Muslim Pakistan gets its first Hindu minister in 20 years

Muslim Pakistan gets its first Hindu minister in 20 years

Islamabad, August 6 ( Muslim majority Pakistan has got its first Hindu Minister in twenty years. The     new Prime Minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, has appointed Darshan Lal to lead coordination between four provinces of the Muslim majority country, a government official told Reuters news agency.

The Late Rana Chandra Singh ,served in the government of the Pakistan Peoples Party as a Hindu minister for the last time.

Darshan Lal, a former doctor, was elected to the national assembly for the second time on ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) ticket on a reserved seat for minorities in 2013, according to British newspaper The Independent.

Abbasi on Friday formed the cabinet filled with allies of toppled leader Nawaz Sharif, in a reshuffle that appears aimed at bolstering support ahead of general elections due in mid-2018, according to Reuters.

Ishaq Dar, a powerful finance minister, returns in the same role, despite a criminal investigation ordered against him by the Supreme Court.

Another staunch Sharif ally, Khawaja Asif, is to be Foreign Minister after having simultaneously run the ministries of defence and power, Reuters reported.

The cabinet has almost doubled in size to 47 members, sworn in during a televised ceremony after reading from the Koran holy book in the mainly Muslim nation of 190 million people.

There are 28 federal ministers and 19 state ministers in the new cabinet, almost double Sharif’s 25-strong cabinet when he swept the 2013 polls.

Nawaz Sharif resigned last week after the Supreme Court disqualified him for not declaring a source of income he denies receiving. But he retains control of PML-N and put forward Abbasi as temporary prime minister until Nawaz’s brother Shahbaz Sharif becomes eligible to take over by winning a parliamentary by-election.

(The featured image at the top shows Darshan Lal)