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Pakistan's caretaker PM allocates portfolios to ministers

April 03, 2013 14:44 IST

Portfolios were on Wednesday allocated to the 14 members of Pakistan's interim administration, with caretaker Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso retaining the key foreign and defence ministries.

Khoso allocated portfolios to the ministers who were sworn in on Tuesday by President Asif Ali Zardari.

As expected, senior journalist Arif Nizami was given the information portfolio and Ahmer Bilal Soofi, an expert on international law who has advised the Pakistan government on matters like the Mumbai attacks, the law, human rights and parliamentary affairs portfolios.

Malik Habib, a retired inspector general of police, was named the caretaker interior and narcotics control minister.

Habib had told the media after being sworn in that he would focus on the security situation in Sindh and Balochistan provinces.

Army soldiers will be deployed at "sensitive places" for the May 11 general election but "not everywhere in the country", Habib said.

Musaddaq Malik was given the crucial water and power portfolio and will have to play a key role in tackling a crippling energy crisis.

Shahzada Ahsan Ashraf Sheik was allocated the industries and production portfolio, Maqbool H H Rahmatoola the textiles and commerce portfolios, Abdul Malik Kasi the railways portfolio and Asadullah Mandokhel the port and shipping and communications portfolios.

Khoso had on Tuesday named a 15-member cabinet but one candidate, Mushtaq Khan, was not sworn in as he is serving as the chief economic adviser in the State Bank of Pakistan.

Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad
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