LAHORE: A great business mind, obedient son, lover of spicy food, master in developing relations locally and abroad and a bit self-centric, Pakistan Muslim League chief Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has been serving the nationa for the third time.
For the interest of our readers a brief sketch of his life, politics, achievements and failures is developed in following lines:
Born: December 25, 1949 (age 63), Lahore
Father: Mian Muhammad Sharif, a real coach of Nawaz
Spouse: Kalsoom Nawaz Sharif
Children: Maryam Nawaz Sharif, Hussain Nawaz Sharif, Hassan Nawaz Sharif
Education: St. Anthony’s High School, Government College University, University of the Punjab
Siblings: Shahbaz Sharif
Business: Iron Trading, Industries and many more
Hobbies: Eating, Cricket
Nawaz Sharif’s political career took off in the 1980s when he served as Punjab’s finance minister and later as the province’s chief minister, Radio Pakistan writes in his post.
“During his term as provincial finance minister‚ he came to be known for advocating policies that allowed greater capital to flow into the province‚ thereby helping to make Punjab the richest unit in the federation.
Nawaz Sharif was later nominated as Punjab’s chief minister and was elected to the post with a massive win in the subsequent election. He continued as chief minister for two consecutive terms.
In November 1990‚ Sharif was elected prime minister‚ succeeding Pakistan Peoples Party’s Benazir Bhutto. In his first tenure as premier‚ he initiated many developmental projects in the country.
He was first ousted from power in 1993 following a widening rift between himself and Ghulam Ishaq Khan‚ the president at the time.
Sharif again became prime minister in 1997 and spearheaded a series of constitutional amendments.
His second term also saw Pakistan conducting nuclear tests‚ days after India carried out its own. Sharif’s second government was ousted in a military coup on October 12‚ 1999.”
1. De-nationalization of of Public Corporation
Being an industrialist, he knows the importance of privatization. After coming to power, he started de-nationalization of public sector corporations. He actually reversed the move of nationalization of private properties by Pakistan Peoples Party leader Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.
2. Telecommunication Breakthrough
According to Radio Pakistan Nawaz Sharif brought a major breakthrough in the history of telecommunication with the gradual deregulation and privatization. He turned Pakistan Telephone and Telegraph Department into present Pakistan Telecommunication Corporation opening new avenues for telecom sector.
The post went onto saying “In 1991‚ Instaphone‚ a subsidiary of Millicom International Cellular based in Luxembourg‚ started the first mobile phone service in Pakistan. The huge mobile phone sets that came with the service were outlandish‚ a status symbol that only the wealthy could afford.”
3. Road Networks
Realizing the importance of highways and road network, Nawaz Sharif laid foundations of moder road network and highways in the country. The significant one was construction of Islamabad to Lahore Motorway.
4. Liberalizing Economy
The major move to make a free economy, Nawaz Sharif deregulated the exchange rate to bring in massive investment from overseas Pakistanis as well as from multinational firms.
5. Power Projects
Ghazi-Barotha hydropower project was started in his second term and was completed in 2002. He made a nuclear power plant deal 0f 900 MW with France as well. Pakistan had made payment in advance to France for the plant but at the eleventh hour France refused to honour the deal under US pressure.
6.Agricultural Land to Poor Farmers
To boost the base of Pakistan economy, agriculture, Nawaz distributed agricultural land in poor farmers of Sindh province without charging any money.
7. Nuclear Test
One of the major achievements, though not planned, was conducting nuclear test in response to India’s nuclear test in the month of May, 1998.
8. Fixed Tax for Shopkeepers
To provide relief to small traders of the country, PML-N chief introduced a fix tax scheme of just Rs 500 per year for all the shopkeepers.
Some of the failures, some called blunders are as follow
1. With a two-majority in national assembly, Nawaz tried to suppress press freedom as well as judicial activism
2. He promoted a junior general, General Pervez Musharraf, to show his power, who later carried out a coup against Nawaz in 1999.
3. Political victimization to various political parties and leaders is considered by some political commentators as another failure of PML-N chief.
4. Various schemes like Yellow Cab, ‘Qarz Utaro, Mulk Sanwaro’, freezing foreign accounts, slower economic growth are considered as bad decision from Nawaz administration.