Announcing his first major cabinet reshuffle after taking office, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday brought in five new aides and changed the portfolios of four ministers, including that of Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, who has now been assigned Science and Technology ministry.
Khan made 10 ministerial appointments, including Sheikh who has already served as finance minister under the opposition Pakistan People's Party when it was in power.
Notably, the portfolio was so far kept by Prime Minister Khan himself.
The changes were made after finance minister Asad Umar resigned.
Former finance minister Salman Shah, while commenting on Umar's resignation, noted a lack of effective financial strategy was slowing down the economy, deterring all sorts of investments, fueling inflation and unemployment in Pakistan.
Dr Shaikh, a political economist of global repute with over 30 years of experience, has served as the finance minister from 2010 to 2013.
"The next budget will be a hard one", he added, referring to annual spending plans for the financial year ending June 2020 due to announced in May. "I strongly believe Imran is the best hope for Pakistan and inshallah will make a naya Pakistan", he tweeted.
Nadeem Babar, who is now the chairman of the Task Force on Energy, has been made the PM's special assistant on petroleum division.
Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry was given the Science and Technology portfolio which had been without a minister since December a year ago after Azam Khan Swati's resignation.
In a follow-up to massive cabinet shuffle on Thursday, former petroleum minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan has refused to assume charge of the alternate aviation ministry. "Other ministers who have links with banned organizations will also be dismissed soon", he added.
Asad Umar has been leading negotiations with the International Monetary Fund but has faced criticism over a worsening economic outlook on his watch, with inflation at a five-year high and the local rupee currency down about 35 percent since Dec 2017. The IMF paints a gloomier picture, predicting growth of 2.9 percent in 2019 and 2.8 percent next year.