ISLAMABAD: The caretaker government expanded its federal cabinet on Wednesday, with President Mamnoon Hussain administering oath to two additional caretaker ministers.
Retired Lt Gen Khalid Naeem Lodhi and Mian Misbahur Rehman took oath in the ceremony held in Islamabad.
Naeem Lodhi — a former defence secretary — was given the charge of the Ministry of Defence in addition to Aviation Division, National Security Division and Ministry of Defence Production. Meanwhile, Rehman — a well-known figure among trade circles — has been given the portfolios of the Ministry of Textile and Commerce as well as the Ministry of Trade and Commerce.
Caretaker Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk, members of the federal cabinet and other senior officials attended the ceremony.
Earlier this month, a six-member caretaker federal cabinet was sworn in. The caretaker cabinet includes the State Bank of Pakistan’s former governor Dr Shamshad Akhtar, Roshan Khurshid, Barrister Ali Zafar, former ambassador to the United Nations Abdullah Hussain Haroon, Azam Khan and Muhammad Yusuf Shaikh.
Rehman is a prominent personality among business circles. He serves as director of Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited, where he also used to hold the post of chairman.
He remained chairman of the Lahore Gymkhana Club, the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association, president of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry and member of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry managing committee.
He is also a member of the governing body of the Workers’ Welfare Fund of the Ministry of Labour and Manpower.
Naeem Lodhi, whose last army assignment was head of the Bahawalpur Corps, retired in March 2011. Later that year, he was appointed defence secretary.
Believed to be a confidant of then army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Gen Lodhi was sacked by then PM Yousaf Raza Gillani 2012 amid tension between the civilian government and military leadership over the ‘memogate’ scandal.
At that time, the Prime Minister’s Office had issued a statement saying that “Lodhi was dismissed for gross misconduct and illegal action… and for creating misunderstanding between institutions.”