Pakistan’s parliament elects Shehbaz Sharif as new PM: Latest developments

(This story originally appeared in on Apr 11, 2022)

Pakistan’s parliament elected opposition lawmaker Shahbaz Sharif as the country’s new prime minister on Monday, after a walkout by lawmakers from ousted Premier Imran Khan’s party.

Sharif was the only contender. He is the brother of disgraced former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif but his election will not guarantee a peaceful path forward — or solve Pakistan’s many economic problems, including high inflation and a soaring energy crisis.

Shahbaz Sharif was elected with 174 votes in his favor after more than 100 lawmakers from Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, or Pakistan Justice Party, staged a walkout of the National Assembly in protest.

“Mohammad Shahbaz Sharif is declared to be the prime minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan,” announced the acting speaker, Asad Sadiq.

The former opposition will now run a truncated house with a small majority of 174 lawmakers, which is enough to pass laws in the 342-seat assembly. However, if Khan’s followers take to the streets — as he has heralded — it would create additional pressure on Parliament and deepen the crisis.

Pakistan political crisis live updates

Here are the latest developments:

Will resign if there is evidence of foreign plot, Imran’s claims a drama: Sharif

Addressing the National Assembly on Monday, new Pakistan Prime Minister said: “Today, the almighty has saved Pakistan and the 22 crore people of the country. This is the first time when the vote of no-confidence motion was successfully passed. The people of this country will celebrate this day.”

Sharif also termed ousted premier Imran Khan’s ‘foreign conspiracy ‘ claims a “drama”.

“I congratulate the people of Pakistan for standing up for righteousness. We should also celebrate the SC’s decision. A lot of lies have been pedaled regarding foreign plot regarding the letter which hasn’t been presented yet. I haven’t seen it,” he said, adding: “If there is any shred of evidence that we plotted with foreign powers, I will resign immediately.”

“We want good ties with India but it cannot happen without a peaceful resolution to the Kashmir issue. We will raise the issue of Kashmir on every international platform,” the PM-elect also said on Monday.

Shehbaz Sharif will take oath as the PM at 8.30 pm IST.

Sharif added that good has prevailed over evil.

National Assembly session begins to elect new PM

After criticising the PML-N and its chief Shehbaz Sharif, and other parties of conspiring with foreign powers, PTI lawmakers walk out of the National Assembly. Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri also resigns, says he will not preside over the session.

Ayaz Sadiq will now preside over the session.

Joint opposition candidate Shehbaz Sharif remains only contestant following en masse resignations by Imran Khan’s party members.

‘Imran Khan, PTI lawmakers to resign from National Assembly’

Former Pakistan PM Imran Khan has reportedly decided to tender his resignation as a member of the National Assembly ahead of the election for the new PM, according to Pakistan media reports.

Khan’s aide Fawad Chaudhry said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmakers will also resign from National Assembly and “fight for freedom”.

Imran Khan chairs PTI parliamentary party meeting

Ahead of the National Assembly session for the election of the new prime minister, a meeting of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) parliamentary party was held at the Parliament House in Islamabad, reported Radio Pakistan.

The meeting was chaired by former prime minister Imran Khan.

Earlier, former foreign minister and PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi had said that a decision regarding the resignation of PTI lawmakers from the assemblies will be taken in the meeting, according to ARY News.

Pak court dismisses treason plea against Imran Khan as inadmissible

A top Pakistani court in Islamabad on Monday dismissed a petition to register a treason case against former prime minister Imran Khan and various ministers, saying it was inadmissible.

Chief Justice Athar Minallah of the Islamabad high court delivered a reserved verdict during which he also fined the petitioner Maulvi Iqbal Haider Rs 100,000, the Express Tribune newspaper reported.

Request to put the names of ex-premier and other former ministers on the no-fly list was also rejected by the court along with the plea to probe the diplomatic dispatch which alleges ‘foreign conspiracy to oust Imran Khan’s government’.

PTI leader instructs MNAs to attend House session to support Qureshi

Ahead of the National Assembly session for the election of the prime minister on Monday, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Asad Umar has instructed all the party lawmakers to ensure their attendance in the House to support the party’s candidate Shah Mahmood Qureshi, reported Samaa TV.

Nomination papers of Pakistan’s joint opposition candidate Shehbaz Sharif and PTI’s Shah Mahmood Qureshi were approved for the prime minister’s election on Sunday.

Security measures ahead of the prime minister’s election have been tightened. Roads leading to Parliament will be opened after the election of the new premier, as per the media reports.

Names of six Imran Khan aides added to stop list: Report

The names of six key aides of ousted prime minister Imran Khan have been put on a stop list by Pakistan’s top investigation agency to prevent them from leaving the country, according to a media report on Monday.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) placed the names of the six on the ‘stop list’ on Sunday after Khan’s ouster as prime minister by the joint Opposition through a no-confidence vote, Geo News reported, citing sources.

Being on the list bars them from travelling abroad without permission.

Khan thanks supporters for protesting against ‘US-backed’ regime

Imran Khan thanked his supporters for their participation in rallies held across Pakistan and abroad to protest against his ouster as prime minister and the formation of a “US-backed regime” in Islamabad.

“Thank you to all Pakistanis for their amazing outpouring of support & emotions to protest against US-backed regime change abetted by local Mir Jafars to bring into power a coterie of pliable crooks all out on bail. Shows Pakistanis at home & abroad have emphatically rejected this,” Khan tweeted on Sunday.

Imran Khan’s supporters stage protest against his ouster

A large number of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) supporters held a protest rally at Lahore’s Liberty Chowk against the ouster of former prime minister and party chairman Imran Khan through a no-confidence motion moved by the opposition.

The charged PTI supporters, including women and children, showed their solidarity with Khan during the rally that started at 9pm on Sunday and lasted till 3am on Monday.

Khan, 69, became the first premier in the country’s history to be sent home after losing the trust of the House.

– With agency inputs

Source link