ISLAMABAD: Democratic transition of power completed on Sunday when founding member of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Dr Arif Alvi was sworn in as the 13th president of Pakistan.
Dr Alvi has replaced Mamnoon Hussain, who completed his five-year term on Saturday.
Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar administered the oath to Dr Alvi at a ceremony held at the Aiwan-i-Sadr in presence of Prime Minister Imran Khan and outgoing president.
Members of the federal cabinet, Senate chairman, National Assembly speaker, the three services chiefs, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff committee, governors of Punjab and Sindh, chief ministers, parliamentarians, diplomats, senior judges and bureaucrats were also present.
Army chief calls the occasion significant for continuity of democratic process
On the occasion, Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa said democracy was flourishing in the country and would continue to get stronger with time, according to APP. In reply to a question, the army chief described the swearing-in of the new head of state as significant and wonderful moment for the continuity of the democratic process.
Dr Alvi was elected from the NA-247 constituency in July 25 general elections. According to the Constitution, his election to the NA seat stands null and void after he becomes the president.
After the oath-taking ceremony, Dr Alvi, who was clad in black sherwani, was presented a guard of honour by contingents of the armed forces.
With the appointment of Dr Alvi as the president, the democratic transition of power in the country has completed as all governors, chief ministers, federal and provincial ministers have assumed charge of their respective offices.
Chinese FM calls on President Alvi
Chinese state councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi called on President Alvi at the presidency shortly after he assumed charge of his office.
Three ministerial-level officials were part of the delegation led by the Chinese state councillor.
The Chinese foreign minister congratulated Dr Alvi on his assumption of office and conveyed good wishes of the Chinese leadership for the new government.
According to the presidency, Mr Yi said he was honoured to be the first to have a meeting with President Alvi immediately after the oath-taking ceremony. He highlighted the significance of the strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries and expressed the hope for strengthening it further.
Later, Information Minister of Saudi Arabia Dr Awwad Saleh al-Awwad, who arrived in Islamabad on Friday on a two-day goodwill visit, also called on President Alvi. He conveyed felicitations and good wishes of the Saudi leadership and their desire to work closely with the new leadership in Pakistan and to forge closer ties between the two brotherly countries.
President Alvi welcomed the Saudi dignitary and appreciated the warm message of felicitations by King Salman Bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince His Royal Highness Muhammad Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz. He said the people of Pakistan had great respect for the kingdom and its leadership, which made this relationship very special.
He said there were vast opportunities for cooperation between the two countries in the fields of information, culture and tourism and highlighted the need for regular exchange of cultural and media delegations.
The president expressed the hope that Dr Awwad’s visit would help further explore new avenues of bilateral cooperation.
Published in Dawn, September 10th, 2018