PML-N lines up bigwigs to aid CM Maryam

Punjab cabinet likely to take oath today

  Rameez Khan March 06, 2024
PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz arrives in Lahore's public gathering organised on Sunday, 8 October, 2023, to mobilize the party supporters to prepare for Nawaz's homecoming on 21 October: PHOTO: PML-N Digital's X Handle


The cabinet of Chief Minister Punjab Maryam Nawaz is anticipated to include around two dozen members, with about fifteen ministers and the remainder serving as advisers and special assistants, according to a well-informed source who is also expected to be given a provincial ministry.

Unverified reports suggested that the oath-taking ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday (today). However, as of the filing of this report, the Directorate General of Public Relations confirmed the possibility of the ceremony at 4pm in the Governor House. It was clarified that there was no official confirmation from the CM office or the Governor House.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, sources revealed that there were initially two plans under consideration for the cabinet's induction – one involving the phased introduction of ministers and advisers, and the other opting for a single ceremony.

Despite reports circulating about the oath-taking ceremony on Wednesday, no official confirmation has been received, and those expected to take the oath have not received invitations.

Concerning the cabinet composition, the source mentioned that Maryam Nawaz's cabinet is anticipated to feature her longstanding associate Pervez Rashid, slated to serve as an adviser to the chief minister.
In addition, the party’s information secretary and former federal minister for information, Marriyum Aurangzeb, who has been relocated to Punjab to support CM Maryam – who lacks parliamentary work experience – is expected to be assigned to the planning and development ministry.

Meanwhile, Rana Sanaullah, the former interior minister with extensive experience in Punjab, was initially expected to remain in the province and aid Nawaz Sharif's daughter in managing provincial bureaucracy.

However, the source indicated that it was unlikely for him to serve in the province.

He said that Rana Sanaullah might choose a position at the Centre and explained that the ex-interior minister, who failed to secure his seat in the recent elections, has two options available – a position at the Centre or in the province.

The source added that the role of an advisor to the chief executive in Punjab would not suit his stature. However, if Rana Sanaullah stays in Punjab, he could assist Maryam in navigating the bureaucratic maze.

Azma Bukhari is expected to head the information ministry, while Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman is likely to be appointed to the excise and taxation ministry.

PML-N's coalition partners, Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party (IPP), and PML-Q will each receive a ministry. Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain's son, Chaudhry Shafay Hussain, from PML-Q, and Ghazanfar Abbas Cheena from IPP, will be entrusted with ministerial portfolios.

Other individuals joining the cabinet include Khawaja Imran Nazir, Salman Naeem, Rana Sikandar Hayat, Bilal Yasin, and Faisal Ayub Khokhar, who is the son of Saiful Malook Khokhar. The Khokhar family is said to be financiers of Maryam Nawaz.

The source further said that Rana Masud, who has served in the province on multiple occasions, will be accommodated at the Centre. However, he expressed unawareness regarding whether Col (retd) Ayub Gadi would be assigned any responsibilities.

Salman Naeem, a PML-N MPA, told The Express Tribune that he has not received communication about any oath-taking ceremony thus far. When questioned about the portfolio he might be given, he stated that he was not aware of his assigned portfolio.


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