AUG 18, 2018: At a simple oath taking ceremony Saturday morning in capital Islamabad, President Mamnoon Hussain administered oath of office to Imran Khan, the newly elected Prime Minister of the country.
PM Khan swore to “bear true faith and allegiance to Pakistan”, and to “discharge my duties and perform my functions honestly, to the best of my ability… and always in the interest of the sovereignty, integrity, solidarity, well-being and prosperity of Pakistan.”
Distinguished guests, Ambassadors, political personalities, Army officials were present at Aiwan-e-Sadr to attend the oath taking ceremony.
Khan’s two sons, who reside in the UK, were absent from the event and as per a tweet by the PTI chief’s ex-wife Jemima Goldsmith, “The boys really wanted to be there but their father told them not to come.”
According to reports, there was no lavish high tea or dishes served, guests were treated with tea, biscuits and water.
According to a tweet by PTI’s official Twitter account, the ceremony’s menu of nine dishes was reduced to refreshments only on Khan’s request as part of his “austerity drive”.
— The Express Tribune (@etribune) August 18, 2018
After the ceremony concluded, PM Khan reached the Prime Minister’s Office and was presented a guard of honor by a contingent of the Pakistan armed forces.
The ceremony came under limelight globally as China’s largest news network CTGN made it top headline of the day.
Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Saturday congratulated Khan, wishing him success in his new role.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres congratulated Khan Sahib on assumption of office as prime minister. UN chief hopes for deepening of UN-Pak cooperation in various fields, including the world body’s flagship peacekeeping operations around the globe.
After taking oath as premier, Khan and First Lady Bushra Imran greeted various guests and accepted felicitations from them.
This was Bushra’s first public appearance since their wedding earlier this year.
The ceremony marked an end to decades of rotating leadership between the ousted PML-N and the PPP.
Khan and his party PTI campaigned on promises to end widespread graft while building an “Islamic welfare state”.
“First of all, we will start strict accountability. I promise to my God that everyone who looted this country will be made accountable,” he said in his speech as PM-elect on Friday.
He will face myriad challenges, including militant extremism, water shortages, and a booming population negating growth in the country, among others.
Most pressing is a looming economic crisis, with speculation that Pakistan will have to seek a bailout from the International Monetary Fund.