ISLAMABAD: As Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) members take oath in the President House today (Monday), all is not as comfortable as it appears in the power-sharing deal brokered between the government and the party’s leadership.
Faisal Saleh Hayat has refused to join the cabinet, and both Jam Muhammad Yousaf and Raza Hayat Hiraj refused to become the minister of state for defence production. PML-Q, left with little choice, decided to bring in Sardar Talib Nakai into the new cabinet.
According to sources, Hayat has rejected all pressure from his party to accept a position in a cabinet headed by Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and informed the party’s central leadership of this – little surprise, since he was behind moving the Supreme Court to take up the rental power plant case in which the incumbent premier features.
Talking to the media, Hayat confirmed he is not joining the cabinet. He said that though he had voted for Prime Minister Ashraf as a matter of party discipline, he was not going to work in the cabinet of a person whose corruption he had moved the Supreme Court over.
Hayat added that while taking this decision, he had followed his conscience. He said his party could not compel him to accept a ministerial position.
Today, Chaudhry Wajahat Hussain, Ghouse Baksh Mehar, Chaudhry Anwar Ali Cheema, Riaz Peerzada and Jam Muhammad Yousuf will take oath as federal ministers while Sardar Shahjahan Yousaf, Khwaja Sheeraz Mehmood, Sheikh Waqas Akram, Sardar Bahadur Khan Seehar, Akram Maseeh and Sardar Talib Nikai will take oath as ministers of state. Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, Raja Basharat, Ahmed Yar Haraj and Syed Qasim Shah will continue to be advisers to the prime minister.
PML-Q will be given three important ministries in accordance with the power-sharing formula agreed upon.
A PML-Q member said that the notification of Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi’s appointment as deputy prime minister is expected to be issued today. A meeting of Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Pervaiz, and other PML-Q leaders with Prime Minister Ashraf is also scheduled for today.
Meanwhile, party chief Chaudhry Shujaat has prepared a reference against eight members of the National Assembly including six who belong to a breakaway faction of the party, PML Likeminded. The reference will ask these members to be disqualified under article 63(A) and will be submitted to the office of the National Assembly speaker in a couple of days. The reference is to be filed against Humayun Saifullah, Kashmala Tariq, Ghulam Haider Samejo, Arbab Zaka, Kishan Chand Parwani as well as Owais Leghari who has joined Pakistan Tehreek Insaf and Sumera Malik who has joined Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.
Published in The Express Tribune, 25th, 2012.