Pehlwans – From Street Thugs to National Thugs – Story of Not So “Sharif” Brothers – Updated


(c) PakReport 2009

The Great Gama Pahalwan is a legend both in India and Pakistan. Born at Amritsar in a Kashmiri family of wrestler he is regarded as the greatest wrestler of all times. Majority of his sons, grand sons and great grandsons were also related to the professions. Gama Phelwan belonged to an extended tribe of Butts, living in a close family circle. The pehalwans were the real money earners while the rest lived off the side-businesses of wrestling, such as catering, bakery, match organization and so forth. Right after Independence the “Pahalwan Tribe” was one of the first to arrive in Lahore, thus they had ample time to grab prime locations in Lahore. They choose Mohni Road and settled there turning the then posh area into a “protected area” where any and everything had to be licensed by the extended family members of the Gama Pehlwan – even though the aging wrestler and his immediate family only concentrated on wrestling – the extended family members started their ragtag “badmashi” in their names. 

Life continued until the eventful year of 1976. Defeat of Akram Bholu by Antonio Inoki in 1976 and the controversial draw between Zubair Jhara and Antonio Inoki in 1979 was an eye opener for the entire extended clan. Wrestling was dead as a profession and the entire extended family which was living on the sub-professions of wrestling such as catering, keeping the “badmash” out of their areas suddenly found that they couldn’t live off the scraps any more. They quickly started looking in other directions for immediate alternatives.

This was the time when the world as a whole and Pakistan especially was going through radical political and economic changes. The political government had just been thrown out of office by a military dictator and a flood gates of heroin money had been opened.

Many of the Pahalwan’s extended clan members were already involved in local gambling dens, being the owners and monitors (for being the relatives of great Pahalwan family). Of course they had the “infamy” of being related to the great Gama Pehalwan and his sons who could squeeze life out of a grown man as if a mosquito. In these famous gambling dens two cousins were on the top, Zia Sohail Butt and Akram Butt. They had established a small monopoly on the Mohni Road and the adjoining localities. Although very remotely related to Gama Pahalwan, they had been quite enterprising in using his name and his children. Also, they were supported by their own extended families including one uncle named Mian Muhammad Sharif. After Bhutto’s nationalizing of his only source of income the Ittefaq Foundry, Mian Muhammad Sharif and his brothers had to go back to their original business of selling junk and junk steel. In that they required time and again help of their nephews, to thwart competitor bidders. The small family gang had established a good “badmash” reputation of being the real “not-Pahalwans” of Mohni Road. (We will be using the term not-pahalwans to differentiate the family of Mian Muhammad Sharif with the family of Gama Pahalwan.)

In 1979 the not-pahalwan family was suddenly thrust into a completely new venture. They saw small amounts of a new substance – heroin – making into their gambling dens. Mian Muhammad Sharif, the most enterprising of all, was quick to assess the potential and his nephews Sohail Zia Butt and Akram Butt were quick to jump on the bandwagon. Within a year the not-Pahalwan Family had created a monopoly on heroin in Mohni Road and each member of not-pahawan family was earning a profit in millions. Within a period of two years the entire family of not-pehlawans was back on its feet and their factories were operating again. Being real entrepreneurs, they were investing all their earnings in industry.

Character of a corrupt leader -Abhi tu main Jawan hoon :)

In the early eighties, after that Nawaz Sharif had completed his education his father Mian Muhammad Sharif started him in the business. However, this proved a disaster. As a second option Mian Muhammad Sharif set him up with Pakistani actor Saeed Khan Rangeela to get him into acting (something which Nawaz Sharif wanted). A few days later Saeed Khan Rangeela sent his regrets to Mian Muhammad Sharif saying that his son was too dumb for acting and movie industry. Mian Muhammad Sharif then a cricket coaches to train his son for cricket, but his physical fitness was too low for the sport. It is rumored that by mid-day on his first day at training Nawaz Sharif threw the bat down and left the stadium saying, “This is too tough for me.” As a last resort he paid General Ghulam Jilani Khan a considerable sum of monies to introduce Nawaz Sharif to General Zia-ul-Haq recommending him for a political post, who in turn made Nawaz Sharif the Finance Minister of Punjab. This was the day when the street thugs of Mohni Road had stepped on to becoming the national thugs of Pakistan.

The day Nawaz Sharif had become Finance Minister, the entire family’s earnings were few million rupees and had only one refinery. From there they went on to: Ittefaq Sugar Mills was set up in 1982, Brothers steel in 1983, Brother’s Textile Mills in 1986, Brothers Sugar Mills Ltd in 1986, Ittefaq Textile units in 2-3 in 1987, Khalid Siraj Textile Mills in 1988, Ramzan Buksh Textiles in 1987, Farooq Barkat (pvt) Ltd in 1985. By the time of Zia ul Haq’s fateful plane crash, Mian Muhammad Sharif’s family was earning a net profit of US$ 3 million, up from a few million rupees. By the end of the decade their net assets were worth more than 6 billion rupees, according to their own admission, nearly US$ 350 million at the time. But this turned out to be small-change when Nawaz Sharif became the Prime Minister.

When Nawaz Sharif became prime minister, the group took a decision to secure project loans from the foreign banks and only working capital was taken from the nationalized commercial banks. The project financing from foreign banks was ostensibly secured against the foreign currency deposits, a number of which were held in benamee accounts, as repeatedly claimed by Interior Minister Naseer Ullah Babar at his press conferences. In 1992 Salman Taseer released an account of Nawaz Sharif’s corruption stating that the family had taken loans of up to 12 billion rupees, which were never paid back. On March 2, 1994, Khalid Siraj, a cousin of Nawaz Sharif claimed that the assets of the seven brothers were valued at Rs 21 billion.

These were the accounts of profits and companies which were openly known to public. However, the family kept their side business going all the while – the gambling dens and heroin control in Lahore – and along with their industry the side business also mushroomed.

During the Afghan-Soviet War Nawaz Sharif’s cousin Sohail Zia Butt started working under the drug baron Mirza Iqbal Beg, then Pakistan’s second biggest drug lord after Ayub Afridi. Mian Muhammad Sharif and his sons had a permanent share in his gambling and heroin business. In 1990 Suhail Butt won a seat on the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad ticket in the Punjab Assembly. It was through Sohail Butt’s association that Nawaz Sharif became a close associate of Mirza Iqbal Beg. It was through him that Nawaz Sharif became benami owner of many of the privatized government entities, such as Muslim Commercial Bank. Sohail Zia Butt other than getting involved in the drug business made billions in the co-operative societies’ collapse, mainly through the National Industrial Credit and Finance Corporation. It was Nawaz Sharif’s share in his cousin’s drug business which he used to buy off the generals thereby delaying the inevitable dismissal of his government.

In 1995 when Mirza Iqbal Beg was imprisoned, Sohail Zia Butt took over his drug empire. It is at this time that he became one of the biggest drug and crime bosses in Pakistan and was nicknamed the “King of Hera Mandi” and at one time all six underworld gangs of Lahore were working under him.

By 1995 family’s declared annual profits from industrial units had increased 1500% from US$ 30 million to staggering US$ 400 million.

This is the short version of how in mere 15 years small street thugs running gambling dens became leaders of a country running narcotics, underworld and smuggling empires, untouched by everyone.

Also See: Biography: Nawaz Sharif


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Farhan Investigative Report

The following is an excellent programme exposing some of the corruption conducted by Nawaz Sharif by the host of DM Digital, Farhan Aslam, who also used to work for ARY Digital a few years ago.

The report has been divided into six segments. I will offer a short summary of the discussion, followed by the clips themselves.

Brief summary

Nawaz Sharif’s only agenda was to make money. In order to achieve this goal, he formed/changed laws and policies for his personal benefit and expanded his business empire by misusing his authority as Prime Minister.

Interestingly enough and ironically, the PPP played a major role in exposing the corruption of Nawaz Sharif and his family. The Jamaat-e-Islami had also levelled a number of corruption allegations upon Nawaz Sharif. As we know, later Sharif and his cronies also played a role in exposing the corruption of Benazir Bhutto and her PPP. In other words, both Sharif and Bhutto have been busy over the years actively accusing each other of committing corruption.

Nawaz Sharif is widely acknowledged to be a highly incompetent person, with a mediocre I.Q. level. The brain behind him was that of his late “Abba Jee” (‘daddy’) – the mastermind and the main decision maker behind the scene.

In order to consolidate and attain more power, N. Sharif attacked every individual and institutions he felt could get in the way challenge his authority. In order to get rid of the then Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, who was despised by Sharif, the later created divisions among the judges to make life difficult for the Chief Justice. A group of judges refused to acknowledge Shah as the Chief Justice and things got so bad that a number of junior judges put hurdles in the way of the Chief Justice in order to make it difficult for him to carry out his duties. Eventually, Sharif ordered his thugs to attack the Supreme Court in order to prevent the Chief Justice from giving a ruling against him.

The police did nothing to stop Sharif’s thugs as they attacked and entered the Supreme Court. The judges inside the building barely managed to escape. The thugs, led by Sajjad Naseem and Mushtaq Tahir, Nawaz Sharif’s political secretaries, entered the court chanting anti-Sajjad slogans and destroyed the furniture.

Next, consider Nawaz Sharif’s relationship with the press and media. Two examples will suffice. On 8th May 1999, Najam Sethi, a prominent journalist of Pakistan, was arrested by the police on the orders of Sharif. Sethi has committed the crime of annoying Nawaz Sharif by writing a critical essay against him. The police broke into Sethi’s house at around 2 am and beat him up in his bedroom in front of his wife, after which he was transported off to a secret location. The police trashed Sethi’s house, broke the furniture and beat him up quite bad. Sethi was only released after a lot of international pressure had built up against Sharif. Sharif also demanded the Jang Group to get rid of all the journalists who were critical of him. To achieve this goal, Sharif and his cronies used a variety of legal and illegal means to pressure the Jang Group into compliance.

There is probably no institution in Pakistan which Nawaz Sharif did not aggressively confront in order make them comply to his wishes. Besides picking on a fight with the President, the Judiciary and the already restricted/limited media, Sharif also decided to have a confrontation with the army, the only viable institution left in Pakistan. Chief of Army Staff, General Jehangir Karamat, and Nawaz Sharif had a conflict over an issue pertaining to the national security council and both entered into a heated discussion, after which Gen. Karamat had to offer his resignation. Jehangir Karamat thus became the first Chief of Army Staff in the history of Pakistan to have left the army in this prematurely in this manner.

One by one all challenges and potential obstacles were removed from the way by Nawaz Sharif. Ghulam Ishaq Khan, Farooq Leghari, Sajjad Ali Shah, and Jehangir Karamat, as well as others, were all removed from the scene by Sharif.

After the removal of Jehangir Karamat, Sharif appointed Pervaiz Musharraf as the Chief of Army Staff. Some analysts at the time said that Sharif made this decision thinking that Pervaiz Musharraf was an Urdu speaker and did not belong to a Punjabi army family, thus very unlikely to be a threat to Sharif!

Things became sour between Sharif and Musharraf during the Kargil episode. Later, once a relative of Sharif was removed from the army by Musharraf, that was the final nail in the coffin. Sharif then decided to take his revenge and replace Gen. Musharraf with a fellow of his liking who would be controllable (the head of the I.S.I. at the time).

Farhan Aslam also comments upon the ill-advised economic decisions of Sharif which made Pakistan’s situation from bad to worse. Moreover, he comments upon the Sharif family’s personal business empire and how it grew exponentially through questionable means.

Part 1


Part 2


Part 3


Part 4


Part 5


Part 6


I am just flabbergasted to know that there are still some people around who support and are willing to go to great lengths to defend this despicable character. By large, this guy looted our country and created mayhem. He attacked every institution within the country, not even sparing the army, and even dreamt of becoming the so-called “Amir ul-Mumineen”!

Listen to any of his recent talks and interviews and all you encounter is the usual waffle, empty rhetoric and emotions. This is all he has to misled the masses and the sad part is that there are people around who find his rubbish convincing!

If you vote and support this guy, then you deserve to be looted by him since you are worse than him. WAKE UP!

More videos

Also See:

Biography: Nawaz Sharif

Black Revolution 2007: Pakistan’s Lawyers Movement – Bush Administration’s Last Color Revolution

Don’t Fool Yourselves, Pakistan’s Judiciary As Screwed As Its Feudal Democracy

Operation Blue Tulsi: 15 Years in Planning, 10 Years in Preparation and Today in Execution

Biography: Pervez Musharraf

Video: Nawaz Sharif Exposed!

Nawaz Sharif received funds from Osama bin Laden to topple Benazir Bhutto’s Government

Nawaz Sharif met Osama bin Laden to discuss Jihad

Can we really trust Nawaz Sharif?

Nawaz Sharif, Kamran Khan & National Interest

Nawaz Sharif, India & The ‘Daughters Game’

Pakistan: Sharif Playing Dirty, Again

U.S. Engineering A New Disaster In Islamabad?

US Embassy Summons Nawaz Sharif

Pakistan: If It’s Zardari’s End, It Should Be Nawaz’s Too

Ayaz Amir: Nawaz Sharif Is ‘Impulsive’, Unwise

‘US special squad killed Benazir Bhutto’

US planning to partition Pakistan: Poll

15 Responses

  1. Hussain Farooqui says:

    Nawaz Shariff had a gruesome nightmare yesterday night. He saw in his dream that his attempts for Musharaff’s trial resulted into failure and then Musharaff became the president of Pakistan again. He woke up springly with loud horrifying cries.

  2. Javed says:

    Can somebody answer why did Musharraf let him go, pardon him, and live a prosperous life in Saudi Arabia, and family in England, knowing he is a crook?
    And why NS is so unthankful to Musharraf, knowing he could have gone after him, pressed corruption charges, and he did not?

    Also, why is NS ignoring the fact Musharraf may be aware of his background, and may play his cards right at the right time, when the push comes to shove?

    NS is pursuing his mission for justice against Musharraf, as if he is pure like an angel. It is surprising!

  3. Munawwar says:

    Also, I wonder why does Imran Khan support him?

    Imran Khan is an honest and intelligent man. Why does he support Nawaz Sharif? Why is he so naive, to not know about his background?

    Pakistan needs bright & young leadership to grow, and replace the old thugs.

  4. Munawwar says:

    This person, Nawaz Sharif, who acts like an angel has so many skeletons in his closet, according to the article.

    The current Chief Justice owes him his job. If it were not for his long march, Chief Justice would not have had his employment back.

    He wants to punish Musharraf for violating the constitution & Bugti’s death as a result of the fight with the army. He acts like an honest man who wants jutice.

    Can somebody provide some information that further validates the story to be true.

    If it is true, then Nawaz Sharif better back off.

    I am sure Musharraf must be aware of his background too, after all he had access to records for 8 years.

    Also, I don’t understand, why nobody asks air traffic control to disclose the recording of the commuication with the pilot’s cabin to prove that the plane was asked to divert, though the fuel level was not sufficient.

    I don’t understand why there are no charges being leveled in the court against him, if the story is true, and there are other accomplices to prove it.

  5. Jim Garry says:

    Thank you, interesting! I will wait for your new articles.

  6. Muhammad says:

    I simply have no words for him as he is more than a dacoit but one of the most horrible part is that the people of Pakistan still not relaised him and they still consider him as a Leader, shame on us beleive me. It horrified me alot.
    His whole party is a party of so called BADMASH. They all are thief from A to Z. I am living in Saudia these days and i know how much money and businesses he have here but infront of whole nation he lied that he doesn’t have anything ouside the country.
    The case of Shumaila Rana and one MPA from Multan who commited adultery is a recent xample.

    May Allah bless our Home land

  7. Rafay Kashmiri says:

    ya, woh saab badmaash ” shareefs” sheriffs

  8. aamir says:

    sharif badmash

  9. AlyB says:

    Interesting read.

  10. Rafay Kashmiri says:

    My personal homage to The Greatest Gama
    Pehlawan of Pakistan.

    Pakistan was never a paradise, before and after
    Sharifs, as for ” during “, all benefitted from
    ” wand kha khand “, we all know well that the
    black list could be very long, some of them left
    this fani world already, some are still ” surviving ”
    prospering day after day e.g Zar-bhutts,
    Musharafians, Peerans, Makhdooms, Tiwanas,
    Malkanas, Hayats, Noons, Khanans, Altafians,
    Habibians, Dawoodians, and other “privilegedly”
    not mentionned here, they make, par definition,
    survive Waderah system, but, lets respect our
    constitution and dignity. We don’t need Sufi Mohd
    to rescue our survival, they have already drowned
    us all ” enough “.

    Ho agar doobna maqsood, ae meri awaam !
    Zarbhutt ba-musharaf, aur Mullah chahiay
    Tamanah ho agar, baich khane ki zameer
    Biknay ko bhi aik Malik Rehman chahiay
    Har gam pe jab tishna laho hon maujood!
    Darogha-e-Maqtal ko bhi Altaf chahiay
    rafay kashmiri

  11. Sajid Ansari says:

    In 1989 Hakim Ali Zardari, then chairman PAC, accused Sharif brothers of getting the loans of Ra.22 billions written off by Gen. Ziaul haq and Choudhries got away with Rs.21 billions. It is on record. Afterwrd, Sharif brothers got away with multi-billions written off by their appointed President Rafiq Tarar.

    When PPP won elections in 2007 Kawasjee said “aik dakoo jata hay, to doosra ajata hay” yehee Pakistan kee qismat main likha hay.

    That is why MUST have Sharia Laws in the country, no problem thru Molana Sufi Mohammad but these dacoits be wiped off from Pak-istan.

  12. but in this whole discussion Shehbaz sharif brother of Nawaz Sharif not discussed any reason

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