In 1878 he was employed by Ismail in fomenting a disturbance against the ministry of Nubar, Rivers Wilson and de Blignieres, and received in payment a wife from Ismail's harem and the command of a regiment.
The grave abuse to which the consular system was subject led to the establishment, in February 1876, at the instance of Nubar Pasha and after eight years of negotiation, of International or Mixed Tribunals to supersede consular jurisdiction to the extent indicated.
Driven to desperation, Ismail made a virtue of necessity and accepted, in September 1878, in lieu of the Dual Control, a constitutional ministry, under the presidency of Nubar Pasha (qv.), with Rivers Wilson as minister of finance and de Blignires as minister of public works.
Nubar, though as strongly opposed to the abandonment policy as Sherif, consented to take his place and accepted somewhat reluctantly the new rgime, which he defined as the administration of Egypt under the government of Baring.
Nubar Pasha, who continued to be prime minister, resisted occasionally.
Here he met with unexpected opposition on the part of the prime minister, Nubar Pasha, and a conflict ensued which ended in Nubars retirement in June 1888.
Nubar Pasha, it is true, who succeeded Riaz as prime minister in April 1894, objected to some of Mr Gorsts recommendations, and in November 1895 resigned.
This last step followed upon his receipt of a letter fom Nubar Pasha, informing him that it was impossible for the Egyptian government to send him help, and that he must stay in his province or retire towards the coast as best he could.
He has been generally described as a mere voluptuary, but Nubar Pasha spoke of him as a true Turkish gentleman of the old school.
He took no further part in public affairs until 1888, when, on the dismissal of Nubar Pasha, he was summoned to form a government.
Superior, probably, both intellectually and morally to his great rival Nubar, he lacked the latter's broad statesmanship as well as his pliability.