News

Second-time PM Shehbaz declares: Pakistan will rise again

PML-N and allies' candidate elected 24th prime minister of Pakistan by securing 201 votes against SIC's Omar Ayub's 92 votes: JUI-F boycotts voting process: 'Present' Akhtar Mengal abstains

By News Desk

March 3, 2024 09:13 AM


Newly-elected Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif addresses the National Assembly.

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday became the country’s prime minister for the second time defeating his rival with a comfortable majority, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

Shehbaz, who was a joint candidate of the PML-N and allied parties, secured 201 votes to go on to become the 24th prime minister of Pakistan. His rival Omar Ayub Khan from the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) got 92 votes.

Shehbaz Sharif was voted in as prime minister for a second time on Sunday, presiding over a shaky alliance that has shut out followers of jailed opposition leader Imran Khan.

Newly sworn-in lawmakers in National Assembly elected Shehbaz Sharif by 201 votes, three weeks after general elections marred by widespread allegations of rigging.

"Shehbaz Sharif has been declared to have been elected as prime minister of Islamic Republic of Pakistan," said newly appointed speaker of the National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnyaOd0TDm8

Omar Ayub Khan stood against Shehbaz Sharif as the candidate of choice for MPs loyal to Imran Khan, gaining 92 votes.

The Speaker officially declared Shehbaz Sharif as the Prime Minister of Pakistan. Following this declaration, he extended a request to Shehbaz Sharif to take the chair of the Leader of the House/Prime Minister in the National Assembly.

The election for the prime minister was conducted through the division of the House.

It is the second time that Shehbaz Sharif has been elected as the prime minister of the country.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rq7jMg0wVI4

Following the speaker's announcement, Shehbaz hugged elder brother Nawaz Sharif. He later went to the desks of the allied parties to express his gratitude to them.

Chief of Balochistan National Party (Mengal) Sardar Akhtar Mengal who was present in the house abstained from voting. JUI-F boycotted the voting for the prime minister as it had announced prior to the voting that it was not going to become part of the process.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ou798J2Z1l4

PM Shehbaz thanks Nawaz, allies

Delivering his maiden speech after being elected as new prime minister amid noisy slogans of ‘thief’ raised by PTI-backed MNAs, Shehbaz Sharif thanked PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif and all the allies for putting their trust in him and making him Leader of the House. “When my Quaid was elected as prime minister thrice, the development that followed in the country is an example of its own. And it is not wrong to say that Nawaz Sharif is the one who built Pakistan,” he said.

Shehbaz Sharif also said the nation would always remember the sacrifices of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

Public sufferings to be cut down

Laying his focus on the public issues, the newly-elected prime minister vowed to resolve the circular debt issue in the country, saying the public was suffering the burden of sky-high electricity and gas prices. “Electricity and tax thefts are a matter of life and death for Pakistan and I want to say that God willing we will remove this cancer from its roots and make the country stand on its feet,” he said and added “It is a long and thorny journey full of hurdles, but countries that surmounted these challenges became one of the most developed nations around the world.”

New tech to check tax theft

Shehbaz admitted poor people were bearing the burden of electricity and tax theft. “I will personally oversee tax theft and bring a technological model which would remove any human error. “This will decrease inflation, increase employment, the country will grow.”

National Assembly being run on borrowed money

Shehbaz said country is facing an alarming debt crisis where even the expenditures of the National Assembly were being paid by borrowing money. “But if we decide to do a deep surgery and bring changes in the system, basic reform, I have no doubt that Nawaz Sharif, Asif Ali Zardari and others will agree that we can either get rid of debts or we move forward with heads down in shame. No this will not happen, we will rise and we will make Pakistan self-sufficient,” he said.

The prime minister said the PML-N and allies will play their role as Pakistanis, Muslims and human beings. “There are talented people sitting in this Parliament who can steer Pakistan’s ship to the shore. These include journalists, intellectuals, politicians, religious leaders.”

Shehbaz said Pakistan had a big challenge and opportunity before it. “If we come together and decide to change the fate of Pakistan then God willing, we will defeat these challenges and take Pakistan to its rightful position,” he said and added this job was difficult but not impossible.

PTI’s faults listed

Shehbaz said his elder brother has never even thought of harming the country, unlike his opponents. “They put the entire opposition behind bars, they didn’t care about women or children and used language that cannot be said out loud,” he said.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDmfxg5Y4WE&t=10s

Never thought of politics of revenge

The prime minster said “This is the difference between this leadership and that leadership. The entire assembly is witness to the fact that we never thought of the politics of revenge. “Never was once a pot broken, nor was any building ever damaged, but it was shameful that the country saw a day when GHQ, corps commander houses and airfields were attacked on May 9,” he said and added such sights are unforgettable.

Charter of Reconciliation

Shehbaz offered Charter of Reconciliation to the opposition for effectively addressing the prevailing challenges and leading the country towards progress and prosperity. He categorically stated that they have no personal egos and the other side also needs to follow the suit for the sake of Pakistan. He mentioned that they had earlier proposed Charter of Economy for the country’s benefit.

Shehbaz said people have given a split mandate in the general elections; and those having reservations about election results need to approach the appropriate forums. He emphasized the destiny of the country can be changed and it can be taken to the path of self-reliance through collective decisions.

Visa-free entry 

 

 

Shehbaz announced that Pakistan’s brotherly countries will be provided visa-free entry. He expressed the confidence that the move would increase trade in the country. He added his government would work hard and set a goal to become a member of G20 countries by 2030.

No room for terrorism

Shehbaz vowed to crush terrorism in the country and its roots. He said his government aims to take forward the National Action Plan.

He said the issue of missing persons of Balochistan will be resolved with the consultation of the notables of the province. He said the elements involved in May 9 incidents will have to face the law. However, those who have not committed any crime will not have to face any embarrassment.

No pardon for May 9 perpetrators

Shehbaz Sharif said the perpetrators of the May 9 riots will not be forgiven, vowing action against all those who were involved in the saga. But at the same time he also said that justice would be served to all those who were not involved in the riots.

Shehbaz said his government would work on building a system through which swift justice will be provided. He also announced that women and children behind bars, whose sentences are less than two years, will be freed.

Incentives for farmers

Shehbaz promised that his government would provide subsidies directly to farmers and a package on solar tube-wells will be soon announced. “The seed mafia will be eliminated and we will import seeds from the best countries in the world and provide them to farmers,” he said, adding that the first of these seeds would be provided free of cost.

Shehbaz further stated that the Centre would work with all four provinces in the sectors of agriculture.

Training to half-million students

 

Shehbaz said his government will provide specialised training to 500,000 young students. “These young students will not take jobs, but they will give jobs,” the newly elected prime minister said, elaborating that the training will include use of technology and artifical intelligence.

Economic challenges

Shehbaz pointed out that the country is indebted to 80,000 billion rupees of internal and external loans, and this situation warrants deep surgery.

He said a revenue of twelve thousand and three hundred billion rupees is expected during the current fiscal year. He said after distribution of resources to the provinces under the National Finance Commission Award, the federal government will be left with seven thousand three hundred billion rupees. He said eight thousand billion rupees are required for payment of interest. Shehbaz Sharif directed the Federal Board of Revenue to ensure pending tax refunds in the next ten days. He said his government will put in the best possible efforts to enhance revenue that would lead to reduction in inflation and create employment opportunities.

Shehbaz said the outdated laws will be done away with to create conducive environment for business and investment in the country. He said visa free entry will be given to the entrepreneurs from friendly countries. He directed the banks to also give loans to the youth for promotion of small and medium enterprises. He said a network of export zones will be spread across the country with the cooperation of provincial governments by ensuring one window facility.

He said trade corridors will be opened. He said China-Pakistan Economic Corridor will be taken forward with the cooperation of China, which is a time-tested and reliable friend of Pakistan. 

Agriculture sector

Shehbaz expressed commitment to provide direct subsidy to farmers on fertilizers. He said the government will launch a Solar Tube-well programme and try to provide high quality imported seeds to farmers free of cost for first time. He said livestock farming will be promoted under Special Investment Facilitation Council.

Shehbaz Sharif said establishing a network of efficient public transport system in collaboration with the provincial governments will be another priority of his government. He said state of the art new hospitals will be established at the federal level and in the provinces to provide better health facilities to people.

He said the youth will be offered multiple opportunities to excel. He said as many as five hundred thousand youth will be imparted with special training in Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and other information technology-related fields. He said the federal government will provide the students securing distinctive positions with scholarships to study abroad. Shehbaz Sharif held out assurance to protect rights of minorities as enshrined in the Constitution. He said women constitute fifty percent of the population, and they deserve equal opportunities and rights. He said harassment of women at workplaces is not acceptable.

Foreign policy outlook

Shehbaz said adding friends and reducing opponents will be cornerstone of the foreign policy. Describing Pakistan’s relations with the United States as long-standing, he said the government will make efforts to repair and rebuild relations with Washington. He said relations with the neighboring countries will be taken forward on the basis of principles of equality.

The Prime Minister was appreciative of the financial support extended by Saudi Arabia during his last tenure in government. He acknowledged that Saudi Arabia has always stood by Pakistan in difficult times. Likewise, the United Arab Emirates and Turkiye have also been supportive of Pakistan in challenging times.

PM condemns Israeli aggression

Condemning the Israeli aggression against the innocent Palestinians and Indian atrocities in occupied Kashmir, the Prime Minister-elect urged the international community to break its silence over the barbarism against the humanity.

Earlier, the newly elected MNAs voted in the election for the leader of their House amidst an uproar created by the lawmakers belonging to the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC).  

Both candidates submitted their nomination papers to the National Assembly Secretariat on Saturday, which were declared valid by Speaker Ayaz Sadiq after the scrutiny, conducted in the presence of the leaders from both sides.

Omar Ayub had raised an objection against Shehbaz Sharif, saying the PML-N leader was elected through manipulation in Form-47.

He claimed the lawmaker could not contest the PM election because he had lost the constituency as per Form-45. Moreover, Omar alleged Shahbaz Sharif wrongly administered the oath as MNA and thus cannot be a candidate for the prime minister’s position. The objection was rejected.

Besides the PML-N, Shehbaz Sharif has the support of PPP, MQM-Pakistan, PML-Q, Balochistan Awami Party, PML-Zia, IPP and the NP having a total strength of 205 members. Maulana Fazlur Rehman-led JUI-F has, however, opted to boycott the election. 

Two MNAs-elect from MQM-P and PPP have yet to take oath. In order to become the leader of the house, Shehbaz needs 169 votes in the 336-member house.

According to Article91 (4) of the constitution, “The prime minister shall be elected by the votes of the majority of the total membership of the National Assembly: provided that, if no member secures such majority in the first poll, a second poll shall be held between the members who secure the two highest numbers of votes in the first poll and the member who secures a majority of votes of the members present and voting shall be declared to have been elected as prime minister,”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVMD4q_tp24

According to the schedule, “Before voting commences, the NA Speaker shall direct that the bells be rung for five minutes to enable members not present in the chamber to be present. Immediately after the bells stop ringing, all the entrances to the lobby shall be locked and the assembly staff posted at each entrance shall not allow any entry or exit through those entrances until the voting has concluded.” NA Speaker shall then ask the members who want to vote in favour of the candidates to go to the allocated lobbies through the entrance where tellers shall be posted to record the votes.

On reaching the desk of the tellers, each member shall, in turn, call out the division number allotted to them under the rules. The tellers shall then mark off the number on the division list simultaneously calling out the name of the member.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFSCAspk9hs

In order to ensure that his vote was properly recorded, the member shall not move off until they have clearly heard the teller call out their name. After a member has recorded his vote, they shall not return to the chamber until bells are rung.

When the Speaker will find that all the members have recorded their votes, he shall announce that the voting has concluded. Thereupon the secretary shall cause the division list to be collected, count the recorded votes, and present the result of the count to the speaker.

The Speaker shall then direct that the bells be rung for two minutes to enable the members to return to the chamber. After the bells stop ringing, the Speaker shall announce the result to the assembly.

 

Reporter: Usman Khan


News Desk


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