Imran Khan speaks during a budget session in the National Assembly. File
Tariq Butt, Correspondent
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has reshuffled its cabinet with a newly assigned role to Sheikh Rashid Ahmed as interior minister.
According to Prime Minister Office, the portfolio of finance minister has been given to Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh while Azam Khan Sawati appointed as railways minister and Brigadier (read) Ijaz Ahmad Shah as minister for narcotics control
Sheikh Rashid, who was serving as the minister for railways, has been made minister for interior. Brig (retd) Ijaz Shah, who was working as the interior minister, has been shifted to the anti-narcotics ministry. Similarly, Azam Swati, who was serving as the anti-narcotics minister, has been shifted to the railways ministry.
Dr Shaikh’s induction as minister comes in the wake of an Islamabad High Court (IHC) ruling that said that the unelected persons could not head cabinet committees. An unelected person inducted in the federal cabinet can remain minister for six months under the Constitution.
President Dr Arif Alvi administered the oath to Dr Shaikh at the presidency at a ceremony, which was attended by federal ministers and bureaucrats.
Before that, Prime Minister Imran Khan consulted with his legal team to discuss options to deal with the complications arising out of the IHC verdict as four committees of the federal cabinet were being headed by Shaikh.
Razzak Dawood and Dr Faisal Sultan, who are serving as the advisers to the premier, may also be appointed as federal ministers until the Senate elections next year. They are likely to be given Senate tickets by the ruling party so that they could continue holding these positions after becoming members of the upper house of parliament.
The IHC in its judgment had set aside a notification through which the premier had reconstituted the Cabinet Committee on Privatisation (CCoP) headed by Dr Shaikh.
The other committees headed by the finance adviser included the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet, Cabinet Committee on State-owned Enterprises (CCSOEs) and the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC).
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