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Nawaz Sharif calls for an end to drone strikes and terror in first speech as PM

Nawaz Sharif was formally sworn in as Pakistan's prime minister Wednesday.

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(AFP/Getty Images)

Nawaz Sharif was formally sworn in as Pakistan's new prime minister Wednesday, and took the opportunity to denounce the patterns of drone strikes and terrorism plaguing the country. 

"This daily business of drones has to stop immediately," Sharif told parliament Wednesday. "Other countries must respect our sovereignty and address our concerns. We have to end lawlessness and terrorism."

63-year-old Sharif, who was deposed in a coup in 1999 and sent into exile, was elected during Wednesday's parliamentary session with 244 out of 342 votes. He beat the Pakistan People's Party Amin Faheem's 42 votes and and Javed Hashmi of Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf party's 31 votes. 

Sharif takes power for an unprecedented third term, and faces mounting issues in Pakistan, from the ongoing Taliban insurgence to a floundering economy and crumbling infrastructure — including frequent business-crippling power outages. 

"I am not going to hide anything from the people nor will I lead them on," he said in his first speech as prime minister. "Nor will I pull on their heartstrings, or make them false promises. The people should know that our nation’s state is bad beyond words." 

However, Sharif offered few details about how he proposed to tackle the drone strike issue, which have been found to kill civilians but are viewed as vital by the United States. He has advocated for open talks with the Taliban in past speeches. 

US President Barack Obama pledged to work with Pakistan's next government towards a solution to the drone strikes, which target extremist insurgents in Pakistan's rural areas. 

More from GlobalPost: Pakistan: Nawaz Sharif, the Lion of Punjab, looks set to form government

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/pakistan/130605/nawaz-sharif-pakistan-leader-calls-end-drone-strikes-terror