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Abbasi inducts 44 ministers in Cabinet

Abbasi inducts 44 ministers in Cabinet”

President Mamnoon Hussain administered the oath to reportedly 46 members of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi's cabinet comprising mostly old faces but with some reshuffled portfolios.

He said all the projects including CPEC, infrastructure, energy and economic revival of the country would be executed on the priority basis.

The country was without a full-time Foreign Minister since the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) came to power in 2013.

The names of the cabinet members and their portfolios were finalised by PM Abbasi after six-hour-long consultations with his predecessor Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif in Murree. Two staunch supporters of Sharif, Danyal Aziz and Talal Chaudhry, who defended the former premier during the Panama Papers case hearing, have also been included in the cabinet as state ministers.

To strengthen the party's position in Punjab, Abbasi has added five politicians from prominent families that command huge vote banks in the south of the region, seen as pivotal to the next poll The reshuffle saw Sharif's close aide Ishaq Dar resume his earlier role as finance minister despite a criminal investigation ordered against him by the Supreme Court in the Panama leaks.

Meanwhile, Nauert said she is not aware of the claims by Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that the then US President Bill Clinton had offered him United States dollars 5 billion during Kargil war.

Former Home Minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan is not part of the new cabinet, likely due to reported differences with Sharif.

Marriyum Aurangzeb, Zahid Hamid and Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry are expected to retain their previous portfolios.

PMl-N's information secretary Mushahidullah Khan returned to the cabinet as minister of climate change.

Sources in the party say the Shahbaz Sharif is reluctant to leave Punjab - the province he has been governing since 2008 with an iron grip.

The US has congratulated Pakistan's newly-elected Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, saying it "looks forward" to working with him on areas of mutual cooperation.

The transition to the new Cabinet has taken exactly seven days since Sharif's ouster on July 28.



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