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Asif, Atta Tarar, Dar, Cheema, Anusha, Ahsan Iqbal, Abbasi may get ministries

Abbasi may get ministries

MQM also to get ministries; Tariq Fazal Ch also among the candidates; Oath taking may take place after Presidential election

Ansar M Bhatti

ISLAMABAD: The prime minister is mulling names for the probables of the Federal Cabinet. Sources believe the 46-member cabinet shall be completed in three phases. In the first phase, which is likely to be completed within few days, will include Khawaja Asif as Defence Minister, Atta Tarar as the Information Minister, Anusha Rehman Minister for IT, Ahsan Iqbal Minister for Interior.

Similarly, a few new faces shall also be included in the federal cabinet. For example, Naseer Sidh, who defeated PTI and PPP from Lalamusa and who happens to be the younger brother of the sitting Air Chief Marshal Zaheer Sidh, is also likely to get a slot. Tariq Fazal Ch is interested in capital administration ministry. Abid Sher Ali may be handed over water and power ministry.

Ishaq Dar may get either Finance or Foreign Ministry. PML Q and the MQM shall also be accommodated in the federal cabinet. The MQM is also interested in the Port and Shipping Ministry. From PML Q, Tariq Bashir Cheema is likely to be accommodated. He wants the Housing Ministry. Ch. Shujaat son Salik Hussain, sources claim, withdrew in favour of Tariq Cheema.

The PPP, which has decided not be part of the Cabinet, is likely to join the cabinet in the 2nd or 3rd phase.

Regarding Ishaq Dar’s potential return to the finance ministry, Nawaz Sharif had initially chosen him for the position. However, the emergence of a leaked audio recording, where Dar is purportedly heard making derogatory remarks about both the current and former army chiefs, has significantly undermined his prospects of assuming the ministerial role once more.

Concerning the swearing-in ceremony for the cabinet, a notable perspective within the PML-N holds that the new President should be the one to administer the oath to the Cabinet. This viewpoint may stem from reservations within the party regarding taking the oath from President Arif Alvi. Alternatively, there is a possibility that President Arif Alvi may decline to officiate the oath for the ministers.

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