National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf on Saturday administered oath to the Punjab Chief Minister-elect Hamza Shehbaz at a ceremony held at Governor’s House here on Saturday. The ceremony started with recitation from the Holy Quran followed by the Naat-e-Rasool-e-Maqbool (Peace Be Upon Him). Hamza Shehbaz, befittingly clad in a sherwani, took oath of his office. It is pertinent to mention here that the oath of CM office was administered to him by Speaker National Assembly in accordance with the Lahore High Court’s order. Hamza had moved the LHC for the third time on Friday as his oath-taking ceremony was deferred on several grounds despite him being elected with a clear majority of 197 votes from the Punjab Assembly on April 16. Hamza drove himself to the Governor House, while PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz also accompanied the CM-elect. Later, the Punjab chief secretary notified that Hamza had assumed the charge of the chief minister’s office. The notification stated: “Consequent upon the judgement of the Lahore High Court under writ petition no. 27186 of 2022, Mr Muhammad Hamza Shahbaz Sharif has taken the oath of the office of the chief ministry of Punjab before speaker, National Assembly on 30th day of April, 2022.” In a separate notification, the chief secretary notified that Buzdar had ceased to hold the CM office. “Consequent upon assumption of office of chief minister of Punjab by Mr Muhammad Hamza Shahbaz Sharif on 30th April, 2022, Mr Usman Ahmed Khan Buzdar, chief minister of Punjab under provision of Article 133 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973, has ceased to hold office with immediate effect,” the notification read. Following the ceremony, Hamza spoke with reporters and pledged he would work for the “greater benefit of the people” of Pakistan and Punjab. He also took the opportunity to criticise the deadlock with regard to his oath. “Punjab remained in a [leadership] crisis for one month,” he said. “What was the fault of the 120 million people that they were deprived of a chief executive?” He also rapped the previous government, vowing to move forward for the welfare of the people as opposed to “examples of destruction, corruption and bad governance set by the PTI government. In response to a question, Hamza said he “cannot compete with Shehbaz speed, but will take assistance from him and will try to match him”.