Hammad Azhar replaced as finance minister a little over two weeks after being granted the portfolio
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday approved changes to his cabinet, inducting Shaukat Train and shuffling around five others lawmakers who were already ministers.
“Prime Minister Imran Khan has made changes to the federal cabinet,” newly appointed Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain announced on Twitter, as he shared a document detailing the changes to the cabinet. Hussain was confirmed as the new information minister earlier this week, his second time in the ministry in less than three years, replacing Shibli Faraz. This is his third posting, as he served as the Science and Technology minister from April 2019 to April 2020.
According to the notification, Shaukat Tarin has been inducted as the Minister of Finance and Revenue, replacing Hammad Azhar. Azhar was appointed to the post on March 30—just a little over two weeks ago—and had been hailed as a “fresh, new face” who would enact measures keeping in mind the plight of the common man. Within days of his appointment, however, rumors started circulating that he would be replaced by Tarin, who served as finance minister from July 2009 to February 2010 during the last Pakistan Peoples Party government. Sources have claimed that the government would attempt to get Tarin elected to either the Senate or National Assembly within the next six months, as required of all ministers in light of a Supreme Court ruling.
Hammad Azhar, in addition to losing his finance portfolio, has also been removed from the Industries and Production Ministry. His new appointment is the Minister of Energy. This is his third federal ministry; he had earlier served as Minister of Economic Affairs from July 2019 to April 2020.
Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar has been appointed to his third ministry in less than three years: he served as planning minister from August 2018 to November 2019, and National Food Security minister from November 2019 to April 2020. His latest portfolio is that of Industries and Production, where he would replace Azhar.
Omar Ayub Khan is replacing Bakhtiar as the Minister of Economic Affairs. He previously served as the Power Minister, with an additional charge of the Petroleum Division.
Shibli Faraz, who served as information minister for less than a year, has now been appointed the Minister for Science and Technology, replacing Chaudhry.
Rumors of the cabinet reshuffle have been making the rounds for the past month, with Faraz telling media that the prime minister wanted to bring in a new team in a bid to control inflation and bring relief to the common man. The “new” team, as with earlier reshuffles, is composed of the exact same faces in new positions.