Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif returns to Pakistan as demonstrations erupt in parliament.

ISLAMABAD — Sunday saw the election of Shehbaz Sharif as the nation’s second prime minister by the National Assembly of Pakistan. Supporters of imprisoned former prime minister Imran Khan chanted against Sharif’s nomination, accusing him of manipulating the previous month’s election.

Sharif received 201 votes, according to Speaker Ayaz Sadiq, defeating Omar Ayub of the Sunni Ittehad Council, who received 92 votes. It takes the victor just 169 votes to secure the majority.

Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, or PTI, party, whose candidates were unable to secure enough seats to form a government on their own, supported Ayub. In order to build a coalition, the PTI declined to negotiate with its opponents.

After days of discussions, the Pakistan Muslim League party led by Sharif and his followers came together to create an alliance following the election on February 8, the results of which were unexpectedly delayed due to a widespread mobile phone outage. According to authorities, the links were disrupted in order to prevent extremist attacks against security personnel and candidates.

But Khan’s party, which maintains the vote was manipulated to prevent it from winning a majority, attacked the delay. The party says it has proof that their win “was stolen during the vote count,” but the Election Commission refutes this claim.Speaking on Sunday in parliament, Sharif remarked, “We were subjected to political victimization in the past but never took any revenge.” He said that Imran Khan had imprisoned numerous political opponents, including himself and his partner Asif Ali Zardari, without mentioning Imran Khan.

In addition, he said that Khan’s followers had attacked military posts following his overthrow in 2022, saying that the parliament and the legal system would now determine whether or not the perpetrators of the attack should be pardoned.As Sharif started speaking, his allies stood in front of him, holding photos of Khan and yelling things like “vote thief” and “shame.” Shared criticized their behavior, claiming that it was generating disarray in the legislature.

According to Sharif, Pakistan’s economic predicament stems from the country’s reliance on foreign loans to fund its operations.

The challenges facing Sharif’s administration are numerous and include how to handle an increase in terrorist attacks, revive the failing economy, mend deteriorating infrastructure, and end the country’s yearly power outages. In addition, since Khan’s party has promised to keep protesting the purported vote-rigging, it must preserve political stability.Khan, who has been banned from running for or holding office and is presently serving prison terms in many cases, wrote to the IMF last week pleading with it to tie any negotiations with Islamabad to an examination of the election that took place in February. Days before the IMF releases a significant portion of a bailout loan to Pakistan, Khan makes his move.

Pakistan has been dependent on bailouts to maintain its foreign exchange reserves and prevent default; the IMF and affluent friends, such as China and Saudi Arabia, have provided billions of dollars in finance for the nation. After Khan was removed from office in April 2022 by a no-confidence vote in parliament, Sharif served as prime minister before and struggled for months.

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