News / Asia

Pakistan’s Future PM Described as 'Comeback Kid'

Pakistan’s Future PM Is Comeback Kidi
X
May 16, 2013 5:27 PM
Nawaz Sharif, the Pakistani politician set to become the nation’s next prime minister, is expected to seek good relations with the United States. However, South Asian analysts say Mr. Sharif faces daunting challenges from militant groups and a struggling economy. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Pakistan’s Future PM Is Comeback Kid
Meredith Buel
Nawaz Sharif, the Pakistani politician set to become the nation’s next prime minister, is expected to seek good relations with the United States.  However, South Asian analysts said Sharif faces daunting challenges from militant groups and a struggling economy.

Nawaz Sharif has been Pakistan’s prime minister twice before.  Last time he was toppled in a 1999 military coup, jailed and exiled.

But now, after historic elections, some are calling the 63-year-old the country’s comeback kid.

Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) party scored a resounding victory, marking the first time in the nation’s history that a civilian government will transfer power to another via the ballot box.

Many analysts reacted positively.

“What we have is a government that is willing to shape up in many respects and an international community that is looking for somebody in Pakistan to do that,” said Arif Rafiq of the Middle East Institute.

But the run up to the election was bloody as extremists bombed, kidnapped and killed.

Sharif’s party has been in favor of holding talks with the Pakistani Taliban and some are concerned he will be soft on Islamic extremism.

“Unless we see a zero tolerance policy toward the terrorists, we are going to continue to have tensions between Pakistan and the U.S.," stated Lisa Curtis with the Heritage Foundation. "Particularly over the terrorism issue."

Anti-American sentiments run high in Pakistan, fueled by U.S. drone strikes targeting militants in the country’s rugged border region with Afghanistan.

Such strikes challenge Pakistan’s sovereignty, but analysts, like Curtis, do not expect a public fight with Washington. “He is not likely to come out and demand an end to all drone strikes because he knows Washington is not going to support that and it would really cause a rupture in the relationship,” Curtis said.

Analysts said Sharif’s top priorities will be domestic problems like power outages and painful inflation.

“There is massive unemployment, productivity is low, but at the same time he also faces a big challenge of extremism," Pakistani author and political analyst Imtiaz Gul said. "Religious extremism inside the country."

The U.S. has given billions of dollars in aid to Pakistan’s military and for numerous civilian projects.

According to analysts,  that is another important reason for Sharif to maintain a positive relationship with Washington.

“Nawaz Sharif will work closely with the United States when all is said and done," noted Marvin Weinbaum with the Middle East Institute. "He has no choice but to do that.”

Sharif’s influence on foreign policy issues could be tempered by Pakistan’s powerful military, which often plays a dominant role in national security decisions.

Still Nawaz Sharif has made an impressive comeback, and is expected to soon become prime minister for a record third time.

You May Like

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid