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Pakistan’s National Assembly Begins new Session

The new session of Pakistan’s 15th National Assembly (NA) is underway here on Monday as a total of 329 newly-elected members of the Lower House of the Parliament took oath after the general elections were held on July 25.

Outgoing NA Speaker Ayaz Sadiq administered the oath to the newly elected members in the house with a strength of 342, The Dawn reported.

Prominent Pakistani politicians such as Prime Minister-designate Imran Khan, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz president Shehbaz Sharif, former Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and his son and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto graced the swearing-in ceremony with their presence at the NA.

During the ceremony, Khan and Bilawal were seen shaking hands. The latter is entering the NA for his first term.

After the oath-taking ceremony was completed, the speaker would prorogue the new assembly session till August 15, when the new speaker and deputy speaker of the NA would be elected. The nomination papers for the same would be submitted on August 14, the report said.

Prior to the new NA session, strict security measures were in place to avoid unexpected incidents. Also, the newly-elected members in the Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial assemblies were sworn-in, while the new session in Balochistan provincial assembly is set to take place.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has 158 members in the NA after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) issued notifications of the successful candidates on the reserved seats for women and the minority community on Saturday.

The Imran Khan-led party reached the current figure after nine independent candidates joined and secured 33 seats reserved for the minorities and women, as per The Dawn report.

Shehbaz Sharif’s PML-N has now secured 82 seats in the NA after the party bagged 18 reserved seats for women and minorities. The PPP has bagged 53 seats in the NA after it was allotted 11 reserved seats.

The PTI said that Khan would take oath as the new Pakistan Prime Minister on August 18. The party has claimed that it has gained the required numbers to form the government at the centre.

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