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Who is Shehbaz Sharif, top contender for Pakistan PM's post if Imran Khan resigns

If Imran Khan loses the no-trust vote, which according to the current numbers in the national assembly, seems a tough task for him, then Leader of Opposition Shehbaz Sharif may claim stake to form the government, since the united opposition are having the numbers.

Shashwat Bhandari Written by: Shashwat Bhandari @ShashBhandari New Delhi Updated on: March 31, 2022 15:43 IST
Pakistani opposition leaders Asif Ali Zardari (right), and
Image Source : AP

Pakistani opposition leaders Asif Ali Zardari (right), and Shahbaz Sharif give a press conference about the country's latest political situation, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Monday, March 28, 2022.

Highlights

  • Leader of Opposition and PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif is the brother of Pak-ex PM Nawaz Sharif
  • Pakistan PM Imran Khan's government is in deep crisis after allies withdraw support
  • PM Imran Khan is facing a no-trust vote

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is facing his government's worst crisis as he faces a no-trust motion tabled by Leader of Opposition and PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif. Currently, Pakistan's government is led by Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) with the support of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), and PML-Q.

The crisis has even worsen after Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), a key partner in the PTI-led ruling coalition, has pledged support for the no-confidence motion against Imran Khan, who now risks losing the majority support in the National Assembly, Samaa TV reported. Leaders from the opposition parties and MQM-P drafted an agreement at the Parliament Lodges after midnight.

If Imran Khan loses the no-trust vote, which according to the current numbers in the national assembly, seems a tough task for him, then Leader of Opposition Shehbaz Sharif may claim stake to form the government, since the united opposition are having the numbers.

Pakistan's united opposition is led by PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif (brother of former PM Nawaz Sharif), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

Who is Shehbaz Sharif, likely contender of Pakistan PM if Imran Khan govt's falls

Shehbaz Sharif, born on September 23, 1951, is the current Leader of the Opposition, since August 20, 2018 and chief of Pakistan Muslim League-N. He has been a 3-time Punjab Chief Minister in Pakistan, making him the longest-serving CM.

In 1988, Shehbaz was elected to the Punjab Provincial Assembly and National Assembly in 1990. He was elected Punjab chief minister for first time in February 1997.

However, in 1999, after a military coup deposed the national government, Shehbaz along with family spent years of self-exile in Saudi Arabia.

In October, 1999 senior officers loyal to then army chief General Pervez Musharraf arrested prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his ministers after thwarting the Sharif regime's attempt to dismiss Musharraf and prevent his plane from landing in Pakistan as he returned from a visit to Sri Lanka.

Shehbaz returned to Pakistan in 2007 and was appointed Chief Minister for his second term after the PML-N's victory in the province in the 2008 general elections.

Again in 2013, he was elected as Punjab CM for the third time and served until party's defeat in the 2018 general election.

Shehbaz Sharif was nominated as Chief of the Pakistan Muslim League-N after his brother and former PM Nawaz Sharif was disqualified from holding office. He was nominated as the Leader of the Opposition after the 2018 election, when Imran Khan took office.

Pakistani National Assembly has a total strength of 342 members, with the majority mark at 172, however, after MQM-P has pulled the support from Imran Khan's government leaving it with 164 members, the number needed by the opposition for the no-confidence motion against Khan may succeed. The PTI-led coalition government was formed with the support of 179 members.

(With agency inputs)

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