Islamabad: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman and Prime Minister-designate Imran Khan has decided against inviting foreign dignitaries and celebrities to his oath-taking ceremony, opting for a simple event, Pakistani newspaper The Dawn reported on Thursday.
PTI, having bagged 115 NA seats and after securing the support of key allies and roping in several independent winners, looks set to form the next government, with its chairman in pole position to become the next Prime Minister of Pakistan.
It was earlier reported that Mr Khan invited former Indian cricket legends Navjot Singh Sidhu, Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev for his swearing-in ceremony. Sidhu earlier confirmed that it was a personal invite, adding that it would be his “honour” to attend the same.
The party had initially planned to invite several foreign personalities, with the names of Indian PM Narendra Modi, Bollywood superstar Amir Khan and cricket legends Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar and Navjot Singh Sidhu doing the rounds, The Dawn reported.
However, in an apparent change of heart, Mr Khan opted against a fancy ceremony. “The PTI chairman has directed to stage the oath-taking event with austerity,” PTI Spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry said.
“He will take his oath in a simple ceremony at Aiwan-e-Sadr (President House). It has been decided that no foreign personalities will be invited to the ceremony, it will be a completely national event. Only a few close friends of Imran Khan shall be invited.
“There will be no show of extravagance at the event,” added Mr Chaudhry.
A day earlier on Wednesday, the Spokesperson had told the reporters that the party had asked the Foreign Office to apprise its leadership, regarding extending invitation to the heads of states and foreign leaders of different countries, especially in view of the paucity of time.