Imran Khan Takes Charge of Pakistan

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan has been sworn-in as the 22nd Prime Minister of the country at Aiwan-e-Sadr (the President House) in Islamabad on Saturday.

The oath-taking ceremony took place at 9:30 am (local time) and Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain administered the oath to Khan. Pakistan’s national anthem was played out before Khan took his oath.

Khan, who led the Pakistan cricket team to their only World Cup victory in 1992, assumed the prime ministerial post after more than two decades, since joining politics in 1996.

Clad in a black sherwani, Khan was accompanied by his wife Bushra Imran.

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 were in attendence.

Other notable guests present include 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, former National Assembly speaker Fehmida Mirza and senior PTI leaders.

From India, former cricketer and Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu, who arrived in Pakistan yesterday, was also present in the ceremony.

Other cricketers such as Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar, who was also invited by Khan, earlier confirmed that they would not be participating in the event. While Dev cited ‘personal reasons’, Gavaskar also declined the invitation owing to his commentary commitments for the ongoing Test series between India and England, the report said.

On Friday, Khan was elected as the new Prime Minister of Pakistan, defeating his rival Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate Shehbaz Sharif. While, the 65-year-old cricketer-turned-politician bagged 176 seats, Sharif, the PML-N president and the brother of jailed former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif, managed to secure just 96 seats, The Dawn reported.

The newly-elected Speaker of the House, Asad Qaiser announced the results amid the chants of ‘na manzoor’ (unacceptable) and “Wazir-e-azam Nawaz Sharif” (former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif).

People’s Party (PPP), which is the third largest party in the National Assembly (NA), the lower house of Pakistan’s Parliament, withdrew its support for the PML-N and abstained from voting in the House.

In the July 25 general elections, the PTI had emerged as the single largest party with 116 seats. The number increased to 158 in the NA after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) issued notifications of the successful candidates on the reserved seats for women and the minority community on August 11.

After being elected as the prime minister, Khan pledged to bring a change which according to him “the country was awaiting for last 70 years”. He assured to identify the people accountable for “looting the country”, as per the report.

“Those who stole this nation’s money and stashed it abroad, I will bring them all to accountability. We will together debate and think on how to generate our own revenues so that we never have to be dependent on another country,” he said while thanking the youth of Pakistan for supporting him.

Recounting his journey of 22 years from a cricketer to a politician, Khan asserted that no “military dictator nurtured” him and he has reached this height with his own “struggle and accord.

21 Ministers In Imran’s Cabinet

The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf on Saturday announced that Prime Minister Imran Khan has finalised the names of his 21-member cabinet, Radio Pakistan reported.

The announcement comes hours after Imran Khan took oath as the 22nd prime minister of Pakistan earlier in the day.

According to a list issued by the party’s central media department, out of the 21 names announced 16 have been given the portfolio of a minister while five others will perform their duties as advisers to the premier.

The newly announced cabinet is expected to take oath at the Aiwan-i-Sadr on Monday.

Ministers

Law and Justice: Dr. Muhammad Farogh Naseem

States and Frontier Regions: Chaudhary Tariq Bashir Cheema

Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony: Noorul Haq Qadri

Human Rights: Dr Shireen Mazari

Petroleum Division: Ghulam Sarwar Khan

Defence Production: Zubaida Jalal

Information and Broadcasting Division: Fawad Chaudhry

National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination: Aamir Mehmood Kiyani

Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Shah Mahmood Qureshi

Ministry of Defence: Pervez Khattak

Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs: Asad Umer

Ministry of Railways: Sheikh Rashid Ahmed

Inter-provincial Coordination: Fehmida Mirza

Information Technology and Telecommunication: Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui

Federal Education and Professional Training; National History and Literary Heritage Division: Shafqat Mahmood

Water Resources Ministry: Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar

Establishment Division: Mohammad Shehzad Arbab

Commerce, Textile, Industry & Production and Investment: Abdul Razak Dawood

Institutional Reforms and Austerity: Ishrat Hussain

Climate Change: Amin Aslam

Parliamentary Affairs: Babar Awan

According to the 18th Constitution Amend­ment, the size of the federal cabinet should be not more than 11 per cent of the total strength of the National Assembly and Senate.

Imran Khan and his cabinet face a myriad of challenges including militant extremism, water shortages, and a rapidly growing population negating growth in the developing country, among others.

A massive power outage that plunged over 60 per cent of Karachi and Balochistan province on Friday evening starkly highlighted a chronic energy crisis the country faces.

Most pressing is a looming economic crisis, with speculation that Pakistan will have to seek a bailout from the International Monetary Fund.

PTI fell short of an outright majority in the July 25 vote, forcing Khan to partner with smaller parties and independents in order to form a government.

But it retained its stronghold in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and has made an alliance with regional parties in Balochistan.

The PTI has secured the positions of Speaker and Deputy Speaker in the National Assembly — putting Khan in a strong position to act on his legislative agenda.

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