Home Global Village BACK TO SQUARE ONE? – Imran picks Zardari’s former finance minister to...

BACK TO SQUARE ONE? – Imran picks Zardari’s former finance minister to fix Pakistan’s economy


News Desk |

In a surprise move, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday, April 19, reshuffled his cabinet with Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has been notified as adviser finance, after the departure of popular Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Asad Umar.

Economy in Dire Straits

The cabinet reshuffle comes at a time of growing pressure with the rupee losing 30 percent of its value since the start of 2018, stirring steep inflation.

Who is Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh?

Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, a celebrated economist holds international credentials. He has over 35 years of experience in economic policy-making, management, and implementation.

Azam Swati has been appointed Federal Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, it said, adding that Federal Minister for Privatisation Mohammad Mian Soomro shall cease to hold additional portfolio of the Aviation Division. 

Abdul Hafeez Shaikh obtained an MS and a PhD in economics from Boston University. He worked as Saudi Arabia’s head with the World Bank, and as a senior official adviser to 21 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America. Shaikh was also employed at Harvard University.

Abdul Hafeez remained Pakistan’s finance minister from 2010 to 2013 during the tenure of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP); and Minister of Finance, Planning, and Development of Sindh from 2000 to 2002. He served as Minister for Privatization under former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf.

Portfolios Change Hands

Brig (retired) Ijaz Ahmed Shah has been appointed as the interior minister, whereas Fawad Chaudhry, former information minister has been handed over Ministry of Science and Technology, according to a statement issued by the PM House.

Read more: Why did Imran Khan replace Asad Umar?

Minister of State Shehryar Afridi has been handed over the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON), while Ghulam Sarwar Khan appointed Minister for Aviation, the statement said. Ghulam Sarwar has refused to take up his new portfolio after allegedly threatening to leave the party.

Azam Swati has been appointed Federal Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, it said, adding that Federal Minister for Privatisation Mohammad Mian Soomro shall cease to hold additional portfolio of the Aviation Division.

Read more: Asad Umar resigns, decides not to take any cabinet position

The statement further read that Dr. Zafarullah Mirza, Firdous Ashiq Awan, and Nadeem Babar had been appointed special assistants to the prime minister for national health services, information, and Petroleum Division, respectively.