KARACHI: After a month-long futile wait for its former coalition partner Muttahida Qaumi Movement to join the Sindh government, Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah finally moved to complete his cabinet on Monday. He inducted nine more ministers and two advisers, taking the total strength of the provincial cabinet to 19.
According to the 18th constitutional amendment, a cabinet – both provincial as well as federal – should not exceed 11% of the total strength of the assembly.
The newly appointed ministers were sworn in by Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan at a ceremony attended by Chief Minister Shah and other dignitaries. The decision was reportedly made with the approval of President Asif Ali Zardari.
Syed Owais Muzzafar, Jam Mehtab, Mukesh Kumar, Ali Mardan Shah, Giyan Chand, Rubina Sadaat Qaimkhani, Dost Ali Rahimoon, Jawed Nagori and Jam Khan Shoro were inducted as ministers, while Muhammad Khan Junejo and Husnain Mirza, son of former home minister Dr Zulfikqar Ali Mirza, were made advisers to the chief minister.
According to a formal notification issued by the provincial government, Syed Owais Muzzaffar, foster brother of President Asif Ali Zardari, has been assigned the Ministry of Local Government, with the additional charge of ministries of Public Health and Housing. Similarly, Jam Mehtab Dahar has been allotted the Ministry of Commerce and Industries; Mukesh Kumar Chawala, Excise and Taxation; Ali Mardan Shah, Food; Javed Nagori, Katchi Abadis and Spatial Development; Jam Khan Shoro, Livestock and Fisheries; Dost Ali Rahimo, Auqaf, Zakat and Ushr; Rubina Qaimkhani, Population Welfare, Women Development and Special Education; Gayan Chand Israni, Wildlife with the additional charge of Minorities and Forest departments
The Pakistan Peoples Party waited for a month for the MQM to join the provincial government – but it didn’t give a positive response.
Reportedly, lobbying within the ruling PPP to get their favourites in the cabinet also delayed the expansion of the cabinet for a few days. The Mahar brothers of Ghotki, who won two national and three provincial assembly seats, Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah and Sardar Ahmed Chandio, who had joined the PPP after parting ways with the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid, had been active in the lobbying.
“The Mahar brothers were trying to accommodate Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, former district nazim Sukkur, but the PPP leadership asked them to wait,” a senior PPP leader said, adding that Khursheed Shah had been trying to get a ministry for his nephew, Syed Abdul Qadir Shah.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2013.