Here’s a look into the life of Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Date of birth: December 25, 1949
Place of birth: Lahore, Pakistan
Birth name: Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif
Father: Muhammad Sharif
Mother: Shamim Akhtar
Marriage: Kulsoom Sharif (until 11 September 2018, his death)
Children: two sons and two daughters
Education: Government College Lahore; Punjab University Law College, Bachelor of Laws, Lahore, Pakistan
Although he was elected Prime Minister on three separate occasions and is the longest-serving Prime Minister of Pakistan, he never completed a full term.
1977 – Open Ittefaq Industries, a family business dedicated to the steel, sugar and textile industries.
1981 – He is appointed Finance Minister of Pakistan.
1985 – He becomes the Chief Minister of Punjab province.
October 1990 – He is elected Prime Minister of Pakistan.
November 6, 1990 – He has sworn in as prime minister.
April 18, 1993 – Sharif’s government was dismissed by President Ghulam Ishaq Khan after allegations of corruption and mismanagement were made. Sharif’s family business grew enormously during his tenure, leading to suspicion of corruption.
May 26, 1993 – Pakistan’s Supreme Court orders Sharif’s reinstatement, calling his removal unconstitutional and the accusations false. Sharif and Khan later resigned.
February 3, 1997 – He is re-elected as prime minister.
February 17, 1997 – He has sworn in as prime minister.
October 12, 1999 – Army General Pervez Musharraf overthrows Sharif in a bloodless coup.
January 2000 – Sharif is on trial on charges of kidnapping/terrorism and conspiracy to commit murder.
April 6, 2000 – He is convicted of hijacking/terrorism and sentenced to life in prison. He is accused of hijacking because he tried to prevent a plane carrying Musharraf from landing at any airport in Pakistan when the plane was low on fuel. Sharif knew about Musharraf’s coup intentions.
July 22, 2000 – He is convicted of corruption and sentenced to an additional 14 years in prison while already serving a life sentence. His failure to declare assets and pay taxes led to his conviction.
December 2000 – He has been released from prison in a deal negotiated by the Saudi royal family.
December 2000-August 2007- In exile in Saudi Arabia.
October 29, 2004 – His father dies and Sharif seeks a brief return to Pakistan to attend the funeral, having served only four of his 10 years in exile in Saudi Arabia. The request is denied.
August 23, 2007 – The Supreme Court of Pakistan lifts the exile imposed on Sharif. He served only seven of his 10 years in exile.
September 10, 2007 – He tries to return to Pakistan but is deported within hours of his arrival.
November 25, 2007 – Sharif returns to Pakistan from exile in Saudi Arabia and flies to the city of Lahore.
February 18, 2008 – In the parliamentary elections, Sharif’s party, Pakistan Muslim League-N, wins 67 seats, ranking second only to the late Benazir Bhutto’s party, the PPP.
February 20, 2008 – The PPP and the Pakistan Muslim League-N announce that they will form a coalition government.
August 25, 2008 – In a press conference, Sharif announces that his party, the Pakistan Muslim League-N, is breaking away from the coalition government it formed with the PPP, following disagreements over the reinstatement of judges dismissed by Musharraf.
May 26, 2009 – Pakistan’s Supreme Court rules that Sharif is eligible to stand for election and hold public office. In February 2009, the court had ruled that Sharif was ineligible for the post because he had a criminal conviction. He still can’t run for prime minister because of term limits.
July 17, 2009 – Pakistan’s Supreme Court clears Sharif of kidnapping charges, paving the way for him to legally run for office.
April 19, 2010 – Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari voluntarily signs the 18th amendment to the constitution, significantly diminishing his powers. Among the sweeping changes is a move to remove the two-term limit for prime ministers, allowing Sharif to run for a third term.
June 5, 2013 – He is elected Prime Minister of Pakistan.
August 30, 2014 – Sharif announces in a statement that he will not resign. He has promised to continue at work despite the violent demonstrations. Protesters have accused him of rigging last year’s election that allowed his party to take power.
December 16, 2014 – Sharif lifts a 2008 moratorium on the death penalty after the Taliban bombed a school, killing 145 people, mostly children. He also announces “that the distinction between good and bad Taliban will not be maintained at any level.”
November 1, 2016 – The Supreme Court announces that a commission will investigate Sharif’s finances after documents were leaked showing his sons owned shell companies in the British Virgin Islands. The documents were released as part of the Panama Papers, a trove of secret financial forms associated with a Panamanian law firm.
November 30, 2016 – In violation of diplomatic protocol, Sharif’s office releases a statement citing his recent conversation with US President-elect Donald Trump.
April 20, 2017 – A panel of judges orders a new probe into Sharif’s finances, calling on the prime minister and his family to testify.
July 28, 2017 – Sharif resigned shortly after Pakistan’s Supreme Court ruled that he had been dishonest with Parliament and the judicial system and was no longer fit for office.
July 6, 2018 – Sharif was sentenced to 10 years in prison and fined 8 million pounds ($10.5 million) on corruption charges over his family’s purchase of properties in London. His daughter Maryam, seen as his heir, receives a seven-year sentence and a 2 million pound ($2.6 million) fine. Captain Muhammad Safdar Awan, her husband, receives a one-year sentence. They are banned from politics for 10 years.
July 13, 2018 – Sharif and his daughter Maryam are arrested and detained in Islamabad after they return from the UK to face jail terms. Before landing, Sharif tells his supporters that his return is a “sacrifice for the future generations of the country and for its political stability.”
September 19, 2018 – Islamabad High Court suspends corruption conviction against Sharif and his daughter Maryam. The two are ordered to pay $5,000 bail each. Sharif is free after serving less than three months of a 10-year sentence.
December 24, 2018 – Sharif is found guilty of new corruption charges related to the purchase of the Al-Azizia steel mills, where prosecutors alleged the Sharif family misappropriated government funds to buy the mills. An accountability court in Islamabad sentences him to seven years in prison and fines him $25 million. Sharif was immediately arrested and detained by court officials.
October 2019 – Sharif is out on bail due to health issues.
November 19, 2019 – Sharif flies to London for medical treatment.
December 2020 – Islamabad High Court declares Sharif a criminal for his continued absence from court.
April 11, 2022 – Sharif’s younger brother Shehbaz Sharif was sworn in as prime minister.