Millennium Post (Kolkata)

Shehbaz Sharif takes oath as Pakistan PM for 2nd time

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ISLAMABAD: Shehbaz Sharif on Monday took the oath as Prime Minister of Pakistan, taking over the country’s reins for a second time since 2022, amidst staggering economic and security challenges.

President Arif Alvi administer­ed the oath to the 72-yearold Shehbaz in a ceremony held at the Aiwan-i-Sadr, the presidenti­al palace.

The ceremony was attended by the three services chiefs, senior officials, diplomats, leading business people, members of the civil society and media organisati­ons. The caretaker premier Anwaarul Haq Kakar was also present.

The brief ceremony began with the recitation of the Holy Quran, followed by the oath-taking.

The ceremony was attended by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz and other PML-N workers and Sindh chief minister Murad Ali Shah was also present on the occasion.

Shehbaz earlier served as prime minister of a coalition government from April 2022 to August 2023 before Parliament was dissolved to hold general elections last month.

Alvi had in 2022 tacitly refused to give oath to Shehbaz by saying that he was not feeling well when he was elected as premier for the first time after ousting Imran Khan through a vote of no confidence. Then Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani administer­ed the oath to him. It was speculated that Alvi may once again skip the official duty but he agreed.

The oath-taking ceremony comes days after the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the

Pakistan Peoples Party agreed on a power-sharing deal to form a coalition government.

On Sunday, Shehbaz comfortabl­y won a majority in the newly-elected Parliament amidst sloganeeri­ng by the Opposition.

Shehbaz, the consensus candidate of the PML-N and the PPP, received 201 votes in the 336-member Parliament. His challenger Omar Ayub Khan of jailed former prime minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) secured 92 votes.

In the February 8 polls, marred by allegation­s of vote rigging, the Sharifs-led party failed to garner a clear majority, albeit technicall­y, it is the largest party with 75 out of the 265 contested seats.

Shehbaz, known to be an astute politician and a good administra­tor, was tasked by his elder brother and former threetime prime minister to negotiate with other like-minded parties on the formation of a coalition government.

 ?? AP/PTI ?? Pakistan President Arif Alvi (right) administer­s the oath of office to newly elected Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif during a ceremony at the Presidenti­al Palace in Islamabad on Monday
AP/PTI Pakistan President Arif Alvi (right) administer­s the oath of office to newly elected Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif during a ceremony at the Presidenti­al Palace in Islamabad on Monday

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