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Pakistan: Federal cabinet's oath taking delayed as consultations continue

| Updated: Aug 03, 2017 11:31 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], August 3 (ANI): The oath-taking ceremony of the new federal cabinet of Pakistan has been delayed after Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) failed to decide the nominees for ministerial portfolios. The official ceremony was supposed to take place at 5:30 pm on Wednesday. Incumbent Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in a press conference said that the government's incoming cabinet would take oath in a couple of days, the Daily Pakistan reports. "Consultations are underway and the cabinet will hopefully take oath in one to two days," Abbasi said, following a high-level PML-N meeting chaired by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. The ruling party senior leaders including Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Ishaq Dar, Chaudhry Nisar, Ahsan Iqbal, Mehtab Abbasi, Pervez Rasheed, Khawaja Saad Rafique and Khawaja Asif, along with other senior members, attended the consultative meeting. No drastic changes are expected in the new federal cabinet. However, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has refused offers made by the incumbent prime minister to continue as the interior minister, the Daily Pakistan reports. Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif will resign before NA-120 by-polls campaign for a National Assembly seat to be elected as permanent Prime Minister while Nisar is expected to be given the post of foreign minister. The Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) leadership is also contemplating over nominating Shehbaz to contest from two other national seats along with Lahore's NA-120 constituency. Meanwhile, the party is also considering names of two military men in PML-N ranks Abdul Qayyum and Abdul Qadir Baloch as Interior Minister in the new cabinet, replacing party stalwart Chaudhry Nisar. A five-judge Supreme Court bench disqualified Nawaz Sharif as prime minister on July 28 in a unanimous verdict in the Panamagate case. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, the candidate of ruling PML-N, won the election for PM with 221 out of 342 members of the National Assembly on Tuesday. (ANI)