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Imran sworn in new Pakistan PM

Imran sworn in new Pakistan PM
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Cricketerturnedpolitician Imran Khan, who in the past had made hardline statements but has been conciliatory of late, was swornin as Pakistans new...

Islamabad: Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, who in the past had made hardline statements but has been conciliatory of late, was sworn-in as Pakistan's new Prime Minister on Saturday in a ceremony marking the second peaceful democratic transition from one civilian government to another in the country's 71-year history.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief shed a tear and also smiled when he was officially handed the reigns of power by President Mamnoon Hussain at the Aiwan-e-Sadr (President House) here. Former Indian cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, who was one of the few former cricketers invited by Khan, was seated in the front row. He was seen warmly embracing Pakistan's Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa prior to the ceremony and sitting next to the Prime Minister of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) that created some ripples back home in India.

High-profile guests including outgiong caretaker Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan and Naval Chief Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi were in attendance. Members of the 1992 cricket World Cup winning team that Khan captained to victory were also invited.

On his part, Sidhu welcomed the "change" in the country being brought about by the coming in of the Imran Khan-led government and expressed the hope that his "friend's victory would be good for the peace process between the two neighbours".

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