PESHAWAR: After more than four decades, the provincial government has appointed a separate minister for Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Home and Tribal Affairs department, giving the portfolio to Mehmood Khan. The last person who served as the home minister was the late Hayat Mohammad Khan Sherpao from Pakistan Peoples Party.
Hayat, the brother of Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) chief Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, died in a bomb blast on February 8, 1975 inside University of Peshawar. Hayat served as the minister in the government of former chief minister late Sardar Inayatullah Khan Gandapur. Later, Shahzada Khan headed the ministry for a month in the caretaker government of former chief minister Shamsul Mulk when the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) government left office.
In these 41 years after Hayat’s death, the department was directly headed by the chief ministers of successive governments. However, on Tuesday, the incumbent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led provincial government awarded Mehmood Khan the ministry. Now, the provincial cabinet has filled all of its 15 seats, including 14 ministers and a chief minister.
In October 2015, when QWP was rejoining the government, the party’s provincial head Sikandar Sherpao was meant to be given the ministry along with irrigation department.
However, that never happened as insiders privy to the matter said higher-ups in the police department were not in favour of Sikandar becoming the home minister. Hence, the department was left under the chief minister’s supervision.
Mehmood Khan, a lawmaker of PTI, hailing from Matta, Swat, was serving as the minister for irrigation department when his department was taken from him and given to Sikandar.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 20th, 2016.