NEW DELHI: Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi, better known as Imran Khan, was sworn in as the 22nd prime minister of Pakistan by President Mamnoon Hussain at a low-key ceremony at the Aiwan-i-Sadr, or President’s house, in Islamabad on Saturday. Imran’s 20-member Cabinet includes Shah Mehmood Qureshi as foreign minister and Pervaiz Khattak as defence minister.
Known for his aggressive confidence on the pitch, the former cricket captain was visibly overwhelmed during the ceremony, smiling sheepishly after fumbling over the oath in Urdu, and stumbling during a tri-services guard of honour presented to him later.The VIP guest list included senior politicians, the three service chiefs, singers, actors, his former cricket teammates of 1992 and former Indian cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu.
Pictures of Sidhu hugging Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and sitting next to the President of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir Masood Khan caused a stir back in India. Reports said the ceremony’s menu of nine dishes was reduced to refreshments as part of Khan’s “austerity drive”. Also present was his wife Bushra Maneka Khan, in what was said to be her first public appearance since their wedding.