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Pakistan

Web Desk
December 11, 2020

President Arif Alvi administers oath to Abdul Hafeez Shaikh as federal minister

Pakistan

Web Desk
Fri, Dec 11, 2020

ISLAMABAD:  Abdul Hafeez Shaikh was made a federal minister on Friday after President Arif Alvi administered oath to him at the President House.

Before being made a minister, Shaikh was serving as the advisor to prime minister on finance with the status of a federal minister. 

The former adviser was elevated as a federal minister after the Islamabad High Court's (IHC) verdict on inclusion of advisors and special assistants in cabinet committees.

Sources say that in view of the the verdict Prime Minister Imran Khan will elevate Advisor to PM on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razzak Dawood and Special Assistant to PM on National Health Services Dr Faisal Sultan as federal ministers as well.

Constitution allows unelected members to be appointed ministers

Under  the Constitution, the prime minister has the power to appoint unelected individuals as ministers for six months under Article 91(9) of the Constitution.

However, the Constitution states that at the end of six months, that individual will "cease to be a minister and shall not before the dissolution of that Assembly be again appointed a minister unless he is elected a member of that Assembly".

Sources say that due to this clause Shaikh, Dawood and Sultan will be given PTI Senate tickets for the elections in March next year.

IHC decision

A division bench comprising Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Ghulam Azam Qambrani has ruled that the prime minister's advisors and special assistants have no executive authority vested in them to chair or become members of cabinet committees.

The judgment noted that Article 93 of the Constitution allows the prime minister to appoint up to five advisors and conferring of a federal minister status on an advisor is "only for the purpose of perks and privileges" and "does not make the advisor a federal minister as such".