ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday gave additional charge of Ministry of Defence to Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif while Federal Information Minister Senator Pervaiz Rashid was given additional charge of the Law, Justice and Human Rights Ministry.

Previously these portfolios were with the prime minister himself. The decision came after the Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday ordered the defence minister to appear before the court in the missing persons’ case.

Reportedly, while having meetings with top army generals in connection with the appointments of new army chief and Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, the acting defence secretary briefed the prime minister on the developments in the missing persons’ case and the directions of the apex court regarding personal appearance of the defence minister.

The Supreme Court had declared that if the missing persons were not produced before the court by Thursday (today), the defence minister would have to appear in person to explain the government’s position in the case.

The prime minister told the acting defence secretary of the allocation of additional charge of the Ministry of Defence to Khawaja Asif.

Similarly, the Ministry of Law, Justice and Human Rights rested with the prime minister and the matters pertaining to the portfolio were being criticised. The prime minister also doled out the portfolio as an additional charge to Federal Information Minister so that the matters pertaining to the ministry could be looked after properly.