Prime Minister Imran Khan appointed Hafeez Shaikh as the federal minister for Finance whereas Sheikh Rasheed was given the interior ministry portfolio in yet another cabinet. Brig. Ijaz Ahmed Shah formerly held the interior ministry and was now appointed as minister for narcotics control. Azam Swati whereas was the one whom Sheikh Rasheed took place of. This, in short, is the 4th cabinet shuffling in the tree year reign of PTI.
The decisions were made as a result of the Islamabad High Court ruling that unelected advisors and special assistants could not head government committees. Though Hafeez is not an elected member of the Parliament, the unelected member should be elected to one of the two Houses of Parliament so as to become a minister again.
‘A minister who for any period of six consecutive months is not a member of the National Assembly shall, at the expiration of that period, 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’ , says Article 91 (9). ‘Nothing in this clause shall apply to a minister who is a member of the Senate.’
The first major shuffling in the PTI government took place in April 2019 when Hafeez was appointed as the advisor to the Prime Minister on finance, as per Asad Umar’s resignation. Firdous Ashiq Awan was also brought in. The second shuffling was in November 2019 when Asad Umar was brought back to the federal cabinet as planning minister and Khusro Bakhtiar as the minister for economic affairs.
Later, Firdous Ashiq Awan was replaced by retired Lt General Asim Saleem Bajwa. Senator Shibli Faraz whereas, was appointed as the information minister.