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Pakistan prepares for election
Pakistan's former prime minister Nawaz Sharif enters to a car among his supporters during a visit to the shrine of Muslim saint Data Ganj Bukhsh in Lahore, Pakistan on February 16, 2008. Pakistan has deployed nearly 81,000 soldiers through the region with orders to shoot anyone suspected of committing violence on election day. (UPI Photo/Hossein Fatemi)
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Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif, (Punjabi, Urdu: میاں محمد نواز شریف) (born 25 December 1949) is a Pakistani politician who was Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1 November 1990 to 18 July 1993 and again from 17 February 1997 to 12 October 1999. He leads the Pakistan Muslim League (N) (Nawaz group), a political party. A wealthy businessman and a conservative politician, Sharif was Chief Minister of Punjab from 1985 to 1990 and was subsequently elected as Prime Minister. He notably ordered Pakistan's 1998 nuclear tests in response to India's nuclear tests and was ousted by Pervez Musharraf in an October 1999 military coup.

Mian Nawaz Sharif was born in Lahore, Pakistan on December 25, 1949, one year after the new nation's founding. He came from a family of scrap traders. His father and uncles had a small steel business named as 'Ittefaq' in Landa Bazar Lahore before the creation of Pakistan. Sharif attended St. Anthony's School Lahore. However, he along with his younger brother Shahbaz Sharif later on attended Pakistan Railway High School, Moghalpura, Lahore and both of them passed Matric from this school in 1964 and 1965 respectively. Nawaz Sharif got addmission in the Government College of Lahore. He obtained his B.A. degree after appearing in the supplementary examination. He claimed that he passed his Bachelor of Law degree from the Punjab University Law College, also in Lahore. He, however session he attended is unknown. Nawaz Sharif is a joint owner of Ittefaq Group. Ittefaq Group is one of the largest business conglomerates in Pakistan. He helped establish the Ittefaq Islamic Academy in Lahore, where students receive religious instruction in addition to their secular training. A practicing Moslem, Sharif comes from a religious family and has said he would make the teaching of the Quraan, the Muslim Holy Book, a compulsory subject up to the secondary level. Like studies, Sharif was also interested in cricket as well. He did appear in one 1st class match from Pakistan Railway against Karachi in 1974 where he scored a 'duck'.

Sharif and his male cousins expanded their family iron foundry only to lose it to a 1972 nationalization policy launched by Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. It was re-established in 1977 as Ittefaq Industries in Lahore. The business was returned after Sharif developed political links with President Mohammad Zia ul-Haq. It was General Zia who brought down Bhutto in 1977, executing him two years later on charges of conspiracy. By 1990, Ittefaq Industries was one of Pakistan's most affluent conglomerates, with more than $450 million in annual revenues, up from about $16 million in 1981. It included the country's largest private steel mill, Ittefaq Foundries (Pvt) Ltd, eight sugar mills, and four textile factories. Sharif's net worth is around US$ 4 billion, considered as one of the wealthiest individual. With upwards of hundred thousand employees, Ittefaq has played a significant role in the development and growth of industry in Pakistan. It has likely influenced Sharif's political career and pro-business stance as well.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Nawaz Sharif."
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