Initial Political Career
Nawaz Sharif started his political career during the time of nationalisation policy of former Prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. The Sharif family was financially devastated after discovering that the family steel business was lost into the hands of the government, and Sharif jumped into national politics soon after. In 1976, Sharif politically motivated himself and joined the Pakistan Muslim League, a conservative front rooted from Punjab Province, initially focused to regain the control of his steel industry from the hands of Bhutto's government. In May 1980 Ghulam Jilani Khan, the recently-appointed Governor of the Punjab Province and a former Director-General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), initiated a search for new urban leaders, and Sharif was one of the men he found and promoted, quickly making him Finance Minister of the Punjab. In 1981, Sharif joined the Punjab Advisory Board under General Zia-ul-Haq and principally rose to public and political prominence as a staunch proponent of the military government of General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq during the 1980s.
He maintained close relations with the Zia-ul-Haq, who soon agreed to return to him his private steel mill which was had been lost during the wave of nationalisation by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Sharif maintained an alliance with General Rahimuddin Khan, who was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee. During his political career, Sharif also had close ties with the Director-General of ISI, Lieutenant-General (retired) Hamid Gul, who played a substantial role in the formation of the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad – a conservative political alliance that supported Sharif.
Sharif also invested a large capital in the Saudia Arabia and the rich oil Arab and Middle east countries to restart his steel empire. According to the personal accounts and his time spent with Sharif, American historian Stephen Philips Cohen maintained in the "Idea of Pakistan", that: " Nawaz Sharif never forgive Bhutto after his steel empire was lost into the hands of Bhutto; and even after his terrible end, Sharif publicly refused to forgive the soul of Bhutto and the Pakistan Peoples Party." After coming into the national power in 1990, Sharif took out the revenge on Zulfikar Bhutto after launching the Privatization programme and economic liberalisation in a direct response to Zulfikar Bhutto and the Pakistan Peoples Party. Sharif finally paid the revenge back on Zulfikar Bhutto after daughter Benazir Bhutto, after she became Prime minister in 1993.
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