Shehbaz Sharif, Former Prime Minister, to Lead Newly Formed Coalition Government in Pakistan

Former PM Shehbaz Sharif set to head new Pakistan coalition government

After recent elections failed to produce a clear victor, Pakistan’s political landscape saw significant developments as two major parties forged a coalition agreement, sidelining the populist party led by imprisoned former Prime Minister Imran Khan.

On Tuesday, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s Pakistan People’s Party, which secured the third position, announced its support for Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), which won 79 seats in the formation of a new government.

This decision effectively positioned Nawaz Sharif’s brother, Shehbaz Sharif, as the nominee for prime minister, with Nawaz’s daughter, Maryam Nawaz, slated for the role of chief minister in Punjab, a stronghold of the Sharif family.

Shehbaz Sharif
Shehbaz Sharif (Credits: Bloomberg)

Shehbaz Sharif, a three-time former Prime Minister, had previously assumed office after Khan’s removal via a no-confidence vote in April 2022, serving until August 2023. With over two decades of experience as the Chief Minister of Punjab before entering national politics in 2018, Shehbaz Sharif brings significant political acumen to the table.

In a joint statement, PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari emphasized the decision to collaborate with PML-N as a move in the nation’s best interests, suggesting a departure from perpetual political rivalry.

The coalition, encompassing several smaller parties, notably excludes 93 independent MPs, largely associated with Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, which has contested the validity of the February 8 elections, alleging widespread irregularities.

The distribution of cabinet positions and other key roles remains pending and may involve extensive negotiations over the coming days or weeks.

Addressing speculations surrounding Nawaz Sharif’s role, Maryam Nawaz clarified that her father intends to remain actively engaged in politics throughout the forthcoming five-year term, overseeing the PML-N’s regional governance initiatives in Punjab and beyond.

Contrary to assumptions suggesting Nawaz Sharif’s withdrawal from politics due to his non-acceptance of the prime ministerial post, Maryam Nawaz asserted his unwavering commitment to political involvement. She emphasized their allegiance to Nawaz Sharif’s leadership, underscoring their dedication to working under his guidance.

With this coalition, Pakistan braces for a new era in governance, marked by the collaborative efforts of two prominent political families led by Shehbaz Sharif and supported by the enduring influence of Nawaz Sharif.

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