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Meet Shehbaz Sharif, former Punjab chief minister touted to be next Pakistan prime minister – 10 points

Shehbaz Sharif is the younger brother of Nawaz Sharif, who has been Pakistan’s prime minister for three terms. The former CM of Pakistan’s Punjab is likely to succeed Prime Minister Imran Khan, who has lost majority in Parliament

Islamabad: Pakistan’s embattled Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday (March 30) effectively lost the majority in Parliament after a key partner of the ruling coalition joined the ranks of the Opposition, which has tabled a no-confidence motion against his government in the National Assembly. Formally welcoming the key former Imran Khan ally, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) into the Opposition fold, the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly and Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday said that Imran Khan has lost the confidence of the country’s National Assembly, and therefore, should resign.

Shehbaz Sharif is being touted to be the next PM of Pakistan. Here are 10 key facts about him:

1) Shehbaz Sharif is the younger brother of Nawaz Sharif, who has been Pakistan’s prime minister for three terms.

2) Born on September 23, 1951 to a Punjabi-speaking family of Mian clan in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan, Shehbaz’s father was an industrialist. The family had emigrated from Anantnag in Kashmir for business and then settled in Jati Umra village in Amritsar. After Partition, his parents migrated from Amritsar to Lahore.

3) He has been the leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly since August 2018. Shehbaz was nominated as the PML-N president after his brother Nawaz was disqualified from holding office.

4) Shehbaz was a businessman whose political journey began after he was elected to the Provincial Assembly of Punjab in the 1988 general election.

5) Shehbaz became the chief minister for the first time in 1997 of Punjab, a politically important province of Pakistan. But a 1999 military coup deposed the national government, forcing Shehbaz and his family to spend years in self-exile in Saudi Arabia.

6) Shehbaz returned to Pakistan only in 2007. In 2013, he was elected as the CM of Punjab and served his term until the 2018 general elections, when his party was defeated in general elections.

7) In 2019, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) seized 23 of his properties, accusing him and his son, Hamza Sharif, of money laundering. He and his family members were accused of accumulating assets worth Rs 7,328 million. In September 2020, the NAB arrested him at the Lahore high court and indicted him on charges of money laundering. In April 2021, the Lahore high court released him on bail.

8) He did his BA from Lahore’s Government College University.

9) Shehbaz Sharif has challenged Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to resign from office.

10) Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that Shahbaz Sharif, “will soon” become the prime minister of the country.

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