Islamabad: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has swapped the portfolios of Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar and Power Minister Naveed Qamar as part of measures to tackle a crippling energy crisis that has affected life across Pakistan.
Mukhtar, a close confidant of President Asif Ali Zardari, will take over the Water and Power Ministry tomorrow.
Qamar will take over the largely ceremonial post of Defence Minister following his failure to effectively address the energy crisis that has triggered riots across the country.
The minor reshuffle had been anticipated for some time now.
The Express Tribune quoted its sources as saying that Mukhtar, one of Pakistan's leading businessmen, is expected to bring about major changes, including a restructuring of the Water and Power Ministry.
"The portfolios have been changed due to the numerous allegations levelled by the PML-N, PML-Q and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam about the worsening energy crisis, creating anarchy in the country," a source told the newspaper.
Gilani has directed Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh to collaborate with Mukhtar on a course of action to tackle the energy crisis.
political affairs, told the media that the portfolios were changed at the request of Mukhtar, who recently made a presentation before the leadership of the Pakistan People's Party on the power crisis.
Mukhtar had made a claim before President Zardari that he could resolve the issue of power cuts within six months, if given the opportunity, Chaudhry said.
Qamar was made the Power Minister during a Cabinet reshuffle last year after former Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi refused to accept the portfolio.
Qureshi subsequently quit the PPP and joined Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf party.
First Published: Sunday, June 03, 2012, 18:27