GILGIT: In a bid to include some of its dissident lawmakers into the Gilgit-Baltistan cabinet, the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) plans moving a resolution in the Legislative Assembly seeking expansion of the regional cabinet, sources said on Saturday.
“We are going to move a resolution in the assembly and hopefully it will sail through smoothly,” a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) from the ruling PPP told The Express Tribune. “The resolution will seek inclusion of four more ministers in the cabinet, increasing its strength to 10,” he said requesting anonymity. Chief Minister Mehdi Shah had announced his cabinet last week.
However, a number of PPP legislators complained about being ignored. And they expressed their resentment in the party’s meetings, sources told The Express Tribune. At least two PPP lawmakers – Muhammad Nasir and Abdul Hameed – struck a defiant tone after they chose to support a resolution tabled by an opposition MLA in the assembly on the Governor House issue.
An independent MLA, Raziuddin, accused the chief minister of foul-play in the elections for Gilgit-Balitistan Council. On the floor of the house he called the chief minister “a liar”. Muhammad Jaffer, the minister for agriculture and fisheries, said the PPP central leadership had asked them to get a resolution passed from the assembly for the expansion of the cabinet. “The struggle for portfolios will soon end,” he said, adding that intra-party consultations were also ongoing for the induction of four parliamentary secretaries.