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Third term was full of challenges for Nawaz Sharif, mostly from within

Nawaz Sharif began his stint term as prime minister of Pakistan in June 2013.

world Updated: Jul 07, 2018 08:51 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Islamabad
Nawaz Sharif,Nawaz Sharif sentence,Pakistan
Deposed Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif speaks to reporters outside the premises of the Joint Investigation Team, in Islamabad, Pakistan. (AP Photo)

Since he was sworn in for a third term as prime minister in June 2013, Nawaz Sharif faced a number of challenges to himself and his government – and almost all of them from within.

Though PML-N secured a majority in the polls five years ago and his government performed well in terms of the economy and the overall security situation, there were continuous challenges to his leadership from political opponents, egged on by the security establishment.

A year in power, the government was under siege, thanks to a sit-in opposite Parliament organised by Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf and Tahirul Qadri’s Pakistan Awami Tehreek. It lasted four months and only ended after a terror attack on an army-run school in Peshawar in December 2014 that killed nearly 150 people.

By that time, relations between Sharif and the military leadership had started to deteriorate and there were suspicions the powerful army was behind the ‘dharna’ to put pressure on the Sharif government, which had tried to adopt an independent foreign policy.

While the army launched a full-fledged military operation in the tribal areas in 2015, it took the opportunity to expand its activities into other spheres as well. Then army chief Gen Raheel Sharif rescued his mentor Pervez Musharraf from court cases and had him flown out of Pakistan.

A key bone of contention between the army and the civilian government was control of foreign policy. The army did not take kindly to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Lahore and Sharif’s peace efforts with Afghanistan and Iran.

First Published: Jul 07, 2018 08:50 IST