A survey from Gallup Pakistan has revealed that approval ratings for Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) supreme leader Nawaz Sharif have increased since February 2020, showing that the former prime minister received higher ratings across the country than Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The Gallup survey questioned 5,588 adults from Punjab, Sindh and KP between December 22, 2021 – January 31, 2022 about the popularity of Nawaz Sharif, PM Imran Khan, PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.
Nawaz Sharif scored higher approval ratings than Imran Khan in all three provinces. In Punjab, 58 per cent of respondents ranked Nawaz’s performance as ‘favourable,’ compared with just 33 per cent of respondents in Punjab who found Imran Khan’s performance favourable. In Sindh, Nawaz received a 51 per cent favourable approval rating, while Iman Khan received only 33 per cent of the same. Imran Khan scored best in KP, where he received a 44 per cent favourable approval rating, although here too he was out ranked by Nawaz Sharif, who received a 46 per cent favourable approval rating in KP.
PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif also received higher approval ratings than the prime minister in Punjab and Sindh, scoring a 58 per cent favourable approval rating in Punjab, 41 per cent in Sindh, and a 43 per cent approval rating in KP.
The prime minister polled better than PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto, who received a 24 per cent favourable rating in Punjab, 37 per cent in his home base of Sindh, and 24 per cent favourable approval in KP.
Nawaz Sharif has been in London since 2019, when the Lahore High Court (LHC) granted the former prime minister permission to seek medical treatment there. In recent weeks, rumours of his return, as well as speculation regarding his ongoing medical care, have sparked intrigue in Islamabad. Sharif was convicted of corruption in 2018 and faces a prison sentence in Pakistan.