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PM Imran reinstates Shehryar Afridi as minister of state for narcotics

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday reinstated Shehryar Afridi as the Minister of State for Narcotics Control, merely two days after taking back the same portfolio.

According to a notification issued by the cabinet division today, Afridi will now resume charge of the said ministry.

On April 8, PM Imran had taken back the portfolio from Afridi in wake of the wheat and sugar crisis report, which rattled several serving ministers and senior PTI leaders.

Following the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) report on sugar crisis, the PM had done a major cabinet reshuffle. Food Security Minister Khusro Bakhtiar had also resigned from his post but was appointed as the minister for economic affairs, replacing Hammad Azhar.

Meanwhile, Azhar was assigned the portfolio of industries and Azam Swati was given charge as the minister of narcotics control. Babar Awan was made the  adviser for parliamentary affairs, replacing Swati. 

Earlier, a report by the FIA had claimed that top PTI members were among those who gained from the recent sugar crisis in the country. Among the people named were Jahangir Khan Tareen and Bakhtiar’s brother.

An investigation into the crisis had been ordered by the premier back in February.

The report also claimed that the companies belonging to Moonis Elahi profited from the sugar crisis. Elahi is Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi’s son and a key member of the PML-Q, an ally of the ruling party.

The document did not mention under whose influence the government of Punjab had issued the subsidies to sugar mills or why the Economic Coordination Council (ECC) had approved the decision to export sugar.

Reacting to the report, Planning Minister Asad Umar had said he had faith that PM Imran “will ensure justice” whatever the situation.

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