Mian Muhammad Hamza Shahbaz (Urdu, Punjabi: میاں حمزہ شہباز; born 6 September 1974) is a Pakistani politician, businessman, and the eldest son of current Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. He served as the Leader of the Opposition in the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab from September 2018 to April 2022, and resumed this role on 20 October 2022 and continued until the dissolution of the assembly. He briefly held the position of Chief Minister of Punjab from 30 April 2022 to 2 May 2022. His tenure as a member of the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab spanned from August 2018 to January 2023. Prior to this, he was a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan from June 2008 to May 2018.

Hamza Shahbaz
حمزہ شہباز
19th Chief Minister of Punjab
In office
30 April 2022 – 26 July 2022
GovernorOmer Sarfraz Cheema
Muhammad Baligh Ur Rehman
Preceded byUsman Buzdar
Succeeded byChaudhry Pervaiz Elahi
Vice President of PMLN Punjab
Assumed office
May 2018
PresidentRana Sanaullah
Member of the Provincial Assembly of Punjab
In office
18 August 2018 – 14 January 2023
ConstituencyPP-146 Lahore-III
Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan
In office
June 2013 – May 2018
ConstituencyNA-119 (Lahore -II)
In office
June 2008 – May 2013
ConstituencyNA-119 (Lahore -II)
Leader of the Opposition in the Provincial Assembly of Punjab
In office
20 October 2022 – 14 January 2023
Preceded bySibtain Khan
In office
6 September 2018 – 30 April 2022
Preceded byMehmood-ur-Rasheed
Succeeded bySibtain Khan
Personal details
(1974-09-06) 6 September 1974 (age 49)[1]
Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan
Political party PMLN (2008—present)
Spouse(s)Mehrunissah Hamza
Rabia Hamza
(m. 2012)
RelativesSee [ Sharif family]]

Personal life edit

Hamza, as the eldest of four children, was born to Shehbaz Sharif on September 6, 1974.[3][1][2] His mother, Nusrat Shehbaz, is not only Shehbaz Sharif’s cousin but also his first wife, with their marriage taking place in 1973.[4]

After completing his undergraduate studies at Government College, Hamza continued his education by earning an LLB (Honours) from the London School of Economics.[5] In his professional life, he is a businessman, often referred to as the ‘Poultry King of Punjab’.[6] He managed the family business during their period of exile.[6]

It has been suggested that Hamza has been married three times.[7] One of these alleged marriages was to Ayesha Ahad Malik in 2010, a claim which Hamza has refuted.[8][9] In 2012, he tied the knot with Rabia Hamza.[10] When he submitted his nomination papers in 2018, he included the details of his two wives, Mehrunissah Hamza and Rabia Hamza.[11]

Political career edit

Hamza’s involvement in politics started at a young age, which led to his time in Adiala Jail in 1994, along with other leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League.[12] His formal political career began in October 1999, after his father, Shehbaz Sharif, and uncle, Nawaz Sharif, were sent into exile due to the 1999 Pakistani coup d'état led by Pervez Musharraf.[13] Hamza was allowed to remain in Pakistan to oversee family businesses.[14] In 2011, it was reported that the PML-N was considering about promoting Hamza to the role of General Secretary for the Punjab chapter.[2]

He initiated his political career as an independent candidate, choosing not to align with his family’s party. In the 2008 Pakistani general election, he contested for a seat in the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab from the Constituency PP-142 (Lahore-VI). He received a total of 111 votes and lost the seat to Khawaja Salman Rafique, who was representing the Pakistan Muslim League (N).[15]

After joining the Pakistan Muslim League (N), he contested in the by-elections held in June 2008. He ran unopposed from Constituency NA-119 (Lahore-II) and was subsequently elected to the National Assembly of Pakistan.[16][13][17] He successfully retained his seat in the National Assembly from the same constituency during the 2013 Pakistani general election.[18][17][19] By 2016, Hamza had gained significant influence and was informally referred to as the deputy prime minister of Pakistan and the deputy chief minister of Punjab.[20][21]

In the 2018 Pakistani general election, he was elected to the National Assembly for the third time from the Constituency NA-124 (Lahore-II).[22] Simultaneously, he was elected to the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab as a PML-N candidate from Constituency PP-146 (Lahore-III).[23] After these successful elections, he chose to give up his National Assembly seat in favour of the Provincial Assembly seat.[23] On 13 August 2018, PML-N nominated him for the office of Chief Minister of Punjab.[24] However, on 19 August 2018, he received 159 votes and was defeated by Usman Buzdar, who secured 186 votes.[25]

On 25 August 2018, PML-N nominated Hamza for the office of the opposition leader in the Punjab Assembly.[26] Subsequently, on 6 September 2018, he was officially appointed as the Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly.[27]

Hamza later contested for the role of Chief Minister of the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab. On 16 April 2022, he was elected to the position, securing 197 votes against his opponent, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, who had previously served as the speaker of the assembly.[28] However, his tenure as chief minister was abruptly ended following a verdict by a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, which involved the interpretation of law.[29]

Hamza, who has been serving as the Vice President of the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz since May 2019 under his father Shehbaz Sharif’s leadership, won his fourth term in the National Assembly from Constituency NA-118 in the 2024 Pakistani general election.

Chief Ministership edit

During the governance of his father, Shehbaz Sharif, Hamza’s Chief Ministerial tenure was initiated on April 30, 2022. This occurred subsequent to Hamza’s nomination for the position of Chief Minister of Punjab by opposition parties, following the resignation of Usman Buzdar.[30][31] On the same day, he was sworn in as the 19th Chief Minister of Punjab, a position that was later deemed legally invalid.[32] Hamza held the majority with 11 seats in the ruling alliance, which was composed of three political parties and four independent candidates.

Following the challenge of his election, the Supreme Court appointed Hamza as the trustee and ordered a re-election for the position of chief minister.[33] This development added a new dimension to the political landscape of the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab. In a significant development, Hamza retained the post of the chief minister against Elahi through a three-vote victory. This happened after 10 votes of the PML-Q members were rejected by the deputy speaker under Article 63 (A).[34] However, according to the directives of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Hamza’s tenure as chief minister was deemed non-existent, rendering his election and all orders issued during his tenure invalid. Following these events, Elahi was officially declared as the 19th Chief Minister of Punjab. This was due to him securing the majority of votes in the assembly and the subsequent ruling of the Supreme Court.

Hamza Shahbaz public rally

Wealth and assets edit

A report highlighted a significant increase in Hamza’s assets, from a declared value of Rs 583,191 in 2008 to Rs 211,080,295 in 2011.[6] In 2014, it was reported by Dawn that Hamza’s net assets, amounting to Rs 250.46 million, surpassed those of his father, Shehbaz Sharif.[7]

Based on the asset details provided, Hamza is the proprietor of 11 non-agricultural land lots and properties in Lahore, collectively valued at over Rs 136 million. Additionally, he possesses 150 kanals of agricultural land, with an estimated worth of Rs 30 million. His investment portfolio includes shares in 21 companies, encompassing sectors such as sugar and textiles, with a cumulative value nearing Rs 133 million. His liquid assets, comprising bank balance and prize bonds, amount to approximately Rs 4.4 million. By 2018, the declared worth of Hamza’s assets had further increased to Rs 411 million.[11]

Controversies edit

Hamza was taken into custody on 11 June 2019, by the National Accountability Bureau due to allegations of corruption.[35] The basis for his arrest was alleged money laundering and possession of assets beyond his known sources of income.[36]

In a separate controversy, the Federal Investigation Agency disclosed the existence of 28 anonymous accounts, which were allegedly used to launder Rs. 16.3 billion, implicating seventeen thousand credit transactions. The agency asserted that eleven low-wage employees of the Sharif group were instrumental in carrying out these transactions.[37] Hamza, along with his father Shehbaz, were scheduled for indictment on February 10, 2022.[38][39] However, the Special Central Court of Lahore postponed the indictment to February 18, 2022.[40]

In the case of the sugar scandal, the Federal Investigation Agency alleged that a sum of Rs. 25 billion was laundered using employees of Ramzan Sugar Mills Limited and AI-Arabia Sugar Mills through fictitious accounts.[41] However, Hamza Shahbaz refuted these allegations, characterizing them as legitimate business transactions.[42] In January 2022, Hamza secured pre-arrest bail in relation to the money laundering and sugar scams.[43] Subsequently, on 24 February 2022, the Lahore High Court granted him bail in a case concerning possession of assets beyond known sources of income.[44]

On 12 May 2022, the National Accountability Bureau made a decision not to proceed with the prosecution of Hamza and his father, Shehbaz Sharif. This decision came into effect a month after Shehbaz assumed the role of prime minister, following a vote of no confidence against the former prime minister.[45]

The initiation of these cases can be traced back to the tenure of the former prime minister, Imran Khan. However, with his removal from office, the proceedings were subsequently discontinued. The sequence of events has led to speculation that the initiation of these cases was a political move by the former prime minister to keep his political opponents entangled in legal proceedings.[46] The charges against them were initially dismissed by the Special Central Court of Lahore on October 12, 2022.[47] Subsequently, on 20 July 2023, another judge from the same court also ruled in their favour, further affirming their acquittal.[48]

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Detail Information". 19 April 2014. Archived from the original on 19 April 2014. Retrieved 9 July 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  2. ^ a b c "PML-N may give Hamza a key slot". DAWN.COM. 24 July 2011. Archived from the original on 4 March 2017. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  3. ^ "If elections are held on time…". thenews.com.pk. Archived from the original on 5 December 2017. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  4. ^ Lyon, Stephen (2019). Political Kinship in Pakistan: Descent, Marriage, and Government Stability. Lexington Books. p. 100.
  5. ^ "Know Your CM". Government of Punjab, Pakistan. Archived from the original on 25 July 2023.
  6. ^ a b c "Hamza Sharif now Poultry King of Punjab - thenews.com.pk". The News. 14 July 2014. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 24 January 2017.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  7. ^ a b "The mystery of Raiwind palace ownership". DAWN.COM. 3 January 2014. Archived from the original on 20 January 2017. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  8. ^ "Hamza Shahbaz's alleged wife thrust into limelight in PTI, PML-N harassment row". DAWN.COM. 5 August 2017. Archived from the original on 5 August 2017. Retrieved 5 August 2017.
  9. ^ Newspaper, the (10 October 2011). "Ayesha says she was tortured by police". DAWN.COM. Archived from the original on 5 August 2017. Retrieved 5 August 2017.
  10. ^ "Hamza Shahbaz's wedding in US, honeymoon in Scotland". Pakistan Today. 25 May 2012. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  11. ^ a b "Hamza's net assets worth over Rs 411 million, Shahbaz owns 675 kanals land". DAWN.COM. 21 June 2018. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  12. ^ "Decades of famous faces at Adiala". The Nation. 24 July 2018. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  13. ^ a b "Baton passed: Hamza Shahbaz: Stepping out of the shadows - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 11 May 2013. Archived from the original on 7 August 2016. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  14. ^ "Maryam, Hamza vie for limelight". DAWN.COM. 7 December 2012. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  15. ^ "2008 election result" (PDF). ECP. Archived (PDF) from the original on 5 January 2018. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  16. ^ "Hamza Shahbaz takes oath as MNA". DAWN.COM. 23 June 2008. Archived from the original on 18 February 2018. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  17. ^ a b "Hamza Sharif bags NA-119 Lahore seat - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 12 May 2013. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  18. ^ "Nawaz League supporters celebrate victory". DAWN.COM. 12 May 2013. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  19. ^ "Pakistan General Elections 2013 - Detailed results". DAWN.COM. 12 May 2013. Archived from the original on 3 March 2017. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  20. ^ "PML-N's exhilirating in-house duels". DAWN.COM. 3 January 2016. Archived from the original on 27 November 2016. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  21. ^ "Hamza fills in for Shahbaz". DAWN.COM. 26 September 2013. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  22. ^ "PMLN's Hamza Shehbaz wins NA-124 election". Associated Press of Pakistan. 27 July 2018. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  23. ^ a b "Hamza vacates NA-124 Lahore seat". The Nation. 12 August 2018. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  24. ^ Tahir, Zulqernain (14 August 2018). "Hamza PML-N choice for CM, opposition leader slots". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  25. ^ "Punjab Assembly elects Buzdar as chief minister". DAWN.COM. 19 August 2018. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  26. ^ "Hamza opposition leader in PA". The News. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  27. ^ Malik, Arif (6 September 2018). "Hamza Shahbaz appointed opposition leader in Punjab Assembly". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  28. ^ "Hamza Shehbaz elected Punjab CM after garnering 197 votes in a session marred by melees, chaos". dawn.com.
  29. ^ Bhatti, Haseeb (26 July 2022). "Big blow to PML-N's Hamza as SC strikes down deputy speaker's ruling; Elahi to take over as Punjab CM". Retrieved 13 January 2024.
  30. ^ "SC voids Hamza election, Elahi is new CM". 27 July 2022.
  31. ^ "Hamza finally sworn in as Punjab CM". The Express Tribune. 30 April 2022. Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  32. ^ "PML-N's Hamza Shahbaz finally sworn in as Punjab CM". www.thenews.com.pk. Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  33. ^ "SC directs Hamza Shahbaz to work as 'trustee' CM till Monday, adjourns hearing". Retrieved 13 January 2024.
  34. ^ Hayat, Muhammad Omer; Farooq, Umar (22 July 2022). "Elahi suffers shock defeat as Hamza retains Punjab CM position after deputy speaker's contentious ruling". Retrieved 13 January 2024.
  35. ^ Sheikh, Wajih Ahmad (12 June 2019). "NAB arrests Hamza in corruption probe". Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  36. ^ "Hamza Shahbaz arrested by NAB as plea for bail extension withdrawn". 11 June 2019.
  37. ^ "FIA charges against Shehbaz, Hamza in Rs16bn graft case". 13 December 2021.
  38. ^ "Money laundering case: Shehbaz Sharif, Hamza Shahbaz to be indicted on 18th". 11 February 2022.
  39. ^ "Special court to indict Shehbaz, Hamza on Feb 18 in Rs16bn money laundering case". 10 February 2022.
  40. ^ "Court defers indictment, extends interim bail of Shehbaz and Hamza". 18 February 2022. Archived from the original on 19 February 2022. Retrieved 16 April 2022.
  41. ^ "Shahbaz, sons booked in Rs25 bn money laundering cases". 16 November 2020.
  42. ^ "Malik Maqsood's account contained business money: Hamza Shahbaz". 24 March 2022.
  43. ^ "Shehbaz, Hamza get pre-arrest bail in money laundering, sugar scams". 28 January 2022.
  44. ^ "Hamza gets bail after nearly two years". 25 February 2022.
  45. ^ Bilal, Rana (12 May 2022). "FIA decides against prosecuting PM Shehbaz, Hamza in money laundering case". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 2 August 2023.
  46. ^ "Pakistani court acquits PM, son in money laundering case". Retrieved 13 January 2024.
  47. ^ Sheikh, Wajih Ahmad (13 October 2022). "Shehbaz, son Hamza acquitted of money laundering charge". Retrieved 13 January 2024.
  48. ^ "PM, son acquitted in money laundering case". 20 July 2023. Retrieved 13 January 2024.
Political offices
Preceded by Chief Minister of Punjab
Succeeded by