ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Friday announced that the party chief Imran Khan will take oath as 21st Prime Minister of Pakistan on August 18 in a simple ceremony scheduled to be held at the President House.
Taking another turn from its previous stance that it is not inviting Indian cricket celebrities in the oath-taking ceremony, PTI again announced that it had invited three former Indian cricketers who are old friends of cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan for attending the oath-taking ceremony of the new prime minister.
Secretary Information PTI Fawad Chaudhry, while talking to reporters at Bani Gala, said that the oath-taking ceremony of Imran Khan as Prime Minister of Pakistan would be held on 18th of this month. He said the ceremony would be simple and a few hundred guests had been invited for the event. He said this would have to be kept in mind that the Presidency was the host of the ceremony as PTI wanted to invite thousands of those activists who have remained part of its struggle if it would have been the host.
Earlier, the PTI spokesperson had said that the party was in contact with the caretaker government to finalise the dates for the oath-taking of prime minister-in-waiting Imran Khan. At first since its victory in July 25 election, PTI wanted that the oath-taking ceremony should be held at the famous Parade Ground of the capital located in front of the Parliament House but later the Presidency had clarified that the ceremony would be held inside its premises.
Responding to a question about invitation of foreign dignitaries, including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the ceremony, Fawad Chaudhry said Foreign Office had already conveyed to them that the heads of the SAARC countries and other foreign dignitaries could not be invited due to the shortage of time.
Speaking on the occasion, PTI leader Senator Faisal Javed Khan said cricket legends from India, including Kapil Dev, Navjot Singh Sidhu and Sunil Gavaskar have been invited to attend oath-taking ceremony. He said that superstars of 92 World Cup are also being invited to join the event.
Earlier, PTI Vice-Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi while talking to reporters at Bani Gala said Imran Khan had not been denied oath–taking on August 14, the Independence Day, through delaying of summoning of the National Assembly session. “We understand that there are some constitutional requirements that could not be ignored. There are some requirements of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) that have to be fulfilled,” he further said. He added PTI expected that President Mamnoon Hussain would fulfil its constitutional responsibilities and this process of transfer of power would move forward smoothly.
Imran to stay at Ministers Enclave
Fawad Chaudhry in his media talk also said Imran Khan would not stay at luxurious Punjab House as he had decided to move to a common house at the Ministers' Enclave after becoming the prime minister.
He however said the prime minister-designate Imran Khan could stay in the Punjab House for some time till the renovation work would be completed at the preferred residence in the Ministers' enclave.
Fawad Chaudhry said Imran Khan himself will bear the expenses of maintenance instead of using state funds on the residence of the upcoming prime minister. He also made it clear that PTI chief had paid all the expenses incurred on the security arrangements at his Banigala residence.
MEETING WITH INDIAN HC
Separately, Imran Khan Friday in his meeting with Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria stressed for the resumption of talks between India and Pakistan on all outstanding issues, including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir.
A statement issued by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) said that Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria called on PTI Chairman Imran Khan at Chairman’s Secretariat in Bani Gala and felicitated him over his party’s win in general elections.
Senior PTI leaders including Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Fawad Choudhary, Dr Shireen Mazari, Dr Shehzad Waseem and Naeem ul Haq were also present in the meeting.
The PTI chairman discussed the need to restart dialogue between Pakistan and India on all outstanding issues including Kashmir. He expressed concern over the human rights violations in Indian Held Kashmir (IHK). Imran Khan also expressed the hope that the SAARC Summit would be held soon in Islamabad.
Speaking at the occasion, the Indian High Commissioner said after the Indian PM Narendra Modi’s telephonic call to Imran Khan, there was a new optimism in India that relations between the two countries would move forward positively.
The PTI chief welcomed the positive message conveyed by the Indian High Commissioner on behalf of his government and reiterated his hope for both countries to move forward for the betterment of the people of the subcontinent.
The Indian High Commissioner presented PTI chairman with a cricket bat signed by the Indian cricket team.
Later, PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry while talking to reporters after the meeting said that PTI had fully presented Pakistan’s stance on all issue including IHK in the meeting.
Imran to take oath as PM on 18th