‘Cabinet reshuffle’ on the cards

PM directs minister to tone down rhetoric against opposition


Rizwan Ghilzai March 19, 2021
Prime Minister Imran Khan. PHOTO: REUTER/FILE

ISLAMABAD:

In what appeared to be a strategic shift in the government’s aggressive policy towards the opposition, Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed his ministers to tone down their statements on political matters, instead they should highlight forcefully the performance of the government.

Sources told The Express Tribune that following the victory of the government candidates in the election for Senate chairman and deputy chairman and the postponement of long march by the opposition Pakistan Democratic Movement, the prime minister has also changed his political strategy.

Several measures are in the offing, the sources said, including the federal cabinet reshuffle, as well as changes in the prime minister’s special assistants and advisers. A camp office of the interior ministry is also being set up in Lahore to improve media access.

The prime minister has stopped Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid from making strong statements regarding the PDM, the sources said. He has directed Sheikh Rashid to remain active to improve the government’s media strategy.

A committee has been set up under the chairmanship of Senator Faisal Javed for a marketing strategy for the government initiatives. Information Minister Shibli Faraz has been entrusted with the responsibility of publicising the government’s initiatives in the media.

The sources said that the prime minister has also decided to reshuffle the federal cabinet. Some advisers and special assistants, the sources added, are likely to be removed due to conflict of interest and other issues. They added Shibli Faraz, Faisal Vawda and Aamir Kayani would return to the cabinet soon.

According to the sources, the Cabinet Division had de-notified Shibli Faraz as the federal minister after the expiry of his term as senator. However, the prime minister had instructed him to continue his work. Similarly, former special assistant for youth affairs Usman Dar is also expected to be notified again.

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