Pak PM Shehbaz Sharif recommends 19 member list to President Zardari for his new cabinet: Reports

Pakistan’s newly elected Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has recommended 19 names to President Asif Ali Zardari to be inducted into the federal cabinet, and if approved the ministers would take oath on Monday, according to media reports.

The 19 names, which were sent to newly elected President Zardari as part of a letter, include 12 Members of the National Assembly and 3 senators as federal ministers among others and came a day after Prime Minister Sharif held a marathon meeting, which continued late into the night, to finalise the names, the Dawn newspaper reported.

Pakistan Muslim League President Shehbaz Sharif was sworn in as the 24th Prime Minister of Pakistan on February 4.

“Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has suggested newly elected President Asif Ali Zardari to appoint a 19-member cabinet. According to a letter written by the premier to Zardari, the cabinet includes 12 MNAs and 3 senators as federal ministers, as well as Shaza Fatima Khawaja as a minister of state,” the report said.

A source in the Prime Minister was quoted as saying that the new list of ministers would take oath on Monday itself or at most by Tuesday if the names get approved by President Zardari.

“The oath-taking of the cabinet can take place today (Monday) or tomorrow (Tuesday). The first meeting of the cabinet will also be held on the same day,” the source told the newspaper on condition of anonymity.

While the PML-N’s main ally, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), has refused to become part of the federal cabinet, the fate of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), that is how many ministries it will get, is still uncertain, the report said.

Familiar faces returning include ex-defence minister Khawaja Asif, former finance minister Ishaq Dar, ex-planning minister Ahsan Iqbal, former law minister Azam Nazeer Tarar and ex-state minister for petroleum Musadik Malik.

Istehkam-i-Pakistan Party leader Aleem Khan and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui are also among the names for federal ministers.

New faces to serve in the federal cabinet include former caretaker Punjab chief minister Mohsin Raza Naqvi, who is currently the Pakistan Cricket Board chief.

Other names for federal ministers include PML-N’s Jam Jamal Khan, Amir Muqam, Sardar Awais Leghari, Attallah Tarar, Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh and Riaz Hussain Pirzada, as well as the PML-Q’s Chaudhry Salik Hussain, the report said.

Muhammad Aurangzeb, presumably the Habib Bank Limited (HBL) chief, and former PM’s aide Ahad Khan Cheema have also been suggested as federal ministers. The appointment of the ex-Prime Minister’s aide on youth affairs Shaza Fatima Khawaja as a minister of state has been advised too.

Fatima is the only woman recommended for inclusion in the federal cabinet, the report said.

Moreover, Senators Ishaq Dar and Musadik Malik have also been recommended to be appointed as federal ministers under clause 9 of Article 91 of the Constitution, as both will cease to be senators on March 12 following the end of their Senate term, Geo News reported.

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