Pakistan Muslim League (N)

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Pakistan Muslim League (N)

پاکستان مسلم لیگ (ن)or ن لیگ
Abbreviation PML (N)
President Shahbaz Sharif[1]
Chairman Raja Zafar ul Haq
Secretary-General Ahsan Iqbal
Spokesperson Maryam Aurangzeb
Leader in Senate Mushahid Hussain Syed
Leader in Assembly Shehbaz Sharif
Founder Nawaz Sharif
Preceded by Islami Jamhoori Ittehad
Headquarters 180-H Model Town, Lahore
Ideology Conservatism[2]
Pragmatism[3]
Classic liberalism[4]
Nationalism
Political position Centre-right[5][6][7]
Colors      Green
Senate
30 / 104
National Assembly
84 / 342
Punjab Assembly
168 / 371
Sindh Assembly
0 / 168
KPK Assembly
6 / 124
Balochistan Assembly
1 / 65
Azad Kashmir Assembly
35 / 49
Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly
20 / 33
Election symbol
Lion
Website
PMLN Official

The Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) (Urdu: پاکستان مسلم لیگ (ن)abbr. PML-N) is a centre-right conservative party in Pakistan. The party was recently in power until the appointment of an interim government led by Nasirul Mulk for the previous general election. It was led by the thrice-elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, until he was disqualified for contempt of the Supreme Court in 2017. The party's platform is generally conservative,[8] which involves supporting free market capitalism, opposing military power, supporting democratic ideals, and being generally anti-censorship on an online and wilderness platform.

One of several continuing factions of the original Muslim League,[9] the seeds of the party were sown following the 1985 Elections when the Prime Minister of Pakistan Muhammad Khan Junejo organised the supporters of President Zia-ul-Haq's dictatorship into a single party, known as the Pakistan Muslim League. After President Zia's death in 1988, under the leadership of Fida Mohammad Khan, a large faction split away from the Junejo-led Pakistan Muslim League, and formed a conservative alliance with various right-wing and Islamist political parties, called the Islamic Democratic Alliance. The alliance formed a government in 1990 under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif. In 1993, the alliance dissolved and the party assumed its current shape, branding itself as the "Nawaz" faction of the Pakistan Muslim League after its like, in contrast to the "Junejo " faction.

Since its foundation by General Zia ul Haq, PML-N, along with the People's Party, has dominated the two-party political system of Pakistan.[10] However, after the 1999 coup, the party was eclipsed by its own splinter faction, the Musharaf - backed Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid), for almost a decade. PML-N regained popularity in the 2008 general elections, when it was elected as the principal opposition party. It returned to power following the elections of 2013, with Sharif elected as the Prime Minister for an unprecedented third term. The party's stronghold is the Punjab province,[11] where it has formed provincial government six times since 1985, thrice under Sharif's brother, Shehbaz Sharif.

History

Breakaway from the original PML

Upon the creation of Pakistan and departure of the English Crown in 1947, the All-India Muslim League (AIML) became the Muslim League, which was now led by Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan. After the assassination of Prime Minister Ali Khan, the Muslim League struggled to revive itself, eventually losing control of East Pakistan in legislative elections to the Left Front.[12] Internal disagreement over the party's direction, lack of a political program, motivation for public reforms, and inadequate administrative preparations and mismanagement all led to the public decline of the party.[13] With the Socialist Party, the Muslim League struggled for its survival while facing the Republican Party and Awami League.[12] The martial law imposed in 1958 eventually outlawed all political parties in the country.[12]

The foundation and ground base of the PML(N) lies with the Pakistan Muslim League, which was founded in 1962 as an enriched conservative project derived from the defunct Muslim League.[11] The PML was presided over by Fatima Jinnah, who actively participated in presidential elections held in 1965 against Ayub Khan.[13] After Fatima Jinnah's death, the PML was led by Nurul Amin, a Bengali leader, who deepened its role in West Pakistan.[13]

On a nationalist and conservative platform, the party engaged in political campaigns against the leftist Pakistan Peoples Party and the Bengali nationalist party, the Awami League, in the general elections held in 1970.[13] It managed to secure only two electoral seats in the East Pakistan parliament and only ten in the National Assembly of Pakistan.[13] In spite of its limited mandate, Nurul Amin became the Prime Minister and Vice-President of Pakistan — the only figure to have been appointed as Vice-President.[13] The PML government was short-lived and soon its government fell in the aftermath of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.[13] The PML(N) is ideologically close to the military and holds common beliefs on national security.[13]

The list below shows the well-known breakaway factions and their relationships with the military, although many minor factions have existed throughout Pakistani history:

Pakistan Muslim LeagueMilitary establishment civic-military relationships
Party conventions Year Relationship comparison and notes Founders
PML(N) 1988 Pro-status quo, national conservative (Centre-right), and pro-establishment until 1999. Fida Mohammad Khan
PML(J) 1988 Pro-Junejo Muhammad Khan Junejo
PML(Q) 2002 pro-establishment, Pro-status quo,[14] liberal conservative Hussain
PML(F) 1973 Pro-status quo, nationalist (Sindhi) Pir Pagara
PML(LM) 2012 Pro-status quo Rashim
PML(Z) 2001 Pro-status quo, pro-establishment, ultraconservative Haq
PML(A) 2008 Pro-status quo, pro-establishment Ahmad
PML(P) 2010 Liberal, Pro-status quo, pro-establishment Musharraf
PML(J) 1995 Libertarian, Pro-status quo, anti-establishment Wattoo
Party conventions Year Relationship comparison and notes Current
AIML 1906 Devolved into Muslim League, legal personality is presently continued and bestowed by the PML(N) No.
PML 1962 Large part of the party led by the PML(N), other parts of the party are divided into smaller factions Yes
CML 1965 Merged with PML(N) No
CML 1967 Merged with PML(N) No
ML(Q) 1970 Merged with PML(N) No

Electoral history

Young League Worker

The Pakistan Muslim League went into a political abyss after the death of Nurul Amin and during the first PPP government of the Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.[13] It made a strong comeback in response to the nationalisation program of Zulfikar Bhutto in the 1970s. Influential young activists, including Nawaz Sharif, Javed Hashmi, Zafar-ul-Haq and Shujaat Hussain, ascended as the leaders of the party and started their political career through the Muslim League.[13]

The party became an integral part of the nine-party alliance, PNA, against the PPP and campaigned against the PPP in the 1977 general elections.[13] The party campaigned on a right-wing platform and raised conservative slogans in the 1977 general elections. The party, including Sharif and Hussain, were a conglomerate of diverse views and had provided large capital for Muslim League's financial expenses.[13] It was at that time the party was revived and joined the anti-Bhutto PNA with Pir Pagara, an influential Sindhi conservative figure, as its elected president.

After the martial law in 1977, the party reassessed itself; seeing the rise of powerful oligarch bloc, led by Zahoor Illahi who was the main PML leaders. After the 1984 referendum, President Zia-ul-Haq had become country's elected president.[13] During the 1985 general election, a new PML(N) emerged on the country's political scene.[13] The party had supported the presidency of Zia-ul-Haq and won his support to appoint Mohammad Khan Junejo to the office of Prime Minister. Nawaz Sharif had won the favour and support of President Zia-ul-Haq and approved his appointment as Chief Minister of the Punjab Province in 1985.[13]

1988 general elections

Its modern history started in 1988 parliamentary elections when the Pakistan Muslim League, led by former prime minister Mohammed Khan Junejo, split into two factions: one was led by Fida Mohammad Khan and Nawaz Sharif the then chief minister of Punjab Province, and the other by Junejo (who later founded Pakistan Muslim League (F)). In 1988, the Pakistan Muslim League (N) was founded and established by Fida Mohammad Khan, an original Pakistan Movement activist, who became the party's founding president, whilst Nawaz Sharif became its first secretary-general. The party is not the original Muslim League, but is accepted as a continuing legal successor of the Muslim League.[15]

At the time of 1988 elections, the PML was part of the eight-party Islamic Democratic Alliance (IDA) which had contained the right-wing conservative mass as one entity against the left-wing circles, led by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).[9] The general elections in 1988 marked the emergence of the Pakistan Peoples Party's as the single largest party, with its election to 94 of 237 seats in the state parliament.[9] The IDA occupied 55 seats, but an influential leader, Nawaz Sharif, chose to serve the Chief Minister of Punjab Province.[9] With Benazir Bhutto elevating as the Prime Minister, the IDA nominated Abdul Wali Khan as a compromise candidate Opposition leader in the state parliament. Within 20 months, tales of bad governance and corruption plagued the Pakistan Peoples Party's government.[9] Finally, in 1990, President Ghulam Ishaq Khan charged the PPP government with corruption and lack of governance and dismissed the National Assembly and the first Bhutto government.[9]

1990 general elections

The PML(N) was still part of the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IDA) and participated, under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif, in the 1990 general elections. The IDA competed against the leftist alliance, known as People's Democratic Alliance (PDA), which had contained the Pakistan Peoples Party and the TeI. The elections resulted in the victory of IDA, with Nawaz Sharif becoming Prime Minister. Through IDA, the conservative forces under Sharif had a chance to form a national government for the first time in the history of Pakistan. With Sharif taking office, his ascendancy also marked a transition in the political culture of Pakistan – a power shift from control by the traditional feudal aristocracy to the growing class of modern and moderate entrepreneurs.[16] For the first time, Sharif launched the privatisation and economic liberalisation policy measures, and Sharif's economics team actually implemented some of the serious economic liberalisation and privatisation measures previous governments had merely talked about.[16]

Election results also showed liberals, the MQM, emerging as the third major party with 15 seats.[9] For the first time in the history of the country, Sharif allowed foreign money exchange to be transacted through private money exchangers.[16] While internationally acclaimed, his policies were condemned by the PPP. Benazir Bhutto mounted pressure on President Ghulam Ishaq Khan, who dismissed the IDA government on 18 April 1993.[9] The PML-N moved the Supreme Court and it restored its government and Sharif hold the office on 26 May. The country's armed forces and the military leadership negotiated with Nawaz Sharif to step down.[9] Culminated at the resignation of Nawaz Sharif, President Ghulam Ishaq Khan was also removed from the Presidency.[9]

1993 elections and opposition

The PML-N gained national prominence in the 1993 parliamentary elections and occupied 73 seats in the state parliament. The PML(N) asserted its role as opposition to the Pakistan Peoples Party.[9] The PML(N) charged Benazir Bhutto with corruption, stagnation, and endangering the national security.[9] The PPP also suffered with its internal faction, one of the faction led by Murtaza Bhutto. The controversial murder of Murtaza Bhutto by Sindh Police and the pressure on MQM further weakened Benazir Bhutto. The PML(N) and Sharif himself were shocked when they learned the news of Benazir Bhutto's dismissal. An ironic aspect of this dismissal was that it was prompted by the then-President Farooq Leghari, a trusted lieutenant of Benazir, who sent her to the Presidency as a safeguard for the PPP's government after the office was vacated by Ghulam Ishaq Khan.[9] During that movement, Nawaz Sharif travelled through the length and breadth of Pakistan. He also embarked on a train march from Lahore to Peshawar as part of his campaign to oust Benazir.[9]

During this time, the party was among closest to the civil bureaucracy, and the Pakistan Armed Forces, had close ties and influence in Pakistan Armed Forces' appointments and their military strategies.[17]

1997 elections and power politics

Nawaz Sharif, the first PML-N Prime Minister.

The Pakistan Muslim League (N) struck its remarkable, biggest, and most notable achievement in 1997 parliamentary elections, held on 3 February 1997.[18] After securing the Two-thirds majority in the parliamentary, the only political party to have gained a two-thirds majority since the independence of the country in 1947, roughly fifty years past independence.[10] During this time, it was the largest conservative party, with its members occupying 137 seats out of 207, roughly 66.2%.[10] In 1997, the party secured its win with an overwhelming mandate, and absolutely light and slight opposition.[18] On 18 February 1997, when Nawaz Sharif obtained a vote of confidence, the Pakistan Muslim League assumed the government of Pakistan.[18] Nawaz Sharif allowed Benazir Bhutto to hold the office of Leader of the Opposition, though the PML(N) had the control of the state parliament.[9] The PML(N) government passed the Thirteenth and the Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of Pakistan to stabilizee its mandate and strengthen its position.[9]

In 1998, the law and order situation came under the PML-N's control and economic recovery was also secured.[18] A number of constitutional amendments were made to make the country a parliamentary democracy.[18] In May 1998, the PML-N government led by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered six nuclear tests, in response to Indian nuclear tests.[18] The tests were extremely popular and PML-N's image and prestige rose to a record level.[18] However, in 1998, the PML-N government effectively dismissed general Jehangir Karamat (see Dismissal of General Jehangir Karamat) that ruined its public ratings, but marked a perception of the civilian control of the military.[18] Its power politics and repeated dismissals of the military leadership soured its relations with Pakistan Armed Forces and its public ratings gradually went down.[18]

Despite its heavy public mandate, serious disagreements appeared within the party. The 1999 coup d'état took place to end PML-N's government.[18] Controversially, in 1999, the party was significantly divided, further affecting Nawaz Sharif's trial in military court. No massive protests were held by the party; its leaders remained silent and remained supportive towards the military action against Nawaz Sharif. In 2001, the party was further divided by factionalism. Dissenters formed the Pakistan Muslim League, later called Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid-e-Azam) (or PML-Q), which became allies of then president Pervaiz Musharraf.[17] In 2001, Muslim League (Nawaz) formally adopted the name of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), also known as PML(N).[17]

2002 general elections

Javed Hashmi presided the party from 2001–05.

As a result of the Kargil War with India, the PML(N) government had generated frustration within the party and a secret splinter group inside the party united on a one-point agenda with all the opposition parties in 1999 to remove Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from office. This resulted in a military coup d'état. The Supreme Court validated the coup and gave General Pervez Musharraf three years to hold general elections.[citation needed] After deposing Sharif's government, the party split into several groups and its size shrunk as many of its members decided to defect to the splinter political bloc. Many of its most influential members, sponsors, financiers, came to defect to the new group that was sympathetic to Pervez Musharraf.[17] This splinter group emerged as the Pakistan Muslim League (Q), which registered itself as a political party with the name Election Commission.[17] Sharif was removed from the Party's presidency and the position was handed over to Dr. Kalsoum Nawaz, wife of Sharif. With Sharif exiled to Saudi Arabia, the party's presidency was handed over to Javed Hashmi and the party began to reassert itself in the coming elections.[17] The party campaigned all over the country and competed in the 2002 general elections for the state parliament. The election polls announced the victory of the Pakistan Muslim League (Q) and the liberals, MQM, with PML(Q) retaining the majority in the state parliament and brutally defeating the PML(N).[17]

A mass rally of PML(N) in Punjab in support of Nawaz Sharif.

During 2002 Pakistani general election, the PML-N performed poorly, only winning 9.4% of the popular vote and 14 out of 272 elected members, the worst defeat since its inception in 1988.[17] Hashmi was removed from the party's presidency after his controversial remarks towards the country's armed forces. In an indirect party election, Shahbaz Sharif was elected as the party's new president; and the party's leadership was now based in London. In 2006, the party signed the cooperative declaration with its rival Pakistan Peoples Party to outline and promote a new democratic culture in the country. Known as the Charter of Democracy, the charter was signed by Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto in London and announced their opposition to Musharraf and Shaukat Aziz.[19] In the 2008 general election, the party won urban votes and dominated the provisional assembly of Punjab Province. The party secured a total of 91 seats in the state parliament, just second to the Pakistan Peoples Party, which won 121 seats, and the parties agreed on forming a coalition government. The PML(N) successfully called for impeachment of President Pervez Musharraf and ousted Musharraf from the presidency and exiled him to United States in 2008. But the coalition could not run for too long when Nawaz Sharif announced to support and lead the Lawyers' Movement to restore the suspended famed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry in 2008. In 2011, the PML-N established its branch in Kashmir Province to participate in Kashmir's general elections.

2008 parliamentary election

The senior and integral party leadership meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Richard Holbrooke in 2009

After returning to Pakistan, the PML (N) contested the 2008 general election, demanding a restoration of the judges sacked under the emergency rule placed by President Pervez Musharraf and removal of Musharraf as President. After the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, Sharif announced that the PML (N) would boycott the polls, but after some time and conversations with the co-chairman of the PPP, Asif Ali Zardari, Nawaz announced that the party would contest in the polls and began to rally in the Punjab areas. On 18 February 2008, after the polls were closed and the results had been announced, the PML-N gained 68 seats in the National Assembly, just behind the PPP. They announced that they would have discussions on forming a coalition with the PPP which would have half the seats in the 342 seat Parliament. In a press conference on 19 February, Nawaz called for President Pervez Musharraf to step down. Nawaz and Zardari agreed on forming a coalition, and Nawaz announced that he and his party gave the PPP the right to choose the next Prime Minister.

The PML-N is the largest conservative opposition party (darker green in right) in the Parliament.

On 13 May 2008, the PML (N) ministers resigned from the government due to a disagreement related to the reinstatement of the judges. Nawaz said that the PML (N) would support the government without participating in it. Zardari, hoping to preserve the coalition, told Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani to reject the resignations.[20]

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) on 27 June 2008, won three and two by-election seats, respectively, to the national parliament. Polls were postponed for the sixth seat in Lahore due to Nawaz Sharif's eligibility contest. A court ruled he was ineligible due to an old conviction, amid a government appeal in the Supreme Court, which will hear the case on 30 June, thus postponing the vote in the constituency.[21] The two parties also won 19 of 23 provincial assembly seats where by-elections were held. The results will not affect the 18 February general election results in which Benazir Bhutto's PPP won 123 seats in the 342-seat National Assembly and Sharif's party came second with 91, while Pervez Musharraf's party came a poor third with 54 seats. Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) won eight provincial assembly seats, while the PPP won seven provincial seats.[22][23] On 25 August 2008, Nawaz Sharif announced that Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui would be Pakistan Muslim League (N) nominee to replace Pervez Musharraf as President of Pakistan.[24]

2013 general elections

During its election campaign for the 2013 general elections, the party compete against its arch-rival PPP and another right-wing party, PTI. In an unofficial counting, the party has secured the qualified majority in the state parliament, the Punjab Assembly and Balochistan Assembly; it is yet the only party to have secured respectable seats and representation on provisional assemblies of Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The leader of PMLN, Nawaz Sharif became for the third time Prime Minister of Pakistan for the first time in the history of the country.

Electoral history and performance of Pakistan Muslim League since 1985
General elections Voting percentile % Voting turnout Seating graph Presiding chair of the party Parliamentary position
1985 46.4%
96 / 200
members participated as non-partisan In Government
1988 30.2% 5,908,741
56 / 207
Fida Mohammad Khan In Opposition
1990 37.4% 7,908,513
106 / 207
Nawaz Sharif In Government
1993 39.9% 7,980,229
73 / 207
Nawaz Sharif In Opposition
1997 45.9% 8,751,793
155 / 207
Nawaz Sharif In Government
2002 12.7% 3,791,321
18 / 342
Javed Hashmi In Opposition
2008 19.6% 6,781,445
91 / 342
Nisar Ali Khan In Opposition
2013 32.8% 14,874,104
190 / 342
Nawaz Sharif In Government
2018 24.4% 12,930,117
82 / 342
Shehbaz Sharif In Opposition

Structural composition

Party leadership
Officiate/Party office Party bearer Provincial Representation
Chairman Raja Zafar-ul-Haq Punjab
Vice chairman Mamnoon Hussain Sindh
President Shehbaz Sharif Punjab
Senior Vice-President Ghaus Ali Shah
Sikandar Hayat Khan
Sartaj Aziz
Yaqub Khan
Amir Muqam
Raja Muhammad Rizwan (Vice President Gujrat)
Sindh
Azad Kashmir
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
Sindh
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
Vice President Saleem Zia
Imdad Chandio
Pir Sabir Shah
Sindh
Sindh
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
Secretary General Iqbal Zafar Jhagra Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
Deputy Secretary-General Ahsan Iqbal Islamabad
Assistant Secretary General Salah-ud-din Tirmizi
Lt.Gen. (retd.) Abdul Qadir Baloch
Sindh
Balochistan
Secretary Finance Pervez Rashid Punjab
Information Secretary Mushahidullah Khan Punjab
Deputy Secretary Information Khurram Dastgir Khan Punjab
Joint Secretary Abdul Sattar Mandokhel Balochistan
Central Working Committee (Notable activists)
Executive Members
Nisar Ali Khan
Raja Ashfaq Sarwar
Raja Ashfaq Sarwar
Muhammad Ismail Rahoo
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi
Zulfiqar Ali Khosa
Ishaq Dar
Chaudhary Liaqut Ali Khan
Naseer Ahmed Bhutta
Javed Malik
Azad Ali Tabassum
Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan
Pir Sabir Shah
Muhammad Rafiq Tarar
Safdar Mehmood Jatt
Khawaja Saad Rafique
Khawaja Muhammad Asif
Elahi Bux Soomro
Tehmina Sher Durrani
Muhammad Imran Qadir
Ghulam Qadir Jatt
Ex-officios
Rana Sanaullah
Sheikh Muhammad Tahir Rasheed
Tehmina Daultana
Hamza Shahbaz Sharif
Maryam Nawaz
Rana Tanveer Hussain
Ali Afzal Lilla
Rana Iqbal Khan
Chaudhery Saifullah Maan
Mian Hassan Ali
Zain Ansari
Dost Muhammad Khosa
Hasan Shah
Shahid Hussain Bhatti
Muhammad Masood Lali
Mian Yawar Zaman
Marvi Memon
Saima Akhtar Bharwana

The General Council Meeting (or Central Working Committee) served its major platform to elect presidents and secretaries while it is also responsible for promoting PML-N activities.[25] The GCM's meetings are generally held in Jinnah Convention Centre in Islamabad.[26]

Nawaz Sharif was elected the President of Pakistan Muslim League (N) in 2011.[27] The General Council Meeting raises funds, and coordinates campaign strategy while there are local committees every provinces and most large cities, counties and legislative districts, but they have far less money and influence than the national body.[26] The Central Secretariat and the Parliament Lodges of Pakistan Parliament play important roles in recruiting strong state candidates.[26] Nawaz sharif is accused of corruption and involved in smuggling heavy amount of money outside the country and recently has been nominated by Panama Papers to be involved in hiding the black money in offshore accounts and companies.[28][29][30]

Ideology and political positions

Economic policies

In 1997, the PML(N) built the largest and notable Controlled-access highway, known as M2M.

Pakistan Muslim League (N) includes the religious conservatives, social conservatives, neoconservatives, bioconservatives, environmental conservatism and most importantly, the national and fiscal conservatives. During its years, the Pakistan Muslim League (N) emphasised the role of free markets and individual achievement as the primary factors behind economic prosperity, deregulation of all segments of economic order, and strong base of capitalism.[31] In 1991, the PML-N's government established the National Highway Authority followed by inaugurating the M2 Motorways in 1997.[31]

The Pakistan Muslim League-N generally opposed the labour union managements and large scale worker's union.[31] The Party believes in that "prosperous agriculture is the backbone of national prosperity and diversification of the rural economy by expanding non-farm rural employment is critical for the alleviation of poverty". During its federal government, the PML-N successfully privatised the major heavy industries under its Planned industrial development programme.[32]

Environmental policies

A national reserve park in DG Khan District, established by PML(N).

In 1997, the Environmental Protection Agency was established by PML-N's government and its Ministry of Environment was one of the most notable ministry to protect the national conservation and forestry in the country. In 1997, the environmental PSA were regularly announced paid by the government to enhance and promote the environmental awareness in public.

However, its environmental policies remained a subject of on-going controversies, often criticise for ignoring the health and environmental policies despite its party declaration. The PML-N's provincial government in Punjab Province came under intense media, opposition, and public anger after failing to counter the Dengue fever outbreak due to its lack of apathy and inadequate steps and seriousness to enforce environmental awareness and regulations. In recent, the prestige of PML-N's also suffered after the government's Health and Environment ministry failed to properly scanned the quality of medicines, resulting in major counterfeit and environmental crises that put party's environmental and health policies in great doubts.

Science and politics

The Pakistan Muslim League (N) credited for ordering and authorizing the country's first nuclear tests (see Chagai-I and Chagai-II) amid immense international pressure. It is also responsible for establishing the Pakistan Antarctic Programme as part of its science and technology strategy. With its inverse force, Pakistan Peoples Party, the Pakistan Muslim League (N) is also responsible for enhancing the nuclear deterrence, and the nuclear power expansion, first establishing the CHASNUPP-I, expansion as part of its nuclear policy.

Foreign policy issues

The party has been long advocated for broader and stronger relations with United States, China, United Kingdom, European Union, Singapore, Malaysia, and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, and India.[33] In 1999, the party's government successfully signed the Lahore Declaration with India.[33]

The Pakistan Muslim League-N remains sceptical about the country's role in war on terror, although it is firmly opposed to religious extremism and terrorism in all its manifestations.[34] While it remains a strong supporter of the United States' financial and fiscal policies, but on the other hand, it remains undecided about the military operations on its western fronts to curb down militancy, with many PML-N's intellectuals regarding the War on terror as a campaign against Islam.[34] During its previous tenure from 1997 to 1999, the PML(N) government took a series of measures to control terrorist groups by establishing the Anti Terrorism Courts.[34] The PML-N's leadership remains an avid supporter of Indian-held Kashmir, and numerous times, it had made it clear that the party will "never compromise this long standing position on Kashmir dispute".[34]

Party presidency

List of President of Pakistan Muslim League (N)
Order Image Presidents Year Rationale
1 Nawaz Sharif detail, 981203-D-9880W-117.jpg Nawaz Sharif 1993–1999 First term
2 Kalsoom Nawaz Sharif - White House - 2013 (cropped).jpg Kulsoom Nawaz 1999–2001 First term
3 Makhdoom Muhammad Javed Hashmi 01.JPG Javed Hashmi 2001-2005 First term
4 Nisar Ali Khan.png Chaudhry Nisar Ali 2005–2009 First term
5 Shahbaz Sharif (cropped).jpg Shehbaz Sharif 2009–2010 First term
(3) Makhdoom Muhammad Javed Hashmi 01.JPG Javed Hashmi 2010-2011 Second term
(1) PrimeMinisterNawazSharif.jpg Nawaz Sharif 2011–2017 Second term
(5) Sardar Yaqoob Khan Nasir 2017 First term
(1) PrimeMinisterNawazSharif.jpg Nawaz Sharif 2017–2018 Third term
(5) Shahbaz Sharif (cropped).jpg Shehbaz Sharif 2018–present Second term

Controversy

Since its inception, the party has been involved in major controversies some of which are listed below

Rise to power with help from military establishment

PML-N's head Nawaz Sharif rise to power is attributed to funding and backing from ISI and military establishment. ex DG ISI Hameed Gul accepted that he formed Islami Jamhuri Itehad in order to counter the power of Pakistan People's Party.[35]

Operation Clean-up

Nawaz Sharif during his tenure as prime minister (1990-1992), launched a military operation against his own allies in government, MQM for allegations against jinnahpur conspiracy. Later the ISPR denied any knowledge of jinnahpur conspiracy and maps, which were highly publicized in the media prior to operation launch. Thousands of MQM activists were killed, its leadership arrested and its head Altaf Hussain had move to exile in UK.

Operation 1998

As prime minister, Nawaz Sharif again launched operation against MQM who were again in alliance in Sharif's government on accusation of assassinating Hakeem Said. Due to MQM's militant activities and sectarian killings in Karachi, Nawaz Sharif was forced to end the alliance with MQM for the benefit of the nation. An elected PMLN Sindh government in alliance with MQM was dismissed and governor rule was imposed. The operation started new blood shed era in Karachi and many party leaders of MQM were arrested. Imran Farooq (MQM second in command at that time) was forced to flee Pakistan and took political asylum in the UK. Fasih Jugu who was accused in assassination was tortured to death by the Law enforcement.[36] The operation resulted is a major unrest in the city as the PMLN government tried to get a hold of the criminal elements ravaging the city of Karachi. This was one of the prime excuses the military conjured up for illegally ousting Nawaz Sharif's government in 1999 through martial law.

Plane hijacking

In 1999, Nawaz Sharif was allegedly involved in hijacking plane of chief of army staff Pervez Musharraf when he was to land at Karachi airport and the control tower ordered the plane not to land in Pakistan but India instead. However, Musharraf and his loyalists had been planning a coup for months and some versions of the story claim that Musharraf orchestrated the coup from the plane and the military didn't allow the plane to land until Musharraf was assured that the military was in control of the airport. The Military forced the courts to convict Sharif and sentence him to life imprisonment in 2000. General Musharraf had initially decided to hang Nawaz Sharif but under the pressure of the President of United States, Bill Clinton and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, he decided not to go through with it.[37] In 2010 The Supreme court of Pakistan overturned his conviction making him eligible to run for power again.[38]

Allegations of corruption

PMLN has been accused of corruption in revolutionary economic schemes like yellow cab scheme, The National Debt Retirement Programme (NDRP), sasti roti scheme, nandipur project. The charges turned out to be nothing more than accusations by rival political parties to mislead the public. More recently, an international newspaper published Panama papers naming Sharif's sons as among people who created offshore companies. Nawaz Sharif is accused of using corruption money to grow his assets in his business ventures and Ittefaq group though nothing presented in the court so far substantiates these charges.

Panama papers case and its implications

Nawaz Sharif and some of his family members were cited for money laundry and graft charges on 10 July 2017 by a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) formed by the Supreme Court which included Military Intelligence officers. The JIT and Supreme court in league with the military have been found to be biased against Nawaz Sharif, his family and his party, PMLN, as the party is currently fighting for democratic supremacy.[39] The Judicial - Military Complex hence set its task to punish Nawaz Sharif for it by any means necessary.[40] The JIT presented circumstantial and sometimes downright incorrect and unverified evidence against the Sharif family which was accepted without questioning.[41] A subsequent ruling by the Supreme Court of Pakistan announced on 28 July 2017 disqualified party leader and then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from holding public office for life on a mere technicality unrelated to the charges in question.[42] This verdict was widely seen by the people of Pakistan as a desecration of their right to choose their leaders. Nawaz Sharif and his party then redoubled their efforts for democratic supremacy against the Military Junta. People have rallied behind Nawaz Sharif's ideology as he educates people that their right is not only to vote but they have a right to defend that vote and they should question anyone who prevents them from doing so. It has resulted in people openly criticizing military's interference in civilian affairs and heavily tilted the public opinion against the military.

As a reaction, military has resorted to violence as it has in the past, physically assaulting unbiased journalists and harassing others to prevent heavy anti Military public opinion from getting publicity.[43] They also resorted to illegally shutting down unbiased television channels and protecting pro military channels from getting shut down for promoting a pro military agenda of depicting politicians as corrupt and unreliable in the name of journalism, either by threatening local cable service providers or by threatening PEMRA, the legal body for monitoring electronic media in the country.[44] The crisis between the people of Pakistan and the military trying to maintain its stranglehold on its people is still an ongoing dilemma.

Allegations of treachery

Nawaz Sharif gave an interview to Dawn News on 12 May 2018 in which he said that non state actors from Pakistan were involved in the Mumbai terrorist attack in 2008. A spokesman for Sharif said that Indian media had twisted his statement to make it seem like Sharif said that the state of Pakistan endorsed and was directly involved in the attacks.[45] A National Security Council meeting was called by the Pakistan Army which declared the allegations were based on lies and misconception without specifically naming Sharif.[46]

See also

Bibliography

  • Dixit, J.N. (2002). India-Pakistan in War and Peace. New York, U.S.: Routledge. p. 504. ISBN 1134407572.
  • Jalal, Ayesha (2014). The struggle for Pakistan: A Muslim homeland and global politics. Harvard, United States: Harvard University Press. p. 440. ISBN 0674052897.
  • Akbar, M.K. (1997). Pakistan from Jinnah to Sharif. New Delhi: Mittal Publications. ISBN 8170996740.
  • Ahmed, Akbar (2005). Jinnah, Pakistan, and Islamic Identitiy: A search for Saladin. Routledge. ISBN 1134750226.
  • Majumdar, edited by R. (1998). Pakistan : Jinnah to the present day (1st ed.). New Delhi: Anmol Publications. ISBN 8174888640.

References

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  6. ^ Nawaz Sharif declares his party victorious in Pakistan vote, Al Arabiya, archived from the original on 12 May 2013
  7. ^ "Nawaz Sharif Set for Third Term as PM", India Times, 12 May 2013, archived from the original on 12 May 2013
  8. ^ Haleem, Safia (2013). "The Struggle for Power". Culture Smart! Pakistan (google books). London: Kuperard. ISBN 185733678X.
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  40. ^ "Invisible forces pulling strings of political puppets". Retrieved 2018-06-11.
  41. ^ "Govt's websites have PM's tax record: Marriyum Aurangzeb". The Nation. 2017-07-18. Retrieved 2018-06-11.
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  43. ^ "Pakistan's 'new normal': a journalist on the run from gunmen". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2018-06-11.
  44. ^ Daily News (2017-05-08), Absar Alam, Threat Call to PEMRA, Press Conference, retrieved 2018-06-11
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External links

  • Official website


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