KARACHI: Chief minister-elect Murad Ali Shah and his cabinet members will take oath today (Saturday) at Governor House.
According to official sources, acting Governor Agha Siraj Durrani will administer the oath to the CM and cabinet members at 5pm. The ceremony will be attended by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, PPP MNAs and MPAs, diplomats, representatives of business community and others.
Murad was elected as the CM on Thursday by the Sindh Assembly. He bagged 97 votes against his opponent, Grand Democratic Alliance’s Shaharyar Mahar, who secured 61 votes.
According to sources in the Sindh government, PPP Co-Chairperson Asif Ali Zardari’s sister Dr Azra Pechuho is likely to be included in the Sindh Cabinet. Many PPP leaders who were a part of the cabinet in the last government of Murad are also likely to return. They include former information minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, labour minister Saeed Ghani, excise and taxation minister Mukesh Kumar Chawla and local government minister Jam Khan Shoro.
Ismail Rahu, who left the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz to join the PPP, is also being tipped as one of the provincial ministers or advisers along with Mumtaz Jakhrani, the late Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani’s son Shabbir Bijarani, Arbab Lutfullah Malik Asad Sikandar, PPP Sindh President Nisar Khuhro’s daughter Nida Khuhro, minority member Rana Hamir Singh and Murtaza Baloch, who has won the elections from District Malir.
“Two tribal chieftains who belong to Kamber-Shahdadkot district, Nadir Magsi and Sardar Chandio, have also started lobbying to get portfolios in Sindh Cabinet. This time, the PPP is likely to accommodate them in the cabinet too,” a senior PPP lawmaker said, requesting anonymity.
Sources privy to the development informed The Express Tribune that Dr Pechuho is likely to get the portfolio of health ministry while information ministry might again be handed down to Nasir. “Arbab Lutfullah, nephew of former chief minister Arbab Ghulam Rahim who played key role in defeating his uncle and other opponents is also being considered as a cabinet member,” sources said, adding that Fayyaz Butt and Nawab Taimour Talpur, son of PPP veteran Yousuf Talpur, may also be inducted in the cabinet.
The 18th Amendment restricts provincial governments to have not more than 11% of the members of the provincial assemblies in the cabinet. Since the Sindh Assembly has a total of 168 members, the Constitution allows only 18 ministers and five advisers.
In its last tenure, the PPP tried to exceed the cabinet limit by appointing several special assistants to CM who were given ministerial powers. However, after a Supreme Court ruling, they were removed.