The Most Famous

POLITICIANS from Pakistan

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This page contains a list of the greatest Pakistani Politicians. The pantheon dataset contains 19,576 Politicians, 56 of which were born in Pakistan. This makes Pakistan the birth place of the 55th most number of Politicians behind Belarus, and Morocco.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Pakistani Politicians of all time. This list of famous Pakistani Politicians is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Pakistani Politicians.

Photo of Akbar

1. Akbar (1542 - 1605)

With an HPI of 79.10, Akbar is the most famous Pakistani Politician.  His biography has been translated into 147 different languages on wikipedia.

Abu'l-Fath Jalal-ud-din Muhammad Akbar ((1542-10-15)15 October 1542 – (1605-10-27)27 October 1605), popularly known as Akbar the Great, and also as Akbar I (Persian pronunciation: [ak.baɾ]), was the third Mughal emperor, who reigned from 1556 to 1605. Akbar succeeded his father, Humayun, under a regent, Bairam Khan, who helped the young emperor expand and consolidate Mughal domains in the Indian subcontinent. Akbar gradually enlarged the Mughal Empire to include much of the Indian subcontinent through Mughal military, political, cultural, and economic dominance. To unify the vast Mughal state, Akbar established a centralised system of administration and adopted a policy of conciliating conquered rulers through marriage and diplomacy. To preserve peace and order in a religiously and culturally diverse empire, he adopted policies that won him the support of his non-Muslim subjects, including abolishing the sectarian tax and appointing them to high civil and military posts. Under Akbar, Mughal India developed a strong and stable economy, which tripled in size and wealth, leading to commercial expansion and greater patronage of an Indo-Persian culture. Akbar's courts at Delhi, Agra, and Fatehpur Sikri attracted holy men of many faiths, poets, architects, and artisans, and become known as centres of the arts, letters, and learning. Timurid and Perso-Islamic culture began to merge and blend with indigenous Indian elements into a distinct style of Mughal arts, including painting and architecture. Disillusioned with orthodox Islam and perhaps hoping to bring about religious unity within his empire, Akbar promulgated Din-i Ilahi, a syncretic creed derived mainly from Islam and Hinduism as well as elements of Zoroastrianism and Christianity. Akbar was succeeded as emperor by his son, Prince Salim, later known as Jahangir.

Photo of Shah Jahan

2. Shah Jahan (1592 - 1666)

With an HPI of 73.88, Shah Jahan is the 2nd most famous Pakistani Politician.  His biography has been translated into 89 different languages.

Mirza Shahab-ud-Din Muhammad Khurram (5 January 1592 – 22 January 1666), also known as Shah Jahan I (Persian pronunciation: [ʃɑːh d͡ʒa.ˈhɑːn]; lit. 'King of the World'), was the fifth Mughal Emperor, reigning from 1628 until 1658. During his reign, the Mughals reached the peak of their architectural and cultural achievements. The third son of Jahangir (r. 1605–1627), Shah Jahan participated in the military campaigns against the Sisodia Rajputs of Mewar and the rebel Lodi nobles of the Deccan. After Jahangir's death in October 1627, Shah Jahan defeated his youngest brother Shahryar Mirza and crowned himself emperor in the Agra Fort. In addition to Shahryar, Shah Jahan executed most of his rival claimants to the throne. He commissioned many monuments, including the Red Fort, Shah Jahan Mosque and the Taj Mahal, where his favorite consort Mumtaz Mahal is entombed. In foreign affairs, Shah Jahan presided over the aggressive campaigns against the Deccan Sultanates, the conflicts with the Portuguese, and the wars with the Safavids. He also suppressed several local rebellions, and dealt with the devastating Deccan famine of 1630–32. In September 1657, Shah Jahan was ailing and appointed his eldest son Dara Shikoh as his successor. This nomination led to a succession crisis among his three sons, from which Shah Jahan's third son Aurangzeb (r. 1658–1707) emerged victorious and became the sixth emperor, executing all of his surviving brothers, including Crown Prince Dara Shikoh. After Shah Jahan recovered from his illness in July 1658, Aurangzeb imprisoned his father in Agra Fort from July 1658 until his death in January 1666. He was laid to rest next to his wife in the Taj Mahal. His reign is known for doing away with the liberal policies initiated by his grandfather Akbar. During Shah Jahan's time, Islamic revivalist movements like the Naqshbandi began to shape Mughal policies.

Photo of Shehbaz Sharif

3. Shehbaz Sharif (b. 1951)

With an HPI of 71.67, Shehbaz Sharif is the 3rd most famous Pakistani Politician.  His biography has been translated into 57 different languages.

Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif (Urdu: میاں محمد شہباز شریف, pronounced [ʃɛhˈbaːz ʃəˈriːf]; born 23 September 1951) is a Pakistani politician and businessman who is currently serving as the 24th prime minister of Pakistan since March 2024, having previously served in the post from April 2022 to August 2023. He is the president of the Pakistan Muslim League (N) (PML-N). Previously in his political career, he served as the chief minister of Punjab three times, making him the longest-serving chief minister of Punjab.Shehbaz was elected to the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab in 1988 and to the National Assembly of Pakistan in 1990. He was again elected to the Punjab Assembly in 1993 and named leader of the opposition. He was elected as chief minister of Pakistan's most populous province, Punjab, for the first time on 20 February 1997. After the 1999 Pakistani coup d'état, Shehbaz along with his family spent years of self-exile in Saudi Arabia, returning to Pakistan in 2007. Shehbaz was appointed chief minister for a second term after the PML-N's victory in Punjab province in the 2008 Pakistani general election. He was elected as chief minister of Punjab for the third time in the 2013 general election and served his term until his party's defeat in the 2018 general election. During his tenure as chief minister, Shehbaz enjoyed a reputation as a highly competent and diligent administrator. He initiated ambitious infrastructure projects in Punjab and was noted for his efficient governance. Shehbaz was nominated as the president of the Pakistan Muslim League-N after his brother, Nawaz Sharif, was disqualified from holding office in the wake of the Panama Papers case. He was nominated as the leader of the opposition after the 2018 election.In December 2019, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) froze 23 properties belonging to Shehbaz and his son Hamza, accusing them of money laundering. On 28 September 2020, the NAB arrested Shehbaz at Lahore High Court and indicted him on charges of money laundering. He was incarcerated pending trial. On 14 April 2021, Lahore High Court released him on bail in money laundering reference. On 12 October 2022, Shehbaz and Hamza were acquitted on all charges of corruption and money laundering by the Special Court Central in Lahore. Amid the 2022 Pakistani political crises, Shehbaz was elected by the National Assembly as prime minister on 11 April 2022 after the no-confidence motion against Imran Khan. On 12 August 2023, the parliament was set to expire due to the completion of the five-year tenure. In order to gain more time for elections and other political gains, Shehbaz and the PDM alliance agreed to dissolve the parliament on 9 August 2023, which was approved by the president of Pakistan.

Photo of Benazir Bhutto

4. Benazir Bhutto (1953 - 2007)

With an HPI of 65.78, Benazir Bhutto is the 4th most famous Pakistani Politician.  Her biography has been translated into 117 different languages.

Benazir Bhutto (21 June 1953 – 27 December 2007) was a Pakistani politician and stateswoman who served as the 11th and 13th prime minister of Pakistan from 1988 to 1990 and again from 1993 to 1996. She was the first woman elected to head a democratic government in a Muslim-majority country. Ideologically a liberal and a secularist, she chaired or co-chaired the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) from the early 1980s until her assassination in 2007. Of mixed Sindhi and Kurdish parentage, Bhutto was born in Karachi to a politically important, wealthy aristocratic family. She studied at Harvard University and the University of Oxford, where she was President of the Oxford Union. Her father, the PPP leader Zulfikar Bhutto, was elected prime minister on a socialist platform in 1973. She returned to Pakistan in 1977, shortly before her father was ousted in a military coup and executed. Bhutto and her mother Nusrat took control of the PPP and led the country's Movement for the Restoration of Democracy; Bhutto was repeatedly imprisoned by Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq's military government and then self-exiled to Britain in 1984. She returned in 1986 and—influenced by Thatcherite economics—transformed the PPP's platform from a socialist to a liberal one, before leading it to victory in the 1988 election. As prime minister, her attempts at reform were stifled by conservative and Islamist forces, including President Ghulam Ishaq Khan and the powerful military. Her administration was accused of corruption and nepotism and dismissed by Khan in 1990. Intelligence services rigged that year's election to ensure a victory for the conservative Islamic Democratic Alliance (IJI), at which point Bhutto became Leader of the Opposition. After the IJI government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was also dismissed on corruption charges, Bhutto led the PPP to victory in the 1993 elections. In her second term, she oversaw economic privatisation and attempts to advance women's rights. Her government was damaged by several controversies, including the assassination of her brother Murtaza, a failed 1995 coup d'état, and a further bribery scandal involving her and her husband Asif Ali Zardari; in response, President Farooq Leghari dismissed her government. The PPP lost the 1997 election and in 1998 she went into self-exile, living between Dubai and London for the next decade. A widening corruption inquiry culminated in a 2003 conviction in a Swiss court. Following the United States–brokered negotiations with then President, general Pervez Musharraf, she returned to Pakistan in 2007 to compete in the 2008 elections; her platform emphasised civilian oversight of the military and opposition to growing Islamist violence. After a political rally in Rawalpindi, she was assassinated. The Salafi jihadi group al-Qaeda claimed responsibility, although the involvement of the Pakistani Taliban and rogue elements of the intelligence services was widely suspected. She was buried at her family mausoleum in Garhi Khuda Baksh. Bhutto was a controversial figure who remains divisive. She was often criticised as being politically inexperienced, was accused of being corrupt, and faced much opposition from Pakistan's Islamist lobby for her secularist and modernising agenda. In the early years of her career, she was nevertheless domestically popular and also attracted support from the international community, seen as a champion of democracy. Posthumously, she came to be regarded as an icon for women's rights due to her political success in a male-dominated society.

Photo of Muhammad Ali Jinnah

5. Muhammad Ali Jinnah (1876 - 1948)

With an HPI of 64.44, Muhammad Ali Jinnah is the 5th most famous Pakistani Politician.  His biography has been translated into 97 different languages.

Muhammad Ali Jinnah (born Mahomedali Jinnahbhai; 25 December 1876 – 11 September 1948) was a barrister, politician and the founder of Pakistan. Jinnah served as the leader of the All-India Muslim League from 1913 until the inception of Pakistan on 14 August 1947, and then as the Dominion of Pakistan's first governor-general until his death. Born at Wazir Mansion in Karachi, Jinnah was trained as a barrister at Lincoln's Inn in London, England. Upon his return to India, he enrolled at the Bombay High Court, and took an interest in national politics, which eventually replaced his legal practice. Jinnah rose to prominence in the Indian National Congress in the first two decades of the 20th century. In these early years of his political career, Jinnah advocated Hindu–Muslim unity, helping to shape the 1916 Lucknow Pact between the Congress and the All-India Muslim League, in which Jinnah had also become prominent. Jinnah became a key leader in the All-India Home Rule League, and proposed a fourteen-point constitutional reform plan to safeguard the political rights of Muslims in the Indian subcontinent. In 1920, however, Jinnah resigned from the Congress when it agreed to follow a campaign of satyagraha, which he regarded as political anarchy. By 1940, Jinnah had come to believe that the Muslims of the subcontinent should have their own state to avoid the possible marginalised status they may gain in an independent Hindu–Muslim state. In that year, the Muslim League, led by Jinnah, passed the Lahore Resolution, demanding a separate nation for Indian Muslims. During the Second World War, the League gained strength while leaders of the Congress were imprisoned, and in the provincial elections held shortly after the war, it won most of the seats reserved for Muslims. Ultimately, the Congress and the Muslim League could not reach a power-sharing formula that would allow the entirety of British India to be united as a single state following independence, leading all parties to agree instead to the independence of a predominantly Hindu India, and for a Muslim-majority state of Pakistan. As the first governor-general of Pakistan, Jinnah worked to establish the new nation's government and policies, and to aid the millions of Muslim migrants who had emigrated from neighbouring India to Pakistan after the two states' independence, personally supervising the establishment of refugee camps. Jinnah died at age 71 in September 1948, just over a year after Pakistan gained independence from the United Kingdom. He left a deep and respected legacy in Pakistan. Several universities and public buildings in Pakistan bear Jinnah's name. He is revered in Pakistan as the Quaid-e-Azam ("Great Leader") and Baba-e-Qaum ("Father of the Nation"). His birthday is also observed as a national holiday in the country. According to his biographer, Stanley Wolpert, Jinnah remains Pakistan's greatest leader.

Photo of Porus

6. Porus (-400 - -316)

With an HPI of 64.24, Porus is the 6th most famous Pakistani Politician.  His biography has been translated into 49 different languages.

Porus or Poros (Ancient Greek: Πῶρος Pôros; fl. 326–321 BC) was an ancient Indian king whose territory spanned the region between the Jhelum River (Hydaspes) and Chenab River (Acesines), in the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent. He is only mentioned in Greek sources. Credited to have been a legendary warrior with exceptional skills, Porus unsuccessfully fought against Alexander the Great in the Battle of the Hydaspes (326 BC). In the aftermath, an impressed Alexander not only reinstated him as his satrap but also granted him dominion over lands to the south-east extending as far as the Hyphasis (Beas). Porus reportedly died sometime between 321 and 315 BC.

Photo of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto

7. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (1928 - 1979)

With an HPI of 62.30, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto is the 7th most famous Pakistani Politician.  His biography has been translated into 79 different languages.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (5 January 1928 – 4 April 1979) was a Pakistani barrister, politician, and statesman. He served as the fourth president of Pakistan from 1971 to 1973 and later as the ninth prime minister of Pakistan from 1973 to 1977. Bhutto founded the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and served as its chairman until his execution. Born in Sindh as a shia muslim and educated at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Oxford, Bhutto trained as a barrister at Lincoln's Inn before entering politics. Initially, he was a cabinet member during president Iskandar Ali Mirza's tenure, holding various ministries during president Muhammad Ayub Khan's military rule from 1958. Bhutto became the Foreign Minister in 1963, advocating for Operation Gibraltar in Kashmir, leading to the 1965 war with India. Following the Tashkent Declaration, he was dismissed from the government. Bhutto established the PPP in 1967, focusing on an Islamic socialist agenda, and contested the 1970 general election. The Awami League and PPP were unable to agree on power transfer, leading to civil unrest and the creation of Bangladesh. After Pakistan's loss in the 1971 war against Bangladesh, Bhutto assumed the presidency in December 1971, imposing emergency rule. During his presidency, Bhutto secured the release of 93,000 prisoners of war and reclaimed five thousand square miles (13,000 km2) of Indian-held territory through the Simla Agreement. He strengthened diplomatic ties with China and Saudi Arabia, recognized Bangladesh, and hosted the second Organisation of the Islamic Conference in Lahore in 1974. Bhutto's government drafted the current constitution of Pakistan in 1973, after which he transitioned to the prime minister's office. He played a crucial role in initiating the country's nuclear program. However, his policies, including extensive nationalisation, led to economic stagnation. Despite winning the 1977 parliamentary elections, Bhutto faced allegations of widespread vote rigging, sparking violence across the country. On 5 July 1977, Bhutto was deposed in a military coup by army chief Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq. Controversially tried and executed in 1979, Bhutto's legacy remains contentious, praised for nationalism and a secular internationalist agenda, yet criticized for political repression, economic challenges, and human rights abuses. He is often considered one of Pakistan's greatest leaders. His party, the PPP, continues to be a significant political force in Pakistan, with his daughter Benazir Bhutto serving twice as Prime Minister, and his son-in-law, Asif Ali Zardari, becoming president.

Photo of Ranjit Singh

8. Ranjit Singh (1780 - 1839)

With an HPI of 61.04, Ranjit Singh is the 8th most famous Pakistani Politician.  His biography has been translated into 47 different languages.

Ranjit Singh (13 November 1780 – 27 June 1839), popularly known as Sher-e-Punjab or "Lion of Punjab", was the first Maharaja of the Sikh Empire, which ruled the northwest Indian subcontinent in the early half of the 19th century. He survived smallpox in infancy but lost sight in his left eye. He fought his first battle alongside his father at age 10. After his father died around Ranjit's early teenage years, Ranjit subsequently fought several wars to expel the Afghans throughout his teenage years. At the age of 21, he was proclaimed the "Maharaja of Punjab". His empire grew in the Punjab region under his leadership through 1839.Prior to his rise, the Punjab region had numerous warring misls (confederacies), twelve of which were under Sikh rulers and one Muslim. Ranjit Singh successfully absorbed and united the Sikh misls and took over other local kingdoms to create the Sikh Empire. He repeatedly defeated invasions by outside armies, particularly those arriving from Afghanistan, and established friendly relations with the British.Ranjit Singh's reign introduced reforms, modernisation, investment into infrastructure and general prosperity. His Khalsa army and government included Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims and Europeans. His legacy includes a period of Sikh cultural and artistic renaissance, including the rebuilding of the Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar as well as other major gurudwaras, including Takht Sri Patna Sahib, Bihar and Hazur Sahib Nanded, Maharashtra under his sponsorship. Ranjit Singh was succeeded by his son Kharak Singh. Ranjit Singh also founded the Order of the Propitious Star of Punjab in 1837.

Photo of Aga Khan III

9. Aga Khan III (1877 - 1957)

With an HPI of 60.48, Aga Khan III is the 9th most famous Pakistani Politician.  His biography has been translated into 34 different languages.

Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah, Aga Khan III (2 November 1877 – 11 July 1957) served as the 48th Imam of the Nizari Ismaili sect of Islam. He was one of the founders and the first permanent president of the All-India Muslim League (AIML). His goal was the advancement of Muslim agendas and the protection of Muslim rights in British India. The League, until the late 1930s, was not a large organisation but represented landed and commercial Muslim interests as well as advocating for British education during the British Raj. There were similarities in Aga Khan's views on education with those of other Muslim social reformers, but the scholar Shenila Khoja-Moolji argues that he also expressed a distinct interest in advancing women's education for women themselves. Aga Khan called on the British Raj to consider Muslims to be a separate nation within India, the famous 'Two Nation Theory'. Even after he resigned as president of the AIML in 1912, he still exerted a major influence on its policies and agendas. He was nominated to represent India at the League of Nations in 1932 and served as President of the League of Nations from 1937 to 1938.

Photo of Imran Khan

10. Imran Khan (b. 1952)

With an HPI of 60.44, Imran Khan is the 10th most famous Pakistani Politician.  His biography has been translated into 83 different languages.

Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi (Urdu: عمران خان , pronounced [ɪmɾaːn ɛɦməd xaːn nɪjaːziː]; born 5 October 1952) is a Pakistani politician and former cricketer who served as the 22nd prime minister of Pakistan from August 2018 until April 2022. He is the founder and former chairman of the political party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) from 1996 to 2023. He was the captain of the Pakistan national cricket team throughout the 1980s and early 90s. Born in Lahore, Khan graduated from Keble College, Oxford. He began his international cricket career in a 1971 Test series against England. Khan played until 1992, served as the team's captain intermittently between 1982 and 1992, and won the 1992 Cricket World Cup, Pakistan's only victory in the competition. Considered one of cricket's greatest all-rounders, Khan was later inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. Founding the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in 1996, Khan won a seat in the National Assembly in the 2002 general election, serving as an opposition member from Mianwali until 2007. PTI boycotted the 2008 general election and became the second-largest party by popular vote in the 2013 general election. In the 2018 general election, running on a populist platform, PTI became the largest party in the National Assembly, and formed a coalition government with independents with Khan as prime minister. As prime minister, Khan addressed a balance of payments crisis with bailouts from the IMF. He presided over a shrinking current account deficit, and limited defence spending to curtail the fiscal deficit, leading to some general economic growth. He enacted policies that increased tax collection and investment. His government committed to a renewable energy transition, launched Ehsaas Programme and the Plant for Pakistan initiative, and expanded the protected areas of Pakistan. He presided over the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused economic turmoil and rising inflation in the country, threatening his political position. In early 2022, in what became known as Lettergate, Khan alleged that the United States encouraged his removal from office. In April, during the ensuing constitutional crisis, Khan became the first Pakistani prime minister to be removed from office through a no-confidence motion. In August, he was charged under anti-terror laws after accusing the police and judiciary of detaining and torturing an aide. In October, Khan was disqualified by the Election Commission of Pakistan from taking office for the current term of the National Assembly of Pakistan, regarding the Toshakhana reference case. In November, he survived an assassination attempt during a political rally in Wazirabad, Punjab. On 9 May 2023, Khan was arrested on corruption charges at the Islamabad High Court by paramilitary troops who smashed their way into the courthouse. Protests broke out throughout Pakistan, resulting in the arrests of thousands of Khan's supporters along with military installations being ransacked. After his release, he blamed the Chief of Army Staff Asim Munir for his arrest. He was sentenced to a three-year jail term on 5 August 2023 after being found guilty of misusing his premiership to buy and sell gifts in state possession that were received during diplomatic visits abroad. On 29 August 2023, a Pakistani appeals court suspended Khan's three-year prison term and granted him bail, but he remained incarcerated in connection with the Lettergate diplomatic cypher, for which he was accused of leaking state secrets and violating the Official Secrets Act. On 30 January 2024, a special court sentenced Khan to 10 years in prison after finding him guilty of those charges.


Pantheon has 61 people classified as Pakistani politicians born between 550 BC and 1988. Of these 61, 25 (40.98%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living Pakistani politicians include Shehbaz Sharif, Imran Khan, and Manmohan Singh. The most famous deceased Pakistani politicians include Akbar, Shah Jahan, and Benazir Bhutto. As of April 2024, 7 new Pakistani politicians have been added to Pantheon including Sartaj Aziz, Balakh Sher Mazari, and Rehman Malik.

Living Pakistani Politicians

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Deceased Pakistani Politicians

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Newly Added Pakistani Politicians (2024)

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Overlapping Lives

Which Politicians were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 25 most globally memorable Politicians since 1700.