Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar’s 24-member cabinet comprising of politicians, TV artists and anchors, retired bureaucrats, and servicemen has been sworn in by the President of Pakistan, Dr. Arif Alvi, on Thursday.

Of the 24 members cabinet, 16 are federal ministers, three are advisers to the prime minister, and five are Special Assistants to the Prime Minister (SAPMs). Most of them are new faces, not seen before in a government set-up.

Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, the 14th former governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, who has also served in Asian Development Bank (ADB) as its Director General of the Southeast Asia Department, has been given the portfolios of Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs and Privatization.


The portfolios of Defense and Defence Production have been given to Anwar Ali Hyder, a retired lieutenant general, who formerly served as chairman Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority and has an association with Army Welfare Trust.

Jalil Abbas Jilani, a former foreign secretary, who has served as Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States, Belgium, Luxemburg and the E.U, and Australia, has been appointed the foreign minister.

Former Balochistan minister for Home, Tribal Affairs, Prisons and PDMA, Mir Sarfaraz Bugti, has been given three portfolios — federal minister for Interior, Overseas Pakistanis and Narcotics Control.

The information ministry has gone to senior journalist Murtaza Solangi, who has served as director general of the Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation and has been in journalism for over 30 years.

The ministries of Law and Justice, Climate Change and Water Resources were given to Ahmed Irfan Aslam, a senior lawyer who has served as a member of the Supreme Court’s International Arbitration Cell . His significant contribution is facilitating Pakistan’s successful resolution of the Karkey and Reko Diq cases through out-of-court settlements.

The ministries of Power and Petroleum have been given to Muhammad Ali, a former SECP chairman, who has also served as a Director on the Boards of reputable companies like Engro Corporation Limited, Karachi Stock Exchange (Guarantee) Limited, Dawood Bank Limited, etc.

The portfolios of Commerce, and Industries and Production have been given to industrialist Dr. Gohar Ejaz, chairman of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association, a recipient of Sitara e Imtiaz, who has also been awarded an Honorary Doctorate in management from the Uniersity of Punjab, Lahore.

Dr Umar Saif, a former Chairman of the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB), has been given two portfolios of Information Technology and Telecom, and Science and Technology. Dr. Saif served on the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Pakistan between 2013-14. He has served on the Boards of several government and semi-government organizations, including Aitchison College, Bank of the Punjab, Technical Education & Vocational Training Company (TEVTA), Engineering Consultancy Services of the Punjab, Urban Sector Planning and Management Services Unit, Lahore Parking Company, Punjab Municipal Development Fund Company and Punjab Educational Endowment Fund.

The portfolio of Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives has been given to Muhammad Sami Saeed, a former federal secretary and former director of Asian Development Bank representing Kazakhstan, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Pakistan, Philippines and Timor-Leste. He joined the Civil Service of Pakistan in 1980 and has extensive experience in public finance and development.

Prominent TV artist and former Director General, Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA), Jamal Shah has been picked up as federal minister for National Heritage and Culture. Jamal is also the founder of Artists Association in Pakistan and Hunerkada College of Visual and Performing Arts.

Madad Ali Sindhi — a famous Pakistani writer, columnist and journalist, who has written numerous Sindhi books — has been given the portfolio of federal Education and Professional Training.

The portfolio of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination has been given to prominent health expert Dr. Nadeem Jan, a professional for 24 years who has worked with UN, USAID, World Bank, EU, DFID, INGOs and national Governments.

Khalil George of the Balochistan Awami Party, former Parliamentary Secretary for Minority Affairs, has been awarded the Human Rights ministry.

Religious scholar, TV anchor, host on Dunya Tv, popular for his religious show Peyam-E-Subh, Aneeq Ahmed, graduated from Karachi University in International Relations and started his career from PTV in 1999, joined GEO in 2002 and then moved to ARY in 2005. He has been with DUNYA TV since June, 2011. Aneeq Ahmed has been appointed as the minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony.

Shahid Ashraf Tarar, a retired captain, has been given three portfolios — Communications, Maritime Affairs, and Railways. Shahid Ashraf is also the Chairman of Federal Public Service Commission. He formerly served as Executive Director World Bank Group where he led HR Committee as Chairman for two years. He also worked as Federal Secretary Communication, Chairman NHA, Secretary Excise & Taxation, Director General NAVTEC, Deputy Commissioner, Director to the President and Head of Economic Sector Los Angeles, USA.


Retired air marshal, Farhat Hussain, a recipient of Sitara-i-Imtiaz (Military), Hilal-i-Imtiaz (Military) , and Sitara-i-Basalat, has been made an adviser to the premier on aviation with the status of a federal minister. He is the Chairman of Scaled Aviation Pvt Ltd and President of Centre for Aerospace and Security Studies.

Ahad Khan Cheema, a confidant of former prime minister Shehbaz Sharif, has been appointed as an adviser on establishment, also with the status of a federal minister. Cheema joined the District Management Group (now called Pakistan Administrative Service) in 2001 and had served under former chief ministers Punjab Chaudhry Pervaiz Ellahi and Shehbaz Sharif on various welfare and development projects. He was the first high-profile arrest in Punjab by the NAB before the 2018 general elections. A BPS-19 PAS officer, he became the head of the Lahore Development Authority, in 2013, during the last PML-N government and was conferred the award of Tamgha-e-Imtiaz in recognition of his services for carrying out the Lahore Metro Bus Service Project.

Former federal secretary for Finance Division, an eminent economist with wide-ranging experience of both public and private sectors, Dr Waqar Masood will perform as a special adviser on finance, with the status of a state minister. He has held several prestigious positions in the Federal Government including Special Secretary to the Prime Minister, Secretary Finance Division, Secretary Economic Affairs Division, Secretary Petroleum & Natural Resources and Secretary Textile Industry.

Special Assistants

The caretaker PM also appointed five special assistants, with the portfolio of adviser on human rights and women empowerment going to Mishal Hussain Malik, wife of the Kashmiri freedom movement leader Yasin Malik. She is the chairperson of Peace and Culture Organisation which highlights the plight of people of Kashmir in IIOK&K.

Jawad Sohrab Malilk, a qualified lawyer and businessman, has become an SAPM for overseas Pakistanis. He was formerly SAPM for Shehbaz Sharif. He has been successfully running a vast business empire stretched to Lon¬don, Pakistan and Dubai and has good contacts inter¬nationally including with the Ameri¬can members of Congress, British parliamentarians, global business elite, Gulf royal families and political parties in Pakistan across the board.

Retired vice Admiral Iftikhar Rao has been made the adviser on maritime affairs, He has more than 40 Years of Maritime Experience. He has served on board and commanded ships and is also a Naval Aviator.

TV anchor and writer Wasih Shah has been made advisor on tourism. He is famous for his poetry and contribution to literature and has been hosting TV shows for a while now.

Syeda Arfa Zehra has been made advisor on federal education and professional training. She is a Pakistani educationist and urdu language expert. Zehra is also a former caretaker provincial minister of Punjab. She is recognized for her knowledge on the Urdu language and literature and is specialized in intellectual history and South Asian social issues; outside of the university sphere, she speaks at language conferences and televised forums.