Shehbaz Sharif: Here's all you need to know about Pakistan's new prime minister

Published on Apr 11, 2022 05:34 PM IST

Shehbaz Sharif is the younger brother of three-time Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif. He is the longest serving chief minister of Punjab province. 

Pakistan's prime minister-elect Shehbaz Sharif(AFP)
Pakistan's prime minister-elect Shehbaz Sharif(AFP)
By | Written by Aryan Prakash

Shehbaz Sharif is the new prime minister of Pakistan. His election to the top job marked an end to the month-long drama beginning with the no-confidence motion submitted against his predecessor Imran Khan that finally ousted the former cricket captain in a late-night no-confidence vote on Saturday night. Sharif inherits the office at a time when Pakistan is going through turbulent phase vis-a-vis economy, coupled with the stalling of International Monetary Fund's tranche to the 22 crore nation. He also has a huge task of maintaining good terms with the all-powerful Pakistan Army which has ruled the country for more than three decades. 

Here's all you need to know about Shehbaz Sharif, the 70-year-old politician who will lead Pakistan. 

> Shehbaz Sharif is the younger brother of three-time Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif. The elder Sharif's third prime ministerial stint was cut short after he was ousted from the office by the Pakistan Supreme Court in 2017 due to corruption charges. Sharif is currently in London after he was granted bail to travel abroad for medical treatment. 

> Born into a wealthy industrialist family, Shehbaz Sharif was first elected to the provincial office in 1988. He was later elected to the National Assembly in 1990. 

> After a four-year-long stint as the leader of opposition in the Punjab Assembly, Sharif became the chief minister of the province for the first time in 1997. 

> Two years after he became the chief minister, a military coup by then Pakistan Army chief General Pervez Musharraf deposed the government, forcing Shehbaz and the entire family in exile in Saudi Arabia. He returned home in 2007. 

> After he resumed his political career, Shehbaz Sharif became the chief minister of Punjab for the second time in 2008. He was elected for the third time in 2013, making him the longest serving chief minister. 

> During his stints as chief minister in the years that followed, he presided over a series of big-ticket infrastructure projects, including Pakistan's first metro bus service. However, his critics accused him of doing very little to address the province's core issues like need for a civil services, health and agriculture reforms.

> Shehbaz Sharif has been accused of corruption. In December 2019, the National Accountability Bureau seized nearly two dozen properties belonging to him and his son Hamza on charges of money laundering. 

> He was arrested and detained in September 2020, but released around six months later on bail for a trial which is still pending.

> Shehbaz Sharif is known to be a flexible dealmaker, and has backed an effective coordination between Islamabad and Rawalpindi, where the headquarters of the Pakistan Army are located. 

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