New federal cabinet brings new hope for Pakistan

After the much hype and speculation, new federal cabinet of Pakistan took oath yesterday. The head count is reduced from 54 to 22. While most of the old faces are back, some of them have got interesting, and ironic, portfolios.

List of portfolios announced [from Express Tribune]:
  • Ahmed Mukhtar – Defence Minister
  • Arbab Alamgir – Communication Minister
  • Babar Awan – Law Minister
  • Firdous Ashiq Awan – Minister for Information
  • Ghulam Ahmad Bilour – Railways Minister
  • Hafeez Sheikh – Finance Minister
  • Hina Rabbani Khar – State Minister for Foreign Affairs
  • Khurshid Shah – Minister of Religious Affairs
  • Makhdoom Amin Fahim – Minister for Commerce & Trade
  • Makhdoom Shahabud Din – Textile Minister
  • Manzoor Wattoo – Minister for Kashmir Affairs
  • Mir Changez Jamali – Minister for Science & Technology
  • Naveed Qamar – Minister for Privatisation
  • Raza Rabbani – Minister for Inter-Provincial Co-Ordination
  • Samina Khalid Ghurki – Environment Minister
  • Shahbaz Bhatti – Minister for Minority Affairs
Firdous Ashiq Awan, aka Apa Firdous, after doing wonders with population welfare minister has now been awarded the, yes you read it right, ministry for Information. A Mir Changez Jamali is the new Minister for Science & Technology. Hina Rabbani Khar, previously the State Minister for Finance, is now assigned the Foreign Affairs portfolio.
This is phase one of cabinet making. Another group of “good ministers” will join soon. However, MQM and JUI-F have so far kept out of the circus.
Another thing to note is that Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi has not been sworn in as Minister of Foreign Affairs. Rumors are that as Makhdoom Shahbuddin was considered to be the Foreign Minister this time, Shah Mehmood side stepped. His decision can also be linked with this alleged intentions to be became the Prime Minister himself.
Qamauzzan Kaira, the Information Minister, has also shown the door.
Associating any hopes with this cabinet will be futile. As Asif Zardari said, “Democracy is the best revenge”.

Image: Express Tribune

Click HERE to read more from Kashif Aziz.

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