Punjab Assembly session summoned; MPAs-elect to take oath today

Web Desk
The front facade of the Punjab Assembly. — APP/File
The front facade of the Punjab Assembly. — APP/File

  • Session is slated to take place at 10am today.
  • Speaker Sibtain Khan to administer oath to news MPAs.
  • Summons issued by Punjab Governor Baligh Ur Rehman.

The newly elected members of the 18th Punjab Assembly will take oath today (Friday) in the inaugural session of the provincial legislature.

Out of five assemblies that went to the polls on Feb 8, the Punjab Assembly is the first house convening its opening session, slated to take place at 10am on Friday.

Punjab Governor Baligh Ur Rehman has issued a notification in this regard. Speaker Sibtain Khan will administer the oath to the newly elected members.

The announcement about the assembly's session comes a day after a parliamentary meeting of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz's (PML-N) elected members took place at Jati Umra in Lahore.

Party sources claimed a total of 218 members participated in the meeting, which included independent members and PMLN MPAs, while the members nominated for specific seats were also included.

Sources said 137 successful candidates of PMLN, 58 women nominated for specific seats and more than 22 independent members, who joined the PMLN after the elections, were present.

It merits a mention that 186 members were required to form the government.

Among the newly elected members, Maryam Nawaz will be one of the new entrants to step foot inside the provincial legislature as an elected member. She is also nominated as the party's candidate for the chief minister slot after her victory from both the national and provincial assembly seats — NA-119 and PP-159, respectively — in the February 8 polls.

During the meeting on Wednesday, Maryam pledged to serve the province in a way that would "set records" of good governance in the country.

Revealing her game plan for Punjab in a media talk, the CM-hopeful said: “A new era will usher in Punjab. I congratulate the PML-N for securing victory [and gaining a majority in the Punjab Assembly].”

If voted into power, Maryam will become the first woman to be elected as a chief minister in Pakistan’s seven-decade-plus history. She will take over the province with a population of more than 127 million people, more than half of Pakistan’s population.

“This was a tough election, I thank the people of Punjab for providing us with a clear majority. We will set records of service; I haven’t rested since the election results, all of us will have to work as a team,” she added.

Maryam, who holds the portfolios of PML-N’s senior vice-president and chief organiser, said it was a “huge honour” for her to be nominated as Punjab’s first chief minister and dedicated it to the “daughters, mothers, sisters, and reserved seats’ women”.

The CM nominee said the province faces “major challenges” in the health care and education sectors as well as the local government. “There’s also a huge issue of sewage, clean water in rural areas.”

Maryam told the newly-elected MPAs that they would have to view Punjab’s 297 constituencies as 297 districts in order to ensure development in every lawmaker’s constituency.