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Zia Names 18-Member Cabinet, Cancels US Trip

June 9, 1988

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) _ President Mohammad Zia ul-Haq today swore in a new 18-member Cabinet, 11 days after he disbanded the National Assembly and dismissed all his ministers.

A U.S. diplomat said Gen. Zia also canceled a scheduled trip Saturday to the United States, during which he was to address a U.N. disarmament conference and meet with President Reagan.

″The trip is off,″ said the diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Thirteen of the new ministers are from the Pakistan Muslim League Party, which governed the country until Zia dismissed the National Assembly, Prime Minister Mohammad Khan Junejo and his 33-member Cabinet on May 29.

The 64-year-old Zia, who is also army chief of staff, said he will serve as prime minister under the government, which will function until new legislative elections.

Zia initially had hinted that elections would take place within 90 days, but no date has been set.

Zia had charged the previous government with corruption, incompetence, failure to control crime and inability to speed up introduction of Islamic laws.

Junejo has challenged these allegations and maintained he was trying to operate a democratic system, but Zia abruptly dismissed him.

Two other Cabinet members are independents and two belonged to opposition groups in the disbanded Assembly.

Among those selected for the new Cabinet is Sahabzada Yaqub Khan, who resigned as foreign minister last fall after failing to win election as director-general of Paris-based U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Khan was named foreign minister again, replacing Zain Noorani.

Zia seized power on July 5, 1977, by toppling Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who was later executed. He imposed martial law and ruled the country single-handedly until March 23, 1985, when he picked Junejo as prime minister.

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