Meet Shehbaz Sharif who is likely to replace Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan: Why is former Punjab Chief Minister called man of action?
Leader of Opposition Shehbaz Sharif is likely to take over the charge of the next Prime Minister of Pakistan after Imran Khan lost the no-confidence motion on Saturday. Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government was shown the doors with 174 votes in favour of the no-confidence motion.
Coincidentally, no Prime Minister in the country has completed their five-year term in office and Imran Khan is the latest one to be added to the list. Now, all eyes are on Shehbaz Sharif, the president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party who is likely to hold the charge of the position.
Shehbaz Sharif’s Political Career
Shehbaz Sharif is the younger brother of three-time former Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif. In 1990, he was elected to the National Assembly. Following the 1999 military coup, both Shahbaz and Nawaz were forced to flee to Saudi Arabia for several years. Shehbaz Sharif has been charged with corruption, just like his elder brother.
He returned to Pakistan in 2007, and was nominated for PML-N president in 2017, but was barred from taking office after Nawaz Sharif was found guilty of hiding assets connected to the Panama Papers.
In 2018, he was nominated for the office of Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly after he lost elections to Imran Khan.
Why is Shehbaz Sharif called Man of Action?
During his three years as Chief Minister of Pakistan’s Punjab province, he has collaborated extensively with China on Beijing-funded economic projects as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) plan. For this, he has earned appreciation from Chinese authorities on multiple occasions for being a man of action.
Shehbaz Sharif is recognized for his can-do administration style and friendly ties with Pakistan’s military, which holds the defense and foreign affairs sectors.
According to reports, outgoing Chinese consul general Long Dingbin referred to Sharif as an old friend of China while China Vice-Minister Zheng Xiaosong gave Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif the title of Shahbaz Speed for completing projects before schedule.
With Imran Khan losing the trust vote in the National Assembly on 9 April, Sharif said that we will not take revenge on anyone, we will not do injustice to anyone and we will not put anyone in jail, the law will take its own path. Justice will prevail in Pakistan.