Darshan Lal: First Hindu in federal cabinet in 20 years

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was sworn as PM this week. AP

In their separate messages, President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that Pakistan being a federal state will flourish more when federating units have better representation at the federal level.

The federal cabinet also included Dr Darshan Lal the first Hindu in more than 20 years.

65-year-old Darshan Lal, reportedly, would be looking after the co-ordination of four Pakistan provinces. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader won a National Assembly election in 2013 for the second time in a seat reserved for minorities.




Khawaja Asif, a close ally of Sharif, who had earlier controlled defense and power ministries, was appointed as the Foreign Minister. But he retains control of PML-N and put forward Abbasi as temporary prime minister until Nawaz's brother Shahbaz Sharif becomes eligible to take over by winning a parliamentary by-election. The last foreign minister was Hina Rabbani Khar. Shahbaz's resignation is still unsure, as it could weaken the party's stronghold over Punjab. Pakistan's mix of political parties has often ensured that whoever wins Punjab, forms the central government.

Ishaq Dar, a powerful finance minister, returns in the same role, despite a criminal investigation ordered against him by the Supreme Court. The Pakistan Supreme Court had disqualified former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from office over Panama Papers leaks last week, following which Abbasi (former petroleum minister) took over.

The Cabinet Division has issued notification about portfolios of Federal Ministers and Ministers of State.

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