Musical chairs: Opposition says cabinet reshuffle was not necessary

Published: March 30, 2014
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The logo of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. PHOTO: FILE

The logo of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. PHOTO: FILE

PESHAWAR: 

Once berated for appointing excessive secretaries and assistants to allegedly appease lawmakers, the ruling party is once again under fire for expanding the provincial cabinet which political opponents see as unnecessary.

After Friday’s appointments and reshuffling, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa cabinet now includes two senior ministers, five advisers and six special assistants to the chief minister. There are also more parliamentary secretaries.

According to Awami National Party’s (ANP) senior leader Mian Itifkhar Hussain, the reshuffle is an attempt to cover up corruption in the government ranks. He said some time ago, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf had dismissed Qaumi Watan Party’s ministers blaming them of corruption. However, reports of corruption in their own party were brushed under the carpet, he claimed. Hussain added that PTI had ignored corruption to save its government. It is ironic, said Hussain, that those accusing others of corruption had succumbed to protecting corruption.

ANP’s senior leader criticized the provincial government’s decision and said they were violating the 18th amendment by increasing the size of the government.

The cabinet now has as many people as it did before the PTI had a falling out with QWP in November last year.

The cabinet, then, had 14 members including two senior ministers. After the fallout with QWP, Israrullah Gandapur’s death and PTI’s Yousaf Ayub’s disqualification, this number went down to nine.

The number went up to 14 again on Friday when Shahram Khan Taraki was given the charge of the health department and made senior minister. Two advisers and two special assistants were elevated to ministerial portfolios, while three new advisers and four special assistants were also added to the cabinet.

The PTI has managed to get the lion’s share in the reshuffle – this includes four ministers, three advisers and four special assistants.

Awami Jamhoori Ittehad Pakistan scored a post of senior minister and special assistant. The Jamaat-e-Islami, however, got nothing.

According to Hussain, parliamentary secretaries are given perks and privileges including salary, house rent and car which is equal to that of a minister. He added that on one hand the government had failed to start development works in the province and on the other they were costing the provincial exchequer with these appointments.

Shiraz Paracha, media adviser to the K-P chief minister, said these appointments were in accordance with the law. He added that the chief minister had the authority to reshuffle the cabinet and government.

He explained that giving ministerial slots to competent people increased the efficiency of the government and cabinet.

The new blood

The cabinet now has Mian Jamsheduddin and Qalandar Lodhi who were previously serving as advisers, while Ziaullah Afridi and Mushtaq Ghani were special assistants. Ikramullah Khan Gandapur has made his way to the provincial assembly on a seat which became vacant after the death of K-P’s law minster Israullah Khan Gandapur.

The new advisers include Amjad Afridi and Shakil Ahmed who were previously serving as special assistants, while Akbar Ayub, brother of disqualified minister Yousaf Ayub has also been given the slot of an adviser.

Arif Yousaf, Ishtiaq Urmar, Abdul Munim and Muhibullah are newly elevated special assistants. According to figures available at the K-P assembly website, the government had previously appointed 13 parliamentary secretaries and after elevation of Arif Yousaf and Muhibullah Khan as adviser and special secretary, it is likely that government will go for another adjustment in the coming days.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 30th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • Anon
    Mar 30, 2014 - 11:17AM

    It’s funny how Express Tribune’s go to guys for any opinion on happenings in KP are always ANP members… What exactly are they expecting them to say?
    “We’re very happy with the government, after they thrashed us in the elections because of our sheer incompetence and corruption.”?

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  • Zain
    Mar 30, 2014 - 1:19PM

    Funny to see ANP talking about ‘corruption’ without even pointing to a single instance of it

    Unlike in their time where they caused death of poor police guys because they gave them low quality equipment bcoz of their corruption

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  • Mar 30, 2014 - 10:00PM

    ANP said this. ANP said that.

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  • Ahmad
    Mar 31, 2014 - 5:28AM

    Calm down PTI inqilabi youth and have patience. Criticism is what apposition exists for. You forgot the days when ANP-PPP was in power, and IK would not spare a single day without blaming them for corruption!!! In their 5 year tenure, there is only one case of major corruption by the highest police officials in weapons and that is being investigated by NAB & judiciary. In the current govt, within 1 year several cases of corruption have emerged, the biggest being in the Sihat Ka insaf involving the tycoon Jehangir Tareen. For the PTI youth of KP, the reality is even more bitter as PTI has been consistently siding with terrorists involved in the destruction of the province; now they want the division of KP to appease the Hindko-speaking voter of Hazara.
    ET I hope would post this comment.

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  • Usman
    Mar 31, 2014 - 5:59AM

    Once upon a time, PTI was berated for appointing advisors and secretaries etc. etc. . . we’ve been through all of that, they were unpaid advisors and even if they were paid, they were not advising the KPK govt. on how to get away with corruption, unlike in Punjab and Sindh.

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  • String theory.
    Mar 31, 2014 - 6:51AM

    ANP people r in problem and there worries r right as KPK pass the accountability bill that will hunt them in dreams

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  • Ahmad
    Mar 31, 2014 - 7:49AM

    Dear Moderator:
    Please do not set my previous comment aside. So far you have posted pro-PTI comments. Please be fair.

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  • MAD
    Mar 31, 2014 - 9:49AM

    Cabinet had 14 ministers. Eventually the number was reduced to 9. Consequently new ministers appointed. portfolios are often changed in govts everywhere. So whats the issue with ANP. WIll the opposition now insist on having a say in cabinet composition.

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