Leader of the opposition Shahbaz Sharif gestures as he speaks to the media in Islamabad, Pakistan. Reuters
The brother of three-time prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who was dismissed then jailed on corruption charges in 2017, Shahbaz Sharif, and expected to become Pakistan's new prime minister on Monday after leading the opposition alliance that ousted Imran Khan, is a tough administrator with a penchant for quoting revolutionary poetry.
Candidates for Pakistan's next prime minister are due to file nomination papers on Sunday after incumbent Imran Khan lost a no-confidence vote in parliament, bringing an end to the former cricket star's nearly four years in power.
All eyes on Pakistan as Imran Khan loses no-confidence vote
Pakistan army chief meets PM Imran amid impasse over no-confidence vote
Khan had clung on for almost a week after a united opposition first tried to remove him, managing to put off the no-confidence vote, which he said was part of a foreign-backed plot against him, and dissolving parliament.
But the Supreme Court ordered parliament to convene and hold the vote and Khan's government fell in the early hours of Sunday after a 13-hour session that included repeated delays and lengthy speeches by lawmakers from his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party.
The vote went ahead after the powerful army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, met Khan, said two sources who declined to be identified, as criticism mounted over the delay in the parliamentary process.
The military has ruled the nuclear-armed country of 220 million people for almost half its nearly 75-year history.
Shahbaz Sharif is a seasoned politician in his own right, however, having served for years as chief minister of Punjab province, the Sharif family's power base, and also president of the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N).
The 70-year-old jointly inherited the family's steel business as a young man and was first elected to provincial office in 1988.
General Qamar Javed Bajwa
During his stints as chief minister in the years that followed, he presided over a series of big-ticket infrastructure projects, including Pakistan's first metro bus service.
Officials were reportedly kept on their toes by workaholic Sharif's habit of surprise visits to government offices, which he would inspect clad in a favoured safari suit and hat.
Still, critics say he did little to address the province's core issues -- including the need for civil service, health and agricultural reforms -- and instead focused on vote-grabbing projects, such as distributing laptops to students or offering subsidised taxis to the jobless.
Freed on bail
Sharif has also been linked to graft and corruption — charges supporters say sprang from a political vendetta by Khan.
In December 2019, the National Accountability Bureau seized nearly two dozen properties belonging to Sharif and his son Hamza, accusing them of money laundering.
Imran Khan's government fell in the early hours of Sunday after a 13-hour session.
He was arrested and detained in September 2020, but released around six months later on bail for a trial which is still pending.
Unlike his elder brother — whose relations with the country's powerful military and his opponents were strained — Sharif is seen as a more flexible dealmaker, capable of compromising even with his enemies.
Pakistan's military is the country's most powerful institution and has ruled the nation for nearly half its history — and pulls the strings even when not actually ruling.
"I have always remained a strong supporter of effective coordination between Islamabad and Rawalpindi," Sharif said, referring to the administrative capital and the nearby military headquarters.
Sharif remains popular despite lurid tabloid headlines about multiple marriages and a property portfolio that includes luxury apartments in London and Dubai.
His current marriage, to author Tehmina Durrani, has largely ended the gossip.
Durrani, a feminist whose book "My Feudal Lord" earned her international acclaim, is also credited with improving Sharif's respect for women.
Tough economic and security challenges await Sharif as he inherits a stagnant economy and escalating violence from Pakistan's Taliban and Balochistan separatists.
Fawad Hussain said, “Visits to a meeting in the intensive care unit of a London hospital. The treatment of Eat Drink Disease continues to be extremely poignant and all patients are feeling better.”
Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi on Thursday signed the summary for dissolving the provincial assembly, and if the governor did not dissolve it immediately, it would stand dissolved 48 hours later.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said that people in Indian-administered Kashmir were living under curfew for almost four weeks since New Delhi downgraded Kashmir's autonomy on Aug.5 and imposed a security clampdown to prevent any violence.
It is a step in the right direction by Imran Khan’s government to allow dual nationals to contest elections (“Pakistan decides to allow dual nationals to contest elections,” July 27, Gulf Today). It is good news that the Pakistan government has decided to allow dual-national Pakistanis to contest elections in Pakistan. Special Assistant to the Premier
Al Mubarak revealed that more than 1,000 private sector executives and members of the Dubai Chamber had joined the path towards reducing global emissions by half by 2030 and reaching zero emissions by 2050.
Tuesday’s weather is expected to be clear to partly cloudy with clouds appearing in the east in the afternoon and the temperature tending to rise gradually, according to the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM).
The Dubai Criminal Court sentenced an African cleaning woman to three months in jail to be followed by deportation and fined her Dhs2,000 for stealing the same amount of the fine from the handbag of her co-worker.