- The cabinet reshuffle comes at a time when the country is facing severe economic issues, prices hike, inflation and law and order situation
- Finance Minister Asad Umar was the first to announce his resignation giving speculation to a major cabinet reshuffle
Dubai: In an unprecedented move, former intelligence chief of Pakistan Brigadier (retired) Ejaz Shah has been appointed as the new Minister of Interior of the country on Thursday.
Shah’s appointment has raised many an eyebrow as he is considered as one of the most controversial Director General of Intelligence Bureau (IB) of Pakistan, with allegations of political victimisation during the tenure of former President General Pervez Musharraf. Earlier, he had also served in Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency-ISI. Ejaz Shah had served as IB Chief from 2004 to 2008 after being appointed by the then president General Musharraf.
On an eventful day in Pakistan, at least five ministers were changed in the federal cabinet. Finance Minister Asad Umar was the first to announce his resignation giving speculation to a major cabinet reshuffle which was on cards for the last few days.
In another surprise move, Imran appointed Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh as the financial advisor. Shaikh has served as finance minister during the PPP tenure from 2010 to 2013.
The cabinet reshuffle comes at a time when the country is facing severe economic issues, prices hike, inflation and law and order situation.
Sources in the government told Gulf News that Prime Minister Imran was under immense pressure due to deteriorating economic situation and the development issues. A couple of months ago, he had warned his Cabinet that he would show the door to ministers who would fail to perform as per his expectation.
“This was the hard decision to make but Prime Minister had no other choice to streamline the issues and put his agenda back on track,” a close aide of Prime Minister Imran told Gulf News.
He also predicted that Imran would not hesitate to remove or sack anyone if he or she is not working in line with his agenda. “More heads may role soon,” he added.
The third big change in the cabinet was the removal of the most vocal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry. His removal was unexpected. However, he has been given the new portfolio of Ministry of Science and Technology.
Minister of State Shehryar Afridi has been handed over the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON), while the minister of petroleum Ghulam Sarwar Khan appointed minister for aviation.
Azam Swati has been appointed as federal minister for parliamentary affairs.
New special assistants to PM
Prime Minister Imran has also appointed three new advisors. Senior PTI leader Dr Zafarullah Mirza has been appointed as special assistant to the PM on National Health Services. Former PPP Information Minister and now PTI leader Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan has been appointed as special assistant for Information and Nadeem Babar has been given the task of petroleum division.