ISLAMABAD: New Prime Minister Imran Khan was sworn in at a ceremony in Islamabad on Saturday, ushering in a new political era as the World Cup cricket hero officially took the reins of power in the nuclear-armed country.
The ceremony at the President’s House in the capital marks the end of decades of rotating leadership between the ousted Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), punctuated by periods of army rule.
A tearful Khan smiled as he stumbled over some of the words of the oath administered to him by President Mamnoon Hussain during the ceremony, televised live by the state broadcaster PTV.
He swore to “discharge my duties and perform my functions honestly, to the best of my ability… and always in the interest of the sovereignty, integrity, solidarity, well-being and prosperity of Pakistan”.
Khan had won a confidence vote in the National Assembly the previous day.
In parliament on Friday he came out fighting with a divisive speech in which he vowed to hold corrupt officials accountable.
Khan had invited the rest of the 1992 cricket team to the ceremony, and fast bowler Wasim Akram was pictured smiling among the crowd.
Another cricketer-turned-politician, India’s Navjot Singh Sidhu, was seated in the front row and earlier warmly embraced the army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
Later, Khan went to the Prime Minister’s house in the capital, where he was met by a guard of honour.— AFP