PM Imran assumes charge of office

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Services chiefs, caretaker PM with Cabinet, noted political figures attend oath-taking; Interim PM, Cabinet denotified

Zuabir Qureshi

Islamabad

Prime Minister-elect Imran Khan took oath of his office as the 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan on Saturday during a simple but impressive oath-taking ceremony held at the Aiwan-e-Sadr.
The new premiere and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan, 66, was wearing black sherwani, a traditional national dress leaders use on such occasions. President Mamnoon Hussain administered oath to Imran Khan.
Caretaker Prime Minister Justice (R) Nasirul Mulk along with his cabinet, services chiefs, Speaker of the National Assembly, members of the parliament, Senators, noted personalities, diplomats and prominent politicians attended Imran Khan’s oath taking ceremony.
Members of the Opposition parties including Pakistan Muslim League-N, Pakistan People’s Party and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-F, Jamaat-e-Islami boycotted the oath-taking ceremony. Imran Khan’s wife the First Lady, Bushra Imran was also present at the ceremony. She sat in the first row next to NA Speaker Asad Qaiser.
Punjab’s caretaker Chief Minister Dr Hasan Askari, PTI leaders Asad Umar, Chaudhry Sarwar, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Dr Shireen Mazari, Jahangir Tareen, MQM’s parliamentary leader Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, former Indian cricketer and Punjab’s minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, Imran Khan’s journalist friend Vikram Mehta, cricketer Wasim Akram, singers Abrarul Haq and Salman Ahmed, showbiz and cricket heavyweights, members of civil society also attended the ceremony.
A calm and quiet President Mamnoon Hussain administered oath of office to Imran Khan and in departure to the past practice, didn’t shake hands with him after the formal ceremony. Imran Khan while reading out the oath of office fumbled a bit as some Urdu words were not easy to pronounce.
As the new prime minister finished reading the oath, PTI’s politicians, workers and leaders burst into applause standing up from their seats and cheered their leader.
Immediately, after the ceremony, Khan reached the Prime Minister’s Office where he was presented guard of honour by a contingent of the Pakistan Army.
A large number of national and foreign media personnel was stationed outside President House for the coverage of the event and to interview dignitaries who were returning after attending the oath-taking ceremony. Talking to Pakistan Observer, they termed Imran Khan’s oath-taking a new leaf in the history of Pakistan.
The jubilant party workers continued to jump lines, prompting the security to an early end to the reception.
Imran Khan’s wife Bushra Bibi, attired in an all white dress with a matching veil and rosary, got the front seat, next to the wife of caretaker Prime Minister Justice (Retd) Nasir-ul- Mulk and exchanged greetings with the guests. All the women guests made it a point to greet the first lady. Former Indian cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu seemed to be one of the most sought after personalities in the crowd, as a beeline of guests continued to warmly shake hands with him and get a snap and an autograph. Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa shook hands with all the guests in the front row.
He warmly shook hands with Sidhu and the two hugged twice, a traditional Punjabi style of meeting, and exchanged pleasantries. The Indian media, meanwhile, rose hell over the seating of Sidhu next to Azad Jammu and Kashmir President Masood Khan.
Prime Minister Imran Khan will address the nation Sunday, sources said on Saturday. Keeping in view the desire of Imran Khan for austerity, the guests were offered tea and biscuits, normally around 7-10 dishes were served.
Further, Mohammad Azam, former chief secretary Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has been posted as Secretary to the Prime Minister, Prime Minister’s Office, with immediate effect.
Chaudhry added that “The prime minister wants the federal government to start working from Monday.”
Meanwhile, soon after Prime Minister Imran Khan was sworn in on Saturday, the Cabinet Secretariat issued a notice denotifying interim premier Nasirul Mulk from his post. The Cabinet Secretariat subsequently issued a second notification, denotifying Mulk’s cabinet.

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