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Imran Khan sworn in as Prime Minister of Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Newly elected Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday took the oath of office at a ceremony at the President House. 

President Mamnoon Hussain administered the oath to Mr Khan a day after he was elected as 22nd prime minister of the country by the National Assembly to form the government at the Centre.

Clad in black sherwani, the prime minister arrived at the Presidency. The ceremony began with recitation from the Holy Quran which was followed by the president taking oath from the PM.

With this oath-taking, the caretaker government at the Centre stood dissolved.

Former Indian cricket star Navjot Singh Sidhu and  members of the Pakistan team which won the 1992 world cup were among the special guests who attended the ceremony.

Wasim Akram, film star Javed Sheikh, and singer Abrarul Haq were also present at the Presidency.

The PTI chief’s wife and first lady Bushra Maneka also attended the oath-taking ceremony.

Besides, Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Jawed Bajwa and other two services chiefs, diplomatic representatives, political leaders and government officials were also in attendance.

Yesterday, the newly-elected members of the National Assembly cast their votes for the two contenders in the run for the post of the premier. 

Imran Khan received 176 votes in a race which also featured PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif who managed 96 votes.

The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Jamaat-e-Islami abstained from voting.

The announcement was met with loud applause as well as protests by PML-N members as the speaker tried to maintain order in the house. Mr Khan sat smiling in his seat and accepted congratulations by party members.

For the cricket legend-turned-politician, his party’s first place in a national election and becoming country’s prime minister is the culmination of a battle that started more than two decades ago.

For years, he was dismissed as a political dilettante who could not convert his personal popularity into significant seats in parliament for the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).

But July 25 elections dramatically changed that, putting the former sports star on the brink of power. The PTI party won the most seats in July’s elections – setting up Mr Khan to become PM with the help of small parties, more than two decades after he first entered politics.

‘Ruthless Accountability’

In his first speech after being elected as the new prime minister of the country by the National Assembly, Mr Khan said:  “I will not leave those who looted this country for years, who spent all our taxpayers’ money abroad and didn’t let this country progress, there will be no reconciliation with the looters, accountability will be our top priority.”

The PTI chief rejected all allegations of election rigging leveled by opposition, reiterating that his party won’t object if anyone approaches Election Commission with such a complaint.

He reminded all and sundry that as cricket captain, he was the first to demand neutral umpires to ensure transparency and now as “we are in power, we will implement the same ideals to reform the electoral process and make it transparent”.

He promised once again that no party will be treated unjustly during his tenure but reminded them that he will not let them run away with the country’s wealth in the name of “political victimisation”.

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