ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi on Monday administered the oath to Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) leader Moonis Elahi as federal minister for water resources.
Following the oath-taking ceremony, Mr Moonis became the second federal minister belonging to the PML-Q in the coalition government.
Before him, Minister for Housing and Works Tariq Bashir Cheema was the only PML-Q leader in the cabinet.
The development came nearly a week after a delegation of PML-Q leaders, including Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervez Elahi and Moonis Elahi, met Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad.
PTI’s relations with the PML-Q had been tense after the prime minister’s refusal to take Mr Moonis in his cabinet and his suggestion to the latter to name any other MNA from the (Chaudhry’s) family.
The party now has two ministers in PTI-led coalition govt
PML-Q president Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain had then told the premier that his party was not interested in the second federal ministry if it was not given to Moonis Elahi.
Earlier, the PML-Q had warned that it might review its alliance with the PTI if its “legitimate demands” were not met. The demands related to the share in the administration in the constituencies where the PML-Q lawmakers had won, and empowerment of its ministers and implementation of the agreement signed by the two parties before the 2018 general elections.
The portfolio of federal minister for water resources had been lying vacant after PTI’s Faisal Vawda (ex-minister for water resources) resigned from the National Assembly seat in connection with his dual nationality case and became a senator.
President for facilitating Zaireen
President Arif Alvi stressed the need for strengthening relations with Iraq in areas of trade, defence cooperation and culture.
Talking to the country’s ambassador-designate to Iraq Ahmed Amjad Ali at Aiwan-i-Sadr, the president said immense potential existed for exploring bilateral cooperation between Pakistan and Iraq in diverse fields.
Highlighting Pakistan’s increased focus on promoting regional connectivity, the president said that Pakistan’s policy had shifted from geopolitics to geo-economics as the country was making earnest efforts to increase trade and economic relations with regional countries.
The president urged the ambassador-designate to work towards facilitating the Pakistani diaspora and the pilgrims visiting Iraq.
He emphasised the need for enhancing air and sea links between the two countries to promote people-to-people relations. He also asked the envoy-designate to work on promoting high-level exchanges between the two countries.
The president congratulated Amjad Ali on his appointment as Pakistan’s ambassador to Iraq and expressed the hope that he would play his role in further promoting ties between the two countries.
Published in Dawn, July 20th, 2021