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Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan reshuffles the federal cabinet as unrest over Corona crisis and corruption rock the civil society …. writes Rifan Ahmed Khan

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan arrives at Islmabad airport. by .
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan arrives at Islmabad airport.

 

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has reshuffled the federal cabinet by changing portfolios and making fresh appointments in different Ministries and Ministerial Departments, his office said.

According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister Office on Monday night, Khan has appointed Muhammad Hammad Azhar as Federal Minister for Industries, who was earlier serving as Minister for Economic Affairs.

The reshuffle came at a time when the country is running a nationwide campaign to fight against the COVID-19. Pakistan has reported 3,861 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 54 deaths so far. Massive corruption are raised against the inner circle of the prime minister including de facto health minister Dr Zafar Mirza.

The young doctors Quetta are still on protest over the lack of Personal Protection Equipment and lack of facilities. Over 50 doctors are in custody over the protest.  Unrest incidents were reported from Punjab and Sindh. A group of protesters tried to barge into Governor’s official residence in Punjab.

Journalist  Ravinder Singh RobinTweeted: “After being rendered out of job due to #lockdown, the families of working youths have staging protests outside the Pakistan Punjab Governor @ChMSarwar ‘s house at #Lahore. They are hoping that their voice could reach up to the ears of Government. #coronavirusinpakistan #Corona.”

 

Clashes broke out in Pakistan’s Karachi after residents attacked baton-wielding police personnel deployed to enforce new curbs. Seven people including a prayer leader were arrested in Karachi on charges of violating lockdown measures and manhandling policemen. They were booked under terror charges along with other sections.

According to Dawn, people attacked and pelted stones on personnel in the Liaquatabad area of Karachi and police personnel resorted to lathi-charge on lockdown violators and an officer even fired in the air to disperse the crowd.

Authorities here have imposed stricter measures under the garb of law, including fines and imprisonment for people failing to comply with the government’s directives, without any reasonable excuse, to control the coronavirus spread.

Cabinet Reshuffle

United Nations: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses at the Climate Action Summit 2019 during the 74th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 74) at United Nations on Sep 23, 2019. (Photo: IANS/United Nations) by .
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan (Photo: IANS/United Nations)

Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar who was serving Minister for National Food Security has replaced Azhar as Minister for Economic Affairs while Syed Fakhar Imam has replaced Bakhtiar in his previous portfolio.

The Prime Minister also accepted the resignation of Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui as Federal Minister of Information Technology and Telecommunication, said the statement, adding that Syed Amin Ul Haque has been appointed as Federal Minister for Telecom.

In addition to the above-mentioned changes, Khan also made some replacements and appoints in his advisors and bureaucracy, including the appointment of Babar Awan as an Advisor to the Prime Minister for Parliamentary Affairs. The statement however, did not disclose the reason behind the reshuffle.

However, local media quoted sources close to the premier as saying that the changes were made in the backdrop of an inquiry into the sugar crises which caused high rates and shortage of the commodity in the country. But there were no official confirmations on the claims.

In a tweet on Sunday, Khan said that has made the preliminary reports into sudden price hikes of sugar and wheat public which would lead the country to transparency, promising that “no powerful lobby will be able to profiteer at the expense of our public”.

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