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Thursday August 18, 2022

PM appoints 18 parliamentary secretaries

Shehbaz Sharif has appointed 18 MNAs belonging to the ruling alliance as parliamentary secretaries for federal ministries and they have assumed their assignments

July 03, 2022
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. Photo: The News/File
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. Photo: The News/File 

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has appointed 18 MNAs belonging to the ruling alliance as parliamentary secretaries for federal ministries and they have assumed their assignments.

It is the first batch of parliamentary secretaries appointed by the coalition government. It is likely that more parliamentary secretaries will be appointed for the rest of ministries. The step has been taken to smooth working of ministries and divisions in the National Assembly where MNAs have been complaining that their questions and grievances are not being addressed properly due to engagements of the ministers and state ministers concerned.

Meanwhile, Special Assistants to Prime Minister (SAPMs), Senator Hafiz Abdul Karim, Muhammad Junaid, Anwar Chaudhry, Sheikh Fayyazuddin and Romina Khursheed Alam have surrendered their status of federal minister and state minister. Karim was having the federal minister’s status while the other three had the status of state ministers.

Sources told The News here on Saturday that the SAPMs took the step voluntarily to contribute to the government’s drive for austerity in view of the economic situation in the country. The sources said Muhammad Sajjad (Mansehra) had been made Parliamentary Secretary for Interior. He is the elder brother of Capt Safdar.

For the first time, five women parliamentary secretaries have been appointed. Other parliamentary secretaries are Malik Sohail Kamrial (Civil Aviation), Ali Zahid Hamid (Defence), Chaudhry Fakeer Ahmad (Economic Affairs), Chaudhry Hamid Hameed (Energy for Petroleum and Gas), Muhammad Irfan Dogar (Energy for Power), Zeb Jaffar (Technical Education/National Heritage), Rana Iradat Sharif (Finance and Revenue), Mehnaz Akbar Aziz (Law and Justice), Sheikh Saad Waseem (Parliamentary Affairs), Chaudhry Khalid Javed (Planning Commission and Development), Kiran Imran Dar (Railways), Arfeen Khan (Religious Affairs), Syed Mahmood Shah (Housing and Works), Asmatullah Khan (SAFRON), Shahida Akhtar Ali (Communications) and Professor Dr Shehnaz Baloch (Science and Technology).

Ali Zahid Hamid is the son of former Law Minister Zahid Hamid while Mehnaz Akbar Aziz is the spouse of PMLN leader Daniyal Aziz Chaudhry.

The sources pointed out that with the induction of these parliamentary secretaries, the quorum issue would be addressed to some extent in the NA. Some important federal ministries are yet to have parliamentary secretaries. These ministries are Foreign Affairs, Information and Broadcasting, Education, Commerce, Climate Changes, Human Rights, Defence Production, Industries and Production, IT and Telecommunications, Narcotics, Maritime Affairs, National Food and Security, National Health Services, Overseas Pakistanis, Privatization, Power and Water Resources.

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