The uncertainty regarding the federal cabinet is finally over. The cabinet members will be sworn in (Friday) morning at 9 AM by President Mamnoon Hussain, Geo News reported citing sources.
Following the oath-taking the first session of the cabinet will be chaired by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
It was reported earlier that upcoming federal cabinet will include five new faces, according to sources familiar with the proceedings of the high-level Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) huddle in Murree.
Sources said PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif had directed Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif to include natives of South Punjab and the smaller provinces in the cabinet.
The former premier, Sharif, was expected to be shown a list of the nominees for the cabinet today, following which the oath-taking of the cabinet could take place on Friday.
Nawaz, PM Abbasi and Shehbaz, among others, were holding a meeting at Shehbaz’s residence near Murree to finalise names of cabinet members.
At the conclusion of the meeting, the newly sworn-in prime minister left for Islamabad.
The PML-N’s consultative session in Murree on Wednesday failed to finalise members of the Khaqani’s cabinet, which led to the postponement of the oath-taking which had been scheduled for 5:30pm.
During the session, it was decided that a meeting of the PML-N’s central working committee would be called in the next few days to decide the party’s internal matters. Sources said that Nawaz Sharif will likely be given a ceremonious title as the party’s head since his present position of party president cannot continue owing to the Panama Papers case verdict.
Sources added that Shehbaz Sharif could be nominated as the party’s president.
Speaking outside the Supreme Court on Thursday, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Babar Awan asked why Nawaz Sharif continues to occupy the PML-N presidency.
He said only a person who is eligible to be an MNA can head a party. Since the Supreme Court disqualified Nawaz in the Panama Papers case, he no longer should be the party’s president, he contended.