Islamabad (AsiaNews / Agencies) - After surviving a military coup and seven years of exile in Saudi Arabia, the leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Nawaz Sharif is swearing his oath of allegiance in front of Parliament for his third term as Prime Minister of the Asian nation. The first democratic transition of power in the 66 year history of the nation can therefore be considered completed. So far, political and institutional changes have occurred only as a result of coups and army generals, the real "hard power" in the country.
The National Assembly meets in the late afternoon for the vote of confidence in the future executive led by Nawaz Sharif, who won the elections last May 11 with 176 seats in parliament out of a total of 342. The vote is a formality, even though the former ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and the movement of the former cricketer Imran Khan have proposed their candidates to challenge - in theory - the Prime Minister-elect.
The 63 year-old Pakistani politician, twice Prime Minister in the 1990s and expelled in 1999 following a military coup, is facing many challenges in an effort to revive the country. Among the many problems, at least six priorities to be addressed in the first hundred days in office are looming: the energy crisis, economy to its knees, soaring inflation, Islamic terrorism, sectarian violence and intolerance stratified at different levels in society.
The country is exhausted by macroeconomic problems which, according to the Central Bank, can only be addressed and resolved with radical changes in terms of taxation and society. International analysts speak of a "bleak" future, aggravated by "continuous attacks" aimed at destabilizing the country, which do not contribute to improving the situation and attracting foreign investment.
The executive led by the PML-N will also have the support of the conservative Islamist movement Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F), led by Mullah Fazlur Rahman. The religious leader called dialogue with the Taliban a "serious issue" and describes the position held until now by the establishment of Pakistan "unsatisfactory". "Without dialogue - he added - peace will never be possible," but without specifying what the terms of this negotiation to engage with the country's Islamic fringe fighter.