Foreign minister replaces finance minister in CCI for first time

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, on Friday, approved the reconstitution of the Council of Common Interests (CCI), substituting the finance minister with the foreign minister.

According to a notification, President Asif Ali Zardari, acting on PM Shehbaz’s recommendation, formed the eight-member CCI under Article 153 of the Constitution.

PM Shehbaz is chairing the CCI, with all four chief ministers as members. The notification mentioned the inclusion of Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, and Safron Minister Amir Muqam in the CCI.

The CCI serves as the primary decision-making body in the country, resolving disputes between the central and provincial governments, including matters related to natural resource distribution.

This isn’t the first time PM Shehbaz has sidelined the finance minister, entrusting responsibilities to Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar. Previously, PM Shehbaz established six distinct cabinet committees on various economic aspects, including economic coordination, energy, Chinese investment projects, privatization, State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs), and legislative cases.

Initially, PM Shehbaz retained control of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) but later reassigned Finance Minister Aurangzeb to lead it, following public criticism and backlash. Traditionally, these committees were overseen by the finance minister.

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