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Nawaz Sharif elected as Pakistani prime ministerNawaz Sharif (01 June 2013) Mr Sharif's majority in parliament is big enough for him to govern without a coalitionNawaz Sharif has been elected as Pakistan's prime minister after his surprise landslide victory in general elections last month.Mr Sharif received 244 votes in the 342-seat parliament, returning him to office for an unprecedented third time.The newly appointed leader is due to be sworn in later on Wednesday.He faces numerous pressing challenges, including reviving a weak economy and putting an end to militant attacks and US drone strikes.Nawaz Sharif has made history by becoming the prime minister for the third time, but it is not going to be a bed of roses.Controlling power cuts is his most immediate concern, and a major reason why so many people voted for him.But there is no money to fund the cycle of debt between power generation and distribution firms. Also, the power bureaucracy needs restructuring, including some politically damaging lay-offs.Raising revenue is a tough call. Mr Sharif's most loyal vote-bank comprises the trading and professional classes, who are also the largest tax evaders.While in opposition, his party blocked proposed tax reforms, but he will now be under pressure to do the opposite.His wider ambition of triggering sustainable economic growth may remain unfulfilled if Pakistan continues on an adversarial course with neighbours India and Afghanistan.Changing this will not be easy. He will need to eliminate militant networks, and also deal with the powerful military that has been using those militants as proxies in the region.The BBC's M Ilyas Khan in Islamabad says Mr Sharif's priorities will be rejuvenating the economy and improving security - both areas that require some speedy but difficult decision-making in a geo-strategic environment which is shaped and controlled by the military.While the new prime minister favours talks with the Pakistani Taliban, many expect that once he gets into power, he will accept the army's view that all past negotiations have failed and the only option is to fight the jihadis who attack domestic targets.He comes to power at a critical time in the battle against the Taliban - as Nato forces begin the process of withdrawing from Afghanistan.Mr Sharif has continually spoken out against US drone strikes in Pakistan although it is not clear how he can bring these to an end.
ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan's newly-elected prime minister is calling for an end to American drone strikes in tribal areas.Nawaz Sharif's call came in his first speech in parliament, minutes after lawmakers elected him the country's premier.But he gave little details on how he might bring about an end to the strikes, which many in Pakistan have called an affront to the country's sovereignty.The U.S. considers the strikes vital to battling militants such as al-Qaida, who use the tribal areas of Pakistan as a safe haven.Sharif's comments are in line with previous statements he has made calling for an end to the controversial strikes.