|Pakistan Muslim League – N
(پاکستان مسلم لیگ (ن
|Chairman||Raja Zafar ul Haq|
|Secretary-General||Iqbal Zafar Jhagra|
|Spokesperson||Mushahid Ullah Khan|
|Founder||Fida Mohammad Khan|
|Slogan||Justice, Peace, Prosperity|
|Founded||November 16, 1988|
|Preceded by||Pakistan Muslim League|
|Headquarters||Central Secretariat, Islamabad Capital Venue|
|Student wing||PML-N Youth (Professionals)|
|Youth wing||PML-N Youth Wing|
The Pakistan Muslim League (N) (Urdu: پاکستان مسلم لیگ ن; full name: Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz); acronym: PML(N), PMN-N, and PMLN) is a center-right political party in Pakistan. The party emerged as the largest political force in the 2013 general election, securing 125 seats in National Assembly of Pakistan and a supermajority in the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab. The PML(N) is currently headed by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who is expected to become Prime Minister again by the beginning of June 2013.
The party's stronghold lies in the heartland of Punjab province. It is one of several continuing factions of the Pakistan Muslim League. In addition, it is the only party in the history of Pakistan to receive a two-thirds majority in Parliament outright through a parliamentary election, in 1997. The party is the largest conservative force, and according to the International Republican Institute (IRI), it is the most popular political party in the country.
The Pakistan Muslim League was founded in 1962, as a successor to the previously disbanded Muslim League. After independence and the creation of Pakistan, the Muslim League suffered internal political disagreements, lack of political program or motivation for public reforms, and inadequate administrative preparations and mismanagement. In the 1954 general election, it suffered its worst defeat: a brutal, embarrassing loss at the hands of Communist Party of Pakistan in East-Pakistan and the now-defunct Republican Party in the West-Pakistan. In the 1960s, the party was presided over by Nurul Amin as its elected president and deepened its role in West Pakistan.
In 1970 general elections, the PML managed to secure only two electoral seats in the East-Pakistan parliament and only ten in West Pakistan. Despite of its poor performance, the party president, Nurul Amin, became the Prime Minister and Vice-President of Pakistan as well in 1970. The PML government was short-lived and soon its government fell as an aftermath of the 1971 war.
The list below shows the well-known breakaway factions and their relationships with the military, although many minor factions existed throughout the history:
|Pakistan Muslim League—Military Establishment relationships|
|Political Party||Relationship to Establishment (2002)|
|Pakistan Muslim League (N)||Anti-establishment, Pro-status quo|
|Pakistan Muslim League (Q)||Pro-establishment, pro-status quo|
|Pakistan Muslim League (F)|
|Pakistan Muslim League (Like-Minded)|
|Pakistan Muslim League (Z)|
|All Pakistan Muslim League|
|Defunct, merged and non-functional parties|
|Political Party||Fate||Currently active|
|All-India Muslim League (AIML)||Devolved into Muslim League, legal personality is presently continue and bestowed by the PML(N)||No.|
|Pakistan Muslim League||Large part of the party led by the PML(N), other parts of the party are divided into smaller factions||No|
|Awami Muslim League||Currently in alliance with Pakistan Movement for Justice||Yes|
|Convention Muslim League||Merged with PML(N)||No|
|Council Muslim League||Merged with PML(N)||No|
|Muslim League (Qayyum)||Merged with PML(N)||No|
The Muslim League went into a political abyss during the first PPP government of the Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. It made its comeback in response to the nationalization program of Zulfikar Bhutto in 1970s. Influential and young activists, including Nawaz Sharif, Javed Hashmi, Zafar-ul-Haq and Shujaat Hussain, later ascended as the leaders of the party and started their political career through the Muslim League.
The party became an integral in a nine-party alliance, PNA, against PPP and campaign against PPP in the 1977 general elections. The party campaigned on a right-wing position 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. It was at that time 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; the party saw 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. During the 1985 general election, a new PML(N) emerged on the country's political scene. The party had supported the presidency of Zia-ul-Haq and won his support to appoints Mohammad Khan Junejo for the office of Prime Minister. Nawaz Sharif had won the favors and support from the President Zia-ul-Haq and approved his appointment as Chief Minister of the Punjab Province in 1985.
|General elections||Voting percentile %||Voting turnout||Seating graph||Presiding chair of the party||Parliamentary position|
|1985||46.4%||–||members participated as non-partisan||In alliance with Zia|
|1988||30.2%||5,908,741||Fida Mohammad Khan||In Opposition|
|1990||37.4%||7,908,513||Nawaz Sharif||In Government|
|1993||39.9%||7,980,229||Nawaz Sharif||In Opposition|
|1997||45.9%||8,751,793||Nawaz Sharif||In Government|
|2002||12.71%||3,791,321||Javed Hashmi||In Opposition|
|2008||19.6%||6,781,445||Nisar Ali Khan||In Opposition|
|2013||TBD||TBD||Nawaz Sharif||In Government|
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.
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). 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. The IDA occupied 55 seats, but an influential leader, Nawaz Sharif, chose to serve the Chief Minister of Punjab Province. 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. 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.
The PML(N) was still part of the Islamic Democratic Alliance (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. For the first time, Sharif launched the privatization and economic liberalisation policy measures, and Sharif's economics team actually implemented some of the serious economic liberalization and privatization measures previous governments had merely talked about.
Election results also showed liberals, the MQM, emerging as the third major party with 15 seats. For the first time in the history of the country, Sharif allowed foreign money exchange to be transacted through private money exchangers. 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 April 18, 1993. The PML-N moved the Supreme Court and it restored its government and Sharif hold the office on May 26. The country's armed forces and the military leadership negotiated with Nawaz Sharif to step down. Culminated at the resignation of Nawaz Sharif, President Ghulam Ishaq Khan was also removed from the Presidency.
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. The PML(N) charged Benazir Bhutto with corruption, stagnation, and endangering the national security. 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. During that movement, Nawaz Sharif traveled 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.
During this time, the party was among closest to the civil bureaucracy, establishment, and the Pakistan Armed Forces, had close ties and influence in Pakistan Armed Forces' appointments and their military strategies.
The Pakistan Muslim League (N) struck its remarkable, biggest, and most notable achievement in 1997 parliamentary elections, held on February 3, 1997. 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. During this time, it was the largest conservative party, with its members occupying 137 seats out of 207, roughly 66.2%. In 1997, the party secured its win with an overwhelming mandate, and absolutely light and slight opposition. On February 18, 1997, when Nawaz Sharif obtained a vote of confidence, the Pakistan Muslim League assumed the government of Pakistan. 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. The PML(N) government passed the Thirteenth and the Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of Pakistan to stabilizee its mandate and strengthen its position.
In 1998, the law and order situation came under the PML-N's control and economic recovery was also secured. A number of constitutional amendments were made to make the country a parliamentary democracy. In May 1998, the PML-N government led by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered six nuclear tests, in response to Indian nuclear tests. The tests were extremely popular and PML-N's image and prestige rose to a record level. 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. Its power politics and repeated dismissals of the military leadership soured its relations with Pakistan Armed Forces and its public ratings gradually went down.
Despite its heavy public mandate, serious disagreements appeared within the party. The 1999 coup d'état took place to end PML-N's government. 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. In 2001, Muslim League (Nawaz) formally adopted the name of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), also known as PML(N).
As an aftermath of Kargil War with India, the PML(N) government had generated frustration among in 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 of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from office. In few week, the military coup d'état was a natural consequence of this trend. The Supreme Court validated this coup and gave General Pervez Musharraf three years to hold general elections. After the desposing Sharif's government, the party was split in different group and its size was shrunk as many of its members decided to defect to the splinter political bloc. Many of its influential members, sponsors, financiers, were now defected to the new group that was sympathetic to Pervez Musharraf. This splinter group emerged as the Pakistan Muslim League (Q), registered itself as a political party name with the Election Commission. Sharif was removed from Party's presidency and handed over the presidency to dr. Kalsoum Nawaz, wife of Sharif. With Sharif exiling to Saudi Arabia, the party's presidency was handed over to Javed Hashmi as its elected president and began to reassert itself for the coming elections. 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).
During 2002 Pakistani general election, the PML-N performed poorly, only won 9.4% of the popular vote and 14 out of 272 elected members, the worst defeat since its inception in 1988. 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 party's new president; the party's leadership had now based its headquarters in London, United Kingdom. In 2006, the party signed the cooperative declaration with its rival Pakistan Peoples Party to outline and promote 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. 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; 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 the restore the suspended famed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry in 2008. In 2011, the PML-N established its branch in Kashmir Province in 2011 to participate in Kashmir general elections.
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 February 18, 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 February 19, 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.
On May 13, 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.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) on June 27, 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 June 30, thus postponing the vote in the constituency. The two parties also won 19 of 23 provincial assembly seats where by-elections were held. The results will not affect the February 18 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. On August 25, 2008, Nawaz Sharif announced that Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui would be Pakistan Muslim League (N) nominee to replace Pervez Musharraf as President of Pakistan.
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 General Council Meeting (GCM) served its major platform to elect presidents and secretaries while it is also responsible for promoting PML-N activities. Its current president is Nawaz Sharif. 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. The Central Secretariat and the Parliament Lodges of Pakistan Parliament play important roles in recruiting strong state candidates.
|This section may rely excessively on sources too closely associated with the subject, preventing the article from being verifiable and neutral. (April 2013)|
The 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. In 1991, the PML-N's government established the National Highway Authority followed by inaugurating the M2 Motorways in 1997.
The Pakistan Muslim League-N generally opposed the labor union managements and large scale worker's union. 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 privatized the major heavy industries under its Planned industrial development programme.
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 criticize for ignoring the health and environmental policies despite its party declaration. The PML-N's provisional 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.
The Pakistan Muslim League (N) takes credit for ordering and authorizing the country's first nuclear tests (see Chagai-I and Chagai-II) amid 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) takes credit for its contribution to enhancing the nuclear deterrence, and the nuclear power expansion, first establishing the CHASNUPP-I, expansion as part of its nuclear policy.
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. In 1999, the party's government successfully signed the Lahore Declaration with India.
The Pakistan Muslim League-N remains skeptical about country's role in war on terror, although it firmly opposed to religious extremism and terrorism in all its manifestations. While it remains a strong supporter of the United States financial and fiscal policies, but on the other hand, it remains unsupported towards the military operations in Western fronts to curbed down the militancy, with many PML-N's intellectuals regarding the War on terror as a campaign against Islam. During its previous tenure from 1997 to 1999, the PML(N) government took a series of measures to control terrorist group and counter their activities, by first establishing the Anti Terrorism Courts. 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".
|1||Fida Mohammad Khan||1988–1993||Founder, First term|
|2||Nawaz Sharif||1993–1999; 2011–Present||First term|
|3||Kalsoom Nawaz||1999–2001||First term|
|5||Shahbaz Sharif||2002–2011||First term|
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