Asianbangla Desk : Police commandos arrive to take their positions during the first session of the lower house of parliament, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Monday, Aug. 13, 2018. Photo: AP
The first session of the 15th National Assembly ended yesterday after 328 members of the lower house of the parliament took oath following their election in the July 25 countrywide polls. Earlier, it was reported that 329 lawmakers would take oath but MNA Sahabzada Muhammad Mehboob Sultan from Jhang was unable to attend the session.
Outgoing NA Speaker Ayaz Sadiq administered the oath to the MNAs-elect in the 342-member house, in what is a part of only the second democratic transition in the country’s history.
Prime minister-in-waiting and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan and other prominent political leaders, including PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and former president Asif Ali Zardari, were present in the assembly for the oath-taking.
TV footage showed the PTI chief shaking hands and posing for a photo with Bilawal, who is entering NA for his maiden term.
The session commenced with the MNAs-elect standing up for the national anthem. This was followed by the recitation of the Holy Quran.
The speaker then read out the procedure for the election of the new speaker and deputy speaker.
The MNAs-elect then stood up as Sadiq administered the oath of office to them. The MNAs were then asked to proceed to the speaker’s desk to sign the roll of members. Being first in the alphabetical order, PPP co-chairman Asif Zardari was the first to be called to sign the roll.
After completion of the swearing-in ceremony, the speaker prorogued the NA session until 10:00am on August 15, when the new speaker and deputy speaker of the assembly will be elected. The nomination papers for the same will be submitted by noon today.
Strict security measures were taken to avoid any untoward incident during the proceedings and irrelevant persons had been barred from entering the house.
Sessions were also held in the provincial assemblies of Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, where MPAs-elect took oath of office. The oath-taking ceremony for MPAs-elect of Punjab Assembly will take place on August 15.
The PTI has already nominated former speaker of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Asad Qaiser for the office of NA speaker and he would face Syed Khursheed Shah of the PPP, a joint candidate of the 11-party alliance, Pakistan Alliance for Free and Fair Elections.
Similarly, PTI Chairman Imran Khan will be contesting against PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif for the office of the prime minister.