Pakistan's new cabinet takes oath

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-04 14:20:48|Editor: Xiang Bo
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ISLAMABAD, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- Pakistan's new cabinet of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was sworn in at an oath-taking ceremony at the Presidency in Islamabad on Friday.

Earlier the state-run TV channel PTV reported that the new cabinet consists of 46 members, however, its reporters on the spot said only 43 cabinet members attended Friday's oath-taking administered by the country's president Mamnoon Hussain.

Now the state TV channel again changed by saying only two members failed to turn up on the oath-taking ceremony and 44 cabinet members took the oath.

Khawaja Muhammad Asif, who previously held the portfolios of defense and water and power ministries, will now serve as Minister for Foreign Affairs, state-owned Radio Pakistan reported. There was no foreign minister in the cabinet of Nawaz Sharif.

Former Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir has been made Defense Minister.

Ishaq Dar will remain as the Minister of Finance while Ahsan Iqbal, the former minister for planning, has been made Interior Minister.

Senior PML-N leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, interior minister in Nawaz Sharif's cabinet, has refused to become part of the new cabinet.

Most of the ministers had served in the cabinet of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. However, some new faces have been included in the new cabinet. More representation has been given to the southern parts of Punjab province to strengthen its position ahead of the next year's parliamentary elections.

The representation of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party, an old ally of PML-N, has been increased to two ministers from the previous one.

Tribal region has been given representation for the first time in the cabinet and Ghalib Khan, a PML-N lawmaker from Waziristan tribal area, is inducted in the cabinet.

The new cabinet was sworn in three days after Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was elected by the National Assembly as Pakistan's new prime minister following the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif by the country's top court over corruption charges last Friday.

Prime Minister Abbasi, Speaker of the National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq, diplomats, lawmakers, political leaders, military and civilian officials attended Friday's oath-taking ceremony for the new cabinet.