Pakistan recalled Mohammad Amir in the 15-man squad for the three-match T20 series against South Africa, while recent top performers missed out on selection.
The 26-year-old was left out of the limited-over and Test squads after a poor showing in last year's Asia Cup, but was called back for the ongoing tour of South Africa.
Khurram Manzoor, Rizwan Hussain and Salman Butt - who amassed the most runs in Pakistan's National T20 Cup held last month - all missed out on places.
The Cup's top wicket-takers, Amad Butt, Umaid Asif and Mohammad Irfan were also overlooked.
Pakistan are ranked number one in T20 internationals and have won nine consecutive matches as well as a world record 17 out of 19 T20Is they played last year.
Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Rizwan and Shan Masood will return to Pakistan after featuring in the one-day series.
Chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq said the selection was focused on this year's ICC Cricket World Cup and the T20 World Cup to be held next year.
"We need to give as much exposure and experience to our up and coming players as possible, but without compromising on the assignments in hand," he said.
Pakistan's T20 squad to face South Africa
Sarfraz Ahmed (c, wk), Asif Ali, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Hasan Ali, Hussain Talat, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hafeez, Sahibzada Farhan, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Usman Shinwari