–PM says ministers should focus on public services if they want to remain in cabinet
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday put rumours concerning sacking of Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar at rest, saying he has full confidence in the leadership abilities of Buzdar and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan.
According to reports, the prime minister these comments during a high-level party meeting at his Bani Gala residence.
He described Usman Buzdar and Mahmood Khan as “civilised and decent” chief ministers. “I have confidence in both the chief ministers, the team should fully support them,” he was quoted as saying.
Reports were making round in mainstream and social media about the imminent removal of Punjab CM Usman Buzdar after the massive reshuffle at the federal level.
He reiterated that he could sack any minister over poor performance and said there were being monitored on regular intervals.
“Whether someone is new or an old-time affiliate, if a minister does not take masses into consideration, he would lose his job,” the PM was quoted by a local media outlet as saying.
He said the ministers were not given “permanent portfolio” and they should focus on public service and providing relief to people.
Explaining the decision to replace Health Minister Amir Kiyani with Zafarullah Mirza, the prime minister said Kiyani was removed over “300 per cent hike in medical prices”.
He said he wanted to bring a revolution in health and education sectors. The prime minister also introduced his newly-appointed Adviser on Health Zafarullah Mirza to the participants.
“Zafarullah Mirza is an experienced individual and we expect good performance from him,” he said.
The worst challenged that the PTI is facing is that of economy, which the premier blames on former finance minister Ishaq Dar.
“Ishaq Dar gave nothing but an economic crisis for four years, but he was not removed from the post of finance minister,” Imran was quoted as saying.
“Now we have brought Hafeez Sheikh, who has sound knowledge of the country’s economy and global financial affairs,” he reportedly said during the meeting. “Sheikh steered the country out of economic crises during the past tenures.”
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday fired several ministers, including Finance Minister Asad Umar and Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, for showing unsatisfactory performance in their respective domains.
According to a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office late on Thursday, Abdul Hafeez Pasha will take charge of the Finance Ministry as PM’s adviser, replacing Asad Umar who left the cabinet after the PM offered him the portfolio of Energy Ministry.
Firdous Ashiq Awan has been appointed as PM’s special assistant on media affairs while former information minister Fawad Chaudhry will now head Science and Technology Ministry.
Brigadier (r) Ijaz Shah, the newly inducted parliamentary affairs, will take over the Interior Ministry as a federal minister, replacing Shehryar Afridi, who will now head Safron [State and Frontier Region] Ministry as a state minister.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Azam Swati, who resigned last year, has been appointed as minister for parliamentary affairs.
Mohammadmian Soomro, the federal minister for privatisation, shall cease to hold the additional portfolio of the aviation division. Ghulam Sarwar Khan, who reportedly refused to leave the cabinet after being sacked from the post, has been given Aviation Division. Nadeem Babar has replaced Sarwar as the PM’s adviser on petroleum.
Health Minister Amir Mehmood Kiyani has been let go off and Zafarullah will take charge of his ministry as PM’s special adviser.