Asad Umar officially relieved of finance portfolio, Abdul Hafeez Shaikh appointed adviser
- Author: Darren Santiago Apr 20, 2019,
Apr 20, 2019, 0:45
The changes were made after finance minister Asad Umar resigned.
"As part of a cabinet reshuffle, prime minister desired that I take the energy minister portfolio instead of finance", said Umar, one of the close aides of the prime minister.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan made a sweeping cabinet reshuffle on Thursday after only seven months in power and appointed Abdul Hafeez Shaikh as de facto finance minister to steer the country through worsening economic turmoil.
The induction of Shah, a former Intelligence Bureau (IB) chief, however, had already sparked controversy - for the opposition in general and for the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in particular - because before her assassination in December 2007, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto had claimed that he was among the people who had hatched a conspiracy to kill her. Now, the economy of Pakistan is in a far better position.
Azam Swati, who stepped down previous 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.
"There is no truth in reports regarding changes in posts of federal ministers". "Other ministers who have links with banned organizations will also be dismissed soon", he added.
Kupcho wins first Women's Amateur at Augusta
The seesaw battle escalated with Fassi making a birdie at 14 and Kupcho doing the same at 15. The crowd was larger than any of the 30 players who made the cut had ever experienced.
Umar's resignation followed a major shake-up of the cabinet with Fawad Chaudhry, Ghulam Sarwar Khan and Shehryar Afiridi asked to relinquish charge of their ministries too.
Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan was appointed as Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Nadeem Babar appointed as SAPM on Petroleum Division.
But it was not enough.
The central bank last month cut growth estimates, forecasting the economy to expand 3.5 to 4 percent in the 12 months to the end of June, well short of a government target of 6.2 percent.
Asad Umar has been leading negotiations with the International Monetary Fund but has faced criticism over a worsening economic outlook on his watch, with inflation at a five-year high and the local rupee currency down about 35 percent since Dec 2017.