I won’t be a silent president, says new Pakistan president

“I will play my role to improve education and health sectors of the country, (and ensure the) provision of basic facilities to the common man while remaining within the constitution’s ambit,” Alvi said after being sworn in on Sunday. (AFP/File)
Updated 09 September 2018

I won’t be a silent president, says new Pakistan president

  • Arif Alvi delivers message after being sworn in as the country’s 13th president
  • Can play a critical role in projecting a positive image of the country on the international stage, analysts say

ISLAMABAD: Assuming office as Pakistan’s 13th head of state on Sunday, Dr. Arif Alvi said that he would fulfill all responsibilities toward the development of the country and not be a “silent president.”
“I will play my role to improve education and health sectors of the country, (and ensure the) provision of basic facilities to the common man while remaining within the constitution’s ambit,” he said after being sworn in on Sunday.
Outgoing President Mamnoon Hussain’s five-year term ended on Saturday.




Dr. Arif Alvi being administered the oath as President of Pakistan by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, Islamabad on Sept. 9, 2018.

Alvi, a founding member of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, was administered the oath of office by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, in a simple ceremony at the President House, in Islamabad.
Prime Minister Imran Khan attended the ceremony along with Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa, Saudi and Chinese diplomats — including Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Media Dr. Awwad Al-Awwad.




Front row from left; Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Media Dr. Awwad Al-Awwad, Pakistan’s Minister of Defence Pervez Khattak, and Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmad. (Photo courtesy: Screen grab/24 News)

Pitched against two challengers from the opposition parties, Alvi won the presidential election on Sept. 4 by securing 352 votes.
Political analysts said that while the role of the president is limited, Alvi can make his presence felt in the democratic setup.
“Pakistan is a vibrant democracy and in the parliamentary form of government, the president of the country has a limited constitutional role to play,” Professor Tahir Malik, an academic and a political analyst, told Arab News.
Malik said that as the founding member of the ruling party and a strong ally of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Alvi could “try to play a role for the unity of the nation on important issues like terrorism, sectarianism and water scarcity.”
Zaigham Khan, another political analyst, said that while he agrees with Malik, Alvi can still play a critical role by projecting a positive image of the country on the international stage.
“He is a vibrant and dynamic personality, and we hope he will utilize the public resources for the betterment of the people and this country,” Khan told Arab News.
In Pakistan, the president holds a symbolic place — the entire administrative authority lies with the prime minister and the president exercises his powers upon recommendations of the prime minister.
The president has, however, constitutional powers to grant pardon, reprieve and respite, and to remit, suspend or commute any sentence passed by any court, tribunal or other authority.
The prime minister is also bound under the constitution to keep the president informed on all matters of internal and foreign policy and on all legislative proposals that the federal government intends to bring before the Parliament.
Being head of the state, the president cannot interfere in administrative matters of the government but can advise the Cabinet on matters of policy.


UK’s Boris Johnson likens himself to The Incredible Hulk

Updated 17 min 52 sec ago

UK’s Boris Johnson likens himself to The Incredible Hulk

  • Johnson said he will meet the Oct. 31 deadline no matter what
  • “The madder Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets,” he told the Mail

LONDON: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has compared himself to The Incredible Hulk in a newspaper interview emphasizing his determination to take Britain out of the European Union next month.
Johnson faces considerable legal and political hurdles but told the Mail on Sunday he will meet the Oct. 31 deadline no matter what.
“The madder Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets,” he told the widely read tabloid, invoking the comic book and film character known for formidable but destructive strength.
Johnson remains defiant even though Parliament has passed a law requiring him to seek an extension to the deadline if no deal is reached by mid-October. He has also lost his working majority in Parliament and been told by Scotland’s highest court that his decision to suspend Parliament was illegal.
Johnson portrays himself as more convinced than ever that Britain will break with the EU at the end of October.
He will have a lunchtime meeting in Luxembourg on Monday with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to try to modify the Irish backstop that has been a main sticking point, but EU leaders did not seem impressed by Johnson’s invocation of the Hulk.
The European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator, Guy Verhofstadt, said the comments showed a lack of maturity.
“Even to Trumpian standards the Hulk comparison is infantile,” he tweeted. “Is the EU supposed to be scared by this? The British public impressed?“
Juncker, who has downplayed hopes of a breakthrough at Monday’s meeting, also expressed alarm that many people in Britain seem to feel a British departure without a deal with the EU would be a positive thing.
“It would be terrible chaos,” he said in an interview with Germany’s Deutschlandfunk radio. “And we would need years to put things back in order. Anyone who loves his country, and I assume that there are still patriots in Britain, would not want to wish his country such a fate.”
The Oct. 31 deadline looms large because Johnson has not said he will seek another extension if no deal is reached, despite legislation passed by Parliament shortly before it was suspended.
Britain’s Supreme Court this week will rule on whether Johnson overstepped the law when he shut the legislature for a crucial five-week period.
The Liberal Democrats, who have been enjoying a revival, voted overwhelmingly at their party conference Sunday to end the Brexit process entirely if they come to power.
Party leader Jo Swinson said Article 50, which triggered Brexit, would be revoked if she becomes prime minister.
The party gained an important member Saturday with the defection of Sam Gyimah, a former Conservative minister. He is the sixth legislator to switch allegiance and join the Liberal Democrats this year.
Johnson also continues to take flak from former Prime Minister David Cameron, who called the 2016 referendum on Brexit.
Cameron said in an interview published Sunday that Johnson didn’t really believe in Brexit when he broke ranks and led the campaign to take Britain out of the EU. Cameron had been expecting Johnson’s help during the hard-fought campaign.
Cameron says of Johnson: “The conclusion I am left with is that he risked an outcome he didn’t believe in because it would help his political career.”
Cameron is giving interviews to gain publicity for his upcoming memoirs.