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Kasuri retained as Foreign Minister

By B. Muralidhar Reddy

ISLAMABAD, SEPT. 2. As anticipated, the new Pakistan Prime Minister, Shaukat Aziz has retained the Finance portfolio and named Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri as the new Foreign Minister in his Government.

Mr. Aziz, the chosen nominee of the Pakistan President, Pervez Musharraf, is expected to focus attention on economic matters leaving politics to the General and the ruling combine party chief and former Prime Minister, Chaudhary Shujat Hussain.

The former Interior Minister, Faisal Saleh Hayat, who is back in the new Government has been named the new Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas. Aftab Sherpao Khan, a senior member in the rebel group of Benazir Bhutto party, has been entrusted with the portfolio of Interior Affairs.

While the Ministry was sworn-in on Wednesday evening, the Cabinet division took more than 24 hours to notify the portfolios of the cabinet ministers. It reflected the intense lobbying despite the fact that Mr. Aziz has the complete backing of Gen. Musharraf.

President Pervez Musharraf on Wednesday swore in the 32-member cabinet headed by his protege Aziz, a former Citibank executive.

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