A ‘changed Imran’ attends inaugural session of National Assembly

ISLAMABAD: In the inaugural session of Pakistan’s 15th National Assembly here on Monday, where 328 members took oath of their office, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman and prime minister-in-waiting Imran Khan was a different man from his earlier image of a hot-headed politician who always gave a damn what people thought or said about him.

One could see him shaking hands with the lawmakers from all political parties and greeting them upon becoming member of the National Assembly.

Imran Khan’s move to reach out to chairman and co-chairman of Pakistan People’s Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Asif Ali Zardari was also a pleasant surprise for everyone.

He even went to greet and shake hands with president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Shahbaz Sharif.

Imran Khan who is going to be next Prime Minister of Pakistan on Saturday remained calm when his party’s lawmakers loudly thumped desks when he went to the Speaker’s rostrum to sign the register of the National Assembly.

He also shook hands and exchanged pleasantries with outgoing Speaker of the National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq.

Upon arrival in the National Assembly, Khan who was wearing a white shalwar Kameez borrowed a waistcoat from one of the National Assembly staff members to have his photo taken for issuance of the Assembly’s ID card. Imran Khan remained in the House till end of the session.

PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry while talking to journalists said that this National Assembly would be different from the previous ones. He said that Imran Khan would regularly attend the Assembly sessions and take part in the parliamentary debates in the interest of democracy.

Imran Khan’s track record of attending parliamentary sessions of the previous Assembly had been very poor. From June 2013 to May 2018, Imran attended only attended 20 sittings of the House out of more than 490. Once he did not come to the House for two consecutive years. However, he continued to draw his salary and allowances. He even missed the four budget sessions of the parliament from 2014 to 2018.

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