Friday Dec 11 2020
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Web Desk

Abdul Hafeez Shaikh takes oath as federal minister

By ,
Web Desk
  • Move comes after IHC decision on advisors, special assistants
  • Shaikh, Dawood and Dr Sultan may be given Senate tickets

ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi on Friday administered oath of federal minister to Abdul Hafeez Shaikh in a ceremony at the President House on Friday. 

Shaikh previously held the post of an advisor to the prime minister on finance. The move comes in light of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) decision on inclusion of advisors and special assistants in cabinet committees.

Sources said Prime Minister 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.

Constitution allows unelected members to be appointed ministers

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".

Sources said Shaikh, Dawood and Sultan will likely be given Senate tickets for the elections in March next year. 

Also read: IHC declares Cabinet Committee on Privatisation illegal

A recap of the IHC decision

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".

Read the our story on the IHC judgment here.