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Pakistan’s new government may improve ties with U.S. and India


Pakistan’s Parliament elected Shehbaz Sharif to be the new Prime Minister, days after Imran Khan’s defeat in a no confidence vote.

AFP, Getty Images| AFP | Getty Images

Pakistan has a new prime minister — and this could augur well for the South Asian country’s return to a healthier economy and its relations with its traditional supporter, the U.S., as well as its rival, India. 

Pakistan’s parliament elected Shehbaz Sharmaf as its new prime Minister on Monday. He was appointed just days following the resignation of his predecessor. Imran Khan was ousted in a no-confidence vote.

This was what an observer called “affirmation” of democracy. It happened in a country that has never had a prime minister serve a complete term. 

Surprised observers discovered that the Pakistani army, an all-powerful force, who has been ruling the country for many decades through coups and other means, chose to remain in the barracks.

Surprisingly, the judiciary made an immediate intervention. Pakistan’s Supreme Court decided that Imran Khan’s government had to be subjected to a vote of no confidence. tried to block. Khan lost the trust vote that was rescheduled in the wee hours of Sunday, and was then removed from office.

What will Sharif do with his money?

Sharif, 70 years old, said in his first speech that Pakistan was a “paradise” and would refashion it as an investment destination. Sharif also announced an increase to the minimum wages. 

Sharif has a long road ahead of him, Iqbal Sevea, director of the Institute of South Asian Studies, at the National University of Singapore told CNBC.

He inherits an inflation-prone economy. According to the professor, he must increase revenue generation through taxes and increased investment in order to boost the state’s potential to earn it.

Pakistan dreams of being able to export goods to China. Pakistan’s reality is that they can export to Europe and the U.S.

James Schwemlein

Senior director, Albright Stonebridge Group

Pakistan’s a great country. 23rd bailout from the IMF.Inflation is putting pressure on the country’s economy. at over 10% this year,  amid spiraling prices of crude oil and other commodities after the war in Ukraine.

Sevea stated that Pakistan will likely negotiate another loan from the IMF. He also said that Pakistan would need to make structural reforms in order to generate additional tax revenue. The task will be even more challenging because Sevea must accomplish this while not appearing to be cutting welfare programs or cutting subsidies.

James Schwemlein of the Washington-based Albright Stonebridge Group said Sharif has become a well-known figure worldwide. Schwemlein pointed out his reputation as an administrator and senior director. 

“Shehbaz Sharif ran Pakistan’s largest province, Punjab. His efforts had a positive impact on business. His significant investments in infrastructure were his responsibility. He’s well known to all of the international interlocutors — whether they be American or Chinese,” he said. 

India: Are there improved relations between the two countries?

India will pay particular attention to this new administration.

According to Shashank, a former Indian foreign secretary, the unfolding events in Pakistan could provide an opportunity for New Delhi’s to strengthen relations with its neighbour.

Pakistan’s affirmation of democracyHe said that it would be an “opening for us to progress with our bilateral relations”.

Shashank stated, “But signals from Sharif government or its all-powerful Army will prove to be the real test.” He said that the Pakistani army was desperate to establish relations with America.

U.S.: Fixing ties

Pakistan has enjoyed a lot of economic success due to its positive relationship with the West. Khan however, “opposed that,” Schwemlein said.

The new Sharif government is expected to align more with the U.S.

China: Strategic ties

Shibani Mehta, research analyst at Carnegie India says that Pakistan had developed close ties to both China and the U.S. in order to resolve its security problem and preserve its balance of power with India.

Mehta stated that Pakistan is more dependent on the U.S. than it needs China and its past with China. “The United States had little interest in embroiling itself into regional disputes.” She said that China’s motives were primarily driven by a history and shared wariness with India and commercial interest in Pakistan.

Changes in Pakistan’s relations with any one of these countries or both depend on Washington’s strategic objectives.

Shibani Mehta

Carnegie India Research Analyst

She said that Pakistan will not be able to change its relationship with Beijing or Washington without changing their strategic goals.

Sevea emphasized that regardless of who is in power, the Army will continue to be an influential part of Pakistan’s foreign policies. 

According to him, “Given Imran Khan’s comments about Pakistan’s relations with America and the fact that the Army chief asserted the importance of Pakistan’s relationship with the U.S.A.,” Sharif said.