Portfolios of at least six ministers changed: sources

Portfolios of at least six ministers changed: sources
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*ISLAMABAD: Government has decided to appoint noted economist Hafeez Shaikh as Pakistan’s new finance minister after Asad Umar stepped down from his post earlier in the day.*

*A*fter deliberations spanning over several hours, it was decided that Mr Shaikh would be appointed as the country’s new finance minister.

Mr Shaikh has served as finance minister from 2010 to 2013 and as Minister of Privatization and Investment during from 2003 to 2006.

Sources also informed that Brig (Retd) Aijaz Shah would be appointed as Interior Minister, a portfolio which currently rests with Prime Minister Imran Khan .

It was learnt that Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry was being assigned the portfolio of Minister for Science and Technology in place of MQM-P’s Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui.

Apart from the two high profile replacements, it was also decided to keep Omar Ayub as energy minister despite earlier rumours that Asad Umar would be appointed in his place.

Meanwhile, Minister for Petroleum Ghulam Sarwar Khan is to be assigned the Ministry for Kashmir Affairs, which is currently headed by Ali Ameen Gandapur, sources informed.

It was not immediately clear which ministry would Ali Ameen Gandapur be assigned after he is removed from his current assignment.

Sources say it was decided that no minister would be dismissed from the cabinet, and the exercise is merely reassignment of portfolios.

According to sources, Prime Minister Imran Khan is expected to announce the reshuffle in the cabinet himself when all the reassignments have been finalised.

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