ISLAMABAD – The inaugural session of Pakistan’s 15th National Assembly is being held today where the lawmakers-elect have taken the oath of their office.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief and in-waiting Prime Minister, Imran Khan, Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto, Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz President, Shehbaz Sharif and other political leaders have gathered at the Lower Chamber of the Parliament for the first session.
Former Speaker National Assembly, Sardar Ayyaz Sadiq is chairing the first session of the assembly to administer the oath to the lawmakers-elect, who are dressed in well-stitched suits for the event.
The former president, Asif Ali Zardari will also become a lawmaker today, after a span of 25 years.
The lawmakers will not be allowed to deliver a speech on the floor of the house in the first session and the National Assembly would meet again on Wednesday for the election of Speaker and Deputy Speaker.
The visitors’ gallery is also filled with political leaders including the former premier, Yousaf Raza Gillani, former Governor Punjab Makhdoom Ahmed Mehmood, Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari, Asifa Bhutto Zardari, Naeemul Haque, Zaid Hamid, Sherry Rehman, Rehman Malik and others.
First Time Entrants
Over half a dozen lawmakers have taken the oath of their office for the first time in this capacity.
They include Zartaj Gull, Farrukh Habib, Fawad Chaudhry, Gul Zafar Khan, Zain Qureshi, Asad Qaisar, Hammad Azhar, Raja Khurram Shahzad, Farrukh Habib, Andleeb Abbas, Faisal Vawda, Ali Zaidi from PTI.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Naz Baloch from Pakistan Peoples Party have also become legislators for the first time.
Ali Pervaiz Malik from Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz was also sworn in for the first time.
Pakistan’s 15th National Assembly is also deprived of a few notable faces who played a pivotal part in the House over decades.
They include former prime ministers Nawaz Sharif, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, and Yousaf Raza Gillani.
Moreover, President of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, Maulana Fazlur Rehman Awami National Party Chief, Asfand Wali Khan, Chairman Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PKMAP), Mahmood Khan Achakzai are also not in the House.
Pakistan Muslim league Nawaz leader, Khawaja Saad Rafique and former interior minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan did not make it o the National Assembly as well.
Co-incidentally, when the members of 15th National Assembly are being sworn in, Nawaz Sharif is appearing before the accountability court in the graft references pertaining to his offshore dealings.
Zardari Signs Roll Register
Former President and Co-Chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party Asif Ali Zardari was the first parliamentarian who signed the roll register after taking the oath.
Earlier, Speaker National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq administered the oath from the newly elected members of the parliament.
PTI chairman Imran Khan, PML-N Shahbaz Sharif, PPPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Asif Ali Zardari were seen sitting in the first row.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who has been elected to the National Assembly for the first time, shook hands with Imran Khan and other parliamentarians.
The speaker then read out the procedure for the election of the new speaker and deputy speaker. Ayaz Sadiq said that nomination can be obtained from the National Assembly Secretariat to contest the election of Speaker National Assembly.