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Here’s the 411 on Naya Pakistan’s Maiden National Assembly Session

Here’s the 411 on Naya Pakistan’s Maiden National Assembly Session

Manaal Shuja
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Monday’s National Assembly session – the 15th one to date – is being cited as the ‘dawn’ of Naya Pakistan by many on social media. The event was highly publicized and tweeted about throughout the day. However, while we observed, critiqued, and admired from a distance, we can only guess the deeper sentiments brewing and take a hold of those actually attending the session. For some, it was the symbol for a sweet victory – for others, a hard defeat.

For Balochistan, thought to be the country’s most neglected province, it seemed hopes were high that the new leadership would bring about a positive change.

Balochistan saw a wave of brutal attacks during the pre-election period. Its people have borne a lot of grief as a result, and have been calling for peace to be established in the region. It certainly seems the candidates in question realize and hope to accomplish this.

On a lighter note, here’s what newbie Aamir Liaquat got up to during this all-important National Assembly session.

His eagerness to have a word with his chairman was apparently so great, he decided to temporarily usurp the seat of the Prime Minister (respectfully left open seeing as the oath has not yet been taken) to have a chance at a brief private conference.

Here is a clip of part of the actual oath taking process.

The harmony and tandem observed here do give one a strange sense of buoyed hope. It is for sure one of the only times when it seems each and every politician is campaigning for the exact same thing – and that we are not so divided after all.

Meanwhile, there was also one major disappointment for PTI supporters in particular – the absence of their favorite figurehead Jahangir Tareen.

Some might argue he should have been allowed to attend; if not for anything else, then in honor of his incredible assistance with rounding up independent candidates in the wake of elections.

However, Insaafians had other, bigger things to be happy about – Imran Khan in the National Assembly for one.

The expressions of enthusiasm in the assembly arena itself are deafening to hear. Watch as the crowd yells for PTI and Khan as the latter moves to the front for his signing:

While Jahangir Tareen’s absence was despaired over, there were others whose absence was blatantly celebrated on Twitter:

Moreover, the session was not without some bouts of regular light-hearted entertainment. 

Currently going viral on social media is a clip of the public’s beloved Kaptaan borrowing a cameraman’s waistcoat in order to take a picture, on account of not having one of his own to wear. This, people are saying, is yet another great example of Khan’s humility and down-to-earth nature. Politics is a funny game – the littlest of things can end up working in your favor.

For Zardari and Benazir Bhutto’s son, Bilawal, the experience was an entirely brand-new one. 

Some showed up to begin shouldering the legacy of their parents, and also start one of their own – Bilawal Bhutto was one such significant candidate present that day. The public is eager to find out how well he acclimates to the country’s political climate.

Side by side, old rivalries had to be set aside for the moment in order to observe the required niceties:

Imran Khan, Shahbaz Sharif, and Asif Ali Zardari also came together to acknowledge each other’s presence and put on a display of civility for the masses. It must be awkward to have to politely shake hands with someone you regularly try to discredit on live television, but these three pulled it off well.

An important day for only the politicians present, but also for all the citizens of Pakistan. Now that everyone has voted, the very next concern on everyone’s minds is – will all the promises made be fulfilled? The oath-taking was the first stepping stone. On to the next one!

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