Imran Khan appoints Shaukat Tareen as new FM in cabinet reshuffle

Shaukat Tareen

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has appointed Shaukat Tareen as the new finance minister of the country, the fourth to don the mantle, in another cabinet reshuffle, it was announced by his office on Friday.

A banker by profession, Tareen, 68, served in the same capacity in the government of Pakistan Peoples Party (2009-10) for a short period before he decided to step down to raise capital for his Silk Bank. Tareen was facing corruption charges and had initially refused to accept the post until his name was cleared.

It was not known if the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) dropped charges against him or not.

He is a cousin of Jehangir Tareen, dubbed as sugar baron due to several sugar mills, who is an influential politician but is facing probe in the sugar scandal of the present government.

Shaukat Tareen is replacing Hammad Azhar, who was appointed towards the end of the last month after Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh was removed for failure to control raging inflation in the country.

Azhar, who was also serving a minister of industries and production, was appointed Minister for Energy after the reshuffle, while Khusro Bakhtiar was given the charge of ministry of industries and production.

Minister for Science Fawad Chaudhry was appointed information minister while his predecessor Shibli Faraz was appointed as minister for science.

It will be Chauhdry's second stint as information minister as he was given the charge in 2018 but later shifted to ministry of science. Former energy minister Umar Ayub Khan was shifted to head the ministry of economic affairs.

Khan has shuffled his cabinet several times since coming to power in August 2018, which his critics say was a sign of his failure to find a proper combination.

Ministers have been changed many times but it made no difference. Maybe it is time to change the prime minister, Murtaza Wahab of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) said.

 

Pakistan blocks social media services to counter protests

 

Pakistan on Friday temporarily suspended the services of social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp to stop their use to organise demons­trations following violent protests by a radical religious group that has now been banned by the govern­ment. The government banned Tehreek-i-Labaik Pakistan following three days of violent protest by it to force the government to expel the French ambassador over a blasphe­mous caricature published in France last year.



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