LAHORE: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s 43-member cabinet was sworn in on August 4th, the cabinet is a mix of old and new faces, however none of them is a political amateur. With the oath taking of the new cabinet the old questions surface again, shall Pakistanis now expect these ministers to work diligently in their respective ministries and constituencies? The appointment of a full-time foreign minister, one of the most important portfolios, is a welcome change. This time around corruption scandals must not undermine the trustworthiness of the newly appointed ministers and their political party.
Also the new prime minister has already vowed to follow the suit of his predecessor. He then must learn from his mistakes and avoid political turmoil in a timely manner. Although the appointment of a full-time foreign minister is only one of the numerous problems the new PM has successfully dealt with, problems like looming power shortage, faltering economic growth and the long-term unfolding of the outcomes of CPEC are likely to decide the PML-N’s fate for the upcoming general elections.
On the foreign policy front, Khawaja Asif, the newly-appointed foreign minister, must formulate a policy that clears out the ambiguity surrounding the issues like Pakistan’s stance over the Qatar crisis and Pakistan’s policy towards the growing regional tussle between China and India.
The PML-N’s political longevity depends on getting rid of the aforementioned issues which many of the previous governments have failed to resolve.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 6th, 2017.