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Newly Elected Lawmakers From Pakistan's Punjab Province Take Oath

23.02.2024 17:27

Members of Punjab Assembly to elect speaker, deputy speaker on Saturday, followed by new chief minister.

Newly elected lawmakers from Pakistan's eastern Punjab province parliament took oath on Monday, the first of four provincial assemblies to hold a session since the Feb. 8 general election.

Speaker Punjab Assembly Sibtain Khan swore in the newly elected 296 members, including three-time former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's daughter Maryam Nawaz, who has been nominated by her party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), for the key chief minister position.

The provincial members of parliament will elect the speaker and deputy speaker on Saturday, followed by the new chief minister of Punjab.

Ahead of oath-taking, members of the PML-N and independent candidates backed by the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) party of jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan raised slogans against each other, with the later demanding free and fair investigation into alleged rigging in the general elections.

The PTI-backed lawmakers have already joined a little-known Sunni Ittehad Council party, intending to gain seats in parliament reserved for women and minorities based on their parliamentary representation.

Meanwhile, social media platform X services, which have been suspended in the country since Saturday night, have yet to be restored, with no explanation provided by the telecommunication regulator.

On Thursday, a high court in the southeastern city of Karachi ordered the government to restore X service. However, as of 1400GMT, authorities had not restored access to the social media platform.

In another development, Pakistani authorities on Thursday night again arrested prominent Pakistani journalist and TV anchor Imran Riaz Khan.

In May last year, Khan was arrested by police and after a few days, he went missing after police announced releasing him. He returned home after five months in September.

Khan's brother Usman Riaz Khan stated on X that his brother was picked up by personnel in civilian clothes from his home in Lahore.

However, on Friday morning, the Anti-Corruption Establishment presented the journalist to a local judicial magistrate on charges that he and his father secured a contract for Dharabi Lake in Punjab's Chakwal district at an inflated price.

Riaz was later sent to jail on judicial remand. -

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