December 7, 2023

Pakistan President administers oath to 4 members of PM’s cabinet

Pakistan President Arif Alvi administered the oath to three new federal ministers and one minister of state for the Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s cabinet at the Aiwan-i-Sadr in Islamabad on Friday.

In today’s oath-taking ceremony, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid’s (PML-Q) Chaudhry Salik Hussain, son of Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain; Balochistan National Party-Mengal’s (BNP-M) Agha Hassan Baloch and PML-N’s Javed Latif were sworn in as federal ministers, reported Dawn citing Pakistan state-run APP.

After the three were sworn in as federal ministers, BNP-M’s Hashim Notezai was sworn in as a minister of state in Sharif’s cabinet.

Sharif was also present at the oath-taking ceremony and was seated next to President Alvi.

For the first time, the president led the ceremony involving members of the new government. This assumes importance as Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari met Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman and Sardar Akhtar Mengal from the ruling coalition to discuss the removal of President Arif Alvi through impeachment.

President had “complained of discomfort” just a day before the PM Shehbaz was to be sworn in as head of government. Shehbaz was then administered the oath of office by Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, 33 lawmakers were inducted into the new PM’s cabinet after they were sworn in by Acting President Sadiq Sanjrani in the absence of the president, who had earlier refused to administer the oath to the lawmakers.

Although the oath was taken by 33 lawmakers, a notification issued by the country’s Cabinet Division carried the names of 26 federal ministers and two ministers of state, Dawn newspaper reported.

Several members of the cabinet, from the PML-N, were still under consideration, the Pakistani daily reported citing a source in the Pakistan Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

The report said the two main parties of the ruling coalition — Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) — are at odds over the selection of their members for the cabinet and distribution of portfolios.

Reacting to PM Sharif’s cabinet selection, the former ruling PTI alleged that most newly inducted ministers were facing corruption charges and were on bail.

Pakistan’s former federal minister Fawad Chaudhry said: “24 members of the federal cabinet including the prime minister are accused and on bail.”

“A clear message to the world would have been given if IG (inspector general) jails would have administered oath to the cabinet members instead of chairman senate,” he added. (ANI)