Tainted past of Shehbaz Sharif’s cabinet raises eyebrows

Islamabad, April 22 (IANS) Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan was ousted from power through a no-confidence motion voting in the Parliament, which he claimed was part of a US-led international conspiracy, implemented by using his opposition parties to throw him out of power.
Now with Imran Khan out, Shehbaz Sharif has taken over as the Prime Minister with a clear plan to go into general elections at the earliest.
But his current tenure in ruling, be it for a short stint, has seen the formation of cabinet members, whose selection has raised eyebrows over the portfolios allotted to them and their legal standings.
As per details, of the initial selection of at least 37 members, including federal ministers and state advisors, at least 24 members of the cabinet, including the Prime Minister himself, have either been released on bail or have legal cases pending against them in the Pakistani courts.
“Twenty-four ministers of the cabinet, including the Prime Minister, have been released on bail. The new cabinet could have given a better and clearer message to the world if the IG (Inspector General) Prisons had taken oath instead of the chairman senate,” said former Information Minister and member of Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Fawad Chaudhry.
“Only Kulbushan Yadav remained in jail, the rest have become ministers,” added Chaudhry.
Shehbaz Sharif’s new cabinet consists of 31 federal ministers, three ministers of state and three advisors, with more to be added in the coming days.
The cabinet members who are out on bail include some prominent names, such as:
* Shehbaz Sharif, Prime Minister, money laundering case
* Khawaja Asif, Defence Minister, money laundering case
* Rana Sanaullah, Interior Minister, drugs case
* Ayaz Sadiq, cabinet member, protest case
* Ahsan Iqbal, Planning Minister, Narowal sports stadium corruption case
* Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Energy Minister, LNG scam case
* Miftah Ismail, Finance Minister, LNG scam case
* Syed Khursheed Shah, Minister for Water Resources, disproportionate assets case
* Khawaja Saad Rafique, Railway Minister, Paragon Housing Society case
* Qadir Patel, Health Minister, money laundering case
* Javed Latif, Federal Minister, inciting violence
* Shazia Marri, Head of Benazir Income Support Fund, fake degree case
* Faisal Sabzwari, Maritime Affairs Minister, hate speech case
* Khurram Dastagir, cabinet member, out on bail in two cases
* Hina Rabbani Khar, MoS Foreign Affairs, Khar family land case

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