With Game Over for Imran Khan as Pakistani Prime Minister, discover the key players behind his ouster

The ousting of Imran Khan as Pakistani Prime Minister on Sunday after losing a vote of no confidence in the National Assembly highlighted several key players believed to have been behind Khan’s impeachment.

Saturday’s all-day high-octane assembly session ended with Imran Khan losing the no-confidence vote in parliament, ending a premature term marked by a saving in ruins.

The midnight drama in parliament followed weeks of opposition machinations to unravel the tenuous coalition that Imran Khan built around his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party to become prime minister in 2018. Now, with Imran Khan absent, here are some of the players who are behind his ousting.

-Shehbaz Sharif

The main candidate in the race to succeed Imran Khan is Shehbaz Sharif, brother of three-time prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who was disqualified and is currently in exile in Britain.

A political heavyweight in his own right, Shehbaz Sharif, 70, served as chief minister of Punjab, the family’s power base, and now chairman of the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N).

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Shehbaz Sharif is known to be a tough administrator and a workaholic renowned for his passionate outbursts, and he is often seen quoting revolutionary poetry in his speeches. He is a popular political figure in Pakistan despite headlines about multiple marriages and a property portfolio that includes luxury apartments in London and Dubai.

-Asif Ali Zardari

Hailing from a wealthy Sindh family, Zardari was best known for his playboy lifestyle until an arranged marriage to Benazir Bhutto shortly before she became prime minister for the first time.

He entered politics with enthusiasm and quickly earned the nickname “Mr. Ten Percent” for the share he allegedly took from government contracts. He was imprisoned twice on charges related to corruption, drug trafficking and murder, but never stood trial.

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Asif Ali Zardari, 67, became co-chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) after Bhutto’s assassination in 2007, and became the country’s president a year later under a power-sharing deal with the PML-N.

-Bilawal Bhutto Zardari

Another key player in the picture is Bilawal, the son of Benazir Bhutto and Asif Zardari. A member of political royalty, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari became PPP chairman when he was just 19 after the assassination of his mother in 2007.

The 33-year-old, an Oxford graduate, is seen as a progressive, like his mother, and has spoken out frequently on women’s and minority rights.

With more than half of Pakistan’s population aged 22 or younger, Bhutto’s social media acumen is a hit with young people, though he is frequently mocked for his poor command of Urdu, the national language, reported AFP.

-Maulana Fazlur Rehman

Once known as an incendiary Islamist extremist, Muslim cleric Maulana Fazlur Rehman has softened his public image over the years and even led him to forge alliances with secular parties on the left and right of the spectrum.

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Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s party, Jamiatul Ulema-e-Islam (F), might not be able to garner enough support for power on its own, but is usually a key player in any government with its ability to mobilize support. thousands of madrassa students.

The enmity between Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Imran Khan is well known. Maulana Fazlur Rehman once called Khan a “Jew” in reference to his former marriage to British Jemima Goldsmith. Khan, in return, called him “Mullah Diesel” for his alleged involvement in corruption involving fuel licensing.

(With contributions from AFP)

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