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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid