What Pakistan's New Prime Minister Faces in Power

Aug 15, 2018 | 09:30 GMT

Pakistani cricket star-turned-politician Imran Khan speaks during a campaign rally in July 2018.

Pakistani cricket star-turned-politician and head of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Imran Khan, addresses a political campaign rally ahead of the general election in Islamabad on July 21, 2018. Pakistan held the general election on July 25, 2018. (Photo by FAROOQ NAEEM / AFP)



  • Prime Minister Imran Khan's incoming administration will maintain a hands-off approach on Pakistan's military-dominated foreign policy, meaning Islamabad's strategy of asymmetric warfare in Kashmir and Afghanistan will endure in spite of U.S. pressure.
  • Since Islamabad requires a strong relationship with China for diplomatic and financial support, it will not alter its involvement in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor in spite of domestic opposition.
  • Because Khan will seek a bailout from China to shore up Pakistan's diminishing foreign exchange reserves amid the country's expanding debt burden, he is unlikely to realize his vision of creating a social welfare state to lift up the poor.

The dust is settling and the results are in: Imran Khan will take the oath as Pakistan's next prime minister on Aug. 18. About 55 million Pakistanis cast votes July 25 in national and provincial elections amid plummeting foreign exchange reserves and a challenging geopolitical landscape. Khan's centrist Pakistan Tahrik-e-Insaf party (PTI) won a plurality in the National Assembly with 116 seats, ahead of imprisoned former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) at 64 and the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) at 43. The latter two have formed a parliamentary alliance amid allegations of vote-rigging....

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