Zee Media Bureau
Islamabad: Having received an overwhelming lead over rivals in Pakistan elections, Pakistan Muslim Leauge-Nawaz (PML-N) president Nawaz Sharif is in talks with independents and small parties on forming a new government.
Though the final results are yet to come, according to the trends, PML-N is expected to garner 130 National Assembly seats, which is just seven short of a simple majority. Imran Khan’s party, PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf) which had yesterday conceded defeat, is slated to get some 34 seats, while the former ruling party PPP has been badly trounced with 32 seats.
Nawaz Sharif, who has already declared victory yesterday, has formed a committee comprising his brother Shahbaz Sharif, Senator Pervez Rashid and Senator Ishaq Dar to prepare a plan of action to form the government, according to Pakistani media reports.
Sharif may marginally fall short of absolute majority but by getting the support of independent candidates and smaller rightist parties like the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, forming a government will be a cakewalk for him.
Nawaz had yesterday addressed his supporters at his party headquarters and thanked them seeking prayers so that he does not need “crutches” to form a government.
"It has been confirmed that the PML (N) will emerge as the single largest party... People should pray that tomorrow the Muslim League (N) is able to form the government without crutches. Please pray that we do not need anyone's help to form the government," Nawaz said.
But at the same time, Sharif also looked receptive for other parties' support when he said, “I appeal to all to come sit with me at the table so that this nation can get rid of this curse of power cuts, inflation and unemployment".
Nawaz was congratulated by US President Barack Obama and Indian PM Manmohan Singh yesterday.
In an unusually quick response even as counting of votes was underway in Pakistan, PM Singh wrote him a letter addressing him as “Dear Mian Saheb”, and congratulated him for his "emphatic victory" in the general elections in Pakistan.
During the campaign, 63-year-old Sharif had vowed to revive the Indo-Pak peace process which was interrupted in 1999 by the then military ruler Pervez Musharraf who ousted him in a bloodless coup, jailed and exiled. He had started the peace process with then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.
This will be Nawaz Sharif’s third term as PM of Pakistan. Earlier he has twice served the post in 1990’s.
The 11 May polls have turned out to be a historic milestone for Pakistan, when a democratically elected government has paved way for another.