Federal cabinet members take oath at ceremony

Members of the new federal cabinet took oath at a ceremony organised at the Presidency in Islamabad on Friday morning.

President Mamnoon Hussain administered the oath to 46 members of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi's cabinet comprising mostly old faces but with some reshuffled portfolios.

Sources in the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) earlier told Dawn that Khawaja Muhammad Asif would serve as the country’s new foreign minister whereas Ahsan Iqbal would be in charge of the key interior ministry in the government of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

The names of the cabinet members and their portfolios were finalised by PM Abbasi after six-hour-long consultations with his predecessor Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif in Murree earlier in the day.

Daniyal Aziz from Narowal, Talal Chaudhry from Faisalabad, Arshad Leghari from Rahim Yar Khan and Junaid Anwar Chaudhry from Toba Tek Singh are among the newcomers in the cabinet.

According to the sources, Ishaq Dar would continue as finance minister whereas Pervez Malik will be the new minister for commerce in place of Khurram Dastagir Khan, who will take charge of the defence ministry.

Marriyum Aurangzeb, Zahid Hamid and Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry are expected to retain their previous portfolios. Hamid was law minister and Ms Aurangzeb minister of state for information in the previous cabinet of the ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif. She had replaced Pervez Rashid. Tariq Fazal was in charge of the Capital Administration and Development Division.

The sources said the party’s information secretary Mushahidullah Khan was set to return to the cabinet. He had been expelled by Sharif for issuing a controversial statement accusing the ISI of sponsoring the Pakistan Tehreek-Insaf’s sit-in in 2014.

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