Sixteen ministers from Prime Minister Imran Khan’s 21-strong Cabinet were sworn-in today as the formation of Pakistan’s federal government was completed after the general elections.
President Mamnoon Hussain administered the oath to the 16 federal ministers. Newly sworn-in Prime Minister Khan was by his side.
The new Cabinet has 16 federal ministers and five advisers to the prime minister, most of them previously held key posts in the regime of former dictator General (retd) Pervez Musharraf.
The ministers who took the oath include Shah Mehmood Qureshi as the Foreign Minister, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, Finance Minister Asad Umer, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood, Health Minister Amir Kiani, Religious Minister Nooru Haq Qadri and Railway Minister Sheikh Rashid.
Other ministers are Khusro Bakhtiar as Minister for Water Resources, Farogh Naseem Minister for Law, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication, Chaudhry Tariq Bashir Cheema Minister for States and Frontier Regions and Ghulam Sarwar Khan Petroleum.
Three women ministers including Fehmida Mirza minister for inter-provincial coordination, Zubaida Jala defence production and Shireen Mazari human rights minister also took the oath.
Qureshi, the vice president of the party, was the foreign minister from 2008 to 2011 under the Pakistan Peoples Party government when the 2008 Mumbai terror attack took place.
He was in New Delhi when 10 Pakistan-based LeT terrorists attacked India’s financial capital.
Finance Minister Umer is the son of former Lt Gen Mohammad Umer who was part of the Pakistan Army during 1971 war with India.
After taking the oath, Umer told media that government will address immediate issues like current account deficit but also take long term measures to fix all problems.
We will bring structural changes so that recurrent crises are avoided, he said.
Defence Minister Khattak said the cabinet will work 12 hours every day to fulfill the agenda set out by the Prime Minister.
We will bring peace in the country by working day and night, he said.
Information minister Chaudhry said that major changes will be introduced in state media to make it independent.
Prime Minister Khan has also summoned the first meeting of the cabinet today.
Those who have been appointed as advisers to the prime minister are former law minister in the PPP government Babar Awan (parliamentary affairs); former KP chief secretary Shehzad Arbab (establishment division); former minister in the regime of Gen Musharraf Abdul Razzak Dawood (commerce, textile, industry amd production and investment); Ishrat Husain (institutional reforms and austerity) and Amin Aslam (climate change).
At least 12 members of Khan’s Cabinet served under General (retd) Musharraf.
According to the Pakistan’s Constitution, the size of the federal cabinet should be not more than 11 per cent of the total strength of the National Assembly and Senate.
Khan, the chairman of PTI, was administered the oath of office by President Mamnoon Hussain at a simple ceremony held at the Aiwan-e-Sadr (the President House) in Islamabad on Saturday.
His government is the third consecutive democratic government in Pakistan since 2008 when Gen Musharraf announced elections after serving as president from 2001 to 2008 following a bloodless coup in 1999.
The PPP formed the government in 2008, followed by the PML-N led by jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in 2013.
Pakistan’s powerful military has ruled the country through various coups for nearly half of the country’s history since independence in 1947.