Two days of deliberation in Dubai led to yet another reshuffle in the Sindh cabinet. Jam Khan Shoro has been appointed as the new local government (LG) minister while Maula Bux Chandio has been appointed as the new information adviser.
Shoro, who had the livestock portfolio until Friday, will be looking after the LG department, according to a notification issued by the Sindh cabinet deputy secretary, Dr Badaruddin Shaikh, on Friday. The post was left vacant by Nasir Shah, who was removed from the post a day before the second phase of the LG elections on November 19. Since Chandio is not an elected representative, he has been appointed as information adviser to the chief minister but will enjoy the same status as a minister.
According to officials privy to the development, the departments of public health and engineering, and rural development have been given to Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) MPA Fayyaz Butt. The outgoing LG minister has secured the food ministry, which was earlier managed by Manzoor Wasan.
However, there are likely to be more changes in the future as some PPP MPAs are upset they were not allotted important portfolios.
Too much ‘information’
The information ministry has seen the most changes since the general elections in 2013. “Maula Bux will be the third information minister in the cabinet in two-and-a-half years,” pointed out an official. “With his appointment, the number of advisers to the CM will reach five.”
Earlier, the portfolio of the information department was given to Sharjeel Inam Memon, who left for Dubai allegedly to escape his involvement in several corruption cases. Later, senior minister Nisar Khuhro was given this responsibility along with the education department in July this year. Khuhro was about to complete four months on the job when the PPP decided to appoint Chandio, a former senator and federal law minister. He is known among the party ranks as a ‘jiyala’.
Memon to resign?
Memon, who has been running the works and services, and archives department from Dubai, is reportedly going to be asked to tender his resignation. “The party is considering re-allotting the works and services department to Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani, who is currently a minister without any portfolio,” said a senior PPP leader.
Bijarani was earlier relieved from the works and services department and was given the education department portfolio, but he declined allegedly due to the excessive influence of education secretary Fazullah Pechuho in the department affairs. “Bijarani asked the party leadership to transfer the education secretary who happens to be Asif Ali Zardari’s brother-in-law but his repeated requests went in vain,” said a party official.
Wasan’s food department portfolio has been withdrawn and handed over to Nasir Shah. Wasan continues to hold the reins of the mines and minerals department.
Shah was reportedly removed from the LG minister post following his differences with the party leadership over the appointment of the district council chairperson for Sukkur. PPP wanted to give the LG department to a more active and vocal minister, said a party source.
Moreover, CM’s special adviser on sports Fayyaz Butt has been given a new assignment of looking after the public health and engineering department along with rural development. This portfolio was earlier under the domain of the chief minister.
After these reshuffles, the number of ministers in the Sindh cabinet reaches 18, along with five advisers, 19 special assistants and eight coordinators. The total number of cabinet members having different portfolios stands at around 31.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 28th, 2015.
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