ISLAMABAD: Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani has administered the oath to federal ministers and ministers of state, who will form the cabinet of newly elected Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
The ceremony was scheduled to be held on Monday, but it transpired that President Arif Alvi had refused to administer the oath to the lawmakers, compelling the government to postpone the ceremony to 11am Tuesday.
According to sources, Ahsan Iqbal is likely to get the Ministry of Planning and Development, Azam Nazir Tarar Law, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Energy, while Ayaz Sadiq will get the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
Earlier, reports were making rounds that Aurangzeb would be given the portfolio of the information ministry while Rana Sanaullah will be given the reins of the interior ministry despite opposition within the ruling PML-N, and Miftah Ismail was reportedly being considered for finance ministry. However, no official announcement has yet been made in this regard.
Former defence minister Asif had also claimed that PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari would be given the Foreign Ministry. However, a PPP leader told Dawn that the party chairman was not joining the cabinet in the first phase being announced today and might opt for a ministry after a few days.
On the other hand, some government allies are still said to be “unsatisfied” over the demands they had extended to the government regarding distribution of ministries and other lucrative positions.
It has been learnt that the Balochistan National Party (BNP) and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) may not join the cabinet on Tuesday, as the BNP has accused the government of not preventing violent incidents in the province, such as the recent firing on protesters in Chagai.
Similarly, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has demanded immediate general elections after being annoyed over the non-fulfillment of his demands regarding distribution of ministries and some constitutional posts like the offices of the president and Senate chairman.