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Khawaja Asif made Pakistan's defence minister

ISLAMABAD (PTI): Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has shed some key portfolios, including Defence Ministry that he had kept for himself since his government assumed power in June.

Sharif allocated charge of the Defence Ministry to Khawaja Muhammad Asif, who already has portfolio of the Water and Power Ministry.

The Prime Minister also allocated the additional charge of the Ministry of Law, Justice and Human Rights to Pervaiz Rasheed, who is the Federal Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage, a statement from the Prime Minister's House said.

Sharif had earlier decided to keep the key defence and foreign ministries with himself. Similarly, the Ministry of Law and Justice has been vacant since the new government took power.

The decision to allocate the Ministry of Defence to Asif came after the Supreme Court had warned that the Defence Minister would have to appear in court over slow progress in a case related "missing persons".

The court has directed Sharif to produce 35 "missing persons" before it until Thursday or appear in person to face "serious consequences."

The missing persons are believed to be in the custody of the intelligence agencies. They have been reportedly detained for their alleged connection with terror activities.

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