Shehbaz Sharif elected PM for second time while securing 201 votes Akhtar Jan Mengal who was present in the house abstained from voting. Umar A Khan secures 92 votes

Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif elected Prime Minister of Pakistan for second time while securing 201 votes

Umar Ayub Khan secures 92 votes

Shehbaz says perpetrators of the May 9 riots would be brought to justice whereas those who weren’t involved in the incidents would not be bothered

Says they would sit with the Baloch leaders & find a way out to solve all the problems, including that of missing persons

ISLAMABAD   (  Web  News  )

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has been elected Prime Minister of Pakistan for second time while securing 201 votes. The rival candidate Sunni Ittehad Council backed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Umar Ayub Khan secured 92 votes.

The National Assembly session was held under the chairmanship of Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq during which the election of the 24th prime minister of the country was conducted. Sardar Ayaz Sadiq announced the results of the election of the prime minister and requested Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif to take chair of the prime minister of Pakistan.

The leaders of the coalition parties congratulated Shehbaz Sharif on his election as prime minister. Shehbaz Sharif later went to the desks of the allied parties to express his gratitude to them.

Chief of Balochistan National Party (Mengal) Sardar Muhammad Akhtar Jan Mengal who was present in the house abstained from voting.

While addressing the National Assembly session after being elected as Prime Minister, Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif thanked Asif Ali Zardari, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Dr. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Chaudhry Salik Hussain, Abdul Aleem Khan, Mir Khalid Hussain Magsi and members of all allied parties for electing him prime minister of the country for second time.

Shehbaz Sharif said that Pakistan made progress during the three tenures of Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif as prime minister of the country. The country progressed by leaps and bounds under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif, he added. He also mentioned Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto for their service to the country.

Taking the opportunity to highlight the country’s history of political turmoil, the prime minister-elect lamented the “judicial murder” of PPP founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and paid homage to his daughter and ex-prime minister Benazir Bhutto for paying the ultimate price for democracy.

Without taking any names, Shehbaz Sharif took a jibe at the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) for hounding the opposition when it was in power, going against the country’s national interests while resorting to leveling serious allegations against the armed forces.

“This is the difference between the [two] leaderships. The House is witness that the [PML-N] has never even thought of indulging in politics of vengeance,” said PM-elect Shehbaz Sharif.

Elaborating on his government’s plans to steer the country out of the prevailing crises, Shehbaz Sharif said that people from all walks of life have to come together to change the country’s destiny and overcome the challenges.

Addressing the economic crunch faced by the country, the PML-N leader highlighted that out of the Rs12,300 billion generated by the country, Rs7,300 billion is given to the provinces under the National Finance Commission award and the government faces a whopping Rs700 billion deficit due to services charges worth up to Rs8,000 billion.

“Where will the money come for development, health and education sectors? From where will the armed forces’ government employees’ salaries be paid?” “All this is being afforded via loans throughout the years […] This is the biggest challenge faced by the country today,” he noted.

“All of our salaries are being paid via taxes. Does such a situation warrant such hooliganism?” he said while referring to the slogans and chants being raised by the PTI-backed SIC opposition members.

On the issue of exuberant electricity bills, Shehbaz Sharif lamented that the circular debt (electricity) stands at Rs23,000 billion as only Rs28,000 worth of recovery is made for Rs38,000 worth of electricity that is provided to the consumers.

“There’s a gap of Rs1,000 billion which amounts to [around] $3.5 billion. Can this nation afford careless governance?”

“I would call it a ‘bottomless pit’,” he said while lamenting electricity theft worth up to Rs500 to 600 billion each year.

Meanwhile, he added, that the circular debt of the gas sector has reached the grave Rs29,000 billion due to the import of expensive LNG coupled with theft and issues with the distribution system.

“The state-owned enterprises are in a loss of Rs600 billion […] The PIA [alone] is in debt of Rs800 billion,” he added.

Terming the agriculture sector as the economy’s backbone, Shehbaz Sharif said that his government would provide subsidies to the farmers and would also introduce a solar tube well programme for them.

“Perpetrators of the May 9 [riots] would be brought to justice [whereas] those who weren’t involved in the incidents would not be bothered,” he said while reaffirming the government’s commitment towards the implementation of the National Action Plan.

On the government’s plan to stimulate business activities, he said that the government would abolish draconian and obsolete laws and regulations and would work with the provincial governments to establish a comprehensive network of export zones. “Our goal is to secure G20 membership by 2030.”

“Women are to be given equal pay as men,” he said while addressing the prevailing gender-based discrimination in society.

Banks are to be directed to allocate loans for the young generation, he added while announcing that the government would ensure that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is held accountable if it fails to ensure tax refunds within 10 days.

Elaborating on his foreign policy, Shehbaz Sharif said that the government would not allow Pakistan to become part of some “great game”.

The government would maintain cordial relations with the neighbouring countries based on the principles of equality.

He also announced the introducing of visa-free entry into Pakistan from citizens of brotherly countries.

The newly-elected prime minister also promised giving rights to women and said women harassment was unacceptable, adding that they would be given wages equal to what their male counterparts get.

About the tax collection, Shehbaz said some mafias were escaping taxations and those paying their taxes would be rewarded, as he criticised the practice of further burdening the existing taxpayers.

Besides protecting the minorities’ rights, he also listed expansion in CPEC and improving relations with brotherly countries like Saudi Arabia and UAE as a top priority of his government. Pakistan won’t be part of any great game, Shehbaz told the House.

Pakistan’s foreign policy will revolve around enhancing trade and ensuring development, he said and added that Islamabad was to pursue a relationship with the neighbouring countries which would be based upon equal terms.

About the federating units, Shehbaz said all the four provinces would be treated equally and mentioned that there was a sense of deprivation in Balochistan.

In this connection, he said they would sit with the Baloch leaders and find a way out to solve all the problems, including that of missing persons.

The session, which was chaired by NA Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, began with the oath-taking of PML-N’s Mir Jam Kamal Khan Alyani.

However, the House soon began echoing with slogans and chants raised by the SIC members in favour of incarcerated Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan and alliance backing Shehbaz Sharif.

After this, Speaker Sadiq asked the Assembly staff to ring the bell for five minutes so any members that are not present in the house could come to the floor for the prime minister’s election.

Once the bells were rung, Speaker Sadiq ordered the NA staff to lock the doors and announced the method for electing the prime minister.

Then the speaker informed the lawmakers about the candidates who were contesting for the prime minister’s elections.

“Valid nominated candidates are Shehbaz Sharif and Omar Ayub. Honourable members who wish to vote in favour of Shehbaz may proceed to the lobby on the right side designated as ‘Lobby A’,” the speaker said.

The speaker then directed that those who wish to vote for Ayub can proceed to the left-hand side towards “Lobby B” to get their votes recorded.

As the voting process commenced, members of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) walked out of the House in line with their decision to boycott the elections for the PM, president and other constitutional offices.

Following the conclusion of the polling process, the NA secretary provided the speaker with the record of the votes cast in the elections.

Once the counting was completed the speaker directed the NA staff to ring the bell to summon the lawmakers back in the house for the announcement of the results.