PTI govt to lose Abdul Hafeez Shaikh as Pakistan's finance minister in June

07:52 PM | 3 Mar, 2021
PTI govt to lose Abdul Hafeez Shaikh as Pakistan's finance minister in June

ISLAMABAD – The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) would soon be required to pick a new finance minister as incumbent Abdul Hafeez Shaikh’s tenure of six months is going to expire in June 2021 as he failed to get elected to the Senate.

Hafeez Shaikh, who took oath as finance minister on Dec 11 2020, was contesting for Senate seat from Islamabad from the platform of the PTI and it was requisite for him to win the polls to continue the same portfolio since he was an unelected individual to head the ministry.

However, it, under the Constitution, would not be possible to serve as finance minister as he has been defeated by former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani, the joint candidate of the PDM, in today’s Senate race.

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In December, Prime Minister Imran Khan had changed the status of Shaikh from advisor to the federal minister after the Islamabad High Court ruled that unelected aides could not head government committees.

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 as a member of that Assembly."

In light of the Constitution, the government gave a Senate ticket to Abdul Hafeez Shaikh in order to get him elected.

Earlier, the IHC 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."

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