Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan was on Saturday adminstered oath as the new Prime Minister of Pakistan. During the elections, the two prime parties besides Khan’s PTI — Pakistan Muslim League (N) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) — had alleged that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf was provided undue help from the country’s all-powerful military. However, the claims were outrightly denied by PTI and Army. On Saturday, Khan unveiled his 21-member cabinet.
Out of the 21 members, 12 were those who previously held key posts in the regime of former military dictator General (retired) Pervez Musharraf. Out of the 21 names announced, 16 will be ministers while five others will perform their duties as advisers to the prime minister, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) spokesman Fawad Chaudhry said on Saturday.
Imran Khan’s government will see Shah Mahmood Qureshi serving as the foreign minister, Pervaiz Khattak as defence minister and Asad Umer as finance minister. Qureshi, who is also the vice president of PTI, was the foreign minister from 2008 to 2011 under the Pakistan Peoples Party government. On the other hand, Asad Umar, the new finance minister, is the son of former Lieutenant General Mohammad Umer who was part of the Pakistan Army during 1971 war with India. Khattak is believed to be a close aide of Imran who served as the chief minister of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province from 2013-18.
Those who served under Musharraf government
PTI spokesman Fawad Chaudhry, who will be Minister for Information and Broadcasting, served as the spokesperson of Musharraf before joining PPP in 2012. In PPP too, he served in the cabinet of two prime ministers, Yousuf Raza Gilani and Raja Pervez Ashraf.
Shafqat Mehmood, the minister of Federal Education and National History ministries, was Punjab Information Minister in 1999-2000 under Musharraf’s rule. Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmad has been appointed as the Minister for Railways. He served under same capacity during Musharraf’s rule.
Tariq Bashir Cheema, the newly appointed minister of states and frontier regions, was a staunch supporter of Musharraf and was elected district Nazim of Bahawalpur during his rule.
Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, the minister for Water Resources, served as Minister of State for Foreign Affairs in 2004 under Musharraf.
Zubaida Jalal, one of the three women in the cabinet, is the only member from Baluchistan. She was appointed as education minister in Musharraf’s first cabinet.
Ghulam Sarwar Khan, a veteran PTI politician who defeated Chaudhary Nisar, will be the Minister for Petroleum. He previously served as the Minister for Labour and Manpower in the Musharraf government.
Senator Farogh Naseem has been given important Law and Justice Ministry. The leader served as Musharraf’s attorney in the infamous treason case until recently.