ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan reshuffled his cabinet on Friday following instructions from a court that banned unelected advisers and special assistants from heading cabinet committees.
This is the fourth cabinet shakeup since Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) took power in 2018. The change followed the recent Islamabad High Court verdict prohibiting unelected advisers and special assistants from heading the cabinet committees.
Khan appointed Sheikh Rashid Ahmed as Interior Minister and Abdul Hafeez Sheikh as Finance Minister.
State-owned Radio Pakistan reported that Ahmed was already in the cabinet and working as a rail minister, while Hafeez Sheikh was serving as a finance and revenue advisor.
Hafeez Sheikh is not an elected member and was unable to lead various committees. He was appointed a minister under article 91 (9) of the Constitution and can serve as a minister for six months. You must be elected as a member of the National Assembly or the Senate to continue after that.
Brigadier General (Retired) Ijaz Ahmad Shah, who was serving as Minister of the Interior, was appointed Minister of Narcotics Control, while Azam Khan Swati was appointed Minister of Railways.
Hafeez Sheikh is expected to be appointed senator in March, when elections for the upper house are scheduled.
The most notable promotion in the new Cabinet is that of Ahmed, who despite not improving the functioning of the railways, took over the Ministry of the Interior, a key portfolio.