Pakistan’s parliament has elected opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif as the new prime minister. Sharif, 70, was the favorite to succeed Imran Khan who had been expelled. The latter was a vote of no confidence rejected†
The new prime minister is the younger brother of Nawaz Sharif, who served as Pakistan’s prime minister for three terms. Sharif previously served as chief minister in the Punjab province. He will now form a new government. There will still be elections next August.
In a speech to parliament, Sharif says he wants to tackle the economic malaise in his country. The value of the Pakistani rupee has never been so low. “To prevent the boat from sinking, we must all work hard and unite,” he told parliament. “We are now entering a new era of development.”
Sharif also wants a better relationship with neighboring India. But he says a solution must be found to the bloody conflict in the northern Kashmir region. Both countries claim the area.
Sharif also wants to accelerate Chinese investment projects in the Pakistani economy. Pakistan is one of the countries in which China is investing. China’s New Silk Road includes China’s investment in more than 70 countries. In this way, China wants to further increase its economic power.
Sharif also wants to improve relations with the United States and strengthen ties with the EU.
Khan, 69, prime minister since 2018, was expelled from parliament last weekend after a vote of no confidence. A week earlier the government had fallen and Khan had called for the dissolution of parliament and demanded call new elections† The vote of no confidence was tabled last month, but Khan had done everything he could to avoid a vote.
Ahead of the vote in parliament for a new prime minister, all lawmakers from Khan’s party resigned in protest. Former Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also resigned. For Khan’s party, he was the candidate to become the new prime minister.
The former cricketer became a national sports hero when he won the world title in 1992 as captain of the Pakistan cricket team. During his reign, Khan became less and less popular due to his economic policies.
No Pakistani prime minister has served his entire term. However, it is the first time since the founding of the country in 1947 that a Prime Minister has resigned by a vote of no confidence.
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