Shehbaz first became chief minister of Punjab in 1997 when his brother was prime minister at the Centre.
Following General Pervez Musharraf’s coup in 1999 toppling the Nawaz Sharif government, Shehbaz along with the family spent eight years in exile in Saudi Arabia before returning to Pakistan in 2007.
He wore the hat of Punjab chief minister for the second term in 2008 and he grabbed the same slot for third time in 2013.
Shehbaz has claimed that Gen Musharraf had offered him prime ministership provided he abandons his elder brother Nawaz which he said he had refused straight away.
After prime minister Nawaz Sharif was disqualified from holding office in 2017 in the Panama Papers case, the PML-N appointed Shehbaz as the party president. Subsequently, after the 2018 elections he became the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly.
In September 2020, Shehbaz was arrested by the anti-graft body – National Accountability Bureau – on the charges of money laundering and income beyond means case instituted by the Imran Khan government against him. Shehbaz denied the charges and termed them as political victimisation’. He remained in jail for several months before he got bail.
Currently, he is facing a PKR 14 billion money laundering case in the UK brought against him by Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). He is also on bail in this case.
Nawaz’s daughter and PML-N vice-president Maryam Nawaz, who is Shehbaz’s niece, has said that her uncle is a man who has served the nation selflessly and tirelessly.
“A man who set an example of unflinching loyalty to his brother despite the worst personal and political victimisation. A man who is, has been and always will be a second father to me, Maryam says about his uncle.