• Friday, September 22, 2023


Pakistan caretaker PM Kakar includes wife of Kashmir separatist leader, jailed by India, in cabinet

Mushaal has been designated as Pakistan’s minister for human rights, according to a report.

Mushaal Hussein Mullick, wife of Kashmiri seperatist Yasin Malik, takes part in a protest in Islamabad in Pakistan on October 27, 2019. (Photo by FAROOQ NAEEM/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

ANWAARUL Haq, who recently took over as the caretaker prime minister of Pakistan which is due to go to national elections in a few months, has appointed Mushaal Hussain Malik, the wife of Yasin Malik, a separatist leader from Kashmir and leader of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, as a member of his cabinet, Reuters reported.

Yasin Malik, 57, was jailed for life by an Indian court in May 2022 after he was found guilty in a terror-funding case.

Mushaal has been designated as Pakistan’s minister for human rights, the report said.

Pakistani caretaker prime minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar
Pakistani caretaker prime minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar (Picture: Pakistan prime minister’s office/@PakPMO)

It may be mentioned here that Kakar slammed India’s Narendra Modi government in his first remarks on the neighbouring country over the issue of Jammu and Kashmir. Soon after his appointment on August 12, he remarked that India turned Kashmir into a jail for its eight million residents and added that the issue pertains to its people and not just the territory, Hindustan Times reported.

In Kakar’s interim cabinet, Shamshad Akhtar, former head of the country’s central bank, was made the finance minister while Sarfaraz Bugti, a former provincial minister was picked as the interior minister.

Members of the new cabinet were inducted in the presence of Pakistani president Arif Alvi. Sixteen federal ministers took oath and prime minister Kakar also appointed three advisers. The information was relayed by Pakistan’s premier newspaper Dawn, referring to a list which was issued by the country’s presidency.

Kakar, a former member of the Pakistani Senate and leader of the Balochistan Awami Party, assumed charge as the interim prime minister on August 14, the day Pakistan celebrated its 77th Independence Day.

The swearing-in ceremony was attended by Kakar’s immediate predecessor Shehbaz Sharif and his previous cabinet ministers. President Alvi administered the oath.

Alvi dissolved Pakistan’s National Assembly on August 9, three days before the mandated period.

While the caretaker government has been tasked with running the country which is facing an economic crisis until the general elections and ensure a smooth transition of power, it has been reported that the general elections will be delayed as the Election Commission of Pakistan decided to hold a fresh delimitation of the constituencies on the basis of the new census.

As per a schedule unveiled by the commission on Thursday (17), the delimitation would be completed on December 14, which is well beyond the 90-day period to hold the elections following the assembly’s dissolution.

India’s ruling BJP reacts

“Mishal Hussain Malik’s appointment endorses India’s claim that Pakistan is harbouring terrorism and terrorists,” Tarun Chugh, national general secretary of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and its in-charge for Jammu & Kashmir said in a statement in New Delhi.

He said Pakistan has always provided refuge to “most wanted terrorists” involved in subversive activities in India. “Instead of reining in elements inimical to peace, Pakistan is repeatedly resorting to such actions that harm the national interest of India. We urge international bodies to take cognizance of the matter and stop Pakistan from giving political space to terrorists,” Chugh said.

Mishal, who resides in Islamabad with her daughter, graduated from the London School of Economics.

(With PTI inputs)

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