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Pakistan

Cabinet reshuffle: Khusro Bakhtiar named Economic Affairs Minister

Prime minister has appointed PTI leader Syed Fakhar Imam as Federal Minister for National Food Security. Hamma
Updated 06 Apr, 2020
  • Prime minister has appointed PTI leader Syed Fakhar Imam as Federal Minister for National Food Security.
  • Hammad Azhar has been named as Federal Minister for Industries.
  • The PM has also removed Advisor for Commerce, Industry and Investment Abdul Razzak Dawood from his portfoilo.
  • Babar Awan has been appointed as Advisor for Parliamentary Affairs.

(Karachi) In a major cabinet reshuffle, Prime Minister Imran Khan has named Khusro Bakhtiar as the Economic Affairs Minister, media has reported. PTI leader Syed Fakhar Imam has been appointed as Federal Minister of National Food Security and Research.

According to details, the high-profile resignation came in light of findings of the inquiry report related to wheat and sugar scandal.

https://twitter.com/PakPMO/status/1247144711921577985

Bakhtiar has replaced Hammad Azhar, who is now Federal Minister for Industries. The PM has also removed Advisor for Commerce, Industry and Investment Abdul Razzak Dawood from his portfoilo and as Chairman of Sugar Advisory Board.

In addition, Azam Swati has been appointed as Federal Minister for Narcotics Control. Swati had resigned as Federal Minister for Science and Technology back in 2018.

Babar Awan has been deputed as Advisor for Parliamentary Affairs.

Similarly, Mohammad Shahzad Arbab has been removed as advisor while the PM accepted the resignation of Khalid Maqbool Siddiqi as Federal Minister of Information Technology. Besides, MQM-Pakistan's Aminul Haq has been made Federal Minister for Telecom.

Meanwhile, Food Secretary Hashim Popalzai has also been sacked from his post.

PM Imran made changes in the cabinet after the findings of an inquiry report by Federal Investigation Agency in wheat and sugar scandal were made public two days ago.  The report had named Khusro Bakhtiar as beneficiary in the scam while he was serving as the head of National Food Security Ministry.

Earlier on Monday, Punjab Food Minister Samiullah Chaudhry resigned from his post for his alleged involvement in the wheat and sugar scam while Jahangir Tareen was also sacked from the chairmanship of Agriculture Task Force.

Tareen, who is considered as the most senior PTI member and close aide to PM Imran Khan, has been sacked after the Federal Investigation Agency initiated investigations against him for his involvement and being a beneficiary in the wheat scandal.

Besides, taking action on the wheat and sugar crisis report, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar demoted Dera Ghazi Khan Commissioner Naseem Sadiq to Officer on Special Duty (OSD). Sadiq had served as Punjab food secretary in 2019.

The prime minister had constituted two high-powered committees under Director General Federal Investigation Agency and comprising a senior officer of Intelligence Bureau and DG Anti Corruption Establishment Punjab to investigate the causes behind the crises and price hike of the said commodities.

After the formation of the said committees, the prime minister had repeatedly resolved to expose and penalize those found responsible for the sugar and wheat crises to avoid the recurrence of such acts.

On submission of inquiry reports from both the committees, certain additional questions were also referred to the bodies seeking further clarifications. The committees had furnished separate main and supplementary reports to address the further queries raised by the Prime Minister House.

The report held some ministers and members belonging to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf responsible for creating artificial crisis and hike in prices of wheat and flour.

The committee on wheat crisis comprised DG FIA Wajid Zia, Deputy DG IB Mubarak Zeb and DG Anti Corruption Punjab Muhammad Gohar Nafees.

The committee on the subject of sugar consisted of DG FIA Wajid Zia, Deputy DG IB Ahmad Kamal and DG Anti Corruption Establishment Punjab Muhammad Goher Nafees.

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