• US welcomes new Pakistani premier

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    WASHINGTON, D.C.: The United States welcomed the swearing-in of Pakistan’s new Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) as a “significant milestone” in the South Asian nation’s democracy.

    “We look forward to working with him and the newly democratically elected government of Pakistan,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

    “The United States stands with all Pakistanis in welcoming this historic, largely peaceful and transparent transfer of civilian power, which is a significant milestone in Pakistan’s democratic progress.”

    Some 13 years after Sharif was deposed in a coup and sent into exile, the 63-year-old was formally chosen by a vote in the National Assembly and later took the oath of office from President Asif Ali Zardari.

    Sharif used his first speech as prime minister to reiterate his concerns about the use of US drone strikes to target Taliban and Al-Qaeda leaders in Pakistan’s northwest.

    “We respect the sovereignty of others and they should also respect our sovereignty and independence. This campaign should come to an end,” he said.

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