Navjot Singh Sidhu sits next to President of PoK Masood Khan at Imran Khan’s oath ceremony

Written by August 18, 2018 10:45

New Delhi: Navjot Singh Sidhu was seated next to President of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir(PoK) Masood Khan at Imran Khan’s oath ceremony. He also met and hugged N Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

With a new inning for Pakistan, Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan took oath as the 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan on Saturday.

The oath-taking ceremony was administered by Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain.

On Friday, Khan was elected as the new Prime Minister of Pakistan, defeating his rival Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate Shehbaz Sharif. While, the 65-year-old cricketer-turned-politician bagged 176 seats, Sharif, the PML-N president and the brother of jailed former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, managed to secure just 96 seats, The Dawn reported.

In the July 25 general elections, the PTI had emerged as the single largest party with 116 seats. The number increased to 158 in the NA after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) issued notifications of the successful candidates on the reserved seats for women and the minority community on August 11.

Other cricketers such as Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar, who was also invited by Khan, earlier confirmed that they would not be participating in the event. While Dev cited ‘personal reasons’, Gavaskar also declined the invitation owing to his commentary commitments for the ongoing Test series between India and England, the report said.

Navjot Singh Sidhu to attend Imran Khan's swearing-in ceremony

Earlier, Navjot Singh Sidhu said he has “not come here as a politician”.

“I have come here as a friend, as a goodwill messenger. I have brought a Kashmiri shawl as a gift for Khan. I love Kashmiri shawls and I have many. It is a symbol of love,” he told Pakistani media after entering the country via the Attari-Wagah border. He has been criticised in some sections of media and politics in India for accepting the invitation by Khan.

Sidhu has released a press note back home to explain his decision: “The political change that has emerged after the recent general elections held in Pakistan is a historical event. I give my best wishes for the democratically-elected new government from the core of my heart. On this memorable moment, I especially congratulate Imran Khan on being elected as (the) Prime Minister of Pakistan. I know Khan for the last three-and-a-half decades and we have been meeting in different nations on cricketing field.”