Shahbaz Sharif younger brother to the thrice-elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has himself served thrice as Chief Minister Punjab. Considered a man addicted to his work, Shahbaz Sharif referred to being called as ‘Khadim e Ala’ (chief servant) rather than chief minister. Elected as President of Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industries in 1985, he was elected MPA to the Punjab assembly in 1988 and leader of the Opposition in the same assembly in 1993. Setting aside politics, he is one influential businessman, being the joint owner of the Ittefaq Group of Companies.
As Chief Minister of Punjab, Shahbaz introduced far-reaching policies and adopted revolutionary innovations in almost every sector. He has more to his list in the agriculture, health, law and order, social welfare and education sector than anyone of his contemporaries. This totally contradicted the propaganda that he focuses on the transport infrastructure alone. His ability and strength to work round-the-clock on projects, all the while not losing focus on any of them is what makes him stand above the ministers and civil servants around him.
Esteemed Projects for Public Service
While being blamed by critics for ignoring the health sector, his unprecedented control of the dengue breakout was perhaps his most appreciated achievement both nationally and internationally. The budget for health was increased by 500 per cent during his tenure. His unplanned visits managed to keep the entire governance on its toes, achieving results his counterparts in our provinces could not. This was at times mocked by his rivals, yet proved fruitful for the efficient running of systems.
Chief Minister inaugurated state-of-the-art Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute & Research Centre ( PKLI & RC), for eradication of Hepatitis in Pakistan and to enable low-cost transplant surgeries of Kidney and Liver. pic.twitter.com/YLhof3ylp5
— Umar Saif (@umarsaif) December 25, 2017
The Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute and Research Centre (PKLI) was inaugurated under his supervision in December 2017, so as to cater to the large number of poor patients suffering from hepatic and renal diseases. Medical colleges were set up in smaller cities like Sahiwal and cardiology centres in Bahawalpur and Faisalabad. In his tenure, 125 district and 40 divisional headquarters hospitals were modernized and equipped with state of the art equipment such as CT scan machines. Intensive training was also provided to the paramedic staff, outsourcing departments dealing with expensive diagnostic services.
Considered a competent individual, Shahbaz attained evident success in the developmental work, with the Metro Bus and Orange Line Train projects in Punjab frequently regarded as one of his biggest achievements. Even many of his most fierce rivals do not fail to talk about his development in infrastructure, for example as of the Punjab Mass Transit Authority. He also added to the housing sector by launching the Ashiana Housing Scheme as well as the setup of Model villages specifically for those affected by floods.
Orange Train …..!!!!! A gift of Shahbaz Sharif for Lahore ❤️ pic.twitter.com/xtucWW2u8w
— Dr. Tariq Fazal Ch. Official (@DrTariqFazal) December 10, 2019
When facing the severe energy crisis of 2013 with Punjab being the most affected region, the Punjab government was in a short time span able to add about 3200 –MW to the national grid. Massive power production projects were launched by Shahbaz Sharif which was acknowledged by development giants like Turkey and China. While working on projects like the 1320-MW Sahiwal Coal Power Plant and 135-MW Tunsa Hydro Power Plant amongst many, Shahbaz Sharif also claims to have saved hundreds of billions of national wealth on these. The Haveli Lakha project whereas has been acknowledged as the fastest built project of its capacity, all over the world.
The Cases Against Shahbaz Sharif
Along with all these exceptional projects Shahbaz Sharif was also bound to face serious cases. These cases can either be the Model Town Case – The Sabzazar Case or the most recent Money Laundering Case. The recent summons of Shahbaz Sharif by NAB for Accountability of his assets.
The role of Shahbaz Sharif in the current political saga cannot be overlooked either. Political opponents were of the view that a wide gap was sensed between the narratives of both Shahbaz and Nawaz and that it was some kind of a fight for political leadership. Time, however, proved that both the brothers were one and the same and not only them but also their children had no clashes amongst themselves.
Renowned Projects by Mian Shahbaz Sharif
Violence Against Women Centers
Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park (QASP)
Lahore Orange Line Metro
The Dolphin Force
Land Records and Management and Information System (LRMIS)
Children Hospital Faisalabad
Safe Cities Project
Punjab Educational Endowment Fund
Lahore Metro Bus System
Khud Rozgar Scheme
Punjab Mass Transit Authority
Punjab Food Authority
Punjab Information Technology Board
Punjab Land Development Company
Information Technology University
Ashiana Housing Scheme
Punjab Forensic Science Agency at Lahore
Punjab Youth Internship Program
Lahore Waste Management Company
Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology
Shahbaz Sharif Standing Up
It was Shahbaz Sharif who played the frontman role in all the political and legal scenario and with all his might fought the legal battle with Imran Khan. When Nawaz Sharif was put to prison, it was Shahbaz Sharif who held the reins of the party and succeeded in the task of sending his older brother to London for his medical treatment, while himself appearing before the Lahore High Court to defend his sick brother.
In my personal opinion, Shahbaz Sharif himself has faced many trials during his time, allegedly for housing scams Ashiana Scheme and the Punjab Saaf Pani Company. However, the main point which strikes the people regardless of corruption cases and all is the Model Town Case that states the involvement of Mian Shahbaz Sharif. In spite of not being in the good books of PM Imran Khan, he has been presenting the Sharif family to the best extent possible on places where required.