Only democracy can hold Pakistan together: Hashmi

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Makhdoom Javed Hashmi congratulated Pakistam Muslim League-N (PML-N) chief Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on being elected the Pakistan’s 24th prime minister, and called it a “historic day” for the country.

Speaking on the floor of the House after election for the prime minister’s office on Wednesday, Hashmi hoped the democratic process would continue.

“This day is a historic day for Pakistan. Only democracy can hold Pakistan together,” said the PTI leader, who secured 31 votes in the election for the PM’s office.

This is the first time in Pakistan that a democratically elected government had successfully transferred power to a new democratic administration after a full five-year term.

Sharif bagged an overwhelming majority of 244 votes today out of a house of 342 members to be elected prime minister.

“Sharif’s victory is associated with Pakistan’s victory,” said Hashmi.

Hashmi, who was a senior PML-N leader before he joined the PTI, expressed the hope that the democratic process would continue in the country.

We have already set the foundations of a new democratic tradition by holding party elections, said the PTI leader.

Hashmi also touched upon the contentious issue of US drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal belt in northwest, which Pakistan claims leads to the loss of many innocent lives.

“Our chief Imran Khan calls for an end to US drone strikes in Pakistan,” he said. “We will stand firmly in our resolve to oppose this menace.”

Hashmi, whose Tehrik-i-Insaf party is leading the new provincial government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, said Pakistan would receive its strength from the smaller provinces, and hoped that the new federal government would grant the smaller provinces greater representation.

He vowed that the PTI would support the government in the “good initiatives” it takes, while playing the role of a strong and firm opposition party in the National Assembly.

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