PAKISTAN: Shehbaz Sharif, the 70-year-old brother of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the leader of opposition PML-N — has been elected unopposed as the next Prime Minister of Pakistan, succeeding Imran Khan, who was removed by a no-trust vote on Saturday. Ahead of the election of the new Prime Minister, Imran Khan resigned as a member of the National Assembly, saying he will not sit in the assemblies with “thieves”. His party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, boycotted the voting and staged a walkout before resigning en masse, effectively ending any opposition to Mr Sharif’s election.
The PTI had fielded Shah Mahmood Qureshi as its Prime Ministerial candidate.
But minutes before the session, former Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said all PTI lawmakers will resign from the National Assembly and not become part of any Government which was being formed under a “foreign agenda”.
The decision, Chaudhry said, was taken at a meeting of lawmakers of the party ahead of prime ministerial elections.
Meanwhile, former Prime Minister Imran Khan decided to tender his resignation as a member of the National Assembly ahead of the election for the new Prime Minister of Pakistan. This development comes after Imran Khan said that he will not sit in the assemblies with ‘thieves’.
“The man who has 16 billion and 8 billion rupees of corruption cases, whoever selects and elects the Prime Minister can not be a big insult to the country. We are resigning from the National Assembly,” Imran Khan was quoted as saying by PTI’s official Twitter account.
Confirming the decision, Pakistan’s former Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed said that sitting in the assembly would strengthen the Leader of the Opposition Shehbaz Sharif and therefore it has been decided to submit their resignation from the National Assembly.
Meanwhile, amid massive protests by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) across the country against Imran Khan’s ouster as the Prime Minister after the No-Confidence Vote, the PTI has now decided to launch a countrywide protest campaign on April 13 against the removal of its Government and further against the formation of an incoming administration which could be led by PML-(N) President Shehbaz Sharif.
Informing about the same, PTI leader and former Pakistan Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said that the campaign will be launched from Peshawar during which the former Prime Minister may also address the public.
Notably, this comes at a time when the Imran Khan-led PTI had been taking out rallies across multiple cities in Pakistan including Islamabad, Karachi, Peshawar, and Lahore followed by parts of the Punjab Province as well, where demonstrators were seen shouting slogans against the Opposition.
Sharing a video of the same, the former Pakistani PM took to Twitter and said that he has never seen such a huge crowd. “Never have such crowds come out so spontaneously and in such numbers in our history, rejecting the imported Government led by crooks”, he tweeted. – PTI, NDTV