News / Asia

Sharif Elected Pakistan's Prime Minister

Nawaz Sharif speaks to party members during a function in Lahore in this May 20, 2013 file photo.
Nawaz Sharif speaks to party members during a function in Lahore in this May 20, 2013 file photo.
Sharon Behn
Nawaz Sharif has been elected Pakistan’s prime minister for an unprecedented third term, nearly 14 years after he was deposed in a military coup. His election to the post on Wednesday by the country's national assembly comes after the veteran politician's Pakistan Muslim League-N won a majority of seats in the May 11 national elections.

Lawmakers on Wednesday cheered Sharif, the first politician to lead the country for a third term. His political victory represents the first time an elected civilian government in Pakistan has peacefully transitioned to another.

In his first public address to the nation as prime minister-elect, Sharif said that past dictatorships had weakened the country, and democracy was Pakistan’s sole way forward. He pledged to end nepotism and resolve the nation’s crippling energy shortages.

Watch related video of reaction, preparations for swearing-in:

Related story to Sharif Elected Pakistan's Prime Ministeri
X
June 05, 2013 2:53 PM
Pakistan’s two time former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was elected to lead the country once again to the cheers of lawmakers. Sharif faces formidable challenges, but analysts say his party’s majority in the national assembly has placed him in a strong political position to enact tough reforms. President Asif Ali Zardari is due to officially swear in Sharif later Wednesday, along with key cabinet members.

Looking forward

Sharif listed a range of issues, including energy shortages, inflation, debt, unemployment, a badly ailing economy, despondency among our youth, extremism and lawlessness, increasing poverty, bleeding public enterprises, rampant corruption and Pakistan’s weak international image.  He said we have accepted responsibility to deal with these challenges.

Even though his party enjoys a majority in the parliament, Sharif also reached out to the opposition, vowing to work together with all political parties to steer the country to a better future.

Businessman Hafiz Farooq Ahmed Khan said that Sharif, 63, a former businessman and veteran politician, has the background necessary to lead Pakistan.

"I personally think he will be able to manage the crisis and we will come out from this critical situation," Khan said. "I hope and I pray. We need those leaders who are sincere with the nation and with the country."

Obstacles

The country is suffering from a shortage of foreign reserves, chronic corruption, bloody militant attacks, and weak public institutions.

Retired military general and analyst Talat Masood said Sharif is in a strong political position to push through the necessary tough reforms, but warned that the people of Pakistan will need to see results soon.

"I think he has enough capital because firstly he has a very large majority, he doesn’t have to depend on any other party to stay in power, moreover I think all the other parties also will support him and the people of Pakistan will support him because they realize that the challenges are enormous and if he is moving in the right direction, if there is good governance, if they see any hope, they will back him. But if they realize things are all the same and there is nothing that is changing then obviously he will find there will be a lot of unrest," said Masood.

Sharif’s party, the PML-N, has 176 seats in the 342-member national assembly, the lower house of parliament.

Sharif also called for an end to controversial American drone strikes within Pakistani territory. The United States says the strikes have weakened al-Qaida and Taliban militants networks.  But they are are deeply unpopular among Pakistanis who say the strikes have killed civilians.

  • Pakistan's newly elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (2nd R) arrives to inspect the guard of honor during a ceremony at the prime minister's residence after being sworn-in, in Islamabad June 5, 2013.
  • Pakistan's newly elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, formally elected by parliament on June 5, 2013, again called for an end to U.S. drone strikes aimed at militants which many view as a breach of Pakistan's sovereignty.
  • Pakistan's newly elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (C) arrives to inspect the guard of honor during a ceremony at the prime minister's residence after being sworn-in, in Islamabad, June 5, 2013.
  • Pakistan's newly elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (2nd R) inspects the guard of honor during a ceremony as he arrives at the prime minister's residence after being sworn-in, in Islamabad, June 5, 2013.
  • Ousted in a bloodless military coup in 1999, Sharif won enough seats in the May 11 general elections for his Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party to operate without a coalition.

You May Like

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
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.
Sierra Leone Ebola Orphans Face Another Crisisi
X
March 06, 2015 12:28 AM
There's growing concern about the future of an orphanage run by a British charity in Sierra Leone, after a staff member and his wife died this week from Ebola. The Saint George Foundation Orphanage in Freetown is now in quarantine, with more than 20 children and seven staff in lock-down. The BBC has agreed to share Ebola-related material with Voice of America because of the difficulties faced by media organizations reporting the crisis. Clive Myrie reports from Sierra Leone.
Video

Video Sierra Leone Ebola Orphans Face Another Crisis

There's growing concern about the future of an orphanage run by a British charity in Sierra Leone, after a staff member and his wife died this week from Ebola. The Saint George Foundation Orphanage in Freetown is now in quarantine, with more than 20 children and seven staff in lock-down. The BBC has agreed to share Ebola-related material with Voice of America because of the difficulties faced by media organizations reporting the crisis. Clive Myrie reports from Sierra Leone.
Video

Video Growing Concerns Over Whether Myanmar’s Next Elections Will Be Fair

Myanmar has scheduled national elections for November that are also expected to include a landmark referendum on the country's constitution. But there are growing concerns over whether the government is taking the necessary steps to prepare for a free and fair vote. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman was recently in Myanmar and files this report from our Southeast Asia bureau in Bangkok.
Video

Video Nigeria’s Ogonis Divided Over Resuming Oil Production

More than two decades ago, Nigeria’s Ogoni people forced Shell oil company to cease drilling on their land, saying it was polluting the environment. Now, some Ogonis say it’s time for the oil to flow once again. Chris Stein reports from Kegbara Dere, Nigeria.
Video

Video Winter Weather Strikes Eastern US...Again!

A new wintry blast has hit more than 20 states in the U.S. Midwest and Mid-Atlantic region, adding more snow to the piles from previous storms. Tired of shoveling snow, breaking the ice and dealing with accidents, flight delays and property damage, most Americans hope this is the last bout of cold for the season. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Myanmar's Traditional Fashion Choices Endure

The sartorial choices of Myanmar’s men and women quickly catch the eye of any visitor to the tropical Southeast Asian country. But at a time when Myanmar’s political and economic opening is bringing affordable western fashions to the masses, will the country’s unique fashion trends endure? VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Yangon explores that question.

All About America

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