Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday congratulated new Pakistan Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif within minutes of him being sworn in. He also said that India desired peace and stability in a region free of terrorism.
Modi tweeted, “Congratulations to H. E. Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on his election as the Prime Minister of Pakistan. India desires peace and stability in a region free of terror, so that we can focus on our development challenges and ensure the well-being and prosperity of our people.”
Pakistan Parliament on Monday elected unopposed Shehbaz Sharif as the 23rd prime minister of the country, bringing to an end the political uncertainty that had gripped the nation since a no-confidence motion was introduced against his predecessor Imran Khan on March 8.
Shehbaz, 70, was the only candidate left in the race after former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi announced that his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party would boycott the voting, and staged a walkout.
“Sharif has secured 174 votes and has been declared as prime minister of Islamic Republic of Pakistan,” according to the formal result announced by Speaker Ayaz Sadiq who presided over the session after Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri said his conscience did not allow him to conduct the session.
In the House of 342, the winning candidate should get the support of at least 172 lawmakers.
In his maiden address to the House as the prime minister, Shehbaz, the younger brother of former three-time prime minister Nawaz Sharif, said: “We want good ties with India but durable peace is not possible until the Kashmir dispute is resolved.” He attacked Khan for not making “serious and diplomatic efforts” when India abrogated Article 370 in August 2019.
He also asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to come forward to address the Kashmir issue so that the two countries could concentrate on tackling poverty, unemployment, shortage of medicines and other issues on the two sides of the border.