Pakistan National Assembly on Monday unanimously elected former Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif as Prime Minister replacing Imran Khan, who lost the no-confidence vote on Sunday.
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. — Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Shehbaz said he wanted good ties with India, but tied it with the resolution of the Kashmir issue. He was the only candidate left in the contest after former Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi dropped out as his PTI boycotted the voting by staging a walkout.
The election provided Shehbaz a temporary reprieve from corruption charges after a special court accepted his plea seeking exemption from personal appearance in court and extended his and his son’s pre-arrest bail to April 27. Shehbaz touched on India in his opening speech and suggested he and Prime Minister Narendra Modi sit down and talk about the resolution of the Kashmir issue as per UN resolutions. “Unfortunately, our ties with India have not improved since Nawaz Sharif’s times… The blood of our Kashmiri brothers and sisters is turning the Valley red…. so we want to improve our ties with India but not unless the Kashmir issue is resolved,” he said.
The new PM, however, will be on a weak political wicket as his party has only 86 seats and he will bank on his allies who have little in common with his PML(N).
National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq declared that Shehbaz had secured 174 votes and has been declared PM of Pakistan. Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri said his conscience did not allow him to conduct the session.