New Delhi: Pakistan’s National Assembly will vote to pick a new prime minister on Monday, after Imran Khan’s administration was defeated in a no-confidence vote after voting was postponed. The vote took place after midnight in the National Assembly, with 174 MPs voting in favour of the proposal. Members of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) were not present during the voting.
Shehbaz Sharif, the head of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), is expected to become the country’s next prime minister. Sharif is presently the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly.
-Shehbaz Sharif, 70, is Nawaz Sharif’s younger brother and three-time prime minister.
-He was the longest-serving chief minister of Pakistan Punjab, having held the position three times (1997, 2008, and 2013).
-Shehbaz, a member of the powerful Sharif clan, is best known for his straightforward, “can-do” administrative approach, as he demonstrated when he served as chief minister of Punjab province and collaborated closely with China on Beijing-funded projects.
-He was born into an affluent industrial family in Lahore and received his education there. Following that, he went into the family business and now controls a Pakistani steel firm with his brother.
-He originally joined politics in Punjab in 1997, becoming its first chief minister, before being caught up in national political turmoil and imprisoned following a military takeover. In the year 2000, he was exiled to Saudi Arabia.
-In 2007, Shehbaz returned from exile and resumed his political career in Punjab.
-After Nawaz Sharif was found guilty in 2017 on charges of hiding assets connected to the Panama Papers revelations, he joined the national political scene as the leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
-The National Accountability Bureau froze 23 properties owned by Shehbaz Sharif and his son, Hamza Sharif, in December 2019, accusing them of money laundering.
-On September 28, 2020, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) detained Shehbaz at the Lahore High Court and charged him with money laundering. He was detained until his trial. In a money laundering case, the Lahore high court freed him on bail on April 14, 2021.
-Unlike Nawaz, analysts think Shehbaz has good rapport with Pakistan’s military, which dominates foreign and defence policy in the nuclear-armed country of 220 million people.