Pakistan's new interior minister raises questions about 'new' Pakistan

April 27, 2019 14:42
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Breaking news. (photo credit: JPOST STAFF)

SLAMABAD, April 27 (Reuters) - Pakistan's new interior minister, appointed in a major cabinet reshuffle this month by Prime Minister Imran Khan, is a former spy chief and close ally of the country's last military ruler who has long been accused of deep ties to militant groups.

The appointment of retired Brigadier Ijaz Shah has been heavily criticized by the opposition Pakistan People's Party (PPP), whose slain former leader Benazir Bhutto regarded him as a deadly enemy.Some analysts said it suggested Pakistan's powerful military continued to wield heavy influence over the civilian administration - a persistent allegation since Khan took office eight months ago that both his government and the generals deny.

In an interview with the BBC after his appointment, Shah said: "What power can I give the military as interior minister? I left the army a long time ago, I am a civilian and have participated in elections."

The prime minister's office and the information ministry did not respond to requests for comment.

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