The cabinet has seen yet another shuffle, although this time, it has not been as wide-ranging as on previous occasions. The most significant change has been the return of former Finance Minister Asad Umar as Planning Minister in place of Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiyar who has now been handed the Petroleum Ministry. Prime Minister Imran Khan has stated time and again that ministers that are seen to be underperforming will be removed, however, no minister has been axed this time. The only minor casualty is Omar Ayub Khan, who held both the Energy and Petroleum ministries until today; he will now be limited to the Energy Ministry.

The reshuffle has seemingly taken place to bring Asad Umar back into the fold, which might not be a bad inclusion to the cabinet; many independent observers believe that his project management skills might come in handy at the helm of the planning ministry at a time when the Chinese government is reportedly unhappy with progress on CPEC. However, Mr Umar’s experience notwithstanding, the government’s lack of consistency and indecision at the highest level leads to a lack of stability and continuity. Chopping and changing the personnel at the top without giving any time for stability to set in will only lead to months wasted, where the incoming minister will need time to adjust and implement their own ideas and working style on the portfolio given.

The government needs to consider its decisions carefully – going three steps back each time the Prime Minister changes his mind is not in the best interest of the country. There is currently no continuity or stability within the cabinet. There are also reports that the Chinese government is not happy with its dealings with the railways and communications ministries either; will the government suddenly decide to reshuffle the cabinet at a later stage as well?

The government claims that its ability to look inwards and critique its own progress is positive; through this it can improve itself whenever possible. However, any expert recruiter will tell you that constant indecision over what is the best course of action can be altogether avoided if the best individual is chosen in the first place. The inference one draws from the constant reshuffle is that there is a problem in decision-making at the very top in government and that the Prime Minister might do better by taking some time to really mull over his choices when handing out portfolios. At this rate, no minister has time to get anything substantial done during their time in power and can always use this as an excuse whenever their ministries are seen to be underperforming.