PM Shehbaz Sharif ‘likely’ to finalise cabinet in 24 hours

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PM Shehbaz

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is likely to finalise his cabinet in the next 24 hours, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Attaullah Tarar said Saturday.

During an informal interaction with journalists in Islamabad, the PML-N leader claimed that all the matters had been settled with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P).

PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif has also directed the premier to finalise the federal cabinet at the earliest and start implementing the party’s manifesto, as per sources.

The directions were made during an important meeting of the ruling party headed by the three-time former prime minister. PML-N senior leadership, including PM Shehbaz, was present in the meeting.

Current political and economic situation, national and international issues and other matters were discussed in the meeting.

Currently, the people’s expectations from the PML-N are high, the PML-N supremo told the participants, adding that the new government, however, had to face challenges like a mountain.

“Reducing in [skyrocketing] inflation is also inevitable,” sources said, quoting Nawaz.

Lamenting the challenges faced by the new government such as soaring inflation, Nawaz said: “Prime minister, you should form the cabinet soon and start implementing the [party’s] manifesto.”

The huddle also deliberated over the induction of PPP’s members in the upcoming federal cabinet. PM Shehbaz told the meeting that he would talk to Zardari after his election as the president.

“Will request Asif Ali Zardari after he is elected president,” sources said, quoting the PM.

As per the sources, key ministries of defence, foreign affairs, and finance are likely to be handed over to two PML-N bigwigs — Khawaja Asif and Ishaq Dar — and a renowned banker Muhammad Aurangzeb, respectively, the sources said.

Likewise, PML-N’s Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal would be given the ministries of planning, and development, as well as privatisation, as per the sources.

The insiders also revealed that Tarar is expected to be given the information and broadcasting ministry, whereas, another PML-N stalwart Rana Sanaullah — former interior minister — would be made special assistant to prime minister (SAPM) on interior affairs.