On Friday, Pakistan’s new Prime Minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, formed his new cabinet, and for the first time in last 20 years, the cabinet had a Hindu name — Darshan Lal.
As per a government official, Darshan Lal would head the distribution between four Pakistani provinces.
Lal is a practicing doctor from Mirpur Mathelo town in Ghotki district of Sindh. The 65-year-old was elected to the national assembly for the second time on PML-N ticket on a reserved seat for minorities.
Late politician Rana Chandra Singh, who served in the government of the Pakistan Peoples Party, was the last Hindu man in the Cabinet.
The post of the new foreign minister is now given to Khawaja Muhammad Asif, who was previously minister of defence and power. Since the time Nawaz Sharif became the PM in 2013, the post of the foreign minister was vacant. Hina Rabbani Khar was the last foreign minister.
It is believed that the shuffle has been aimed at reinforcing support for the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) before the upcoming mid-2010 general elections. The 47-member cabinet includes 28 federal and 19 state ministers.
Till now, nothing has been said about whether Abbasi will remain the PM till the 2018 elections. He might also step down after Shahbaz becomes eligible to take over. Shahbaz’s resignation is still unsure, as it could weaken the party’s stronghold over Punjab.
Almost five politicians for eminent families have been added by Abbasi in order to strengthen the party’s position in Punjab. This decision is now being considered an important step for the next polls.