- President Mamnoon Hussain administers oath
- PTI allies were handed over six of 16 ministries
- PM Imran chairs first cabinet meeting in Islamabad
ISLAMABAD: Sixteen members and five advisors of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s 21-strong cabinet took oath at a ceremony held at the President House in Islamabad on Monday morning.
The oath was administered by President Mamnoon Hussain to the nominated cabinet members. Newly sworn-in Prime Minister Khan was by his side.
The ceremony commenced with the national anthem. This was followed by recitation of verses from the Holy Quran.
The cabinet includes 16 ministers and five advisers. Moreover, 20 members of the cabinet have already been approved by PM Imran.
PTI allies were handed over six of 16 ministries: Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) was given two ministries and one each to Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), Awami Muslim League (AML), Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) and Balochistan Awami Party (BAP). Two other allies, Akhtar Mengal’s Balochistan National Party (BNP) and Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP), remain unrepresented.
Moreover, nearly one-third of those part of the cabinet previously served as ministers in the Musharraf regime. Two others served as cabinet ministers during the succeeding PPP-led government.
PTI’s Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi is set become the country’s new foreign minister, a position where he had previously served during the last PPP government between 2008-13.
Qureshi had also once served as provincial finance minister in the cabinet of Nawaz Sharif when he was the chief minister of Punjab during the military rule of Gen Ziaul Haq.
Asad Umar has been made minister for finance and revenue whereas the portfolio of the information and broadcasting has been given to PTI’s information secretary Fawad Chaudhry.
Ghulam Sarwar Khan, who defeated PML-N’s estranged leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan in the July 25 elections in two constituencies, has been allocated the portfolio of petroleum ministry.
Dr Shireen Mazari has been given the portfolio of human rights, whereas former Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister Pervez Khattak is the country’s new defence minister.
Former PTI information secretary Shafqat Mehmood has been given the portfolio of federal education and professional training with the additional charge of national history and literary heritage division. He also served as Punjab information minister in the PML-N government in 1999.
Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiyar has been made the minister for water resources. Following this, PTI MNA from Rawalpindi Aamir Mehmood Kiyani is the minister for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination.
Among those who have been given representation in the federal cabinet for being leaders of the PTI’s allies are Senator Farogh Naseem of the MQM (law and justice); Chaudhry Tariq Bashir Cheema of the PML-Q (states and frontier regions); Zubaida Jalal of the BAP (defence production); AML chief Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed (railways); Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui of the MQM-P (information technology and telecommunication); Dr Fehmida Mirza of the GDA (inter-provincial coordination) and an independent MNA from Fata Noorul Haq Qadri (religious affairs and interfaith harmony).
AML chief Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed has managed to get back the portfolio of railways.
PM Khan has retained the vast interior portfolio, for at least the time being.
Those who have been appointed as advisers to the prime minister are Babar Awan (parliamentary affairs); former KP chief secretary Shehzad Arbab (establishment division); Razzak Dawood (commerce, textile, industry & production and investment); Dr Ishrat Husain (institutional reforms and austerity) who had served as State Bank governor during the military rule of Gen Musharraf and Amin Aslam (climate change).