Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf chairman, Imran Khan has taken oath as the 22nd Prime Minister at a ceremony in the Pakistan House. After taking the oath as premier, Khan and his wife stepped down the stage to greet various guests.
The oath-taking ceremony, which was scheduled to begin at 9:30am, started a little after 10am.
Clad in a black sherwani, the prime minister-elect arrived at the Aiwan-e-Sadr (the President House) in Islamabad from his Banigala residence. His wife Bushra Imran had already arrived for the ceremony. The ceremony commenced with the national anthem, followed by recitation of verses from the Holy Quran.
High-profile guests including caretaker Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan and Naval Chief Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi are present at the ceremony.
Other notable guests present at the Aiwan-e-Sadr include senior PTI leaders, former Indian cricket star Navjot Singh Sidhu, cricketer-turned-commentator Rameez Raja, legendary paceman Wasim Akram, newly elected Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervez Elahi, singers Salman Ahmed and Abrarul Haq, actor Javaid Sheikh and former National Assembly speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza.
Former Indian cricketer turned politician, Navjot Singh Sidhu earlier arrived in Pakistan to attend the expected oath-taking ceremony of prime minister-in-waiting Imran Khan, Dawn reported.
Talking to reporters, Sidhu said he had come to the country “with a message of love” to become a part of Khan’s happiness.
He said he was saddened by the demise of former Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who he recalled had started the friendship bus service between the two countries. He said he had brought a Kashmiri shawl as a gift for the PM-in-waiting.
According to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf Senator Faisal Javed, besides Sidhu, India’s former cricket legends Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev had been invited.
Khan also invited Javed Miandad, Wasim Akram, Rameez Raja, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mushtaq Ahmed, Moin Khan and Aaqib Javed who had played the 1992 Cup final at Melbourne, Australia.
Senior BJP Leader Subramaniam Swamy slammed former cricketer turned politician Navjot Singh Sidhu on Tuesday for his plan to travel to Pakistan to attend the swearing-in ceremony of PM-in-waiting Imran Khan. Swamy to news agency ANI said, “This visit would be a big blow to his political career, people will call it treachery and if he is mentally sound and stable he should not do the same.”
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Central Additional Information Faisal Javed Khan said that the oath-taking will take place on August 18. A similar announcement regarding inviting Indian cricketers and celebrities to the ceremony had earlier been made by PTI Information Secretary Fawad Chaudhry. However, it was later said that Khan had opted for an austere ceremony and decided against inviting foreign dignitaries and celebrities to the planned oath-taking.