Fiery Khan sworn in as 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan

Prime Minister Imran Khan in his first address to Parliament vowed to act against those who ‘looted Pakistan.’ (AKHTAR SOOMRO/REUTERS)
Updated 19 August 2018
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Fiery Khan sworn in as 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan

  • Oath-taking ceremony was held at President House
  • In his first address to parliament on Friday, Imran Khan vowed to act against corruption

ISLAMABAD: Imran Khan was sworn in as prime minister of Pakistan on Saturday, sounding what many analysts say is the death knell for old-style dynastic politics.

“I did not climb on any dictator’s shoulders; I reached this place after struggling for 22 years,” Khan said in a fiery speech as he was elected prime minister in a vote at the National Assembly on Friday, three weeks after his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party won a general election.

Throughout his political career, Khan has branded himself as a populist alternative to Pakistan’s elite, and said dynastic, corrupt leaders have enriched themselves while Pakistanis have grown poorer.

The oath-taking ceremony was held at Aiwan-e-Sadr (President House), where President Mamnoon Hussain administered the oath from the newly elected premier.

The ceremony was attended by the outgoing caretaker Prime Minister, retired Justice Nasirul Mulk; chiefs of the Pakistan armed forces; members of the outgoing caretaker federal cabinet; prominent political personalities; and leaders of Khan’s party and foreign diplomats.

Former Indian cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu was among the guests of Imran Khan on this occasion.

On Friday, 176 members of the National Assembly voted in favor of Imran Khan, while his opponent, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shahbaz Sharif, received 96 votes.

Khan attended Saturday’s oath-taking ceremony dressed in a traditional black sherwani (long coat) and white trousers.

He appeared happy but his body language also revealed some nerves just moments before he took over what has been called one of the toughest jobs in the world.

“Imagine, in 2002 he had one seat in Parliament, and today he is the prime minister of Pakistan. At the end of his biography he writes that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf is an idea. Today, it has become a reality,” political analyst Mazhar Abbas told Arab News.

Aides to the new prime minister say he is ready to take on the overwhelming challenges of government, including raising many Pakistanis out of poverty.


US vice president Mike Pence accuses Iran of Nazi-like anti-Semitism

Updated 21 min 26 sec ago
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US vice president Mike Pence accuses Iran of Nazi-like anti-Semitism

AUSCHWITZ, Poland: US Vice President Mike Pence accused Iran on Friday of anti-Semitism akin to the Nazis following his visit to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland that had strengthened his resolve to act against Tehran.
"We have the regime in Tehran that's breathing out murderous threats, with the same vile anti-Semitic hatred that animated the Nazis in Europe," Pence told reporters on Air Force Two before landing in Munich.
He said that being in Auschwitz had made him reflect to "strengthen the resolve of the free world to oppose that kind of vile hatred and to confront authoritarian threats of our time."
His comments at the former Nazi concentration camp came a day after he said Iran was the “greatest threat to peace and security in the Middle East” at a conference on the region taking place in Warsaw.
Pence accused Washington's European allies of trying to break US sanctions against Tehran and called on them to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.
"Sadly, some of our leading European partners have not been nearly as cooperative. In fact, they have led the effort to create mechanisms to break up our sanctions," Pence said.
Pence added that his country will keep a strong presence in the Middle East, continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with allies, and work with coalition partners to defeat Daesh to make the region safe for peace and prosperity.
He also said that there are winds of change happening in the region, with the recent historic visit of Pope Francis to the UAE and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit to Oman.