PESHAWAR: The provincial government is expected to formally announce today the induction of two new faces in the provincial cabinet after Prime Minister Imran Khan gave his provisional approval.
The new faces are expected to be inducted from the crop of newly-elected lawmakers from the erstwhile federally administered tribal areas (Fata).
The announcement is expected to be made when the prime minister visits the province on Saturday (today) to inaugurate the new, round-the-clock cargo terminal at the Torkham border with Afghanistan.
Sources within the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) provincial cabinet have told The Express Tribune that in a recent meeting between the provincial governor Shah Farman and Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, it was decided to expand the provincial cabinet.
Amongst the names discussed was the inclusion of one of the two female lawmakers from the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) who were elected during the July 20 elections in the newly-merged tribal districts on reserved seats.
The names were sent to Prime Minister Imran for review and he has apparently approved the decision, giving CM Mahmood full authority to expand the provincial cabinet, the source said.
Later, K-P Information Minister Shaukat Yousafzai confirmed to The Express Tribune over the phone that the provincial cabinet will be expanding.
He added that a decision in that regard had been principally made when the first-ever provincial elections in the tribal districts were held in July. He further confirmed that the proposed names for inclusion in the provincial cabinet have been approved by the prime minister.
While PM Imran is expected to announce the decision when he inaugurates the border post, the move is set to go through next week.
Earlier in the week, reports emerged that apart from the expansion of the provincial cabinet, a shakeup of the key, provincial decision-making body is likely with some of the incumbents, including advisers and special assistants making way owing to their poor performance.
A source had suggested that names for those to be replaced and those who will be brought in to replace them have already been finalised by the party’s provincial leadership and that only the premier’s nod is awaited.
In the recently held provincial elections in tribal districts, the ruling PTI emerged as the largest party by winning five seats and three independent candidates decided to join the ruling party after the elections. They also managed to secure three reserved seats – including two women and the sole minority seat. The Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) secured three seats in the elections and a reserved seat for women.
The Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) managed to woo three independent candidates over to secure the fourth reserved seat for women as the Awami National Party (ANP) and the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) secured a seat each.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 14th, 2019.