Alliance with PPP: PML-Q looks to quell internal discord

Federal cabinet reshuffled; MQM ministers given portfolios.


Qamar Zaman May 17, 2011

ISLAMABAD:


In a bid to rein in increasing internal dissent, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) introduced on Monday some changes in federal cabinet, besides cautioning its members not to defy party policies.


The PPP-PML-Q alliance has exposed both the parties to a variety of internal and external attacks.

After the alliance was struck, Riaz Hussain Pirzada and Amir Muqam, chief of PML-Q’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) chapter, refused to head their respective ministries.

Pirzada was re-allocated the ministry of health, while a disgruntled Muqam resigned from his assigned portfolio of the ministry for production.

Sources said that there was a likelihood that the ministry of water and power be bifurcated and Muqam would head the water ministry. In addition, Muqam has also been given the option of joining the environment ministry.

This correspondent repeatedly tried to contact Amir Muqam, but he was unavailable for comments. Meanwhile Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain has warned PML-Q parliamentarians, saying: “No assembly member, elected on the Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid) ticket, according to the Constitution and parliamentary rules, can make a decision independent of the PML-Q’s parliamentary group.”

The warning was issued after some of his party members decided to sit on opposition benches against the party’s policy.

Five senators and two MNAs, including Marvi Memon and Awais Leghari, publicly announced they would defy the party policy and asked the speaker of respective houses of parliament for permission to sit on opposition benches.

Shujaat said that the PML-Q’s parliamentary group will now sit on treasury benches and “all party members will abide by this decision”.

Meanwhile, the federal cabinet was reshuffled again.

According to the new line-up, PML-Q’s Chaudhry Wajahat Hussain has been assigned the ministry of labour and manpower, while Sheikh Waqas Akram, also of the PML-Q, would officiate as his state minister.

Similarly, Dr Farooq Sattar of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) would be the minister for Overseas Pakistanis and Babar Khan Ghauri the minister for ports and shipping. A notification has been issued in this regard.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 17th, 2011.

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