Nawaz Sharif’s cabinet takes oath
Islamabad: Twenty-five members of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif`s council of ministers were sworn in at the presidency on Friday including Ishaq Dar, whose is tipped to be the Finance Minister.
Among those who took oath were 16 federal ministers and nine ministers of state.
They were administered the oath of office by Zardari two days after Sharif was sworn in after being formally elected the Prime Minister by the National Assembly or lower house of parliament.
With Sharif retaining the Foreign Affairs portfolio with himself, former federal minister Sartaj Aziz was appointed his Advisor on National Security and Foreign Affairs.
A majority of the new ministers are from Sharif`s PML-N party, which swept the May 11 general election. One member each from the PML-F and National Peoples Party was included in the cabinet. The NPP has already announced its merger with the PML-N.
Most of the new ministers are from Punjab, the traditional stronghold of the PML-N.
There were 19 ministers from the country`s largest province, three from Sindh, two from Balochistan and one from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
Only two women — Anusha Rehman and Saira Afzal Tarar — were included as ministers of state.
The portfolios of the ministers were not officially announced though sources said Ishaq Dar, whose son is married to Sharif`s daughter, would be the Finance Minister.
Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, a hawk with close ties to the military establishment, will be the Interior Minister while Khwaja Asif will be the Water and Power Minister.
Ahsan Iqbal will be the Planning Minister while Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will be the Petroleum Minister.
Khwaja Saad Rafique will get the railways portfolio while Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi will get industries, the sources said.
Capt (retired) Shujaat Azeem was appointed the Prime Minister`s Advisor on Aviation while PML-N leader Sanaullah Zehri and former envoy Tariq Fatemi were named Special Assistants to the premier.
Prime Minister Sharif, National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq and army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani were among those who attended the oath-taking ceremony.
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