ISLAMABAD: The newly-elected Interim Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is forming his new cabinet today in consultation with his party chief Nawaz Sharif.
Reports say the two leaders exchanged views over induction of new ministers in federal cabinet and their portfolios in a meeting at Nawaz Sharif’s Murree residence.
The consultation meeting was also attended by Ishaq Dar, Chaudhry Nisar, Shahbaz Sharif and Hamza Shahbaz Sharif.
It is highly likely that Khaqan Abbasi will retain previous ministers of Nawaz Sharif, who will make a final decision in this regard.
Sources say ex-finance minister Ishaq Dar and ex-Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar are unlikely to feature in the new cabinet.
However, the other names discussed by the PML-N leadership give an impression that mere cosmetic changes will be made in the cabinet, and old faces are likely to dominate the new cabinet.
Sources said PML-N stalwarts Khawaja Asif and Abdul Qadir Baloch are aspirants of the ministry of Defence.
But the party is contemplating on handing him over the ministry of Interior, as Chaudhry Nisar Ali’s induction in the new cabinet is in doubts.
The name of General (retd) Abdul Qayyum was discussed for the ministries of Defence as well as the ministry of Defence Production.
About the slot of Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs, the party is considering Sartaj Aziz once again.
PM Abbasi wishes to keep two portfolios, including Petroleum, with himself.
The Federal Cabinet is expected to take oath in Islamabad on Thursday. President Mamnoon Hussain will administer the oath of the ministers. – Samaa
Story first published: 2nd August 2017