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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Who will be the next Interior Minister in Khan’s cabinet?

Interior Minister is likely to resign on health grounds. Keeping in view Sheikh Rasheed’s and Pervez Khattak’s desire to head the interior ministry, there is going to be another a few days of debate within the party. Will Khan keep the minister with himself?

According to some reports, Ijaz Ali Shah, Interior Minister in Prime Minister Imran Khan’s cabinet, is not feeling well and is likely to resign. Reliable sources have confirmed that Mr. Shah will send his resignation to the Prime Minister on health grounds. It is further confirmed that two names of the present federal ministers are likely to be considered for the interior minister.

Prior to the appointment of Mr. Shah, the ministry was working under the Prime Minister himself who was looking into all sensitive matters personally. But political instability and downgrading economy demanded the premier to appoint a full-time interior minister.

Now as the interior minister is likely to resign, there are reports that both Shiekh and Khattak shall approach the premier to re-consider them for the post.n

Brigadier (r) Ijaz Ahmed Shah assumed office on April 19, 2019. Shah – who was elected as a member of the National Assembly from the constituency of NA-118, Nankana Sahib-II – was a close aide of then-president General retired Pervez Musharraf. He had also served as director-general (DG) of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) from 2004 to 2008.

However, right after winning the general elections 2018, the slot of interior minister became contested after two leaders shown their desires to head the same ministry. According to sources, Minister of Railways Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed wanted to be the interior minister. He expressed his displeasure during a media talk in 2018, at his consigned ministry in the newly-elected cabinet saying he wanted the portfolio of the interior ministry to eradicate crime.

Analysts believe that Sheikh is not from the PTI but an ally and the prime minister was reluctant to appoint anyone for the post of interior minister. “PM Khan wanted to ensure that all agencies are answerable to him and he directly supervises their tasks,” it added.

Moreover, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak was not happy with the appointment of ex-intelligence Bureau Director-General Ijaz Shah as Interior Minister and he had shared his views and reservations with a senior party leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi, the vice-chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).

Sources told that Shah met with Prime Minister at Banigala before the formal approval of Mr. Shah’s appointment, and discussed with him the latest political situation as well as the party matters.

Read more: Interior ministry puts ex-spymaster Durrani’s name on Exit Control List

Sources further told that Pervez Khattak was also present in that meeting and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood fully supported the viewpoint of Pervez Khattak and said that Pervez Khattak could be a better choice as Interior Minister but Imran Khan defended his decision and said that Pervez Khattak was the in-charge of Defence ministry that was more important than Interior Ministry in current scenario.

Sources further told that Pervez Khattak reminded Imran Khan that he had promised with him that he will appoint him as Interior Minister if he will make changes in the cabinet but, sources told, that the same Imran Khan did not respond to him on this and asked him to continue as Defence Minister.

Now as the interior minister is likely to resign, there are reports that both Shiekh and Khattak shall approach the premier to re-consider them for the post. However, our sources confirm that the Prime Minister is unlikely to handover the interior ministry any of the two. The minister is likely to be kept under the supervision of PM Khan himself.