Introduction: Identified as a strict and competent administrator, Shahbaz Sharif is the twenty-first and current chief minister of Pakistan’s most populous province; Punjab. Previously, he held this position from 1997-99. He is a well-known politician presiding over his party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). In addition, he is a keen businessman.
Biography: Brother of a former two-time premiere Nawaz Sharif, Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif was born on September 23, 1951 in Lahore, Punjab. He graduated with distinction from Lahore and is known to be an astute businessman. He is the son of a former industrialist, Mian Muhammad Sharif. After graduation from Lahore, he joined his family business; Ittefaq group of industries. Sharif, following a vital role in its company’s success, got elected as the president of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce in 1985.
Shahabaz Sharif, represented Pakistan internationally on forum such as United Nations, where his ideologies were much appreciated. His speech at the International Labour Conference held in Geneva in the year 1981 was exceptionally applauded by the international community, including activists, workers associations and democratic people.
Political Career: Sharif began his political career as a member of the Punjab Assembly in 1988. After getting elected as an MNA in 1990, he was named as the opposition leader of Punjab Assembly in 1993. Manzoor Wattoo was the chief minister of the province at that time
As a Chief Minister: After demonstrating leadership abilities as chief of the opposition, he became the leader of the house on February 20, 1997. Considered to be a powerful administrator, Sharif commenced various initiatives for the growth of the province with special emphasis on the areas of health, education and the environment.
His efforts to promote literacy are commendable. He introduced the system of aptitude tests and self-finance schemes in education and vowed to never compromise on the quality of education. Moreover, he took extreme measures to ensure the eradication of illegal mean of obtaining good marks in examinations. He also launched a massive campaign to identify ghost schools and undertook severe measures to indict the culprits of running any such scams.
He also worked on various developmental projects during his tenure as the Chief Minister and all his initiated/completed projects are of topnotch quality and standards. This has helped Sharif in gaining respect from all the political circles and quarters.
He held his office until October 12, 1999 when the PML-N government was toppled by the then commanding chief of Pakistan Army; General Parvez Musharraf. He was arrested and thus sent in an exile to Saudi Arabia, along with his family members in December 2000. After remaining politically inactive for many years in Jeddah and London, Sharif, accompanied by his brother, Nawaz Sharif returned to Lahore on November 25, 2007. He has been in the political arena, ever since.
After getting elected in the bye-elections held in 2009, he became the twenty-first chief minister of Punjab on March 31, 2009. He is considered to be a workaholic by nature and has executed quite a lot of projects for the infrastructure development and progress of the region. His schemes like ‘Sasta tandoor’ and ‘Ashiana ghar’ have been particularly impressive. Moreover, he has a strong stance against corruption in the government circles and the society in general. Also, his government has immensely contributed to the flood relief efforts of 2010. Shahbaz Sharif continues to remain in the forefront in Pakistani politics.