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July 20, 2019

Punjab cabinet reshuffled on PM’s orders

Top Story

July 20, 2019

LAHORE: On the instructions of Prime Minister Imran Khan, portfolios of different ministers, including those of Information and Local Government, have been changed.

Mohammed Basharat Raja, who was holding the portfolio of Law, Parliamentary Affairs and Local Governments, will now serve as minister for Law, Parliamentary Affairs and Social Welfare, Baitul Maal.

The portfolio of Local Governments will now be held by Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar. Syed Sumsam Ali Bokhari’s portfolio of Information and Culture has been given to Mian Aslam Iqbal, who also holds the portfolio of Industries.

Sumsam is still part of the cabinet but without any portfolio for the time being. Raja Yasir Humayun, who was holding the portfolio of Higher Education and Tourism, will now only be the minister for Higher Education Department, whereas portfolio of Tourism has been given to Taimur Khan. Taimur Khan is also holding the portfolio of the Youth Affairs.

Muhammad Ajmal Cheema, the minister for Social Welfare, Baitul Maal, is now holding the office of Chief Minister’s Inspection Team. The decision was taken at a meeting, chaired

by the Punjab CM, a few hours after PM Imran Khan issued instructions during his visit to Lahore on Thursday.

Sumsam Bokhari, a seasoned politician from Okara who served as state minister for information from 2008 to 2013, has been replaced with Mian Aslam Iqbal. Mian Aslam Iqbal is one of the PTI MPAs from Lahore who has returned to the PA for the third term. He has a repute of countering the propaganda of the opposition quite well, in and outside the Punjab Assembly. The PM, time and again, urged his team in Punjab to come all out in countering the allegations and propaganda of the opposition in a befitting manner, for which Aslam Iqbal has been chosen now. He is the third minister in one year who has been chosen as the Information Minister. Prior to him, the office was held by Fayyazul Hassan Chohan and Sumsam Bokhari.

Raja Basharat, one of the senior most ministers in the provincial cabinet is no more the minister for Local Governments, an office that he also held in the tenure of Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi from 2002 to 2007. The decision has also come as a surprise for many as Raja Basharat has literally been the most active figure in the cabinet, who has regularly been attending the Punjab Assembly sessions and braved criticism by the opposition parties.

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