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Abdul Hafeez Shaikh sworn in as federal minister

Abdul Hafeez Shaikh sworn in as federal minister
December 11, 2020

ISLAMABAD (92 News) - Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh was sworn in as the federal minister on Friday.

President Dr. Arif Alvi administered the oath to Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh at a ceremony at Aiwan-e-Sadr.

Shaikh previously held the post of an PM's adviser on finance. The move comes in light of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) decision on inclusion of advisers and special assistants in cabinet committees.

The sources said that PM Imran Khan is likely to appoint Advisor to PM on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razzak Dawood and Special Assistant to PM on National Health Services Dr Faisal Sultan as federal ministers for six months as well.

The prime minister is empowered to appoint an unelected individual as a minister for six months under Article 91(9) of the Constitution.

However, the Constitution states that at the end of six months, that individual will "cease to be a minister and shall not before the dissolution of that Assembly be again appointed a minister unless he is elected a member of that Assembly".

IHC verdict

A division bench comprising Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Ghulam Azam Qambrani has ruled that the prime minister's advisors and special assistants have no executive authority vested in them to chair or become members of cabinet committees.

The judgment noted that Article 93 of the Constitution allows the prime minister to appoint up to five advisors and conferring of a federal minister status on an advisor is "only for the purpose of perks and privileges" and "does not make the advisor a federal minister as such".