KARACHI: Eight ministers and two advisers were inducted on Sunday in the Sindh Cabinet in the first phase.
The cabinet members took oath from Acting Governor Agha Siraj Durrani at Governor House. They include Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, Saeed Ghani, Shehla Raza, Ismail Rahu, Hari Ram, Shabbir Bijarani, Syed Sardar Ali Shah, Makhdoom Mahboobuz Zaman, Barrister Murtaza Wahab and Mohammad Bux Maher. Of them, the latter two will serve as advisers while others will have the status of provincial ministers.
According to an official notification, Dr Pechuho was assigned the portfolio of health, while Ghani got the porfolios of local government, rural development and public health engineering. Raza and Rahu were assigned the portfolios of women development and agriculture, respectively. Ram became the provincial minister for prisons and minority affairs departments while Bijrani was assigned the portfolio of minerals. Sardar got the portfolios of education and culture and Zaman became the revenue minister.
The two advisers were not given any portfolio, according to official sources.
After the oath-taking ceremony, the CM along with his newly formed cabinet visited Mazar-e-Quaid to pay homage to the father of nation. Murad laid a wreath on the grave of Quaid-e-Azam and offered fateha for him. He also recorded his impressions in the visitors’ book placed at the mausoleum.
CM media talk
Talking to media personnel at Mazar-e-Quaid, the CM said Sindh contributed to the divisible pool more than any other province and it should be given share from the National Finance Commission award accordingly.
“It has yet to be seen whether the federal government gives rights to smaller provinces or not. However, we will continue our struggle for getting our just share,” Murad said.
Responding to a question, the CM said there should be proper accountability but “we will not accept political victimisation in the name of accountability”. He vowed to strengthen the Anti-Corruption Establishment so that corrupt practices in the province could be eradicated.
According to Murad, he had formed a balanced cabinet and all his cabinet members were experienced and well-educated. “I am sure we [cabinet members] will be able to serve people of Sindh,” he said.
The CM said the Pakistan Peoples Party had received more votes and seats from Sindh in the 2018 elections than the previous elections.
Replying to a query about the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MPA who beat up a citizen on a road, the CM said it was an unfortunate incident and what the PTI MPA did was unacceptable. We are hoping for constructive politics and attitudes, he said.
To a question about Karachi package, Murad remarked that federal governments always made tall claims of giving a special package to Karachi but did nothing practical. The Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz government had announced a Rs25 billion package for the city but it proved to be lip service, he said, adding that he would welcome if the PTI-led federal government gave attention to Karachi’s uplift.
Regarding the expansion of cabinet, the CM said it would take place after Eid.