• Saturday, April 20, 2024

HEADLINE STORY

Shehbaz Sharif becomes Pakistan PM, vows to guide nation ‘back to shore’

Shehbaz Sharif is the younger brother of former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif who has served in the top post thrice.

Pakistan’s new prime minister Shehbaz Sharif (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

SHEHBAZ Sharif on Sunday (3) was elected as the new prime minister of Pakistan and soon after winning the premier’s election, he vowed to steer the beleaguered nation “back to shore” with help of allied parties in his second tenure. He had earlier served between April 2022 and August 2023 when a caretaker government took over. He is the country’s 23rd prime minister.

Shehbaz Sharif is the younger brother of former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif who has served in the top post thrice.

Sharif, 72, clinched the PM’s election earlier in the day defeating Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-backed opponent Omar Ayub Khan from the Sunni Ittehad Council by 201-92 votes.

Speaker of the National Assembly, Pakistan’s lower chamber of parliament, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, announced the results. Soon after, Shehbaz was seen hugging Nawaz, who is also the supremo of their Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) and was widely anticipated to become the prime minister for a record fourth time following the February 8 elections. Despite returning to Pakistan last year from self-exile in the UK and spearheading the election campaign, the veteran leader stepped aside for unknown reasons.

Speaking on the floor of the newly elected house as the prime minister-elect, Shehbaz Sharif said Pakistan had big challenges ahead but it could overcome them if its people came together and took it to its rightful position.

While he thanked his brother and allied parties for electing him as the leader of the house one more time, PTI-backed legislators from the SIC targeted the ruling coalition, calling the Sharifs “thieves” — as the PML-N has been accused by the PTI of stealing the mandate which they claim the people gave them.

PML-N formed a coalition with the Pakistan People’s Party, another major party, and a group of smaller parties that together gave them adequate seats to govern in a parliament with 266 elected members. No party could gain a majority in the election that was marred by violence while the results were delayed.

Pakistan is currently grappling with serious economic hardships and the new government will have its task cut out to find a way out of trouble.

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