Pakistan's caretaker PM opts for Cabinet of technocrats

Pakistan's caretaker PM opts for Cabinet of technocrats
Pakistan is set to hold both parliamentary and provincial assembly elections on July 25. (AFP)
Updated 05 June 2018

Pakistan's caretaker PM opts for Cabinet of technocrats

Pakistan's caretaker PM opts for Cabinet of technocrats
  • Ruling body includes former governor of State Bank of Pakistan, former ambassador to UN and well-known lawyer
  • Caretaker ministers will look after several ministries, which shows Prime Minister Nasir-ul Mulk wants to keep Cabinet small

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan caretaker Prime Minister Nasir-ul Mulk’s six-member Cabinet took the oath on Tuesday to run state affairs and supervise the July 25 general elections.
President Mamnoon Hussain administered the oath to the new Cabinet in a ceremony attended by the caretaker prime minister and other dignitaries.
Nearly half of the caretaker Cabinet comprises little-known names while others are renowned experts in their field.
Former governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Shamshad Akhtar, former ambassador to the UN Abdullah Hussain Haroon and renowned barrister Ali Zaffar are among the caretaker Cabinet, joined by Roshan Khurshid, Azam Khan and Mohammed Yousaf Sheikh.
Each caretaker minister will look after several ministries, which shows Prime Minister Nasir-ul Mulk wants to keep a small cabinet.
Abdullah Hussain Haroon was given charge of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, national security division, with the additional portfolios of Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Defense Production.
Former State Bank Governor Shamshad Akhtar will look after the finance, statistics, planning and development ministries with responsibility for the ministries of commerce, industries and production.
Barrister Ali Zafar has taken charge of the Ministry of Law and Justice, Parliamentary Affairs and Information.
Mohammed Azam Khan will take care of the Ministry of Interior, Capital Administration and Ministry of Narcotics Control with the additional portfolio of Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination.
Mohammed Yousaf Sheikh takes charge of the ministries of health, education and religious affairs, while Roshan Khurshid is the minister for human rights.
Prime Minister Nasir-ul Mulk took the oath of office on June 1 and has been busy since considering the formation of his cabinet, which will serve until the general elections on July 25.
Dr. Zafar Nawaz Jaspal, professor at the school of politics and international relations at Quaid-e-Azam University, told Arab News that “this cabinet will try to avoid controversies by focusing on day-to-day business.”
He added that a small cabinet shows that caretaker prime minister “wants to pay attention on key issues.”
“This is a wise decision by the prime minister to have technocrats in his Cabinet as they are professionals and do not have clear political inclinations, which marks a positive sign that elections will be fair and free as promised,” Qamar Cheema, a strategic and political analyst, told Arab News.
“The caretaker prime minister was seen as a neutral personality in the past without any political affiliation and his selection of Cabinet members also reflect this,” said Dr. Rasul Bakhsh Rais, professor of political science in the department of humanities and social sciences at Lahore University of Management Sciences.
He added that the interim government was unlikely to take any major decisions except for supervising elections until a new government is elected.
Pakistan is set to hold its parliamentary and provincial assembly elections on July 25, 2018.
In 2013, for the first time in its history, the country witne