Imran Khan to take oath in President House, says party leaders

Islamabad: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan will take oath at the President House instead of an open venue like the D-Chowk or Parade Ground here as it was suggested earlier, according to his party officials. 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. He is holding meetings with senior party leaders to select his cabinet and chief ministers for Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provinces where PTI is poised to form the government as well. Party sources said that apart from the formation of the governments, issues like where he should take the oath or live as Prime Minister have also been discussed. “It was decided that he should take oath in the President House which is a secure place,” a party leader said.

President Mamnoon Hussain will administer him the oath of the office. He said though there was some support in the party for an open place like D-Chowk, in front of the parliament, where he had protested for 126 days in 2014 or the scenic Parade Ground but was opposed due to security reasons.

Another party leader said that Khan has also agreed to live in the Ministers’ Enclave in Islamabad instead of the palatial Prime Minister House as he had already declared that he would live a simple place. The party has so far not said anything about who will be invited for Khan’s oath-taking ceremony but according to local media former Indian cricketers Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar and Navjot Singh Sidhu, and Bollywood actor Aamir Khan were being invited.
The party also mulled the option if it could invite foreign leaders including those from SARRC for the oath-taking ceremony. Sources said that PTI leaders met foreign secretary Tehmina Janjua, but so far no decision has been taken.
Meanwhile, PTI leader Naeemul Haq said that the party had the support of required lawmakers to form the government at the centre and in Punjab. “The process of finalising the names for chief minister of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa will be completed in the next few days,” he said.
The opposition parties have called a meeting tomorrow in Islamabad to chalk out their strategy to oppose Khan and his party. It is expected that jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s party the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, former president Asif Ali Zardari’s the Pakistan Peoples Party and a religious alliance of Muttahida Qaumi Movement will field their joint candidates for the posts of Prime Minister, Speaker and Deputy Speaker.

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