-Razaq Dawood, Arbab Shahzad removed as Adviros
-Jahangir Tareen removed from Task Force on Agriculture
-Fakhar replaces Khusro Bakhtiar as Minister for National Food Security
-Khusro given Ministry of Economic Affairs
-Hammad Azhar appointed as Federal Minister for Industries
-MQM’s Aminul Haq gets Ministry of Telecom as Khalid Maqbool goes out
-Azam Swati appointed as Minister for Narcotics Control
By Ali Imran
ISLAMABAD: Food Security Minister Khusro Bakhtiar on Monday tendered his resignation from the post, saying in his letter he was being maligned needlessly over the sugar crisis, just days after he was named in a probe over the grains crisis in Pakistan.
“I was given the charge of food and security [and research] only four months ago,” Bakhtiar said. “I kept stock of sugarcane production in the country in line with my ministry” requirements, he added, noting that he was stepping down “to avoid any clashes related to personal gain”.
A report by the Federal Investigation Agency released last week claimed that top PTI members — including Jahangir Khan Tareen, a close friend of Prime Minister Imran Khan, as well as Bakhtiar’s brother — were among those who gained from the recent sugar crisis in the country.
An investigation into the crisis had been ordered by
PM Imran back in February.
The prime minister, however, gave Bakhtiar the charge of ministry of economic affairs, replacing Hammad Azhar. Tareen, the PM’s aide, was removed as the chairperson of the “task force on agriculture in light of findings of Sugar and Wheat Inquiry Report”, former Punjab government spokesperson said.
However, Tareen questioned it, saying on Twitter “I was never chairman of any task force”. The PM’s adviser on commerce, textile, industry and production, and investment, Abdul Razak Dawood, was also removed from his position, sources informed media. It was, however, unclear if he had been given another post.
In other changes in the federal cabinet made by PM Imran, Syed Fakhar Imam was appointed as the national food security minister, MQM-P’s Syed Aminul Haq as minister of telecommunications, former economic affairs minister as minister of industries, and Azam Swati as narcotics control minister. Babar Awan was appointed as adviser on parliamentary affairs and the resignation of MQM-P’s Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui as minister for information technology and telecommunication accepted, the premier said on Twitter.
Mohammad Shahzad Arbab was removed from the post of adviser, as was Hashim Popalzai from secretary food. Omar Hameed was given Popalzai’s former post.
In yet another major cabinet reshuffle, the premier on Monday replaced Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar with PTI leader Syed Fakhar Imam as Federal Minister for National Food Security. Bakhtiar has instead been given the charge for the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Bakhtiar has replaced Hammad Azhar, who has been made the Federal Minister for Industries.
Syed Fakhar Imam appointed as Federal Minister for National Food Security, Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar appointed as Ministry of Economic Affairs, Hammad Azhar appointed as Federal Minister for Industries, MQM’s Aminul Haq appointed as Federal Minister for Telecom, Azam Swati appointed as Federal Minister for Narcotics Control, Industries were being overlooked by Abdul Razak Dawood, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industry & Production and Investment. However, no update has been issued on whether Dawood’s role has changed after Azhar’s appointment. The Ministry for National Food Security and Research saw another change, as its secretary Hashim Popalzai was replaced with Omar Hameed.
The prime minister also accepted MQM-P convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui’s resignation as federal minister for information technology, which he had handed in January this year. MQM-P’s Aminul Haq has been made Federal Minister for Telecom.