Imran Khan reshuffles Cabinet amidst mounting criticism over government performance

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday reshuffled his Cabinet amidst mounting criticism at the lackluster performance of the government.The changes were made after finance minister Asad Umar resigned.The key ministry of interior was assigned to former ISI officer, Brig (retd) Ijaz Shah who was recently appointed as minister for parliamentary affairs.He was a confidant of former military dictator General Pervez Musharraf.

Former prime minister Benazir Bhutto reportedly named him among three people who were a threat to her life.Shah was elected as a member of Parliament in last year elections.Azam Swati, who stepped down last year as minister of science and technology for allegedly using his influence over police to register a case against a poor family, made a comeback and appointed as minister for parliamentary affairs.

Among other changes, information minister Fawad Chaudhry was made minister for science and technology and petroleum minister Ghulam Sarwar made minister for aviation.Mohammad Mian Soomro would cease to hold portfolio of aviation and would be just the minister for privatisation.Minister of State for Interior and Shehryar Afridi was shifted and appointed as Minister of State for States and Frontier Regions.

Dr Zafarullah Mirza was appointed as Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on National Health Services in place of Amir Kiani who was sacked.Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan was appointed as Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Nadeem Babar appointed as SAPM on Petroleum Division.

The Prime Minister has not appointed a new finance minister and instead planning to appoint an advisor on finance. Several names were making rounds for the key post. Those being discussed included Dr Abdul Hafiz Sheikh, Dr Hafiz Pasha and Shaukat Tareen.It is the first major reshuffle in the Cabinet since Khan became the prime minister eight months ago.

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