New Pakistani prime minister sworn in

President Pervez Musharraf swears in Yousaf Raza Gilani - loyalist of slain ex-leader Benazir Bhutto as prime minister.

Pakistan new pm 224 88 (photo credit: AP)
Pakistan new pm 224 88
(photo credit: AP)
President Pervez Musharraf swore in a loyalist of slain ex-leader Benazir Bhutto as prime minister Tuesday, just as two senior US envoys arrived in Pakistan for talks. Yousaf Raza Gilani, who will front a new government that has vowed to cut back the US-allied president's powers, took the oath from Musharraf at a stiff ceremony in Islamabad. Seated side-by-side on a raised dais and flanked by two honor guards in white and gold-braided uniform, Gilani followed the former army strongman's lead in reading the oath of office. Members of Gilani's party chanted "Long Live Bhutto!" after the formalities were complete. Musharraf betrayed no emotion during the ceremony but gave Gilani a firm handshake and chatted amiably with him as they headed for refreshments in the presidential palace. Parliament elected Gilani as premier on Monday with a thumping majority, five weeks after Musharraf's opponents swept parliamentary elections supposed to seal Pakistan's return to democracy after eight years of military rule. Gilani immediately prompted authorities to release senior judges ousted and put under house arrest when Musharraf imposed emergency rule last year.