Sharif in talks to form govt

Sharif in talks to form govt
Highlights

He is set to assume power for third time PML-N to return to power after 14 years Nawaz promises change...

  • He is set to assume power for third time
  • PML-N to return to power after 14 years
  • Nawaz promises change
  • Vows to make Pakistan prosperous

Islamabad (Agencies): Pakistan is set to make a transition from one democratically elected government to another as more than half of results of the National Assembly elections had come in on Sunday.

nawaz sharif

With Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Mulsim League poised to return to power after a 14-year hiatus, Nawaz Sharif was in talks on Sunday to form a new government, with Pakistan's largest domestic observer mission, The Free and Fair Election Network, saying that the polls were "relatively fair" despite some irregularities and violence at the polling stations.

Sartaj Aziz, a senior PML-N official and former cabinet minister, said Sharif was in talks on Sunday with some independent MPs to get them on board and in discussions to work out "a few key portfolios" in the cabinet.

TV projections suggested no single party would win an absolute majority in the 342-seat national assembly. But Sharif's centre-right Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) was well ahead with more than 115 of the chamber's 272 directly elected seats, according to various projections by private channels and as many as 128 according to Geo TV.

A beaming Nawaz promised change to his people at a victory rally in Lahore following a bitterly-fought election that saw the country of 180 million face a string of terror attacks. Unfazed voters defied Taliban diktat and bombings to cast their vote on Saturday, recording a 60 percent turnout.

"I want to...assure you all that I will honour all commitments I and my party leaders had made during the election campaign," Sharif told a cheering crowd. Nawaz Sharif has served as the country's prime minister for two non-consecutive terms from November 1990 to July 1993 and from February 1997 to October 1999. However, his both governments were dismissed before completing their constitutional term.

Sharif told his supporters that every possible effort would be made to steer the country out of the current crisis and make it peaceful and prosperous. "It is our desire to get absolute majority in the National Assembly so that we should not have to beg for votes for formation of coalition government as coalition governments could not deliver properly."

Promises talks with India on Kashmir Islamabad: Addressing media persons after his Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) emerged as the leading party in the general election, Nawaz Sharif said a new round of talks will be resumed with India on the issue of Kashmir, and that ties with neighbouring countries will also be strengthened.

"We'll pick the threads where we left. We want to move toward better relations with India, to resolve the remaining issues through peaceful means, including that of Kashmir," he said.

PM invites Sharif, hopes peace process will restart New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh congratulated Sharif for his "emphatic victory" in the elections. Singh telephoned the former prime minister on Sunday and expressed the hope that he would play his role for better coordination between Islamabad and New Delhi and invited Sharif to visit India at a mutually convenient date.

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, welcoming the outcome of elections in Pakistan, hoped India will continue to have good relations under Sharif's leadership.

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