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PM Shehbaz’s cabinet takes oath

Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani administered oath to 31 federal ministers and three ministers of state

Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani has administered the oath of office to federal ministers and ministers of state, who will make up the cabinet of the newly elected Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

The oath-taking ceremony started with the recitation of the Holy Quran. According to a local media report, a total of 31 federal ministers and three ministers of state took the oath of office.

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A statement issued by the president said that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Ahsan Iqbal, Rana Sanaullah, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Rana Tanveer Hussain, Khurram Dastgir Khan, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Khawaja Saad Rafique, Miftah Ismail, Javed Latif, Riaz Hussain Pirzada, Murtaza Javed Abbasi and Azam Nazeer Tarar took the oath of office as federal ministers.

Meanwhile, from the allied Pakistan People’s Party, Syed Khursheed Shah, Syed Naveed Qamar, Sherry Rehman, Abdul Qadir Patel, Shazia Marri, Syed Murtaza Mahmud, Sajid Hussain Turi, Ehsan Ur Rehman Mazari and Abid Hussain took the oath as federal ministers.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s Aminul Haq and Faisal Sabzwari, while Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid member Tariq Bashir Cheema have also been included in the cabinet. Three advisors, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Engineer Amir Muqam and Awn Chaudhry are also included.

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The PML-N has 13 federal ministers, two ministers of state and one cabinet adviser, while the PPP has nine federal ministers, two ministers of state and one cabinet adviser.

Four federal ministers of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal, two federal ministers of MQM, one each of Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), Jamhoori Watan Party and one federal minister of PML-Q have been given portfolios in the cabinet. Rana Sanaullah has been given the portfolio of Interior Ministry, Marriyum Aurangzeb of Information, Miftah Ismail of Finance, Ahsan Iqbal of Planning and Azam Nazir Tarar of Law Ministry.

The list of members has been released by the Cabinet Division. In the first phase, the coalition will get key ministries, while in the second phase, ministers of state, advisers and aides will be included in the cabinet.

The ceremony was originally scheduled to be held on Monday, but President Dr. Arif Alvi had refused to administer oath to the lawmakers. The refusal forced the government to postpone the ceremony to 11:00am Tuesday.

Earlier, there were speculations regarding allies like the PPP and the MQM not joining the cabinet. There were speculations that Asif Ali Zardari might become the president and Bilawal Bhutto will be made the foreign minister. Later on, Zardari said his party would not take ministries.

PML-N leader Khawaja Asif had hinted that Bilawal might become the next foreign minister. However, Bilawal was not among the members who took oath on Tuesday. Shehbaz Sharif said that PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif was consulted while forming the federal cabinet. In his Twitter message, the prime minister wrote that he was confident that the members of the cabinet would work hard to solve the problems of the people. “Work, work and only work is our goal,” he tweeted.

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