied any wrongdoing and has dismissed the investigation as biased. With his ouster, no Pakistani prime minister has completed a full term in power since independence. – REUTERS
Story first published: 28th July 2017