MEMBERS of the caretaker cabinet take oath at Aiwan-i-Sadr, on Thursday.—White Star
MEMBERS of the caretaker cabinet take oath at Aiwan-i-Sadr, on Thursday.—White Star

• Sixteen federal ministers, three advisers to PM, five SAPMs enlisted
• Shamshad Akhtar named finance minister, Jalil Abbas made foreign minister

ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar has installed a 24-member cabinet comprising politicians, TV artists and anchors, retired bureaucrats and servicemen, and one that is apparently dominated by the nominees of PML-N and PPP.

President Arif Alvi administered the oath to the newly appointed interim ministers on Thursday. Of the 24 cabinet members, 16 were federal ministers, three advisers to the prime minister, and five special assistants to the prime minister (SAPMs). Most of them were new faces in a government set-up.

The swearing-in, held at Aiwan-i-Sadr, was attended by Prime Minister Kakar, Punjab’s caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi, politicians and prominent figures from different sectors.

Dr Shamshad Akhtar, a former governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, has been given the portfolios of finance, revenue, economic affairs and privatisation.

The portfolios of defence and defence production have been given to Anwar Ali Hyder, a retired lieutenant general. Jalil Abbas Jilani, a former foreign secretary, has been appointed the foreign minister.

Former Balochistan home minister, Sarfaraz Bugti, has been given three portfolios — federal minister for interior, overseas Pakistanis and narcotics control.

The information ministry has gone to senior journalist Murtaza Solangi, who has served as director general of the Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation.

The ministries of law and justice, climate change and water resources were given to Ahmed Irfan Aslam, a senior lawyer who has served as a member of the Supreme Court’s International Arbitration Cell.

The ministries of power and petroleum have been given to Muhammad Ali, a former SECP chairman. The portfolios of commerce, and industries and production have been given to prominent industrialist Gohar Ejaz.

Dr Umar Saif, a former PITB head, has been given two portfolios of information technology and telecom, and science and technology.

The portfolio of planning, development and special initiatives has been given to Muhammad Sami Saeed, a former federal secretary.

Prominent TV artist Jamal Shah has been picked up as federal minister for national heritage and culture. Madad Ali Sindhi — a famous Pakistani writer, columnist and journalist — has been given the portfolio of federal education and professional training. The portfolio of national health services, regulations and coordination has been given to prominent health expert Dr Nadeem Jan.

Khalil George of the Balochistan Awami Party has been awarded the human rights ministry. Religious scholar Aniq Ahmed has been appointed as the minister for religious affairs and interfaith harmony.

Shahid Ashraf Tarar, a retired captain, has been given three portfolios — communications, Maritime Affairs, and railways.

Advisers

A retired air marshal, Farhat Hussain, has been made an adviser to the premier on aviation with the status of a federal minister.

Ahad Khan Cheema, a confidant of former prime minister Shehbaz Sharif, has been appointed as an adviser on establishment, also with the status of a federal minister.

Former federal secretary Dr Waqar Masood will perform as a special adviser on finance, with the status of a state minister.

Special aides

The caretaker PM also appointed five special assistants, with the portfolio of adviser on human rights and women empowerment going to Mishal Hussain Malik, wife of the Kashmiri freedom movement leader Yasin Malik.

Jawad Sohrab Malilk has become an SAPM for overseas Pakistanis. Retired vice admiral Iftikhar Rao has been made the adviser on maritime affairs, TV anchor and writer Wasih Shah on tourism, and Syeda Arifa Zehra on federal education and professional training.

Published in Dawn, August 18th, 2023

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