World

Pakistan's new PM forms cabinet with an eye on 2018 polls

Pakistan's new PM forms cabinet with an eye on 2018 polls

As per a government official, Darshan Lal would head the distribution between four Pakistani provinces.

The "reshuffle" was aimed at intensifying support for the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) ahead of the general elections in mid-2018, reported the Times of India. Lal, 65, is a practising doctor from Mirpur Mathelo town in Ghotki district of Sindh. Pakistan was without a foreign minister since Sharif became PM in 2013. Hina Rabbani Khar was the last foreign minister.

Ishaq Dar, a powerful finance minister, returns in the same role, despite a criminal investigation ordered against him by the Supreme Court.

There are 28 federal ministers and 19 state ministers in the new cabinet, nearly double Sharif's 25-strong cabinet when he swept the 2013 polls.

Khawaja Asif, a Sharif ally, is to be Foreign Minister after having simultaneously run the ministries of defence and power. "It's a massive cabinet".

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Premier Abbasi said the representation was well achieved in the House of Federation where all units had equal representation in terms of number and hence had more protection of their interests and rights.

On the other hand security department told in its report that PML-N candidate victory in NA-120 constituency is very thin that way CM Punjab Shahbaz Sharif had early made a decision to also contest election from Okara constituency.

Ahsan Iqbal, head of a commission tasked with building the Beijing-funded $57 billion China-Pakistan Economic corridor, has been appointed Interior Minister.

Earlier Nawaz Sharif, who was disqualified by the top court in the Panama Papers case on July 28, had nominated his brother Shahbaz Sharif to succeed him after winning a by-election on his vacant seat in Lahore constituency NA120.


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