The new members of Pakistan’s cabinet were finally sworn in today after much deliberation. The names of 31 federal ministers, three state ministers and three advisers were finalized by newly appointed Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif yesterday. Pakistan’s President Arif Alvi was scheduled to administer the oath of office to the new members of the cabinet yesterday. But he went on leave tomorrow due to sudden illness. Earlier, on the day of Shahbaz’s swearing in as Prime Minister, the Pakistani president went home with sudden physical discomfort. He went on leave for the same reason yesterday. The president’s office tweeted that doctors had seen him. Now he needs a few days rest. However, details of what exactly happened to the president were not disclosed.
Pak Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjarani administered the oath of office in the absence of the President. Rumors are already rife in the political arena that the Pakistani president has repeatedly refused to take the oath of office. However, sources said that the coalition government of Shahbaz Sharif does not want to walk that path now. The Pakistani Prime Minister wants to take a decision in this regard without discussing with all the ministers of the newly formed government and their parties.
In addition to his own party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Shahbaz has fielded several coalition partners in the cabinet. The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) is one of them. However, PPP chairman Bilal Bhutto has not been given any post so far. However, several PPP ministers have been given important responsibilities, according to Pakistani media. One of them is former Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khan. This time too, this young leader of PPP has been given the responsibility of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Apart from Hina, two other important PPP leaders, Sherry Rahman and Khurshid Shah, have found a place in the cabinet. Former Pakistan Defense Minister and PML-N leader Khwaja Mohammad Asif is also expected to get important posts.
Apart from the PPP, the cabinet also includes leaders of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan, Balochistan Awami Party, Jamhuri Wattari Party and Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid-e-Azam Group). The three advisers to the prime minister include one from the PPP and two from the PML-N.