ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Wednesday assured that the federal cabinet will work together to resolve the issues of unemployment and rising inflation in Pakistan.

A day after 33 federal ministers and three advisers took charge of their offices, the prime minister chaired his maiden meeting of the federal cabinet where the ministers were briefed over the economic condition, energy and law and order situation in the country.

Addressing the members after the meeting, Shehbaz congratulated them for ousting former prime minister Imran Khan and his PTI government from power.

He maintained that the current cabinet has experienced members who have made great sacrifices in the past. “I want to thank the leadership [of all coalition parties] for giving you [cabinet members] this responsibility,” he said, suggesting they work hard to meet the expectations of the public.

“We have to struggle with challenges like poverty, unemployment and inflation as the previous government failed miserably in its fight against hardships,” PM Shehbaz reiterated.

He further told the cabinet members that the new government has to take decisions that are in favour of the people of Pakistan — as a “coalition of all known parties is historic” — and steps should be taken which will be in the best interest of the people.

Speaking about provincial issues, the premier said that problems need to be identified in Balochistan. “We need to pay full attention to the problems of the Baloch people and other provinces,” he asserted.

PM Shehbaz said that the new government has to slam the current Opposition’s criticism of their performance, adding that corruption was at its peak during the three-and-a-half years of the PTI government.

PM Shehbaz further added that the purpose of this coalition government is to serve the 220 million people of Pakistan, keeping aside all personal likes and dislikes.

“The only way to move forward is hard work, hard work and hard work,” he said.

Miftah Ismail’s name removed from ECL

During its meeting today, the federal cabinet approved a summary seeking the removal of Federal Minister of Finance and Revenue Miftah Ismail’s name from the exit control list (ECL), Geo News reported simultaneously, citing sources.

The sources said that the federal cabinet approved the summary presented by the ECL committee following which it will take decisions regarding the addition and removal of names from the exit list after reviewing the terms of reference (TORs).

They further added that the finance minister will leave for Washington tonight to engage with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the seventh review of the stalled programme. State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Reza Baqir has also reached Washington for the parleys.

The cabinet, sources said, also approved forming a four-member committee for the ECL, which will comprise federal ministers Ayaz Sadiq, Azam Nazeer Tarrar, Naveed Qamar, and Murtaza Mehmood.

The committee will be responsible to make changes and overview other matters regarding the list, the sources added.

Meanwhile, the federal cabinet also replaced Sanaullah Abbasi with Rai Tahir as the new director-general of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

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