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Simple ceremony to be held at President’s House

In a sudden change of heart, Pakistan’s prime minister-designate Imran Khan has decided against inviting foreign dignitaries and celebrities to his oath-taking ceremony and opted for a simple national event to be held in Aiwan-e-Sadr (President’s House) in Islamabad.

According to Dawn NewsTV, Fawad Chaudhry, the spokesperson of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) said on Thursday, “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).”

Chaudhry further 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.”

However, on Wednesday, PTI spokesperson Chaudhry told reporters that his party had asked the Foreign Office to apprise its leadership regarding extending invitation to the heads of states and foreign leaders of different countries especially in view of the paucity of time. “We are awaiting response of the Fore­ign Office,” he was quoted saying.

Read More: US Questions Fairness of Pakistan Elections, UN Praises Commitment To Democracy

PTI had initially planned to invite several foreign personalities, including PM Narendra Modi, Bollywood superstar Amir Khan and cricket legends Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavasker and Navjot Singh Sidhu.

Moreover three Khans of Bollywood: Aamir Khan, Shahrukh Khan and Salman Khan, had congratulated Imran Khan on his success and expressed their desire to attend his oath-taking ceremony.

Read More: Pakistan elections marred with suicide attack -25 killed in Quetta

Out of 272 contestable seatsof  national assembly, Imran Khan led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has won 115, Shahbaz Sharif led PML-N won 63, Bilawal Bhutto led Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) remained distant third with 43, while others won 46 seats. Muhajir Qaumi Movement won 6 seats in the national assembly.

Meanwhile, another report say that Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, while talking to Geo TV on Wednesday announced his party’s decision to extend support to PTI for the formation of the federal government.

MQM-P won six National Assembly seats, four in Karachi and two in Hyderabad, compared to 24 seats in 2013.

In another report, a leading Pakistani daily said that uncertainty surrounds the exact date when the election for the new prime minister and oath taking will be held as the election commission is yet to finalise results and notify the winning candidates. However, it was indicated by an official source that the election of prime minister was most likely to take place on August 14.

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