News / Asia

Pakistani Leader Wants Good US Relations

Former PM Sharif Set to Lead Pakistan Once Againi
May 12, 2013 7:00 PM
The initial, unofficial, results in Pakistan’s landmark elections for a new national assembly and government are in, and veteran politician and two-time prime minister Nawaz Sharif looks set to lead the country once again. Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad that Pakistanis are looking to the new government with hope that it will be able to solve the country’s deep economic and security problems.
VIDEO: Former PM Sharif Set to Lead Pakistan Once Again
VOA News
The conservative politician poised to become Pakistan's next prime minister says he wants to continue good relations with the United States, but warned that Washington must take Islamabad's concerns about drone strikes seriously.
Nawaz Sharif spoke to reporters in Lahore Monday, two days after his Pakistan Muslim League party unofficially secured enough parliamentary seats to form a government.
Sharif said Islamabad has "good relations" with Washington, but he called the U.S. drone campaign in Pakistan's northwest a challenge to his nation's sovereignty.
The politician who served as prime minister twice in the 1990s has long been an outspoken critic against the U.S. policy that is deeply unpopular among Pakistanis. The program targets suspected militants in Pakistan's tribal regions bordering Afghanistan, reportedly with the Pakistani government's assistance. 
Sharif also said his new government would support the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan by the end of next year.
Turning his attention to Pakistan's neighbor and long-time rival India, Sharif said he had a long discussion with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by phone and that they extended invitations to visit each other's countries.
Singh extended support for Sharif on his "emphatic victory," saying he hoped to chart "a new course for the relationship" between the nuclear-armed neighbors.

Story continues below photo gallery
  • Pakistan Muslim League supporters release fireworks to celebrate after initial results gave their party the lead in parliamentary elections, Lahore, May 12, 2013.
  • Supporters of Pakistan's former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif celebrate after initial results from parliamentary elections put his party in the lead, Islamabad, May 12, 2013.
  • Supporters of the Pakistan Muslim League party try to control dancing horses performing during a celebration after parliamentary elections at a party office in Lahore, May 12, 2013.
  • A man walks past posters of former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League party chief Nawaz Sharif, displayed on his party's office building in Lahore, May 12, 2013.
  • Election banners showing cricket star-turned-politician, and leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, Imran Khan, and other members of his party, Rawalpindi, Pakistan, May 12, 2013.
  • Supporters of former cricket star-turned-politician, and leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, Imran Khan stand beside a wall covered with posters of Khan at a PTI office in Lahore, May 11, 2013.
  • Women line up to enter a polling station and cast their ballots, on the outskirts of Islamabad, May 11, 2013.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai also telephoned his congratulations to Sharif, relaying his hope that their bilateral relations would continue to strengthen and describing Sharif's campaign messages as "good for the well-being" of the two countries.
Throughout the campaign, Sharif appealed to all Pakistani parties to join him in ridding the country of its problems — including high inflation, unemployment, power cuts and a Taliban insurgency.
Election officials estimate the turnout in Saturday's poll at 60 percent, despite pre-election violence and attacks that killed at least 24 people on election day.
Sharif was Pakistani prime minister from 1990 until 1993, when he was forced to resign following allegations of corruption. He returned to the job in 1997 but was toppled by a military coup two years later.
Saturday's vote marked the first time Pakistan has transitioned from one civilian government that finished a full term to another civilian administration.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Photogallery Belgian Security Measures Foreshadow New Normal for Europe

Rising threat of terrorism, disaffected Muslim populations and open borders, along with refugee, migrant crisis, are creating perfect storm for Europe, which some analysts fear continent is ill-suited to weather

Competing Claims of Responsibility for Mali Hotel Attack

Malian authorities ask public for help in identifying gunmen killed in attack, amid conflicting claims of responsibility from multiple jihadist groups active in the country

Video Debt-ridden Refugees Await Onslaught of Lebanese Winter

Aid agencies are attempting to reduce potentially devastating consequences of freezing conditions and snowstorms that killed eight last year, including three Syrian refugees

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against ISi
November 24, 2015 3:04 AM
The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs