–Asad Umar gets Finance Ministry, Shah Mehmood nominated as foreign minister, no non-Muslim lawmaker included in cabinet
–PTI’s MNA from Karachi Dr Arif Alvi nominated for President of Pakistan’s office
ISLAMABAD: Newly-elected Prime Minister Imran Khan has finalised the names of his 21-member federal cabinet, but has kept most of the ministries under his own control.
Some of the ministries retained by Khan include interior, privatisation, population welfare, energy and maritime security.
According to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Spokesman Fawad Chaudhry, Imran Khan’s cabinet will consist of 16 ministers and five advisers.
According to the 18th Constitution Amendment, the size of the federal cabinet should be not more than 11 per cent of the total strength of the National Assembly and Senate.
Among the cabinet members, PTI MNAs Asad Umar and Shah Mehmood Qureshi have been appointed as minister for finance, revenue & economic affairs and minister for foreign affairs, respectively. Both Umar and Qureshi have taken first informal briefings from their relevant ministries and the staff has also been allocated to them.
Other PTI MNAs to take oath as cabinet members include Fawad Chaudhry as minister for information & broadcasting, Pervez Khattak as defence minister, Noorul Haq Qadri has been given the charge of Ministry of Religious Affairs & Interfaith Harmony, Amir Mehmood Kayani as minister for health services, and Shafqat Mehmood would look after the Ministry of Federal Education, Professional Training and Heritage Division.
Moreover, Dr Shireen Mazari has been appointed as the minister for human rights and Ghulam Sarwar Khan as minister for petroleum.
According to reports, Pervez Khattak and Sheikh Rashid were both vying for the ministry of interior and since there was a tie between the two, Prime Minister Imran decided to keep the portfolio.
Interestingly, except Asad Umar and Shireen Mazari, all the cabinet members have previously served as ministers during the PPP and Musharraf regimes.
The coalition partners who have been allotted cabinet portfolios include Awami Muslim League (AML) Chairman Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed, who has been named minister for railways, Balochistan Awami Party’s (BAP) Dr Zubaida Jalal, who will be minister for defence production, Fehmida Mirza of the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) as minister for inter-provincial coordination, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s (MQM-P) Dr Farogh Nasim as minister for law, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid’s (PML-Q) Tariq Bashir Cheema as minister for states & frontier regions and MQM-P’s Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui as minister for information technology & telecommunication.
Siddiqui has been appointed as a minister despite the fact that there are several criminal proceedings against him in the courts.
Even though the name of Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar was missing in the initial list shared by party spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry on Twitter, the party leader named him to head the ministry of water resources.
Among the five advisers to the prime minister, Dr Ishrat Hussain has been nominated as adviser on institutional reforms & austerity, Abdul Razzaq Dawood would be adviser for commerce, textiles, industry, investment & production, Arbab Shehzad would be adviser on establishment, Amin Aslam for climate change and Dr Babar Awan would be adviser on parliamentary affairs.
It is pertinent to mention here that Sheikh Rasheed held the portfolio of minister for railways in the cabinet of former military dictator Pervez Musharraf along with Abdul Razzak Daud, who served as minister for commerce and industries. Other members of the new cabinet who were also part of Musharraf’s cabinet are Dr Zubaida Jalal, who served as education minister, and Ghulam Sarwar Khan who served as minister for labour.
Surprisingly, the prime minister has not nominated either of the five non-Muslim lawmakers of his party in his cabinet of ministers or in an advisory role, drawing criticism from minority communities across the country.
The party was allotted as many as 28 reserved women and five minority seats in the National Assembly, taking its total seats to 158.
The party’s lawmakers elected on reserved seats for minorities comprise three Hindus namely Lal Chand, Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, Jai Parkash, and two Christians — Shunila Ruth and Jamshed Thomas.
Imran Khan and his cabinet face a myriad of challenges including militant extremism, water shortages, and a rapidly growing population negating growth in the developing country, among others.
ARIF ALVI NOMINATED AS PRESIDENT:
Meanwhile, PTI MNA from Karachi, Arif Alvi has been nominated as the new president of the country. The election for the new president is set to take place on September 4. Imran Khan is also likely to address to the nation on Sunday.