President Dr Arif Alvi on Friday administered the oath of office to four new members of the federal cabinet following his “sick leave”.
The cabinet members were inducted in the presence of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif at the Presidency.
The four cabinet members who were sworn in included Chaudhry Salik Hussain, PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain's son; PML-N's Mian Javed Latif; BNP-M's Agha Hassan Baloch and Muhammad Hashim Notezai. Notezai took the oath as state minister while the rest were sworn in as ministers.
The new cabinet members made the solemn pledge “to bear true faith and allegiance to Pakistan, discharge its duties honestly to the best of ability and faithfully in accordance with the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the law”.
“I will strive to preserve the Islamic Ideology which is the basis for the creation of Pakistan. That I will not allow my personal interest to influence my official conduct or my official decisions,” said the new ministers while reading the text of the official oath.
Prior to Friday's ceremony, President Alvi had not inducted any federal cabinet members and was also absent from PM Shehbaz’s induction as premier after former prime minister Imran Khan was ousted through a no-trust move in the National Assembly.
The president had sought leave on the pretext of “ill health”.
Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani had administered the oaths in his place to Shehbaz and his cabinet members.
Earlier this week, PM Shehbaz Sharif had unveiled the federal cabinet, comprising 31 ministers and three ministers of state, including five women, doling out the ministerial posts to all the political heavyweights from coalition parties.
On Wednesday, PM Shehbaz had held a meeting with President Alvi for the first time since the former’s ascension to power.
The two leaders had discussed the current political and economic situation of the country, besides holding consultations over national issues and constitutional issues, including the appointment of four governors.
The meeting was held amid swirling speculations that a silent tug of war was raging between the new government and the president, who skirted administering the oath to PM Shehbaz and had shown reluctance to fall in line with the new dispensation.
A day after Shehbaz was elected as the prime minister, President Alvi had excused himself from administering the oath of office to the former, citing “health issues” -- a reason he repeated for refraining from swearing in the new cabinet as well.
A few days later, speculations swirled that the murmur of dislike for the erstwhile opposition party had become louder when the newly-elected government faced another hitch in exercising its powers after the president allowed a “sacked” governor to continue to hold the office.
Punjab Governor Omar Sarfraz Cheema was sacked by the government after he had refused to administer the oath to Punjab Chief Minister-elect Hamza Shehbaz due to concerns over his election.
Cheema had made it clear that he could not be dismissed from office by the prime minister as the constitution only gave this authority to the president.
The government said that a summary for Cheema’s removal had been sent to President Alvi, however, reports suggested that the head of state refused to approve it.
However, the Lahore High Court on Friday instructed President Alvi to appoint a representative to administer oath to Hamza after the governor had refused to do so.
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