Pakistan: President Zardari administers oath to PM Shehbaz’s 19-member cabinet

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Islamabad: President Asif Ali Zardari has officiated the oath-taking ceremony for a 19-member cabinet, a proposal put forth earlier on Monday by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Notable figures seen taking the oath were Ishaq Dar, Khawaja Asif, Mohsin Naqvi, Ahsan Iqbal, Shaza Fatima, Jam Kamal, and Aleem Khan, among others. The oath-taking ceremony was held at the President’s House, with newly elected President Asif Ali Zardari administering the oath.

Initially, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif decided to keep his cabinet small; however, more ministers will be inducted in the second phase, as per Geo News. The former finance minister, Ishaq Dar, was given the portfolio of the foreign minister in the new cabinet, while Tariq Fatemi will be the special assistant to the prime minister on foreign affairs.
Moreover, the Finance Ministry is overseen by Aurangzeb Khan, while former Punjab Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi will be given the Interior Ministry, according to Geo News.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Law handed over to veteran Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senator Azam Tarar, Attaullah Tarar will be the information minister; and Khawaja Asif wizl spearhead the Defense Ministry, as per the sources.

The portfolio of the Petroleum Ministry will be given to Musadik Malik, while the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication will be led by Shaza Fatima Khawaja, the sources added. Ahad Cheema was inducted as an adviser to the prime minister for the Establishment Division, while former Balochistan CM Jam Kamal and PML-Quaid’s Chaudhry Salik Hussain will also join the federal cabinet, Geo News reported.

Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party (IPP) leader Abdul Aleem Khan and PML-N politician Amir Muqam are expected to be included in the federal cabinet too. Moreover, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) will also be given two ministries in the federal cabinet. The oath ceremony comes a week after Prime Minister Shehbaz took the oath of office as the 24th premier of the country, while President Zardari was sworn in as the head of state a day ago.

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