Islamabad, April 6 (PTI) Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday changed his cabinet and fired several key advisors over their alleged role in the country’s recent sugar and wheat crisis.
Khan’s move comes just days after a report by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) directly or indirectly blamed several ministers and officials in the government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in power over the sugar and wheat crisis.
The FIA in a 32-page report last week called the government’s decision to allow sugar exports unfair because it pushed up sugar prices by 30 percent at the start of the year.
The main victim of Monday’s move was Jehangir Khan Tareen, chairman of the Agriculture Task Force. He is considered to be very close to Khan and has played a key role in building the current coalition government.
Considered the leading sugar tycoon, he is accused of pocketing tens of millions of rupees in direct government subsidies as well as through artificial price increases.
The Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement that Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar would be replaced by Syed Fakhar Imam as federal minister for national food security.
Bakhtiar was given responsibility for the Ministry of Economy.
Bakhtiar is not a direct beneficiary but his brother owns a sugar factory which has benefited from the crisis.
Khan also appointed Babar Awan as his political advisor and Azam Swati as minister for narcotics control, Syed Fakhar Imam as minister for food security and Hammad Azhar as minister for industry.
Abdul Razzak Dawood, Industry advisor and chair of the Sugar Advisory Board, was also removed.
The prime minister also accepted the resignation of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement – Khalid Maqbool Siddique from Pakistan as the federal minister for Information Technology and Telecommunications and appointed MQM-P Amin ul Haq as his successor.
Khan also fired Mohammad Shahzad Arbab as his adviser on civil service matters. He also removed Hashim Popalzai as food security minister and appointed Omar Hameed instead.
The action was taken after Khan promised not to let those found guilty of creating and taking advantage of the sugar and wheat crisis.
However, further action can be taken after compiling the detailed report.
Separately, the government appointed Shabbar Zaidi as chairman of the Federal Revenue Board (FBR) and appointed Nausheen Javaid Amjad as his successor. PTI SH NSA
Disclaimer: – This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is generated automatically from the news agency feed. Source: PTI
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