Inquiry reports trigger cabinet reshuffle


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced major reshuffle in his cabinet and replaced portfolios of some ministers following an inquiry committee reports on wheat and sugar crises, leading to a string of clarifications and justification by some of them.

The prime minister on removed his adviser on Establishment with the status of Federal Minister Mohammad Shahzad Arbab. The premier assigned Syed Fakhar Imam the portfolio of Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research after removing Makhdoon Khusru Bakhtiyar as his relative’s name was among those who allegedly benefited from sugar crisis in report of the inquiry committee constituted by the prime minister regarding sugar crisis in the country. The prime minister has now assigned the responsibilities of Ministry of Economic Affairs Division to Makhdoom Khusru Bakhtiyar while Minister for EAD Hammad Azhar has been made Minister for Industries, replacing Razak Dawood.

Azam Swati got the portfolio of Narcotics Control, Babar Awan has been made Advisor on Parliamentary Affairs while the resignation of telecom minister Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui was accepted by the prime minister months after it was submitted.

The prime minister has made Aminul Haq, federal minister for telecom.

The prime minister also removed Hashim Popalzai as secretary Ministry of National Food Security and Research and Special Secretary Finance Omar Hameed has been transferred and appointed as secretary Ministry of National Food Security.

A day after the inquiry reports on wheat and sugar crises were made public, Prime Minister Khan hinted at the possibility of taking action against those involved in the wheat and sugar crises. The prime minister stated that forensic reports would come out on April 25 and after the release of those reports no powerful lobby would ever be able to make profits at the expense of public.

He said as promised the preliminary reports into sudden wheat and sugar price hikes had been released immediately without any alteration/tampering with.

This is unprecedented in Pakistan’s history. Previous political leadership because of their vested interests and compromises lacked moral courage to order and release such reports, the prime minister had said.