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PM Shehbaz Sharif’s new cabinet finally takes oath

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  • Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjarani administers oath to members of federal cabinet.
  • Newly formed cabinet comprises 31 federal ministers, three ministers of state and three advisers.
  • Fawad Chaudhry mocks newly formed cabinet, calling it “attendance register of Central Jail.”

ISLAMABAD: After much anticipation and delays, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s cabinet has been sworn in in the first phase at an oath-taking ceremony at Aiwan-e-Sadr on Tuesday.

Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjarani administered the oath to the members of the federal cabinet, instead of President Arif Alvi as he excused himself from performing his constitutional duty.

The cabinet has 31 federal ministers, three ministers of state and three advisers.

A list of the federal ministers:

PML-N

  • Khawaja Muhammad Asif
  • Ahsan Iqbal Chaudhary
  • Rana Sana Ullah Khan
  • Sardar Ayaz Sadiq
  • Rana Tanveer Hussain
  • Khurrum Dastagir Khan
  • Marriyum Aurangzeb
  • Khawaja Saad Rafique
  • Mian Javed Latif
  • Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada
  • Murtaza Javed Abbasi
  • Azam Nazeer Tarar
  • Miftah Ismail

PPP

  • Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah
  • Syed Naveed Qamar
  • Sherry Rehman
  • Abdul Qadir Patel
  • Shazia Marri
  • Syed Murtaza Mahmud
  • Sajid Hussain Turi
  • Ehsan ur Rehman Mazari
  • Abid Hussain Bhayo

JUI-F

  • Asad Mahmood
  • Abdul Wasay
  • Mufti Abdul Shakoor
  • Muhammad Talha Mahmood

MQM-P

  • Syed Amin-ul-Haque
  • Syed Faisal Ali Subzwari

BAP

  • Muhammad Israr Tareen

JWP

  • Nawabzada Shazain Bugti

PML-Q

  • Tariq Basheer Cheema

Ministers of state

PML-N

  • Dr. Aisha Ghaus Pasha
  • Abdul Rehman Khan Kanju

PPP

  • Hina Rabbani Khar

Advisers to the PM

PML-N

  • Amir Muqam

PPP

  • Qamar Zaman Kaira

JKT Group

  • Aun Chaudhry

The cabinet division issued a list of federal ministers, ministers of state and advisers included in the first phase of the induction on Monday night.

Bilawal Bhutto, Khaqan Abbasi missing from cabinet

Despite reports of PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to be given the portfolio of the foreign ministry and petroleum ministry respectively, the two politicians are not a part of PM Shehbaz Sharif’s cabinet so far.

Bilawal did, however, attend the oath-taking of the cabinet members.

It may be noted that a PML-N leader, while speaking during Geo News programme ‘Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Saath’, said that Bilawal would become the next foreign minister 

According to The News, PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif contacted Abbasi and asked him to hold the portfolio of the minister for petroleum to steer the country out of the crisis, citing sources.

‘Central jail attendance register’

Soon after the oath-taking ceremony, former federal minister Fawad Chaudhry mocked the newly formed cabinet, saying that it seemed like the “attendance register of Central Jail.”

Taking to Twitter, Fawad said:

“Miscellaneous cabinet seems like the attendance register of Central Jail when names [of its members] are read. Big dacoits have joined the cabinet.”

Earlier, there was uncertainty among the parties of the ruling alliance on becoming a part of the federal cabinet as PPP co-chairman Asif Zardari had said that his party would not take ministries.

However, later, in a brief press talk at Parliament House on Saturday, Asif Zardari said that they want their friends to be accommodated first, The News reported.

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government contests Imran Khan and Qureshi’s exoneration in the cipher case

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On Thursday, the federal government led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court contesting the exoneration of former Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and former Prime Minister Imran Khan in the well-known cipher case.

Citing procedural and jurisdictional issues, the Ministry of Interior has appealed the Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) ruling.

In hearing the cipher case, the High Court allegedly overreached its power, arguing that judges cannot change laws where Parliament has not expressly passed legislation.

Despite receiving government-funded legal representation, the petition emphasized Imran Khan and Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s lack of cooperation during the trial, submitting 65 separate motions and neglecting to cross-examine witnesses.

The petition contended that in order for a retrial to satisfy legal standards, the High Court should have ignored important evidence that was given during the trial. It requests that the appeals contesting the IHC’s June 3 acquittal be given a hearing date by the Supreme Court.

Case history

The cipher issue concerns a supposed diplomatic document that disappeared from Imran Khan’s custody. The cipher allegedly contained threats from the US to remove Khan from office, according to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party. Shah Mehmood Qureshi and several aides, including Asad Umar, are named in the First Information Report (FIR) submitted by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in accordance with Section 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code and Sections 5 and 9 of the Official Secrets Act.

The then-foreign secretary received a diplomatic cipher from Washington on March 7, 2022, according to the FIR. The lawsuit claims that by manipulating the data for their own benefit, Khan and Qureshi put the safety of the country at risk. It alleges that on March 28, 2022, Khan secretly met at his Bani Gala home and gave his Principal Secretary, Muhammad Azam Khan, instructions to change the content of the cipher to his advantage, jeopardizing national security.

The document asserts that Khan still has custody of the cipher, jeopardizing Pakistan’s encrypted messaging systems and possibly helping foreign forces, which would be detrimental to the nation. A complaint has been filed by the FIA’s Anti-Terrorism Wing against Khan, Qureshi, and other individuals for improper use of state secrets and unapproved possession of the cipher.

Acquittal by the Islamabad High Court

In the cipher case, on June 3, the IHC cleared Khan and Qureshi when Justice Aamir Farooq issued a succinct ruling in their favor. Their sentences were appealed in the case, which has since been a source of political and legal controversy, leading to their acquittal.

This acquittal and the ongoing legal and political struggles surrounding the cipher case are highlighted by the government’s subsequent move to contest it.

With potentially huge ramifications for the parties involved and the larger political scene, the Supreme Court’s decision over whether to hear the appeal will be keenly scrutinized.

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Shahid Khaqan Abbasi urges political stability in order to accelerate economic expansion.

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Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, the former prime minister, emphasized on Thursday how important political stability is to Pakistan’s economic development and how the nation cannot prosper without it.

His concern was that export growth had not progressed, and he emphasized that stability in the current climate is vital to draw investments and carry out the necessary reforms.

In his criticism of the tax system, Abbasi brought up the erratic nature of tax laws and the transient nature of the most recent tax slab implementation. Insisting that difficult choices are unavoidable for economic recovery, he emphasized the necessity of designing a tax system that is equitable and does not burden the people.

Furthermore, arguing that the effectiveness of organizations like the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is essential for economic governance and transparency, Abbasi urged for changes within these and other organizations.

Abbasi, in his discussion of more comprehensive fiscal plans, suggested that the National Finance Commission (NFC) award be reviewed again and that power distribution companies (DISCOs) be decentralized to the provinces.

In order to reduce inefficiencies and corruption at the provincial level, he recommended looking into ways to share the cost of defense spending and decentralize the management of energy resources.

In closing, Abbasi emphasized that Pakistan’s economic trajectory will stay stagnant unless comprehensive changes are implemented immediately. To move the nation towards sustainable progress, he urged policymakers to give stability and structural reforms first priority.

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Through in-app QR payments, Zindigi and SBP streamline transactions involving sacrificial animals.

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With its in-app QR code payment system based on Raast, Zindigi—powered by JS Bank—has elevated the convenience of cashless payments for the procurement of sacrificial animals to a whole new level for Eid ul Adha.

This program uses QR code payments to streamline transactions for sacrificed animals for the general public and traders. It is a component of the State Bank of Pakistan’s Raast quick payment service.

This feature enables users of Zindigi and users of any digital banking apps or wallets to safely and easily make payments at certain cattle markets throughout Pakistan using Zindigi QR. The consumer must scan the QR code of the livestock merchant and pay the transaction amount in order to complete the payment.

In order to further financial inclusion and digital innovation in Pakistan’s developing economy, Zindigi and the State Bank of Pakistan have partnered. Both organizations are committed to improving the efficiency and accessibility of financial services, especially on holidays such as Eid ul Adha, by utilizing the most recent developments in fintech.

One of the most important steps toward promoting financial inclusion and economic empowerment at the local level is the integration of livestock markets into the digital economy. Farmers and retailers may take charge of their financial operations and help realize the larger goal of an inclusive digital Pakistan by adopting digital payments.

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