New Pakistan PM Abbasi's cabinet sworn in

Published 05.08.2017 00:00

Pakistan's new 46-member cabinet was sworn in on Friday in the capital Islamabad following the disqualification late last month of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif over the Panama papers scandal.

President Mamnoon Hussain administered the oath to the cabinet, which includes a Christian and a Hindu minister, in order to represent the two main minorities in Muslim-dominated Pakistan.

The newly elected prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, former petroleum minister, reportedly chose his cabinet after consulting with the disqualified premier, who is said to still be holding the party reigns.

Pakistan's lawmakers voted Abbasi prime minister earlier this week. Former defense minister Asif Khawaja becomes foreign minister. For the past four years, Pakistan had no foreign minister. Instead, Sartaj Aziz had served as adviser to the prime minister on foreign affairs.

Former Home Minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan is not part of the new cabinet, likely due to reported differences with Sharif. He has been replaced by Ahsan Iqbal, who served as the planning minister in Sharif's cabinet. Khurram Dastagir Khan has been appointed as the country's new defense minister, while Ishaq Dar, a close relative of Sharif, has been retained as finance minister. Two staunch supporters of Sharif, Danyal Aziz and Talal Chaudhry, who defended the former premier during the Panama Papers case hearing, have also been included in the cabinet as state ministers.

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