'No truth to reports of changes in cabinet,' says information minister

Published April 15, 2019
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry says that there is no truth to reports of changes in the cabinet. ─ APP/File
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry says that there is no truth to reports of changes in the cabinet. ─ APP/File

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Monday rubbished reports of a cabinet reshuffle, saying that any such changes would be announced by the government.

Reports began circulating this morning about a possible reshuffle in the post for Minister for Finance and Minister of State for Interior held by Asad Umar and Shehryar Afridi respectively.

Although Chaudhry did not address the specific changes reported in the finance and interior portfolios, he tweeted that there is "no truth to reports circulating regarding changes in the cabinet".

"To change ministers is the prime minister's discretionary right," he added.

Later, while speaking to reporters in Islamabad, Chaudhry said that the prime minister had sent a message that reports about changes in the ministries were incorrect.

"Reports on the performance of ministers have already reached Prime Minister's Office," he said. "Ministers are ministers because the prime minister is satisfied with them."

"The prime minister has the authority to make any changes. Changes of this sort will be announced," he added.

The information minister said that Finance Minister Asad Umar would give a briefing on his recent meetings in Washington with International Monetary Fund officials with whom he had discussed a bailout package for the country's ailing economy.

Umar, in an interview with Express Tribune's Bilal Lakhani, said that his meetings with the IMF had gone well.

"Essentially, we have closure at a policy level. Approximately in a couple of weeks' time, there should be a staff-level mission going back to Pakistan to close all the technical details," Umar said.

He explained that discussions had taken place regarding policy measures that must be implemented, particularly to deal with the "extreme balance of payments crisis, while not crashlanding the economy".

"There was a difference of opinion between us and the IMF, and that's what was taking long."

"Over the last three months, the impact of the measures [...] starting showing up. The IMF could also see the results, and that played a major part."

The finance minister said that although IMF officials were initially concerned about Chinese debt, they had not raised any further concerns after the government shared data with the IMF team. "There's nothing really there to hide, it [Chinese debt] is about maybe 10 per cent of Pakistan's public debt, it's on good terms and is long-tenure."

Opinion

Sialkot speaks
31 Jul 2021

Sialkot speaks

The PML-N leadership is shell-shocked. A drubbing by the PTI in Sialkot? In the heart of Sharif territory?
Who messed up Afghanistan?
Updated 31 Jul 2021

Who messed up Afghanistan?

Russia and USA are squarely responsible for Afghanistan’s tragedy but Pakistan is certainly not innocent.

Editorial

China-Taliban meeting
Updated 31 Jul 2021

China-Taliban meeting

WITH the government in Kabul appearing to stand on very fragile foundations, and as the clock ticks down to the ...
31 Jul 2021

Outages in Makran

IT is no surprise that people in Balochistan’s Makran Division have of late taken to the streets to protest in the...
31 Jul 2021

Reduction in polio cases

AFTER the long and tedious efforts of those running the national polio programme, there are signs that Pakistan ...
30 Jul 2021

Judge’s elevation

A CONTROVERSY roiling the legal fraternity for a few weeks has come to a head. It was precipitated by the Judicial...
PTI’s Sialkot win
30 Jul 2021

PTI’s Sialkot win

The PML-N’s internal duality is a particularly acute factor that is dragging down the party in electoral contests.
30 Jul 2021

Attack on Chinese

AN attack targeting two Chinese nationals in Karachi on Wednesday should put the security apparatus on alert in ...