Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sherif Photo credit REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro/File Photo
ISLAMABAD, April 11 (Reuters) – Pakistan’s parliament chose a more Western-friendly politician, Shehbaz Sharif, as prime minister on Monday, completing the ousting of predecessor Imran Khan in a political crisis that has sparked street protests and a mass resignation of lawmakers.
Sharif said in an interview last week good relations with the United States were critical for Pakistan for better or for worse, in stark contrast to Khan’s prickly ties to Washington.
No elected prime minister has completed a full term in the nuclear-armed nation since it won independence from colonial power Great Britain in 1947, though Khan is the first to be removed by a no-confidence vote.
The military has ruled the country of 220 million people for almost half its nearly 75-year history. It viewed Khan and his conservative agenda favourably when he won election in 2018.
But that support waned after a falling-out over the appointment of military intelligence chief and economic troubles that last week led to the largest interest rate rise in decades.