Asif Ali Zardari took oath for the office Pakistan’s 12th head of state at an impressive ceremony held at Aiwan-e-Sadr. Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar administered the oath to Asif Ali Zardari under the third schedule of 1973 Constitution.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai was the only international figure specially came this afternoon to attend President Zardari’s oath-taking ceremony. Acting President Mohammadmian Soomro and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani were also present, Head of political parties including ANP’s Asfandyar Wali, JUI’s Maulana Fazlur Rehman, MQM were also present at the eve. While Leader of PML-N Nawaz Sharif did not attend the ceremony as he had to leave for London.
Zardari’s family including children; Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, also the chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party and his two daughters Bakhtawar and Asifa; father Hakim Ali Zardari and Benazir Bhutto’s sister Sanam Bhutto attended the swearing-in ceremony. Speaker National Assembly Dr Fehmida Mirza, Attorney General Sardar Latif Khosa, Justice ® Qazi Muhammad Farooq, governors, chief ministers, the services chiefs, intellectuals and important personalities were also present.
Details of ceremony
Earlier, the buglers of the President’s guards announced arrival of Asif Ali Zardari, while the the participants clapped and raised slogans of “Jeay Bhutto” and “Zinda hae BB zinda hae” as he entered the hall. The ceremony began with the recitation from the Holy Quran.
Zardari was dressed in attired blue suit took oath from Justice Dogar and repeated the statement of oath after him. saying
“….That, as President of Pakistan, I will discharge my duties, and perform my functions, honestly, to the best of my ability, faithfully in accordance with the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the law, and always in the interest of the sovereignty, integrity, solidarity, well-being and prosperity of Pakistan….That I will not allow my personal interests to influence my official conduct or my official decisions….,” Zardari uttered as he followed the lines of the oath.
After the oath, the President met the seemingly endless list of guests drawn comprising party workers, ministers, parliamentarians, cabinet members, members of superior judiciary, diplomats and elite of the city. The guests greeted president Zardari on assuming the charge and shook hands with the President, took photographs with him.
The three children of Asif Zardari and Benazir Bhutto remained hub of attraction throughout the ceremony. The youngest daughter Asifa, clad in green shalwar qameez and white dopatta covering her head reminded many of her mother Benazir, who had attired the similar outfit on her oath-taking as country’s first woman prime minister in 1988.
The PPP workers also showed eagerness in taking photographs with Bilawal Bhutto. The walls of Aiwan-e-Sadr have been adorned with new huge portraits of the two late prime ministers Benazir Bhutto and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
Joint Press Conference of President Asif Ali Zardari
Pakistan and Afghanistan Tuesday agreed to forge close cooperation within the framework of Trilateral Military Commission for accurate operations against militants. This resolve surfaced during joint press conference of President Asif Ali Zardari and Afgahn President Hamid Karzai at Presidential Palace fter Mr.Zardari took oath of highest office.
On the occasion President Zaradari told media-men, ‘‘our government will follow pragmatic foreign policy”. He said during last few years much was said but on the ground no progress was visible in various fields including war against terror and Pakistan’s Kashmir policy. President Asif Ali Zardari has said that parliament will decide as regards giving indemnity to former President Pervez Musharraf, adding that he (Zardari) bears no grudges against anyone.
Asif Ali Zardari expressed these views while addressing a joint press conference with his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai at the President House on Tuesday. He thanked President Karzai for attending his oath-taking ceremony. President Zardari said, “Pakistan intends to work not only with Afghanistan but with all neighboring countries”.
The President said that Pakistani nation would face all the challenges courageously. He said that democracy has reached fruition in the country at the moment. Responding to a question, Zardari said he was fully aware of challenges facing Pakistan adding that he had advised the government to minimize the gap between demand and supply.
As regards terrorism, he said government had chalked out a strategy to combat terrorism and added he himself remained a victim of terrorism. Zardari further said contacts were underway on Kashmir issue and people would soon hear good news before Indian polls.
Zardari said that he was aware of back-door diplomacy on Kashmir issue and announced to form a Kashmir committee soon with parliamentary consensus. Highlighting Pakistan’s close ties with China, Zardari said that he would first visit China to express good wishes on behalf of the people of Pakistan.Zardari has said that parliament will decide as regards giving indemnity to former President Pervez Musharraf, adding that he held nothing against anyone.
Input from Agencies