ISLAMABAD: PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif became the 24th prime minister of the country after taking oath of the office at the presidency on Monday.
As President Arif Alvi excused himself to administer the oath to Mr Sharif on health grounds, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani performed this constitutional duty.
In a related development, senior bureaucrat Tauqeer Shah was made principal secretary of the PM. Mr Shah served as Mr Sharif’s principal secretary when he was chief minister of Punjab.
The oath-taking ceremony was attended by chiefs of Pakistan Air Force and Pakistan Navy and Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Gen Nadeem Raza.
Army chief skips oath-taking ceremony
Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa did not attend the ceremony.
Prominent among others who attended the ceremony were PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz, PML-N leader Hamza Shehbaz and PTI dissidents Aleem Khan and Raja Riaz.
Mr Shehbaz and Nawaz Sharif are the only brothers who both became the prime minister of Pakistan.
Clad in a black achkan, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif took oath of his office and at one stage he skipped some words of the oath which he later read when pointed out by Mr Sanjrani.
Earlier, a video clip issued by Prime Minister Office (PMO) showed Mr Sharif and Mr Sanjrani coming to the main hall of presidency for the swearing in ceremony in the security ring of army commandos.
Meanwhile, PMO changed its Twitter account and replaced the portrait of former premier Imran Khan with Mr Sharif’s.
Mr Sharif used this account for the first time and tweeted: “I want to congratulate people of Pakistan on peaceful transition of power. It’s matter of pride that today all our institutions respect Constitution as guiding principle. If stock market and strengthening currency is any indication, the journey towards our goals has already started.”
He further said: “Our focus is on providing as much relief as possible to all Pakistanis by tackling high inflation & kick-starting the stagnant economy. Together we will make Pakistan a great nation, Insha’Allah. Pakistan Zindabad.
“We also look forward to keep building relationships with other countries on the basis of mutual respect, equality & peace.”
Later, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan congratulated Mr Sharif for assuming the charge of prime minister.
Mr Modi in his congratulatory tweet said: “Congratulations to H.E. Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on his election as the prime minister of Pakistan. India desires peace and stability in a region free of terror, so that we can focus on our development challenges and ensure the well-being and prosperity of our people.”
Published in Dawn, April 12th, 2022