While brother Nawaz was often seen as pulling in the crowds, poetry-loving Shahbaz has reputation for capability

He is known as a diligent administrator with such a great love of poetry that he often opens official meetings with recitals of famous revolutionary Urdu poets. After Shahbaz Sharif was appointed as Pakistan’s 23rd prime minister on Monday, his first words to parliament were those from a poem by Ata ul Haq Qasmi, a modern Pakistani poet and commentator, speaking of “justice” and “freedom from oppression,” the Guardian reports.

His ascension to the prime minister’s office marks the return of the wealthy Sharif family as one of the most powerful political dynasties in Pakistan. His brother, Nawaz Sharif, was prime minister three times between 1990 and 2017, during which time Shabaz served as the chief minister of Punjab, Pakistan’s most populous state.

“It has long been a dream of Shahbaz Sharif to become the prime minister to demonstrate his administrative and political skills,” said Cyril Almeida, a journalist and analyst. “He wanted to be the prime minister in 2013, but his brother Nawaz kept him in Punjab.”

Shahbaz Sharif, 70, initially worked in the family industrial business and then entered politics in 1988, becoming Punjab chief minister in 1997. But after his brother was toppled from power in a 1999 military coup, the Sharif family went into exile in Saudi Arabia. He returned to the country in 2007 and once again became chief minister of Punjab.

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