Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman and prime minister-designate Imran Khan has decided against inviting foreign dignitaries and celebrities to his planned oath-taking ceremony, instead opting for a simple event, DawnNewsTV reported on Thursday.

The PTI, having bagged 115 NA seats and after securing the support of key allies and roping in several independent winners, looks set to form the next government, with its chairman in pole position to become the next PM of Pakistan.

Read: Imran likely to be elected PM on 15th

To celebrate the fulfillment of Khan's long-held wish to become the premier, the party had initially planned to invite several foreign personalities, with the names of Indian PM Narendra Modi, Bollywood superstar Amir Khan and cricket legends Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavasker and Navjot Singh Sidhu all in the mix.

However, in an apparent change of heart today, Khan has opted against a fancy ceremony. "The PTI chairman has directed to stage the oath-taking event with austerity," PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry said. "He will take his oath in a simple ceremony at Aiwan-e-Sadr (President House)."

"It has been decided that no foreign personalities will be invited to the ceremony — it will be a completely national event. Only a few close friends of Imran Khan will be invited."

"There will be no show of extravagance at the event," added Chaudhry.

A day earlier on Wednesday, Chaudhry had told reporters that the party had asked the Foreign Office to apprise its leadership regarding extending invitation to the heads of states and foreign leaders of different countries especially in view of the paucity of time. “We are awaiting response of the Fore­ign Office,” he had said.

Better relations with India

Soon after realising that the PTI had achieved a comfortable position to form a government at the Centre, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab, Khan in his victory speech on July 26 had expressed the hope of building better relations with India, stating that better relations between Pakistan and India would be “good for all of us”.

Related: 'From a politician to a statesman' — analysts react to Imran's victory speech with cautious optimism

He had claimed that he had more friends in India than any other Pakistani leader had. He also called for resolution of core issues between the two countries, including the Kashmir dispute, for meaningful progress in ties. He said that if the Indian leadership was ready, Islamabad, too, was ready to improve ties with New Delhi.

Legendary Indian batsman Sunil Gawaskar used to describe Khan as his younger brother and enjoyed a very cordial relationship with him. Gawaskar is a player to whom Khan — one of the fastest bowlers of his time — dismissed on a number of occasion in different test matches.

Likewise, Kapil Dev is one of the world class all-rounders among the group of four professional cricketers in the 1980s. Others were Imran Khan, Ian Botham and Sir Richard Hadley. Although they were arch-rivals professionally but outside the stadium they were good friends.

Indian superstars such as Amitabh Bachan and Aamir Khan as well as the late Princess of Wales Diana and other stars had attended Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital fund-raising ceremonies held in Pakistan as well as abroad.

Recently, the three famous Khans of Bollywood — Aamir Khan, Shahrukh Khan and Salman Khan — had felicitated the cricketer-turned politician on his success and even expressed their desire to attend his oath-taking ceremony.


27 Nov 2021

Supporting ECP

ALTHOUGH the government bulldozed legislation on electronic voting machines through parliament, the reality is that...
27 Nov 2021

Forgiving the Taliban

IF there is one takeaway from Thursday’s gathering of more than 1,000 Shia Hazaras in Kabul, it is the call given...
Living in fear
Updated 27 Nov 2021

Living in fear

THE registration of a blasphemy case against four members of a family from a village on the outskirts of Lahore has...
26 Nov 2021

State Bank’s projections

THE macroeconomic projections listed by the State Bank of Pakistan in its annual report on the nation’s economy...
Ad distribution
Updated 26 Nov 2021

Ad distribution

If present govt can muster will to achieve this task it would set a solid precedent that no future govt would find easy to undo.
26 Nov 2021

Messy passengers

NEWS that passengers on a PIA flight from Manchester to Islamabad left so much litter on the plane that it led to a...