Shehbaz Sharif elected as new Prime Minister of Pakistan
Links ties with India with the Kashmir issue
Islamabad: Pakistan Parliament on Monday elected unopposed Shehbaz Sharif as 23rd prime minister of the country, bringing to an end the political uncertainty that had gripped the nation since a no-confidence motion was introduced against his predecessor Imran Khan on March 08.
Shehbaz, 70, was the only candidate left in the race after former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi announced that his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party will boycott the voting and staged a walkout.
“Sharif has secured 174 votes… and has been declared as prime minister of Islamic Republic of Pakistan,” according to the formal result announced by Speaker Ayaz Sadiq who presided over the session after Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri said his conscience did not allow him to conduct the session.
In the House of 342, the winning candidate should get support of at least 172 lawmakers.
In his maiden address to the house as the prime minister, Shehbaz said that it was the first time in Pakistan’s history that a no-confidence motion against a prime minister had been successful. “And good has prevailed over evil,” he said.
He said today is a “big day” for the entire nation as a “selected” prime minister has been sent home in a legal and constitutional manner.
Shehbaz, the younger brother of former three-time prime minister Nawaz Sharif, said that the US dollar’s value declining by Rs 8 today signified the “happiness of the people”.
He acknowledged the apex court’s “unanimous” verdict, saying the day when the Supreme Court gave its judgment should be marked as a “historic day” in the history of Pakistan.
On the letter controversy, Shehbaz said the letter came on March 07, but decisions to bring a no-trust motion was made way before that.
“So, if (what the previous government claimed) is a lie, then the matter should be disclosed transparently before the public,” he said.
He announced that the parliament’s security committee would be given a briefing on the “threat letter” to the members of the committee in presence of the armed forces personnel and bureaucrats — the Inter-Services Intelligence chief, foreign secretary, and the ambassador who wrote it.
“If there’s an iota of evidence that we were backed by foreign conspirators … then with you Mr Speaker and God as my witness, I will not think for another second and resign from the office of the prime minister,” Shehbaz said, vowing to hold an in-camera session of the security committee at the earliest.
He also lauded China for its support to Pakistan at the world stage and said the friendship between the two countries will remain intact.
He also thanked his brother and ex-premier Nawaz Sharif for his support.
He expressed a desire for better ties with India but linked it with the Kashmir issue.
“We want good ties with India but durable peace is not possible until the Kashmir dispute is resolved,” he said, adding that Pakistan would continue to provide political, diplomatic and moral support to the people of Kashmir.
“We will raise voice for Kashmiris brothers and sisters at every forum, diplomatic efforts will be made, they will be provided diplomatic support, we will give them moral support,” he added.
Shehbaz also asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to come forward to address the Kashmir issue so that the two countries could concentrate on tackling poverty, unemployment, shortage of medicines and other issues on the two sides of the border.
Earlier, Qureshi in his address announced to boycott the process along with party lawmakers by announcing their mass resignation from the parliament. His decision was not sudden as the party had already announced it would leave the parliament and boycott the election to elect the new prime minister of the country.
PM Modi Tweets:
Congratulations to H. E. Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on his election as the Prime Minister of Pakistan. India desires peace and stability in a region free of terror, so that we can focus on our development challenges and ensure the well-being and prosperity of our people.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 11, 2022
“Congratulations to H. E. Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on his election as the Prime Minister of Pakistan. India desires peace and stability in a region free of terror, so that we can focus on our development challenges and ensure the well-being and prosperity of our people”.