Sunday July 21, 2024

Kakar picks 24-member caretaker cabinet

On advice of caretaker PM Anwaarul Haq Kakar, president also appointed 3 advisers and 5 special assistants

By Muhammad Anis
August 18, 2023
Dr Arif Alvi (C-L) can be seen administering oath to the 16-member caretaker federal cabinet at the Presidents House in Islamabad on August 17, 2023. — PID
Dr Arif Alvi (C-L) can be seen administering oath to the 16-member caretaker federal cabinet at the President's House in Islamabad on August 17, 2023. — PID

ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi administered oath to the 16-member caretaker federal cabinet here at the President House on Thursday. On the advice of caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar, the president also appointed three advisers and five special assistants to the prime minister. Besides others, Caretaker PM Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar also attended the ceremony. The caretaker cabinet has representation of retired three-star senior officers from three services, senior diplomats like Jalil Abbas Jilani, financial and economic expert like Dr Shamshad Akhtar, journalist Murtaza Solangi, poet Wasi Shah, artist and poet Jamal Shah, businessman Gohar Ijaz, educationist Madad Ali Sindhi, anchor and religious scholar Aniq Ahmed and human rights leaders and law experts.

Following are details of ministers and advisers with their portfolios: Senator Sarfraz Ahmed Bugti: Interior/ Overseas Pakistanis/ NARCO; Jalil Abbas Jilani: Foreign Affairs; Shamshad Akhtar: Finance and Revenue/ Economic Affairs /Statistics/ Privatisation; Lt General (retd) Anwar Ali Hyder: Defence/ Defence Production/ Aviation; Murtaza Solangi: Information and Broadcasting; Sami Saeed: Planning Development; Shahid Ashraf Tarar: Communication (Railways/ Postal Services/ Ports/ Maritime Affairs); Ahmad Irfan Aslam: Law and Justice/ National Resources/ Climate Change and Water; Muhammad Ali: Energy and Power/ Petroleum; Gohar Ejaz: Commerce/ Textile/ Industries/Production; Umar Saif: Information Technology and Telecommunication /Science and Technology; Nadeem Jan: National Health Services, Regulation and Control; Khalil George: Human Rights/Women Empowerment; Aneeq Ahmad: Religious Affairs/ Hajj/ Interfaith Harmony; Jamal Shah: National Heritage and Culture; Madad Ali Sindhi: Federal Education/ National Harmony/ Youth Affairs.

The Advisers to PM include Air Marshal (retd) Farhat Hussain Khan Aviation; Ahad Khan Cheema Establishment; Waqar Masood Khan Finance.

Special Advisers include Mishal Hussain Malik Human Rights/ Women Empowerment; Jawad Sohrab Malik Overseas; Vice Admiral (retd) Iftikhar Rao Maritime Affairs; Wasi Shah Tourism; Syeda Arifa Zehra Education and National Harmony Affairs.

The ceremony started with the national anthem followed by recitation from the Holy Quran. It was attended by Interim Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, Punjab Caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi, politicians and prominent figures from all walks of life.

Soon after the oath-taking ceremony, the caretaker ministers, advisers and special advisers were assigned their portfolios by the interim premier.

According to a notification issued by the Cabinet Division, the PM awarded the portfolios of Finance and Revenue, Economic Affairs, Statistics and Privatization to former State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) governor Shamshad Akhtar. Earlier this week, Nishan-e-Imtiaz was conferred on Dr Akhtar, who was also the finance minister in the caretaker government prior to the 2018 general election, by President Alvi on Independence Day.

Ministries of Interior, Overseas Pakistanis and NARCO have been assigned to Senator Sarfraz Bugti. Previously, he held the portfolio of minister for home and tribal affairs of Balochistan. Former foreign secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani has been given the ministry of foreign affairs. He has 38 years of bilateral and multilateral experience to his credit as a public servant and career diplomat, having served as Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, Belgium, Luxemburg, the EU, and Australia.

Jilani was appointed foreign secretary in 2012, and while serving the post, he remained closely involved in negotiations and finalisation of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), signing key agreements for the project during the visit of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang under the-then Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) government.

Eminent textile industrialist and Chief Executive of Ejaz Group of Companies Dr Gohar Ejaz has been assigned portfolios of Commerce, Textile, Industries and Production. Lieutenant General (retd) Anwar Ali Hyder was given Defence, Defence Production and Aviation. Mishal Malik, wife of Yasin Malik, a detained Kashmiri leader of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, is also among the five special advisers to the Prime Minister having the status equal to minister of state. She has been given the portfolio of Human Rights and Women Empowerment.

Minister for Defence Lt General (retd) Anwar Ali Hyder served as Adjutant General at GHQ. He also acted as chairman of Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority. Information Minister Murtaza Solangi is a senior journalist and broadcaster and was also associated with the Voice of America. He also served as Director General of Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation during the PPP government from 2008 to 2013. Minister for Religious Affairs Aneeq Ahmed is a television anchor and religious scholar. He is a popular host of a morning religious programme on a private television channel.

Minister for Education Madad Ali Sindhi is a famous writer, journalist and columnist. Sindhi, also a recipient of the President Pride of Performance Award, is a member of the board of governors Sindh Language Authority.

Health Minister Dr Nadeem Jan, who is also the recipient of Tamgha-e-Imtiaz, spent 24 years of an illustrious career with the UN, USAID, World Bank, EU, DFID, INGOs and national governments. He has managed complex emergencies in the world’s most challenging countries like Somalia, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Philippines, Kenya, Afghanistan and FATA-KP in Pakistan. Dr Nadeem played a key role in the development and implementation of Pakistan’s flagship polio programme from 1996 to 2000.

There are also chances of expansion of the federal cabinet in future. Ministries of Food Security, Inter-Provincial Coordination and Housing and Works are still without any representation in the federal cabinet. The affairs of these ministries would rest with the PM. Sources, however, said the PM might give away these ministries to members of the caretaker cabinet.

The caretaker PM has convened a maiden session of his cabinet on Friday (today).