Pak PM Shehbaz Sharif's Cabinet takes oath

Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's 34-member Cabinet - a mix of experience and fresh blood - was sworn in on Tuesday after several days of delay, with Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani administering the oath to new ministers after President Arif Alvi once again excused himself from the ceremony.

The ceremony was scheduled to be held on Monday, but President Alvi refused to administer the oath to the lawmakers, compelling the government to postpone it.

The Cabinet includes 31 ministers and three ministers of the state and its first meeting has been summoned in the evening by Prime Minister Sharif.

The new Cabinet is a mix of experience and fresh blood cobbled up together after stiff tradeoffs behind the closed-door meetings of the coalition partners of Sharif, also president of the Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz (PML-N).

His PML-N got 13 ministries and Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari's Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) got nine. Four ministries were over to Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and two to Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P).

Other coalition partners including Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) and Jamhori Watan Party (JWP) got one ministry each. Out of the three ministers of the state, two belong to PML-N and one to PPP. Three special advisors with the status of a minister have also been nominated. Amir Muqam belongs to PML-N, Qamar Zaman Kaira to PPP and Aun Chaudhry is associated with a breakaway faction of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) of former prime minister Imran Khan. Chaudhry was an active supporter of Khan but later on parted ways with him to join the dissidents.

Kaira, who belongs to the Kharian area of Punjab province, is likely to serve as PM Advisor on the Affairs of Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. While several old faces have been given another chance to serve as federal ministers, at least 20 ministers are the first-timers in the federal cabinet. However, the most keenly awaited debutant Bilawal, chairman of the PPP, has not taken oath. He was the front-runner for the coveted post of foreign minister. Sources in his PPP said that Bilwal would eventually join the Cabinet but would take oath during its expansion.

Next Story
Share it