Dr Arif Alvi was sworn in as Pakistan’s 13th head of state in a ceremony held at Aiwan-e-Sadr in Islamabad on Sunday.
Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar administered the oath in a ceremony which was attended by top civil-military brass including Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Gen Zubair Hayat.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser, Finance Minister Asad Umer, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir Sardar Masood Khan, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry, Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, Governor Sindh Imran Ismail, Governor Punjab Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar and Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed were also present during the event.
Saudi, Chinese diplomats also attended the presidential oath.
The newly-sworn in president was later given his first guard of honour by the smartly turned out contingents of the armed forces at Aiwan-e-Sadr.
Alvi is succeeding Mamnoon Hussain, who took oath as 12th head of state on September 9, 2013 after his election as a candidate of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Alvi was elected as the 13th president of Pakistan as the country’s electoral college – comprising of the Senate, national and provincial assemblies – cast their votes on September 4.
Alvi contested against two opposition candidates Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Pakistan Peoples Party senior leader Aitzaz Ahsan.
According to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Alvi won after bagging a lion’s share of votes with 353, followed by Fazl with 185 with Ahsan coming in last with 124 votes.
Founding member of the ruling PTI, Alvi began his political career as a student union president in Lahore and is one of the few original authors of the PTI’s constitution.
A dentist by profession, Alvi was the first Pakistani to be elected as a councillor of the World Dental Federation in 2007. He is the managing trustee of the trust established by Shirinbai Jinnah.
Alvi acquired his dental degree BDS (dentistry) from de’Montmonrency College of Dentistry. He completed his Masters in prosthodontics from the University of Michigan in 1975 and Masters in orthodontics in 1984.
In 1969, Alvi was active in the student movement during Field Marshal Ayub Khan’s era. He was shot during a protest on Mall Road, Lahore and proudly carries a bullet in his right arm.
In 1979, he was a Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) candidate for the provincial assembly but elections did not take place.
After joining PTI in 1990s, Alvi became the president of the party’s Sindh chapter in 1997. In 2001, he was promoted to the position of vice-president PTI. He held the secretary general post from 2006 to 2013.
Alvi contested elections in 1997 on a provincial seat before contesting from a National Assembly seat in 2002. In 2013, he was elected as an MNA from Karachi’s then NA-250 constituency. In the 2018 elections, Alvi won a clear victory from Karachi’s NA-247 seat.