–President receives guard of honour after swearing in ceremony
PM Imran Khan, Gen Bajwa among others attend ceremony
–China, US, Saudi felicitate President Alvi on taking charge
ISLAMABAD: Dr Arif Alvi on Sunday took oath as the 13th President of Pakistan at Aiwan-e-Sadr in Islamabad, a day after outgoing president Mamnoon Hussain’s five-year term ended.
Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar administered the oath at the ceremony to Alvi, a senior Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader, who was elected to the National Assembly from Karachi’s NA-247 constituency during the July 25 polls.
As per the 1973 Constitution, Alvi’s election to the NA seat will stand null and void once he takes oath as President of Pakistan, since an elected member of Parliament cannot hold the office of head of state.
The ceremony was attended by top civil-military brass, including Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Gen Zubair Hayat among others.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, Finance Minister Asad Umer, Azad Jammu and Kashmir President Sardar Masood Khan, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry, Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar and Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed were also present during the event.
Saudi, Chinese diplomats also attended the presidential oath.
GUARD OF HONOUR:
President Dr Arif Alvi received a welcoming guard of honour at an impressive ceremony held at the President’s House in Islamabad Sunday. A smartly turned out contingent comprising all three forces presented Alvi the guard of honour. Later, he was introduced to the staff of the President’s House.
Alvi is succeeding Mamnoon Hussain, who took oath as 12th head of state on September 9, 2013 after his election as a candidate of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
The Cabinet Secretariat issued a notification to be published in the Gazette of Pakistan saying that Alvi had “assumed the office of the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan” on September 9.
Alvi, who was up against Pakistan People’s Party’s Aitzaz Ahsan and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islami-F’s Maulana Fazlur Rehman for the post of president last week, won the election with at least 352 electoral votes ─ 44 more than his two rivals could collectively obtain. Fazl and Ahsan clinched 185 and 124 votes respectively.
FELICITATIONS POUR IN:
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Sunday called on newly-sworn in President Dr Arif Alvi at Aiwan-e-Sadr in Islamabad.
The Chinese diplomat led a delegation including three ministerial-level officials.
Congratulating Alvi on taking the reins as the president, FM Yi conveyed well wishes of Chinese leadership for the new government.
He said he was honoured to be the first foreign diplomat to have met the president after his inauguration.
Separately, Saudi Arabia’s Information Minister Awwad Saleh al Awwad met President Alvi to congratulate him on becoming the country’s president.
The Saudi minister is on a two-day goodwill visit. The visiting dignitary conveyed felicitations and goodwill wishes of the Saudi leadership and their desire to work closely with the new leadership in Pakistan and to forge closer ties.
The United States (US) has also congratulated Dr Alvi on his swearing in as the new President of Pakistan.
State Department spokesperson Heather Nauret in a statement said the US looks toward working with Pakistan to advance the shared interests, such as regional peace, stability, and prosperity.
PRESIDENT FOR PAKISTAN, CHINA PARTNERSHIP:
President Alvi while underlining the significance of China in Pakistan’s foreign policy said Sunday that he looked forward to strengthening the strategic partnership between Pakistan and China in all areas.
The president said this in a meeting with Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi who called on him at the President House.
The president thanked Wang Yi for the message of goodwill from the Chinese leadership and reiterated the resolve to work with China to take the bilateral relationship to new heights during his tenure. Recognising the significance of CPEC for both the countries, President Dr Arif Alvi re-affirmed the commitment of the government towards the implementation of CPEC.
He also extended an invitation to President Xi Jinping to visit Pakistan at his earliest convenience. Earlier, the foreign minister along with members of his delegation had attended the oath-taking ceremony of the president.
Who is Dr Arif Alvi?
Dr Arif Alvi is a politician, dentist and a former parliamentarian.
He is also a founding member of PTI and was the party’s secretary-general from 2006 till 2013.
Dr Arif Alvi had previously contested the 1997 general elections as a provincial assembly candidate and then later again in the 2002 general elections as a National Assembly (NA) candidate.
Earlier in 2013, he was elected as a Member of the National Assembly from Karachi’s NA-250.
Dr Arif Alvi is married to Samina Alvi and they have four children, all married.
He used to play squash, cricket and hockey during his youth.
He acquired his dental degree BDS (Dentistry) from De’Montmonrency College of Dentistry, an affiliate of University of Punjab. He also has a Master of Science in Prosthodontics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and got it in 1975.
He then went to the University of the Pacific, San Francisco and completed a Master of Science in Orthodontics in 1984.
In 1969, Dr Alvi was active in the student movement during General Ayub Khan’s era and fought for democracy in Pakistan.
During one of the protests on the Lahore Mall Road, he was shot and wounded and still carries a bullet embedded in his right arm as a mark of his struggle for democracy. He was the Jamaat-e-Islami candidate for provincial assembly in Karachi in 1979.
Pakistan’s heads of state:
1. Iskander Mirza (March 23, 1956, to October 27, 1958)
2. Ayub Khan (October 27, 1958, to March 25, 1969)
3. Yahya Khan (March 25, 1969, to December 20, 1971)
4. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (December 20, 1971, to August 13, 1973)
5. Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry (August 14, 1973, to September 16, 1978)
6. Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq (September 16, 1978, to August 17, 1988)
7. Ghulam Ishaq Khan (August 17, 1988, to July 18, 1993)
8. Farooq Leghari (November 14, 1993, to December 2, 1997)
9. Muhammad Rafiq Tarar (January 1, 1998, to June 20, 2001)
10. Pervez Musharraf (June 20, 2001, to August 18, 2008)
11. Asif Ali Zardari (September 9, 2008, to September 8, 2013)
12. Mamnoon Hussain (September 8, 2013, to September 8, 2018)
13. Dr Arif Alvi (September 9, 2013 – Present)