Changes in important ministries: Aziz keeps finance

September 03, 2004

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ISLAMABAD, Sept 2: Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz kept the finance ministry for himself as he allocated portfolios to 32 members of his cabinet on Thursday.

A large-scale reshuffle has been made in portfolios of ministers who were in the cabinets of Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali and Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and have now joined Mr Aziz's cabinet.

Pakistan People's Party's Faisal Saleh Hayat, who was interior minister, and Chaudhry Nouraiz Shakoor, who held the petroleum and natural resources ministry, lost their portfolios because of what was described as 'pressure' from within their group.

PPP president Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao was given the interior ministry while Mr Hayat has been allotted the ministry of Kashmir affairs. Chaudhry Shakoor got the science and technology ministry and the petroleum and natural resources ministry went to Amanullah Khan Jadoon of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League.

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement, which was given a third ministerial berth, has been allotted the same two ministries that it held earlier - communications, and housing and works. However, the former ministry has been bifurcated into communications and ports and shipping.

Zobaida Jalal, who headed the ministry of education for about five years, has been replaced by Lt-Gen (retd) Javed Ashraf Qazi, though he was tipped to be interior minister.

PML president Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain held a detailed meeting with Prime Minister Aziz before the notification of portfolios was issued. Mr Aziz said after the meeting that the cabinet had proper representation of the PML and coalition partners. He expressed the hope that the cabinet would ensure good governance and solve people's problems with dedication and devotion.

The ministries of commerce, communications, Kashmir and state and frontier regions, labour, manpower and overseas Pakistanis; defence; sports and tourism, law and parliamentary affairs and interior and narcotics control division have been bifurcated to accommodate the larger number of ministers.

The names of the federal ministers and their portfolios are as follows: Rao Sikandar Iqbal, Senior Minister for Defence; Mian Mehmood Kasuri, Foreign Affairs; Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Information and Broadcasting; Liaquat Ali Jatoi, Water and Power; Humayun Akhtar Khan, Commerce; Chaudhry Nouraiz Shakoor, Science and Technology; Muhammad Naseer Khan, Health; Faisal Saleh Hayat, Kashmir Affairs; Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Labour and Manpower; Chaudhry Shahbaz Hussain, Population Welfare; Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, Interior; Dr Sher Afgan Niazi, Parliamentary Affairs; Javed Ashraf Qazi, Education; Zobaida Jalal, Women Development and Special Education; Ijazul Haq, Religious Affairs, Zakat and Ushr; Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari, Information Technology; Shamim Siddiqi, Communication; Abdur Razzaq Thaheem, Local Government and Rural Development; Amanullah Khan Jadoon, Petroleum and Natural Resources; Muhammad Ajmal Khan, Sports and Culture; Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Privatization and Investment; Mushtaq Ali Cheema, Textile Industry; Muhammad Wasi Zafar, Law and Justice; Habibullah Warriach, Defence Production; Major (retd) Tahir Iqbal, Environment; Yar Muhammad Rind, States and Frontier Regions; Dr Ghazi Gulab Jamal, Tourism; Babar Khan Ghauri, Ports and Shipping; Ghaus Bakhsh Mahar, Narcotics Control; Jehangir Tareen, Industries and Production; Syed Safwanullah, Housing and Works; and Mian Shamim Haider, Railways.

Sources said that a batch of 20 to 24 ministers of state is expected to take oath on Saturday. A few advisers are also likely to be appointed with the status of federal ministers.