ISLAMABAD, Nov 23: Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali and his 21-member cabinet were sworn in here on Saturday, completing the transition from three-year military rule to an elected democratic government.

President Gen Pervez Musharraf administered the oath, first to the prime minister and then to 14 federal ministers and seven state ministers separately at Aiwan-i-Sadr.

“My hope is that the new government would work for Pakistan and its people honestly and dedicatedly,” the president later said.

“My priority is Pakistan,” Prime Minister Jamali gave a one- liner comment after receiving congratulations from dozens of people present on the occasion.

The ceremony was attended by the MMA leaders Qazi Hussain Ahmad and Maulana Fazlur Rehman. However, PPP and PML-N leaders did not attend the ceremony.

From the ruling PML-Q, the portfolio of foreign affairs was given to Mian Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri and information and media development ministry to Sheikh Rashid Ahmad.

The PPP forward bloc was offered six slots — three federal ministers including a senior minister’s status to Rao Sikandar Iqbal and the key interior ministry to group leader Faisal Saleh Hayat, and three ministers of state.

The ten-member group’s support had been crucial in Thursday’s prime ministerial election in which Mr Jamali got 172 votes against a total of 156 bagged by MMA candidate Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi of PPP.

The cabinet is a mix of experienced politicians and new blood. The 21-member cabinet also included four advisers to the prime minister including senior adviser on foreign affairs, Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada who will have a status of senior federal minister and former finance minister Shaukat Aziz who will look after his previous ministry.

The PML-Q parliamentary leader, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, was not allocated any ministry but his brother-in-law, Chauhdry Pervez Elahi, is being tipped as Punjab chief minister.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement, which supported Mr Jamali for prime ministership, but decided not to join the cabinet. However, the Muttahida has said its 17 MNAs would sit on the treasury benches.

After the ceremony, the cabinet members and the prime minister met the president and stayed with him for about half-an-hour.

The president advised the prime minister and his team to work with integrity and professionalism. He urged them to take forward his reform agenda.

This was followed by the first but brief cabinet meeting presided over by the prime minister, who told his ministers that there were many challenges which needed to be kept in mind to achieve the objective of good governance.

The prime minister also asked the cabinet members to keep merit their motto in every matter and that no wrong sifarish should be accepted.

After the cabinet meeting, Mr Jamali also met the cabinet members individually and advised them on various issues.

Ministers & portfolios

By Our Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Nov 23: Following is the list of 21 members of the newly-elected Cabinet who took oath of their offices on Monday:

Rao Sikandar Iqbal (PPP forward bloc) — Defence.

Humayoon Akhtar Khan(PML-Q) — Commerce.

Zubaida Jalal (PML-Q) — Education.

Sardar Yar Mohammad Rind (National Alliance) — Food, Agriculture and Livestock.

Mian Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri (PML-Q)— Foreign Affairs with the additional charge of Law, Justice and Human Rights.

Mohammad Nasir Khan PML(Q)— Health.

Liaqat Ali Jatoi (PML-Q)— Industries and Production.

Sheikh Rashid Ahmad (PML-Q) —Information and Media Development.

Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat (PPP forward bloc)— Interior with the additional charge of Narcotics Control.

Abdul Sattar Laleka (PML-Q)— Labour, Manpower and Overseas Pakistanis.

Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari (National Alliance)— Inform-ation Technology and Teleco-mmunications.

Chaudhry Norez Shakoor Khan (PPP forward bloc)— Petroleum and Natural Resources.

Ghaus Bakhsh Khan Mahr (PML-Q)— Railways.

Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao (PPP-S)— Water and Power, also to look after the work of inter-provincial coordination.

The seven ministers of state whose portfolios will be announced later are: Khalid Ahmad Khan Lund, Rais Munir Ahmad, Hamid Hayat Khan Hiraj, Tahir Iqbal, Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan, Habibullah Waraich and Raza Hayat Hiraj.

The four advisers to the prime minister are: Syed Sharifuddin (senior adviser on foreign affairs, law, justice and human rights with the status of senior federal minister), Shaukat Aziz (finance, revenue, economic affairs, statistics, and planning and development), Nilofar Bakhtiar (women development, social welfare and special education) and Sardar Fateh Ali Umrani (charge to be notified later).

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