Islamabad: Nearly 14 years after being deposed in a military coup and forced into exile, Nawaz Sharif was on Wednesday sworn in as Pakistan's Prime Minister for a record third term.

63-year-old Sharif was sworn in by President Asif Ali Zardari at a function at the Presidency on Wednesday evening after being formally elected as Prime Minister by an overwhelming majority in Pakistan's 342-member National Assembly.

Sharif is the 27th Prime Minister of Pakistan, which has witnessed three military coups in its 66-year history. He became the first person to serve as Prime Minister for a third term.

Sharif, served as premier during 1990-1993 and 1997-1999 but was ousted from office before he could complete his term – once on corruption charges and later because of a military coup led by Pervez Musharraf.

"The economic position is very bad and I will not present a fanciful image of heaven," Sharif said while addressing the National Assembly after his formal election as the premier. He pledged that he would not "sit easy" or allow his "team to sit easy".

Country wants a solid democratic order: Pakistani daily

The country wants a solid democratic order "free of dictators", a leading Pakistani daily said Wednesday. "...a sentiment is resonating in the country for the establishment of a solid democratic order free of dictators and their cohorts among politicians," said an editorial in the Dawn Wednesday.

Pakistan had a turbulent history, suffering long spells of military rule. The last of its military strongmen was General Pervez Musharraf who returned to the country after four years in exile and was put under arrest for various cases.

Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party chief Mahmood Khan Achakzai in his speech in the National Assembly on Monday wanted political parties to shut their doors forever on those who have betrayed democracy.

"...the sentiment itself should reassure Pakistanis. Betrayed frequently, they will need to be constantly told that the change towards democracy is for real and permanent," the daily said.

"Responses to the idea will vary from party to party, from the treasury to the opposition, from those who made compromises in the past to those who must continue to make them now. Consensus will take time and it is the closing of the gaps between various positions that will determine the distance that Pakistani democracy has covered so far,” it said.


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