Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today managed to barely scrape though in a divided Supreme Court verdict that ordered a joint probe into charges of corruption into the Panama Papers, but did not order his disqualification.
Pakistan’s top court today ordered the formation of a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe the involvement of the premier and his two sons.
Had the Supreme Court delivered an adverse decision, the current leader of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) government would have faced possible disqualification from office, adding another story to the political uncertainty in the 70-year-old history of the Islamic country.
Since its inception, no government in Pakistan other than the erstwhile Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) completed its tenure democratically and handed over the leadership baton to the next regime. Nawaz himself was ousted from power in a military coup by erstwhile Pakistan president and military dictator Pervez Musharraf.
No wonder then that the verdict – though offering only temporary reprieve – should come as a breather for Nawaz Sharif.
Here is a list of PMs in Pakistan that were dismissed, dissolved, assassinated or overthrown by the powerful military:
Liaquat Ali Khan (August 15, 1947 to October 16, 1951)
The Muslim League leader was appointed as the first Prime Minister of Pakistan by the Governor-General in 1947. He was, however, assassinated in 1951.
Khawaja Nazimuddin (Oct 17, 1951 to April 17, 1953)
He left office when governor general Malik Ghulam Muhammad dissolved his government.
Muhammad Ali Bogra (April 17, 1953 to August 12, 1955)
Bogra was dismissed by then-governor general Iskander Mirza.
Chaudhry Muhammad Ali (Aug 12, 1955 to Sept 12, 1956)
He resigned due to the conflicts with the governor general.
Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy (Sept 12, 1956 to Oct 17, 1957)
He was the first Awami League leader to head a government in Pakistan. He resigned due to differences with Iskander Mirza.
Ibrahim Ismail Chundrigar (October 17, 1957 to Dec 16, 1957)
The Muslim League was forced to resign in December 1957. His resignation came as a result of the President's refusal to convene a meeting of the Parliament to seek a vote of confidence.
Feroz Khan Noon (Dec 16, 1957 to Oct 7, 1958)
The Republican Party leader Noon was dismissed during the 1958 Pakistani coup d'état.
Ayub Khan (Oct 24, 1958 to Oct 28, 1958)
On Oct 27, 1958, Iskander Mirza himself was deposed by Gen. Ayub Khan. The country’s first military coup followed a period of prolonged political instability. Ayub Khan combined the offices of the President and Prime Minister, becoming both the head of state and government. He created a cabinet of technocrats, diplomats and military officers. Khan remain in the office till March 25, 1969.
Nurul Amin (Dec 7, 1971 to Dec 20, 1971)
Amin was the only Bengali appointed as Prime Minister of Pakistan to assuage Bengali feelings during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. Amin resigned from the post because he was made the only Vice President of Pakistan from December 20, 1971 to April 21, 1972.
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (Aug 14, 1973 to Jul 5, 1977)
He was deposed in the 1977 Pakistani coup d'état by General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq. Zia himself stayed in power for eleven years until his death in a plane crash. A four-star rank general, Zia served as the 6th President of Pakistan from 1978 until his death in 1988. He was also Pakistan's longest-serving head of state.
Muhammad Khan Junejo (March 24, 1985 to May 29, 1988)
Elections were held in February 1985. Pakistan Muslim League won the elections. Junejo was elected as the 10th Prime Minister of Pakistan. He was dismissed by the president after the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution.
Benazir Bhutto (Dec 2, 1988 to Aug 6, 1990)
Elections were held in Nov 1988. The PPP won the elections. She was the first woman in the world to head a Muslim majority nation. Her government was dismissed on August 7, 1990 by the then President who accused her administration of corruption and nepotism.
Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi (Aug 6, 1990 to Nov 6, 1990)
Jatoi was appointed by President Ghulam Ishaq Khan as a caretaker Prime Minister.
Nawaz Sharif (Nov 6, 1990 to April 18, 1993)
Elections were held in Oct 1990. Sharif was elected as the 12th Prime Minister of Pakistan. President Ghulam Ishaq Khan dissolved his government in April 1993, which was later on reinstated by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
Balakh Sher Mazari (April 18, 1993 to May 26, 1993)
Mazari's term ended when the Supreme Court overturned the Presidential order and restored Sharif's government.
Nawaz Sharif (May 26, 1993 to July 18, 1993)
In April 1993, Sharif survived a serious constitutional crisis when President Khan attempted to dismiss him under Article 58-2b. He had successfully challenged the decision in the Supreme Court. He resigned from the post negotiating a settlement that resulted in the removal of President as well.
Moeenuddin Ahmad Qureshi (July 18, 1993 to Oct 19, 1993)
Following Sharif's resignation, Qureshi was appointed as the caretaker Prime Minister.
Benazir Bhutto (Oct 19, 1993 to Nov 5, 1996)
Elections were held in Oct 1993. Bhutto survived an attempted coup d'état in 1995. Her government was dismissed by president Farooq Leghari in November 1996.
Malik Meraj Khalid (Nov 5, 1996 to Feb 17, 1997)
He was appointed as the caretaker PM.
Nawaz Sharif (Feb 17, 1997 to Oct 12, 1999)
Elections were held in Feb 1997. Sharif won the elections. But his government was deposed by General Pervez Musharraf in October 1999, and Martial law was imposed in the entire country.
Zafarullah Khan Jamali (Nov 21, 2002 to June 26, 2004)
Elections were held in Oct 2002 and Jamali was elected as the PM. He continued the policies of Musharraf but could not complete his term. The next five years saw Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain (June 30, 2004 to Aug 20, 2004), Shaukat Aziz (Aug 20, 2004 to Nov 16, 2007) and Muhammad Mian Soomro (Nov 16, 2007 to March 28, 2008) as PMs.
Yousaf Raza Gillani (March 28, 2008 to June 19, 2012)
Elections were held in Feb 2008 and the PPP won emerged victorious. However, Gillani was disqualified from his seat in the Parliament in April 2012 by the Supreme Court for contempt of court.
Raja Pervaiz Ashraf (June 22, 2012 to March 25, 2013)
The PPP leader was disqualified over contempt of court charges.
Mir Hazar Khan Khoso (March 25, 2013 to June 5, 2013)
He was appointed as the caretaker PM of the Islamic nation.
Nawaz Sharif (June 5, 2013 to till date)
Elections were held in May 2013. Sharif's PML(N) won the elections.