Global Politics

Prospective Pakistan Prime Minister Gives Conflicting Views on War on Terror

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Nawaz Sharif, the leader of Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) points as he speaks to foreign reporters at his residence in Lahore May 13, 2013. Sharif, who is poised for victory after Pakistan's May 11 election, said he had spoken at length with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of rival India and would work to ease mistrust. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj (PAKISTAN - Tags: PROFILE ELECTIONS POLITICS) - RTXZKOW

Credit:

REUTERS

Nawaz Sharif, poised to become Pakistan's next prime minister, said he had two priorities: Boosting his country's economy, and bringing peace to Pakistan.

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Now the United States might want to pay close attention to that second point because of the role Shariff wants Pakistan to play in the fight against terror.

Sharif had indicated on the campaign trail he would negotiate with the Taliban and hinted he would end Pakistan's alliance with the United States' war on terror, said Beenish Ahmed, a journalist in Islamabad who's been covering Sharif.

But on Monday, Sharif changed his stance, said Ahmed. He offered Pakistan's support to the United States as it draws down in Afghanistan and "offered Pakistan roads and ports to help send American troops and supplies home."

Sharif served as prime minister twice in the 1990s before he was ousted in a military coup by then General Pervez Musharraf that eventually forced Sharif into exile in Saudi Arabia.

Ahmed called Sharif a wild card.

"Sharif is not a coalition builder and someone who is very independently minded," Ahmed said. "It was during his (previous) tenure that Pakistan first tested its nuclear weapons and of course that was not looked upon favorably by the US and caused Pakistan to incur steep sanctions."

Although final results are still to come, Sharif has already been projected to receive a majority in the parliament which he said he needs to fix Pakistan's fallen economy.

He may be off to a good start. Monday, the Karachi Stock Exchange "soared to a record high" which "goes to show that business people and investors are interested in what Nawaz Sharif has to offer," said Ahmed.