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Members of the new federal cabinet took oath at a ceremony organised at the Presidency in Islamabad on Friday morning.

President Mamnoon Hussain administered the oath to 43 members of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s cabinet comprising mostly old faces but with some reshuffled portfolios.

The cabinet comprises 27 federal ministers and 16 state ministers.

The names of the cabinet members and their portfolios were finalised by PM Abbasi after six-hour-long consultations with his predecessor Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif in Murree on Thursday.

Khawaja Muhammad Asif, earlier the defence minister in Nawaz Sharif’s government, will serve as the country’s new foreign minister. The country remained without a foreign minister after 2013 when the PML-N came into power. The last foreign minister, Hina Rabbani Khar, was appointed by the PPP.

Ahsan Iqbal, former minister for planning, will take charge of the key interior ministry in Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s government.

Ishaq Dar will continue as finance minister whereas Pervez Malik will be the new minister for commerce in place of Khurram Dastagir Khan, who will take charge of the defence ministry.

Saad Rafique will retain his post as minister of railways.

Talal Chaudhry from Faisalabad, Arshad Leghari from Rahim Yar Khan and Junaid Anwar Chaudhry from Toba Tek Singh are said to be among the newcomers in the cabinet. Daniyal Aziz from Narowal, who was also expected to take oath, did not attend the ceremony.

Marriyum Aurangzeb, Zahid Hamid and Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry are expected to retain their previous portfolios. Hamid was law minister and Aurangzeb minister of state for information in the previous cabinet of the ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif. She had replaced Pervez Rashid. Tariq Fazal was in charge of the Capital Administration and Development Division.

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