While the cabinet reshuffle - much like a pack of cards – brought up faces that had been seen before in the halls of power, the financial side of the government has been completely remade. The Prime Minister’s axe has made way for a setup where the legacy politicians and career government officials of before have been replaced by a team that embodies the word “technocrat”.

Prominent chartered accountant and former caretaker provincial minister for Sindh Syed Shabbar Zaidi has been named the new Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) chairman. Dr Reza Baqir, who has a 16 year long career in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been appointed governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to serve for a three-year term. Meanwhile Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh remains the de facto Finance Minister while serving as the as adviser to the Prime Minister on finance. Combined the trio command the top financial institutes in the country, and with it the gargantuan task of steering the economy out of troubled waters.

Where the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) stalwart Asad Umar once stood, responsible to the masses and answerable to the opposition, now stand these fresh appointments – all of them with an abundance of stellar credentials to share between them – but no fear of political reckoning for the decisions they will make.

Herein lies the crux of the oppositions contentions – with our financial policy in the hands of independent technocrats how much compassion can we expect for the masses? They have no constituencies to answer to, they don’t even have to be particularly mindful of the PTI’s interests; can these technocrats be expected to serve the people over the interests they represent? Coupled with the previous resumes of the new appointees the government can expect new grounds for criticism.

Regardless the Prime Minister should stick to his decision. It is a difficult time and dispassionate decision-making is required at the helm. Their perceived weakness can be their greatest strength – not having to contend themselves with the political tussle that accompanies any government appointment. The men appointed are competent, if these three can turn things around in their respective realm of influence, the economy can be salvaged.

Make no mistake that it can be salvaged. Pakistan’s economic woes can be solved by a committed reform of institutions like the FBR and a strict adherence fiscal austerity. It is hoped that the new economic team is given all the leeway to bring about that change.