Imran Khan opts for simple oath ceremony, not to invite foreign leaders

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Islamabad | Published: August 3, 2018 5:28:22 AM

Imran Khan has decided against inviting foreign leaders and celebrities to his oath taking ceremony as Pakistan's new prime minister as he wants to keep the event very simple, according to a media report.

Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) emerged as the single largest party in the elections held on July 25. The 65-year-old leader is expected to take oath on August 11. (File photo)

Imran Khan has decided against inviting foreign leaders and celebrities to his oath taking ceremony as Pakistan’s new prime minister as he wants to keep the event very simple, according to a media report.

Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) emerged as the single largest party in the elections held on July 25. The 65-year-old leader is expected to take oath on August 11.

Foreign Office (FO) spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal said a simple ceremony will be held at President’s House for which no date has been issued so far.

“No dignitary from abroad except a few close friends of Chairman PTI Imran Khan would attend the simple and dignified oath-taking at Aiwan-e-Sadar (President’s House),” he said.

His party had initially planned to invite several foreign leaders and personalities, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bollywood superstar Amir Khan and Indian cricketers like Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavasker and Navjot Singh Sidhu to the event.

Prime Minister Modi spoke to Khan and congratulated him on Monday after his party emerged as the single largest in the recently-concluded parliamentary polls.

Faisal welcomed the telephonic conversation between the two leaders and said that Pakistan wants resumption of talks which were halted in 2015.

He also said that Pakistan was ready to host the SAARC Summit postponed in November 2016, which will help address regional issues.

“We hope that in the coming days, both the sides can come together to address key concerns in what is admittedly a difficult relationship. We also hope that this positive conversation can lead to the resumption of the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue and holding of SAARC Summit in Pakistan,” Faisal said.

Dawn newspaper quoted PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry as saying that “The PTI chairman has directed to stage the oath-taking event with austerity.”

“He will take his oath in a simple ceremony at Aiwan-e-Sadr (President House),” the spokesperson said.

“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,” Chaudhry said.

However, he added that some foreign friends of Imran will be invited to the event. “A few of Imran’s friends are the only foreign nationals being invited to the event,” he said.

President Mamnoon Hussain will administer him the oath of the office.

After his party’s victory in the elections, Khan has pledged to take austerity measures to save taxpayers money.

He had announced that he would not move into the Prime Minister’s House and a final decision on the fate of the building would be decided by the party.

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