Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif-led cabinet set to take oath; Details here
Islamabad, Apr 19: Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is set to unveil his Cabinet on Tuesday, with Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani to administer the oath to new ministers after President Arif Alvi excused himself from attending the ceremony, according to media reports.
The Cabinet was scheduled to take oath tonight at 8:30 pm (local time) on Monday; however, when the prime minister's office contacted the president's office, Alvi refused to administer oaths, Geo TV reported.
Now, Senate Chairman Sanjrani will be summoned in his capacity as the acting president on Tuesday to administer the oath to the new Cabinet, The Express Tribune newspaper reported.
Last week, Sanjrani administered the oath of office to Prime Minister Sharif after President Alvi, a member of ousted premier Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, went on 'sick' leave ahead of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader's inauguration.
A source in the government said President Alvi would not attend Tuesday's ceremony, the Dawn newspaper reported.
The source said President Alvi will again go on leave on Tuesday on the pretext of an illness so that Sanjrani could perform the duty, it said.
The federal government claimed to have addressed "reservations" of the allies in the ruling coalition after which the first phase of the long-awaited induction of a 34-member cabinet will take place, the paper said.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) will take the ministries of information, finance, interior, planning and development, energy, trade, establishment, cabinet, national security, inter-provincial coordination, law and justice and parliamentary affairs, The Express Tribune said.
So far, three names of the PML-N ministers have come forth. They are: Miftah Ismail, the new finance minister, Marriyum Aurangzeb, the new information minister and Senator Azam Nazeer Tarar, who will be given the portfolio of the law ministry, it said.
The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), a major ally of the government, will get the ministries of foreign affairs, water resources, health, human rights, education, climate change, communications, industries and production, besides the head of the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP).
The PPP members who would take oath as ministers are: Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Hina Rabbani Khar, Naveed Qamar, Shazia Marri, Saleem Mandviwala, Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, Mahesh Malani, Syed Khursheed Shah, Qadir Patel, and Fazal Shah.
It is not yet clear if Bilawal Bhutto will be the new foriegn minister.
Among the other allies, Amir Haider from the Awami National Party (ANP) and Shazain Bugti of the Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP), will be inducted into the Cabinet. It is also learnt that the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) will get the housing and works, and religious affairs ministries.
The Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) will get the defence production ministry.
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) will get two ministries of maritime affairs and information technology, while the Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) will get one ministry.
Shahida Akhtar of the JUI-F will be the deputy speaker of the National Assembly.