Ishaq Dar becomes FM as PM Shehbaz’s 19-member cabinet sworn in

Published March 11, 2024
President Asif Ali Zardari administers oath to PM Shehbaz’s 19-member cabinet at President House on March 11. — DawnNewsTV
President Asif Ali Zardari administers oath to PM Shehbaz’s 19-member cabinet at President House on March 11. — DawnNewsTV

PML-N leader Ishaq Dar was given the coveted slot of the minister of foreign affairs after President Asif Ali Zardari on Monday administered the oath to the 19-member federal cabinet of newly elected Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Earlier today, PM Shehbaz had sent a summary to President Zardari to appoint the cabinet, comprising 18 federal ministers and a minister of state.

The PML-N’s main ally, the PPP, has refused to become part of the federal cabinet.

The oath-taking ceremony took place at the President House in Islamabad. The national anthem was played to inaugurate the ceremony, following which the Holy Quran was recited.

According to a summary sent by the premier to President Zardari, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, the cabinet includes 12 MNAs and three senators as federal ministers, as well as a minister of state. Three technocrats — Muhammad Aurangzeb, Mohsin Naqvi and Ahad Cheema are also included in the cabinet.

The proposal for the appointment had been made under clause 1 of Article 92 (federal ministers and ministers of state) of the Constitution, which states: “Subject to clauses 9 and 10 of Article 91, the president shall appoint federal ministers and ministers of state from amongst the members of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) on the advice of the prime minister.”

Later, a press release from the information ministry elaborated on the various portfolios assigned to the federal ministers.


Federal ministers

  1. Khawaja Muhammad Asif, MNA — defence, defence production, aviation
  2. Mohammad Ishaq Dar, Senator — foreign affairs
  3. Ahsan Iqbal Chaudry, MNA — planning, development and special initiatives
  4. Rana Tanveer Hussain, MNA — industries and production
  5. Azam Nazeer Tarar, Senator — law and justice, human rights
  6. Chaudhry Salik Hussain, MNA — overseas Pakistanis and human resource development
  7. Abdul Aleem Khan, MNA — privatisation, Board of Investment
  8. Jam Kamal Khan, MNA — commerce
  9. Amir Muqam, MNA — states and frontier regions, national heritage and culture
  10. Sardar Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari, MNA — railways
  11. Attaullah Tarar, MNA — information and broadcasting
  12. Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, MNA — science and technology, federal education and professional training
  13. Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh, MNA — maritime affairs
  14. Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada, MNA — housing and works
  15. Musadik Masood Malik, Senator — petroleum, power
  16. Muhammad Aurangzeb — finance, revenue
  17. Ahad Khan Cheema — economic affairs, establishment
  18. Mohsin Naqvi — interior, narcotics control

Minister of state

  1. Shaza Fatima Khawaja

Earlier, Attaullah said the portfolios of the federal ministers would be announced shortly. Talking to reporters in Islamabad after he took his oath, Tarar said the prime minister would address the cabinet members as well.

Familiar faces returning include Khawaja Asif, Dar, Ahsan Iqbal, Azam Nazeer Tarar and Musadik Malik.

While the grapevine was earlier rife with speculation about who would get what portfolio, sources had said that except Dar, all of the above would retain theirs.

 Ishaq Dar, Ahsan Iqbal, Azam Tarar, Aleem Khan, Attaullah Tarar and Musadik Malik take oath as federal ministers on March 11. — DawnNewsTV
Ishaq Dar, Ahsan Iqbal, Azam Tarar, Aleem Khan, Attaullah Tarar and Musadik Malik take oath as federal ministers on March 11. — DawnNewsTV

Although both Dar and HBL chief Muhammad Aurangzeb had been participating in recent meetings on the economic situation, the appointment of the latter as a minister strengthened reports of him heading the national kitty.

The letter written by PM Shehbaz said that Dar and Malik “shall continue in office as federal ministers” after ceasing to be members of the Senate tomorrow (Tuesday).

Istehkam-i-Pakistan Party leader Aleem Khan and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui are also among the newly sworn-in federal ministers.

Former caretaker Punjab chief minister Mohsin Naqvi, who is also currently the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman, is also among the ministers. A Dawn report stated he is in the run for interior minister and has admitted that he would be a candidate for the upcoming Senate elections.

 Mohsin Naqvi and Khawaja Asif take oath as federal ministers on March 11. — DawnNewsTV
Mohsin Naqvi and Khawaja Asif take oath as federal ministers on March 11. — DawnNewsTV

Other federal ministers include PML-N’s Jam Kamal Khan, Amir Muqam, Sardar Awais Leghari, Attaullah Tarar, Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh and Riaz Hussain Pirzada, as well as the PML-Q’s Chaudhry Salik Hussain.

Former PM’s aide Ahad Khan Cheema has also been sworn in as a federal minister while Shaza Fatima Khawaja, ex-PM’s aide on youth affairs, has been appointed as a minister of state.

A source in the PM’s Office had told Dawn that the prime minister held a marathon meeting on Sunday, which continued late into the night, to finalise the names of his new ministers. Earlier, the MQM-P had demanded three to four ministries in the federal cabinet.

The newly inducted cabinet later held its first meeting at the Prime Minister’s House.

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