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Pakistan PM Imran Khan reshuffles cabinet on court’s directive

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Islamabad, Dec 11: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday reshuffled his Cabinet on the directions of a court that barred un-elected advisers and special assistants from heading the Cabinet committees.

Imran Khan

This is the fourth Cabinet shakeup since Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) came to power in 2018. The change followed the recent verdict of the Islamabad High Court barring un-elected advisers and special assistants from heading the Cabinet committees.

Khan appointed Sheikh Rashid Ahmed as interior minister and Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh as finance minister.

State-run Radio Pakistan reported that Ahmed was already a part of the Cabinet working as minister for railways, while Hafeez Sheikh was serving as advisor on finance and revenue.

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Hafeez Sheikh is not an elected member and he could not lead several committees. He was appointed as minister under Article 91 (9) of the Constitution and can serve as a minister for six months. He must be elected as a member of the National Assembly or Senate to continue after that.

Brigadier Retired Ijaz Ahmad Shah who was serving the interior minister was appointed as minister for narcotics control, while Azam Khan Swati was appointed as minister for railways.

It is believed that Hafeez Sheikh would be made a senator in March when the election for the upper house is scheduled to be held.

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    The most notable elevation in the new Cabinet is that of Ahmed, who despite failing to improve the functioning of the railways, was given the charge of the interior ministry, a key portfolio.

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