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Pakistan: Shahbaz Sharif Sworn in As New Prime Minister

Mon 11 Apr 2022 | 10:25 PM
Ahmad El-Assasy

Shahbaz Sharif was sworn in as Pakistan's new prime minister on Monday, following a no-confidence vote ousting Imran Khan, according to DW.

Sharif was elected by the country's parliament earlier in the day. He was the sole candidate after only other rival — Khan loyalist Shah Mahmood Qureshi — withdrew and resigned his seat.

What direction might the new PM take?

The new premier announced a series of populist measures, including a new minimum wage of 25,000 rupees (some €124 or $135). He also promised pay rises for civil servants and development projects for rural areas.

Sharif urged better relations with neighbor India, while stressing that a solution still needed to be found for Kashmir — the territory at the heart of decades of dispute between the two nuclear powers.

He also promised to tackle an economic slump that has seen the rupee at an all-time low, and a major hike in interest rates.

"It's a victory of righteousness, and evil has been defeated," Pakistani new PM said in his maiden speech as premier, underlining the acrimonious political battle that culminated in his election.

Sharif, 70, was the favorite to win following the country's weeklong constitutional crisis. He is the younger brother of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who served three times in the role.

Sharif also called for better relations with the US upon his selection as prime minister. Sharif's remarks came as the US Department of State denied accusations of interference in Pakistan's internal affairs following accusations by ousted prime minister Khan.