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ISLAMABAD: With the appointment of Tariq Fatemi as Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, the federal cabinet of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has reached 36, less than the 52-number cabinet of former PM Imran Khan.

The current eight-party ruling alliance led by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), comprises of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), Balochistan Awai Party (BAP), Balochistan National Party (BNP-Mengal), Jamhoori Wattan Party (JWP) and Awami National Party (ANP), has a total of 30 federal ministers, four ministers of state, one adviser and special assistant each.

PM Shehbaz's new federal cabinet takes oath

The previous six-party coalition led by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) including Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), MQM-P, Awami Muslim League (AML), BAP and JWP, had a total of 52-member federal cabinet, including 25 federal ministers, four ministers of state and as many advisers and 19 special assistants [with some honorary] to the prime minister who were largely unelected. With this, the total unelected members in Imran Khan’s cabinet were 23.

However, the current federal cabinet is likely to be expanded in the second phase, as a few more ministers are expected to be included in the team to accommodate the allied parties.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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