Russia's Putin, Saudi Arabia's King Salman, MbS 'congratulate' new Pakistan PM Sharif after Imran Khan ousting
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Arabia's King Salman congratulated Pakistan’s newly appointed Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, after the ousting of former premier Imran Khan.
Putin sent a message of congratulations to Sharif on Tuesday a day after the new PM replaced Khan who lost a no-confidence vote.
He said hoped Sharif would continue to develop Islamabad-Moscow ties and counter "international terrorism", a statement released by the Russian embassy in Pakistan said.
Khan was in Moscow when Putin launched Russia's devastating invasion of Ukraine on 24 February.
He was voted out by 174 lawmakers in the 342-seat parliament on Monday.
From military coups to assassinations: The tumultuous history of Pakistan's prime ministers who never made it to the finish line https://t.co/uBb8Fujsfs— The New Arab (@The_NewArab) April 12, 2022
Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman also congratulated Sharif - the brother of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif - on Wednesday, sending "best wishes" in his new role as premier, according to the Saudi Press Agency.
Islamic nations Pakistan and Saudi Arabia share close ties, and Pakistanis make up one of the largest communities in the Gulf kingdom.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi also congratulated Shehbaz on his election.
Khan's ouster comes amid his cooling relations with his country’s powerful military, and an economy struggling with high inflation and a plummeting Pakistani rupee. The opposition has charged Khan’s government with economic mismanagement.
He claimed the US worked behind the scenes to bring him down, purportedly because of Washington's displeasure over his independent foreign policy choices, which often favour China and Russia.