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Friday, December 15th, 2017

Pakistan President Swears In New Cabinet Of Sharif Loyalists


Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain has administered the oath of office to the country’s new cabinet following the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on July 28.

The government that was sworn in on August 4 is headed by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, a close ally of Sharif’s. Most of the new ministers were either holdovers from the previous cabinet or other Sharif loyalists.

Sharif resigned after the country’s Supreme Court ruled that he was disqualified for not reporting income.

Sharif denies receiving the money at issue and has said that he will apply for a review of the case with the aim of having his disqualification overturned.

Sharif ally and former Defense Minister Khawaja Asif has become foreign minister, the country’s first since Sharif’s Muslim League party took power in 2013. Sharif formerly handled the portfolio himself.

Chaudhary Ahsan Iqbal, who was previously minister for planning, has become interior minister.

Former Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar was the only top Sharif ally who was not named to the new cabinet.

Analysts believe that Abbasi will only serve for about 45 days before yielding the premiership to Sharif’s younger brother, Shahbaz Sharif, who was expected to enter parliament in an upcoming by-election.

Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.